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Corvette Lifestyles

SEMA Research: Corvette Owners Quick to Customize

by Keith Cornett on May 18, 2009

SEMA Research: Corvette Owners Quick to Customize

Corvettes and related aftermarket products have always been a big draw at the annual Las Vegas-based Specialty Equipment Market Association’s show. Exhibitors brought 30 customized Corvettes to the 2008 SEMA show and 58 Corvette specific products have been displayed during the past four shows. To find out more about owners and their car customizing habits, SEMA’s research arm profiled Corvette owners and gathered a significant amount of demographic and lifestyle which they shared through a SEMA E-News report earlier this year.

Registration data from Experian Automotive shows that nearly three quarters of a million Corvettes ranging from 1967-2009 are registered throughout the United States with California, Florida and Texas leading the way.

SEMA Research - Corvette Registrations by State

Corvette owners are passionate about customizing, presenting their cars and the automotive lifestyle. 87% claimed to have purchased a custom part or accessory within the last 12 months. Compared with other sports car owners, Corvette enthusiasts are more likely to purchase accessories and electronics.

The top products purchased by nine out of 10 Corvette owners were automotive polishes and waxes (90.7%), followed by exhaust upgrades (54.6%). Nearly half of the top 25 products purchased by Corvette owners are performance related, including intakes, brakes and tires.

SEMA Research - Top 25 Products Purchased

One in four Corvette owners modify their engine control systems, valvetrains and electrical systems, while the most popular accessories include floor mats, license plate frames and alarm systems. Corvette owners who make purchases of specialty equipment often do so within a short span of time after obtaining the vehicle.

SEMA Research - Time to Modification

Nearly seven out of 10 (69%) owners surveyed made their first purchase during the first two months of ownership. And split nearly in half, Corvette owners buy from both traditional brick-and-mortar outlets, including from mail order, installers and at shows, while 51% purchase from Internet retail.

SEMA Research - Venue Purchase and Sources of Information

Other demographic data on Corvette owners includes:

SEMA Research - Age, Education and Income

SEMA Research - Amount Spent in Last 12 Months

SEMA Research - Racing: Watching, Attending and Particiation.

Source:
SEMA
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[VIDEO] SmokinVette.com Featured on Jay Leno’s Garage

by Keith Cornett on April 30, 2009

SmokinVette.com Featured on Jay Leno's Garage

We’ve always known TV host Jay Leno was into Corvettes, but how cool is it that he invited Alex and Greg from the SmokinVette.com Corvette Forum to bring their Corvettes down to his Garage for a little show and tell. Both these Corvettes are highly modified and Jay seemed to be extremely interested in Greg’s rear mounted turbo setup. After the show and tell, Jay takes the Corvettes for a ride.

We just recently joined the SmokinVette.com Corvette forum and we’ve found another cool place to hang out and talk Corvettes. Make sure you take a look at the Virtual Car Show that is currently running as you can win some of the $10,000 in cool cash and prizes.


Source:
www.SmokinVette.com

Related:
SmokinVette.com’s Annual “Virtual Car Show” Offers Over $10,000 in Prizes

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The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving recently hosted the crew of SPEED TV’s “SuperCars Exposed” and that episode is airing this evening at 9pm EST. The show will feature host Tanner Foust test driving the Evolution MotorSports EVT850 performance system for the Porsche 997 Turbo. Later in the episode, Faust will go head to head against Bondurant’s Chief Instructor Mike McGovern who’ll be driving one of the school’s 2008 Corvette Z06s.

The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is one of the largest driving schools in the country, featuring a 15-turn, 1.6 mile road course. The school is an official partner of GM and also hosts the 2 day Corvette ZR1 school that’s included in the purchase of the top-of-the-line Corvette.

“What a thrill to have the ‘SuperCars Exposed’ team and the amazing technology of Evolution MotorSports’ products running laps around our race track,” said Bob Bondurant, CEO of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. “We always enjoy hosting TV crews and conducting media events at Bondurant because our high-performance track is ideal for capturing exciting driving scenes on camera.”

“SuperCars Exposed” airs tonight at 9pm EST with a replay Tuesday morning at 9am. If you like what you see, make sure you visit Bondurant website for a list of upcoming courses and specials. Some courses are now 15-40% off and make sure you check out the Father’s Day RPM event.


