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Corvette Lifestyles

GM Opens The Drive in Las Vegas

by Keith Cornett on April 19, 2006

GM opened its “autotainment” experience, The Drive last week at the Sahara casino in Las Vegas. “The Drive” will feature two professionally-designed driving courses, including a high-performance loop and an off-road adventure with two trails over a dirt terrain. Located at the Sahara Hotel & Casino and just steps from The Strip, “The Drive” is situated on 11 acres leased by GM from the hotel. The performance course features a half-mile paved route with jogs and turns complete with chicanes to enjoy both the speed and handling control of pure sports car driving thrills. Vehicle choices unleashed on the Performance course include: the Chevy Corvette; the Pontiac GTO; the 400-horsepower Cadillac CTS-V; the Pontiac Solstice, the Cadillac STS-V; and the Saab 9-3 convertible. The off-road course gives consumers looking to navigate a tunnel, hill climb, v-ditch and sloped banks, moguls and obstacles. While the HUMMER H2 and H3 are the stars of the off-road course, you can also test the Chevy Silverado Diesel, and once available, the redesigned 2007 models of the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon Denali, Cadillac Escalade and Chevy Suburban. “The Drive” hours of operation are preliminarily set to be 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays. The Drive is accessible from the GM Monorail station at the Sahara Hotel & Casino, and parking is available at the hotel’s self parking structure or valet. Drivers must be age 18 or over, and present a valid driver’s license. Professional drivers (as passengers) will accompany each driver to help them get the most out of their driving experience. For the safety of all guests, on-site breathalyzer tests will be part of the mandatory registration process before guests can enjoy The Drive experience. More information about “The Drive” can be found at www.TheDriveVegas.com
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NCM Needs 100 New Corvette Enthusiasts

by Keith Cornett on April 17, 2006

The National Corvette Museum is giving away 100 “free” New Generation Memberships purchased and donated by an NCM member who requested to remain anonymous. The memberships are for young Corvette enthusiasts 16 years and under to introduce the Museum and our mission to. If you know of a young enthusiast, of no family relation, that would be a great addition to the Museum family please email our Membership Services Manager, Stephanie Morrill at: stephanie@corvettemuseum.com or via mail to Stephanie’s attention. New Generation Members receive “free” admission to the Museum, a membership card and certificate, a special gift and a subscription to the NCM quarterly newsletter – New Generation Newz. Wednesday, May 31 is the deadline to submit your entry for the drawing.
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Retired Ford Engineers Build Corvette-Based Speedster

by Keith Cornett on April 6, 2006

What do a bunch of Ford engineers do with their spare time now that they’ve retired? They build a Corvette-based custom roadster called the GDT Speedster. The group used the LT1 engine, drivetrain and suspension components from a 94 Corvette donor car because of its proven V8 reliability. The windshield came from a Jeep Cherokee and the door hinges from a Ford F-150. While the car is titled as a Corvette, more than 2000 were designed and fabricated from scratch. The Speedster took 5 years of work and now that it’s complete, the group plans to auction it and start a new project. The winner of the auction will receive in addition to the full blueprints and service manual, a 1:8 scale clay model. How cool is that!

Check out the GDT Speedster’s site for more photos and videos. HatTip: AutoBlog via The Detroit News
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Corvette Racing Glory Ignored By GM

by Keith Cornett on March 31, 2006

AutoExtremist.com’s Peter DeLorenzo rips GM a new one for not doing ANYTHING to reward, promote or even mention the historic win by Corvette Racing’s #4 Corvette in last week’s 12 Hours of Sebring, America’s most prestigious sports car race. Not only was the win historic, but this race was Corvette’s 50th year of racing, another milestone that must have slipped the minds of GM’s spinsters.

Today, thanks to the True Believers who remain actively engaged in the corporation, the Corvette is a glittering example of what GM can do when it unleashes its best and brightest on a machine that embodies everything that a modern, high-performance sports car should be. And when you factor in the active and passive safety features, the real-world fuel efficiency numbers and the unmatched value that become a seamless part of its final equation, there is no question that the Corvette is one of the finest cars in the world – at any price. Which is why it remains a shock to me that GM and Chevrolet marketers have squandered every opportunity presented to them to use the Corvette as a demonstrative showcase vehicle for the company’s capabilities. It’s as if they’re almost ashamed of the car, or maybe it’s just that they can’t bring themselves to admit that they have one of the world’s great cars sitting right under their noses – and they don’t have the faintest of clues as to what to do with it.
I think Peter sums up the answer to his initial question correctly of why GM treats the Corvette brand like the red-headed stepchild. Because at the end of the day, the Corvette “sells itself” and GM is not going to “spend a dime on something that’s a sell-out anyway”… Read the entire rant at AutoExtremist.com
Photo Credit: Richard Prince
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Top 100 Corvette Shops

