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Corvette Lifestyles

Racing Across the US in a Classic ’54 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 27, 2006

Arthur Alvis and 15 year old son Elliot are cruising across America in a 1954 Red Corvette. But the drive isn’t for pleasure. It’s a race, but one based on precision, not speed. They are competing in the Great Race, a road race featuring antique cars 45 years old or more. Drivers are awarded points on the accuracy of a driver and navigator to match a time and average speed over a predetermined course. Each day the drivers are given a new set of written directions which have instructions like “Take the first road to the right”. GPS is not allowed. Team Alvis, who hail from Wichita and call themselves the Kansas Flying Monkeys, a reference from Wizard of Oz, departed Philadelphia, the starting point of the Great Race on June 24 and as of Monday were in 27th place. There are 90 or so contestants driving originally equipped antique cars as well. Driving a classic Corvette 4,000 miles across the US does have its pitfalls. Passing through a thunderstorm in Pennsylvania, Arthur had to drive with one hand out the window, running a squeegee across the windshield. the wiper assembly came loose leaving him with only one wiper. While some of the interior got soaked, Arthur doesn’t sweat it. He says the ’54 is not a show car. “It’s plastic…it won’t rust.” Follow the Kansas Flying Monkeys in their quest to win the Great Race and take home $250,000 in prize money by visiting the Great Race website. Good luck guys…we’re all counting on you! Source: Kansas.com
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Gus Grissom’s 427 Corvette a No-Sale

by Keith Cornett on June 26, 2006

The 1967 Corvette Convertible owned by Astronaut Gus Grissom was a no sale on e-Bay today as the high bid of $310,100 failed to reach the seller’s reserve price. While we do not know what the reserve price was, we did speak with Dr. Marv Friedman to find out what his plans are for selling Grissom’s 427/435 land rocket. Marv said he has listed it twice now on eBay and that this was the second and final listing. The first was in May 2006 where the Corvette reached a high bid of $375,000 but still failed to reach reserve. If the car didn’t sell via eBay then it would tailored out to the Barrett-Jackson auction in January 2007. “I have already spoken with Craig Jackson to make plans to bring the Corvette out to Scottsdale in January for the 36th Barrett-Jackson Auction”, said Marv and continued, “We’re making plans for Jim Rathmann, the former Florida car dealer who sold the Corvette to Gus and who was good friends with him and his wife Betty, to be on the podium to introduce the Corvette.” Marv said that while he did have some offers on the Corvette, one substantial offer would have resulted in the Corvette being taken out of the United States. Marv declined the offer but acknowledged that the winner of the bidding for the Corvette at Barrett-Jackson could end up doing the same thing. Marv mentioned that he is also working on establishing a Gus Grissom Scholarship at Purdue University, where Gus attended college. 2007 will mark the 40th Anniversary of the fire that took the lives of Gus Grissom and fellow astronauts Roger Chaffee and Edward White during a launch pad test at the Kennedy Space Center. View the eBay listing which has some great stories about Gus and his Corvette as well as lots of photos and documentation.
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A One-Of-A-Kind 1967 Corvette. Really!

by Keith Cornett on June 24, 2006

A One-Of-A-Kind 1967 Corvette. Really!

The great thing about being involved in the Corvette hobby is that there is always something new to learn. For example, you may have heard of a COPO Corvette – which stands for Central Office Production Order, an ordering mechanism designed to allow certain customers (usually dealers) the ability to order non-standard components together. Usually with Corvettes, COPO orders had non-standard colors or interiors, or was ordered with some special options, or no options like radio/heater delete for racing. Another type of order was called the SO – Shop Order – which usually originated from the Chevrolet Engineering Center or the GM Styling Studio. The third and less common was a variation called the F&SO – Fleet and Special Order.

Well, that last one was news to me. Just last week at the Bloomington Gold show, there were a few examples of COPO Corvettes and styling cars that went through the auction. Today though I got a preview of the next Corvette Magazine issue and writer/photographer Richard Prince has a great article detailing a F&SO 1967 Corvette that was built for one of the great Corvette salespeople of 1950′s and ’60′s – Bob Wingate.

When you’re the top Corvette salesman in the country for 5 years running, opportunities from the manufacturer come your way. And in 1967, that opportunity came in the form of a 1967 Coupe outfitted with a 427/435 engine, 3.55:1 Positraction and a Wide-Ratio M20 Four Speed, along with American Racing’s Torq-Thrust Alloy Wheels with Blue Streak tires. The Corvette was painted in Goodwood Green with a white racing stripe and had the six taillight modification that was popular back then.

Bob drove the Corvette all over the western United States promoting Chevrolet products. He did some drag racing and autocrossing in the Corvette, and when the 1967 model year was coming to a close, Bob sold the Corvette and was allowed to keep the proceeds as his bonus.

The kid that bought Bob’s Corvette blew the original engine within a few months, and a few months later was involved in a wreck on the I-10 that totaled the car. Or so Bob thought.

Fast forward twenty-five years later. A Southern Californian named Bob Radke buys a project car and although he didn’t know it at the time, it still had the tank sticker. And unlike all other tank stickers Radke had seen, in the upper right hand site in the box marked COPO/F&SO there was a number in it.

Through diligence and hard work, Radke was able to track down Wingate (he was listed in the phone book!) and from there a bond was formed as Radke set out to restore the Corvette. After 7 years, the Corvette has been restored to its former glory. I love these kinds of stories and the article is very written with awesome photos to boot!

The full article can be found at: Corvette-Mag.com

Photo Credit: Richard Prince

 

FOX Reality TV Show Looking for Corvette Enthusiasts

by Keith Cornett on June 22, 2006

The NCM had this story included in their weekly newsletter. FOX’s hit show “Trading Spouses” is looking for die-hard Corvette enthusiasts and their families to participate in the show which highlights the wealth of cultures and personalities from households across the country. The show requires that each family consist of at least one child between 6-18 years of age and have two parents within the home. At the end of the seven-day shoot, each family receives $50,000! If you are interested, please contact the show’s casting associate, Jason Eskin at: 323-802-0485. Find out more about the show by visiting www.fox.com and clicking on the “Trading Spouses” icon. I visited the FOX site and looked at the Trading Spouses page, but didn’t see anything that specifically mentions Corvette or any other car for that matter. What are they planning, putting a Mustang Mom into a house with a Corvette Dad? Or maybe they take a guy who has a Corvette for a daily driver and they substitute his Corvette for a Chevette. Stay tuned!
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Gus Grissom’s 1967 Corvette Listed on eBay

by Keith Cornett on June 20, 2006

Space Pioneer Gus Grissom had the right stuff when it came to his Red 1967 Corvette Convertible. Nights were spent on the deserted tracks and back roads of Melborne, Florida racing other astronauts. The story goes fellow astronaut Alan Shepard, who fashioned a reputation for himself as “Mr. Corvette”, couldn’t beat Gus’ 427 Corvette as Gus had installed a 4:56 rear end giving him a tremendous edge in 1/4 mile racing. Grissom, the second American in space, and the first American to travel into space twice, was also one of the first to die in the U.S. space program. His Corvette went through four owners before winding up with Jim Falkowski, who purchased the Corvette in 1985 for $9,995. During Jim’s ownership, the Corvette won many awards including NCRS Top Flight, multiple Cypress Gardens, the National Corvette Homecoming in Bowling Green and has been featured in numerous magazines, news articles and calendars.