Source:
Bondurant
Photo Credit: Matsiltala @ Flickr

Related:
Bondurant Driving School Adding 2009 Corvette ZR1 to Fleet
[VIDEO] Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

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SmokinVette.com Virtual Car Show

The SmokingVette.com Corvette Forum has launched their second annual online “Virtual Car Show” and the list of cash and prizes is impressive. There are two categories open to participants – Corvettes and non-Corvettes. Registration is free. Simply upload 2-3 photos to www.SmokinVette.com and you’ll have a shot at over $10,000 in prizes including the grand prize of a BendPak Four Post Lift!

Here are a list of prizes for the C1-C6 Corvette Category:

  • Grand Prize: BendPak HD-9ST-C Four Post Lift!
  • 1st Place: Kooks Custom Headers
  • 2nd Place: Bob Bondurant 1 Day Z06 Experience
  • 3rd Place: Pfadt Adjustable Sport Shocks
  • 4th Place: Flowmaster Complete C6 Axle back Exhaust
  • 5th Place: V.I.O. 1.5M (Fully integrated video system), POV Mount Kit and POV Pouch
  • 6th Place: Patriot 225/229 .580”/.590 114 LSA CAM, Patriot Gold Springs and Hardened Pushrods
  • 7th Place: Escort 9500i Radar Detector
  • 8th Place: Speed Lingerie Corvette Bra C4, C5 or C6
  • 9th Place: Atomic Autosports C6 Smoothie Fuel Rail Covers
  • 10th Place: Memphis Car Audio (2) PR Subwoofers 10”, 12”, or 15”
  • 11th Place: Detail Dude Interior AND Exterior Essential Kits
  • 12th Place: DS Vettes Custom Leather shift Boot for C5 or C6
  • 13th Place: MadVette MotorSports C6 Pre-Cut Insulation Kit
  • 14th Place: $100 Gas Card from SmokinVette.com

Prizes for the non-Corvette category:

  • Grand Prize: $200 Gas Card from SmokinVette.com
  • 1st Place: $125 Gas Card from SmokinVette.com
  • 2nd Place: $100 Gas Card from SmokinVette.com
  • 3rd Place: $75 Gas Card from SmokinVette.com

The contest opened on April 14 and already there are 12 pages of entries and comments. You can check out the entries in this thread.

The “Virtual Car Show” runs through May 14, 2009 and winners will be announced no later than May 21st. If you decide to do any car shows this season, the SmokinVette.com “Virtual Car Show” should be at the top of your list.


Source:
www.SmokinVette.com

Related:
February 2009′s Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry

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The Corvette Championship Game at VetteBlock.com

I’ve been hanging out quite a bit lately at VetteBlock.com – a new Corvette social networking site that went live late last year. Over the last few weeks, Scott and gang have been entertaining us with the Corvette version of the Sweet Sixteen. After several weeks of voting, its all come down to two of the most iconic Corvettes ever produced: A 1963 Corvette Split Window vs the 1967 427 ci Roadster.

To get to the championship vote, the split window 1963 Corvette took on a rookie – the 2009 Competition Sport Corvette and then defeated the 1990 Corvette ZR-1 in round two of voting. In the final four vote, the SWC took on and defeated the 1971 Corvette armed with a 454 cubic inch engine.

For the 1967 427 Corvette, the path was much easier. In the first round, the hapless 1984 Corvette didn’t put up any defense whatsoever and round two saw the big block Corvette take on and defeat the 2004 Z16 Commemorative Edition Z06. In the final four vote, it was a battle of 427′s as the Sting Ray took on a 1968 big block Corvette and remained undefeated.

Click here for the large bracket version and view the road to the Corvette Championship game.

If you want your vote to count in this epic battle of midyear Corvettes, visit the Corvette Championship Game at VetteBlock.com now. But you better hurry, the voting ends Thursday night at Midnight.

And after you vote, why not stick around and see what VetteBlock has to offer. You can set up your own home page, upload photos and videos of your Corvette, connect with other Corvette enthusiasts and you can even set up a Corvette blog of your own. Pretty cool!

And finally, make sure to check out CorvetteBlogger’s profile at VetteBlock.com!


Source:
VetteBlock.com

Related:
CorvetteBlogger.com is Now on Twitter!

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Corvettes on the track at Bondurant

I was surfing the different programs offered at Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving and one that caught my eye that I wanted to share was their upcoming half-day Performance Driving Experience. The Performance Driving Experience allows you to get behind the wheel of the C6 Corvette, Cadillac CTS-V and the Bondurant ProKart for a variety of driving instruction on different road courses. Best of all, the cost for all this fun is only $500!