by Keith Cornett on March 28, 2006

Corvette Fever magazine is out with their annual 100 Corvette Shops You Can Trust list for 2006. The list is compiled from reader’s submissions and includes both full-blown restoration shops to those you can visit for routine maintenance. Corvette Fever has made the list available on their website so you don’t have to be a subscriber or try to track down a back issue to view. Only one of my shops made the list, Classic Corvettes of Tampa, Florida. Lenny restored the engine and suspension in my ’66 Convertible. My other favorite shop, VanSteel Corvettes in Clearwater should be on the list as they know Corvette brakes and suspension better than anyone. A good Corvette shop near you can not only help with your Corvette’s maintenance and restoration issues, but can be utilized as a resource for buying and selling Corvettes. They often know of Corvettes that are for sale but may not be actively on the market and they may be able to do a once-over of a Corvette you may be buying. Check out the list at CorvetteFever.com. If your favorite shop isn’t listed, let CF know…
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Corvette Story of the Day

by Keith Cornett on March 25, 2006

I came across this post on a blog today about Corvettes:

One time I tried to race a Corvette. It was pretty cool. Alex and I were on our way back to high school at the end of lunch, and we were stopped at a stoplight next to one of the newer-model Corvette’s (so we knew it was a pretty new car). I put my car in neutral and started revving the engine and looking over at the guy in the Corvette, then the light changed to green, we both gunned it, and it turns out Corvettes really are a lot faster than Integras.
Posted at: thekingant.livejournal.com
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The following was posted on CorvetteForum.com by a member using the screen name “Flyzlow” on March 22, 2006. It’s a story about a young boy fighing Leukemia and how a Corvette club rallied to support him.

A few weeks ago my corvette club sent me an email about a 12 year old boy who is dying of leukemia. He lives in Chicago but his wish was to visit his grandparents in Phoenix. His grandparents had told him about Corvettes and he was excited to see one. One of the grandmother’s friends is a member of Sun Country Corvettes here in Phx. and upon hearing of the visit offered to get a group together to do a drive by to their house Friday afternoon after his Chemotherapy. Having battled health problems and chemo myself the past two years I told my wife we were definetely going to take part and drive both of our Vettes for this worthy cause. We met at a Quick trip and found 26 Corvettes and about six Phoenix Police cars there to provide an escort for us all the way to ‘Tylers’ grandparents home. I was never so proud to be part of a group like this. We left at 6:00 pm and drove through red lights and stop signs right to his front door. [Thankyou and God bless you Phoenix Police Dept!] Tyler and his family came outside to see a double line of Vettes all the way down his street and about 35-40 members applauding him and chanting his name, Tyler! Tyler! Soon the neighbors were standing in their yards in awe of the cars and the excitement. He was introduced and a loud unanimous vote was taken to make him an honorary member of our Club. He was given a Corvette hat, a club shirt, a certificate and an assortment of corvette scale model cars. The final moment was for him to walk through the lines of cars and choose any and all that he wanted a ride in. He stated that he liked the old ones but he singled out a silver C6 convertible owned by two of our new members who live a block from me and met our club at a car show at the dealership the day they bought their car just a few months ago. Tyler drove off to the cheers of the crowd and then repeated it time after time in other club members cars. I don’t think anyone there wasn’t affected by the many emotions that this act of kindness brought up in all of us. To my wife and I it was the most worthy reason to ever fire up our cars and spend the gas for a cruise for something far more meaningful than a club dinner or car show or whatever. I think now of some of the posts about Vette owners failing to wave, which exhaust, wheels, mats, radar detector etc. etc. and realize that all of us who made that drive regardless of what year vette or how much it cost, how many mods, or how fast in the quarter just got the biggest bang for our buck that we could ever have gotten from any amount spent on our cars simply by sharing our love for them with a twelve year old who will never drive one or own one but for one afternoon tasted the passion that we enjoy and maybe take for granted. I have been thinking all weekend long about how we can use our cars, our clubs and ourselves in ways that can be as positive and impactful as this was. I want to thank Connie and Jack for organizing this and all of you who participated. Again, thanks Phx. P.D. God Bless You Tyler!!
Thanks, Flyzlow for relating this humbling story and to the members of the Sun Country Corvette Club of Phoenix who demonstrated class and compassion on behalf of all Corvette owners. Source: CorvetteForum.com
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Project 79 – