The first production 2004 Le Mans Commemorative Edition Z06 will cross the block at Mecum’s Chicago auction on Saturday October 11, 2014. The 405 horsepower Z06 bears the special Le Mans blue paint with silver and red striping, along with special badging commemorating Corvette Racing’s consecutive 1-2 finishes in its class at the 2001 and 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With a limited production run of only 2,025 cars, every Z06 CE is special, but the one crossing Mecum’s block may be the crème de la crème of commemorative editions—it has been verified by GM as the first Z06 produced with RPO Z16, the Commemorative Edition option. It was a WD1 pilot vehicle built on March 3, 2003 and served a wide array of promotional activities appearing at marketing events, shows and photo shoots. With only 853 miles on the odometer, this factory show car is all original, including the numbers matching all-aluminum LS6 engine and the Z06-specific six-speed manual transmission.
Special to the Z06 CE was a carbon fiber hood, marking the first use of this material for a painted exterior panel on a vehicle produced in North America. Carbon fiber is very strong and exceptionally lightweight, and was used extensively on the C5-Rs. Its use on the production Z06 hood saved about 10 lbs over the standard hood, and brought an example of racing technology and heritage of the C5-R to the Z06 CE. As a bonus, the use of carbon fiber allowed Corvette engineers to develop manufacturing techniques that achieved a higher quality of exterior finish than in previous automotive applications.
The Mecum Chicago auction will be held at the Schaumburg Convention Center in, where else, Schaumburg IL on October 9-11. TV coverage will be provided by NBCSN (Sports Network). Please check the Mecum website for auction and TV coverage details.
If you’re not in the market for a top-notch C5 Z06, don’t go away—there is about 45 other Corvettes consigned, depending on last minute consignments and cancellations. There may be the Corvette that you’re looking for. Happy bidding!
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