Here is what you can expect during the Performance Driving Experience:

The program starts with a lead and follow exercise with your instructor on the Bondurant road course. You will see first hand the proper racing line the pros drive and will learn to Know precisely where to brake, turn in and position your car for the fast way around the track.

You’ll also compete on Bondurant’s autocross for fastest time among the others in the event. Test your abilities to handle the car at its limits and learning to be smooth with the car will improve your lap times. The autocross and the lead/follow exercises prepare you for the race in the Bondurant ProKarts.

The evening wraps up with the ProKart Enduro – just like the endurance races of Daytona, Sebring and LeMans. Teams will be formed to compete in the hour long race driving Bondurant’s 50-mph ProKarts. Strategy will play into the final outcome of the event. Teams will have to decide which driver drives each leg of the race; practice driver changes; and work together to help the rest of the team learn the track and be quick.

If you’re interested in spending a half day learning from the same instructors who have worked with Johnny O’Connell, Jimmy Johnson and Dale Jr, then the Bondurant’s Performance Driving Experience is for you. There are only a few seats left for the May 2nd Experience, so visit Bondurant.com or call 1-800-842-RACE (7223).


Source:
Bondurant.com

Related:
Bondurant Driving School Adding 2009 Corvette ZR1 to Fleet
[VIDEO] Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

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February 2009′s Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry

by Keith Cornett on February 21, 2009

February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry

I got up this Saturday morning at 6am to make this month’s Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry in St. Petersburg. The temperature was a brisk 45 degrees and so with the top up and heat on, I cruised across the Gandy Bridge and found a parking spot among the 100+ cars already parked.

Corvettes as usual were out in force today. A couple of Callaway Corvettes were brought in from Dimmitt Chevrolet and there was a custom black C3 Corvette that was just beautiful. But the highlight for me was seeing a 2009 Corvette ZR1 in the flesh for the first time. I must have stood in front of that car for 20 minutes admiring every detail. I still can’t get over how big the ceramic brakes are in person. Freakin huge!

February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry
February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry
February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry
February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry February 2009's Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry

In addition to the numerous Corvettes, there was everything from a couple Nissan GTRs, Audi R8′s and several Lambos in attendance. The Smart Car crowd was out as well with five or six member cars parked.

Starting around 8:30am, the cars start heading for the exit and a crowd gathers to watch the various sports cars burn rubber as drivers do some harmless showing off. After seeing a Mustang driver get a little swervy on the service road, I heard one guy remark “There’s sideways and then there’s stupid!”

Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry is held the third Saturday each month in St. Petersburg.


Source:
Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry

Related:
Cars and Coffee (and Corvettes!) at the duPont Registry

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My 1966 Corvette Gets a Valentine Treat: A YOM License Plate

by Keith Cornett on February 14, 2009

My 1966 Corvette Gets a Valentine Treat: A YOM License Plate

I was on a mission at the NCRS Regional show in Kissimmee, Florida last month to find a vintage license plate for my 1966 Corvette. Florida allows the registration of these original license plates for cars older than 30 years. Richard Collins had a pretty large selection of original Florida plates (and plates from other states as well) and it was in his bin that I found one suitable for my Sting Ray.

Richard assured me the plate would register and told me what I needed to do to get the ball rolling. I followed his advice and had my plate registered by the state and returned to me in just over a week’s time. I enlisted some help with the install from “Son of CorvetteBlogger” and as you can see the plate makes a nice addition to the Corvette.

My 1966 Corvette Gets A YOM License Plate My 1966 Corvette Gets A YOM License Plate My 1966 Corvette Gets A YOM License Plate
My 1966 Corvette Gets A YOM License Plate My 1966 Corvette Gets A YOM License Plate My 1966 Corvette Gets A YOM License Plate

The C/V on my new plate stands for Commercial Vehicle, but to me it looks like it could stand for CorVette. I thought it was pretty cool. As long as the plate is original and not registered to another entity, you can use it.

For those of you in Florida interested in registering an old license plate, these are the steps you need to take.

First, you need to find a good clean plate that was manufactured for the same year of your Corvette. As I mentioned, mine came from Richard Collins (941) 545-3558 and was just $25. I’ve also seen them on eBay and at LicensePlates.tv for a little more than that.

The plates are referred to by the state as a “Year of Manufacture” (YOM) plate and it must be the same year as your Corvette. You can’t put a 1967 Florida License Plate on a 1966 Corvette. The plate needs to be original and unrestored.