There is something about a car once owned by a national hero. When paired with a ’67 427/435 Red Convertible, the myth grows exponentially. Now the Gus Grissom Corvette is listed on eBay, giving someone a chance at owning history. Current bid as of June 20th was $178,099 with the Reserve not yet met. The auction runs through June 26th. Source: eBay, Wikipedia
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Ten Things To Do After Buying Your First Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 11, 2006

I received a call today from a guy who just bought his first Corvette. He was very excited to finally own the car of his dreams and he wanted some advice about getting involved in the Corvette hobby. I rambled off a couple ideas and then thought this might be something that can be expanded on. So if you have some ideas, please let me know. 1. Get insurance. More is better than less:

If you just bought a classic Corvette (1953-1982) check into insurance companies like Hagerty or Parish Heacock. Also check with your current insurance provider. I have my ’66 Corvette insured with State Farm for under $300 per year. You may need an appraisal to get the most accurate “stated value” policy. If buying a later model Corvette for pleasure and not as your primary vehicle, let your insurance company know. You might get a break on rates.
2. Buy a custom-fit Corvette car cover to protect your investment, even if parking in the garage. 3. Join one of the Corvette message boards like CorvetteForum.com, DigitalCorvettes.com or the CorvetteActionCenter.com. You are going to have questions and the forum members will certainly have answers. 4. Subscribe to a Corvette Magazine (or two) like Corvette Fever, Corvette Enthusiast or Corvette Magazine. 5. Find a service shop in your area that specializes in Corvettes. If you bought a new Corvette from a dealership, get to know your dedicated service advisor and make sure he knows you. You’d be surprised at the higher level of service you can get. 6. Join a local Corvette club for shows and social cruises. There’s nothing like hooking up with a bunch of like-minded Corvette enthusiasts for a Sunday afternoon cruise. 7. Buy a Corvette service manual or factory assembly manual. If you want to maintain your Corvette properly, it’s best to follow the factory guidelines. 8. If you are restoring, customizing or maintaining your Corvette, get on the mailing lists of Corvette parts supplier catalogs like Ecklers, Mid-America, Corvette Central and Corvette America. Many carry the same items so then it comes down to knowledgeable sales reps, in-stock parts and servicing returns for you to find your favorite supplier. 9. Be courteous and mindful on the road. Yes, you have a Corvette, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an Ass to your fellow drivers. 10. Wave at other Corvette drivers when you see them on the road. This tradition dates back to 1953 and the Corvette wave applies to all generations of Corvettes.
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1963 Split Window Corvette – A Sad Find

by Keith Cornett on June 3, 2006

Found this posted on Flickr – a 1963 Corvette Coupe parked in a field. By the look of it, it has been there for some time. The person who posted the image says the tag is from 1994 – 12 years ago! With a wink, he also adds he sell the address of where the Corvette is located. I’d almost bet it’s another case of Future Restoration Syndrome – Parking a Corvette with the dream of one day restoring it while in the meantime the elements are taking their toll on it. No way to treat a classic Sting Ray. Source: Flickr
Credit: Auto Exposure Canada

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Holy Cow Batman! The Batmobile is a Corvette!

by Keith Cornett on May 31, 2006

Something’s are just not meant to be. Taking a limited-edition 1978 Pace Car and tuning it into a styrofoam and fiberglass-laden hero’s supercar should be on the top of your list of things not to do to a Corvette. But when Mark Shields (who goes by the moniker of Super Genius) saw that someone had created the Keaton-era replica, he just had to have it. While (thank god) there are no kits available for you to turn your highly collectable 78 Pace car (or similar corvette) into a Batmobile, Mark will sell his for the paltry sum of $50,000.

For a laugh, check out the comments about this car on Fark or visit the Super Genius website.
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Jalopnik.com was up at Indianapolis for coverage of the 500 and one of the boys scored a lap around the Brickyard in the Z06 Corvette Pace car with Chevrolet’s pace car guru Gary Mulder. While not quite hitting the track with the gusto one would expect if equipped with the 505 hp Z06, it was still a fun lap around and it’s amazing to see just how big this fabled track is. Click here for Wert and Austin’s official I Am Indy posts.


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Video: Corvette Montage

by Keith Cornett on May 28, 2006

It’s a slow day here at CorvetteBlogger.com. While I am tempted to further discuss the Corvette roof recall, instead I took a different, lighter path into the world of YouTube.com and found this very cool Corvette video montage authored by a guy calling himself C686 who proudly proclaims “My work is dedicated mainly on Corvette Montages and short films.” C6Q8 has several films which you can view at his website. We liked this one the best so enjoy.


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