Once you have the plate, you need to write a letter to the State of Florida DMV requesting that you’d like to register the plate and include the following documentation: Copies of the Title, Current Registration, owner’s driver license and proof of insurance. Also include a $50 check made out to the Florida DMV. My plate ended up costing around $36 to register so I’ll be getting a check back from the state for the difference.

Put your name and contact information on the back of the plate in case it gets separated from your documentation. I used a business card and taped it to the back. Package all your info and the plate (I sent my in a USPS Priority Mail envelope) and mail it to the Florida DMV: Direct Mail & Title Correction Section; Bureau of Titles & Registration, Neil Kirkman Building #72, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0620.

I’ve included a template of the letter that worked for me:

February 2, 2009 Florida DMV
Direct Mail & Title Correction Section; Bureau of Titles & Registration
Neil Kirkman Building #72
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0620 To Whom It May Concern: Enclosed is a Year of Manufacture plate from [YEAR] that we would like to have authenticated and registered to our [YEAR] Chevrolet Corvette. Year of Manufacture Plate: [YEAR]
[PLATE NUMBER] Owners Information: [OWNER NAME]
[OWNER ADDRESS]
[OWNER CITY/STATE/ZIP]
[OWNER TELEPHONE #] [OWNER DRIVERS LICENSE #]
[OWNER BIRTHDATE] [OWNER SEX M/F] Vehicle Information: [YEAR] Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
VIN: [VIN]
Current FL Tag #: [CURRENT TAG]
Current Decal #: [CURRENT DECAL #]
Curb Weight: [CURB WEIGHT OF CORVETTE] [INSURANCE COMPANY NAME]
[INSURANCE POLICY #]


Related:
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One of My Favorite Corvette Photos
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One of My Favorite Corvette Photos

by Keith Cornett on February 7, 2009

Keith aka CorvetteBlogger his 1966 Corvette Convertible

I was looking for a photo to use as an avatar for a new Corvette social network I recently joined and came across this photo of me in my 1966 Corvette. I was returning to Tampa from the 2003 NCRS Winter Regional in Kissimmee with my friend Chris trailing me in his C5 Corvette Coupe. It wasn’t until that night that I knew he took this shot of me comfortably cruising at 82 mph on Interstate 4.

Charlie driving his 1965 Corvette Convertible

Several years later I paid forward the favor when I came upon Charlie driving his 1965 Corvette convertible on I-95 in South Carolina. He was returning to South Florida from Deals Gap, NC where he and some friends had cruised the Tail of the Dragon. Although I didn’t have a HUD in the GMC Arcadia rental to document our speed, Charlie had about the same surprised reaction at seeing him in his Corvette as I did after I was able to track him down through the forums and send him the pictures.

Like Charlie, I drive my 1966 Corvette regularly (although not usually that far from home) and I think that’s one of the neatest aspects of this photo: Just me on the road in my ’66 Sting Ray with the wind whipping through the cockpit and my focus on the road ahead. Life should be that good everyday.


Related:
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Long and Winding Road: Paul McCartney's Blue C5 Corvette

I’ve been a Beatles fan for about as long as I’ve been a Corvette fan – which means pretty much my entire life, so this is a fun story for me to tell you about. Former cute-one Paul McCartney keeps a C5 Corvette at his LA home and is often seen driving it when he is on the West Coast. Paul was recently spotted strolling through LAX with new GF Nancy Shevell and the couple was photographed leaving the airport in Paul’s C5 Blue Convertible.

I believe Paul has owned this particular Corvette for some time. I remember watching a special about the recording of the 2005 CD “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” and at one point the video showed Paul arriving at the LA recording studio in the blue C5 convertible.

Think about that for a sec. McCartney is one of the richest entertainers in the world with a net worth estimated to be a BILLION dollars. He can afford any car he wants – yet he keeps an older C5 Corvette as his personal car when in California. I think that says a lot, not only about McCartney, but about the performance and quality of the C5 generation of Corvettes.

And since I’ve already gotten way off topic with this post, let me continue with a quick plug of Paul’s latest album “Electric Arguments”. If you’re a McCartney or Beatles fan and you don’t have this disc in your collection, you are missing out. It’s Paul’s best work in several years and it’s a great listen. Check out The Fireman: Electric Arguments.


Source:
UK Daily Mail

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Dale Jr: Member of Corvette Lunatic Fringe

 

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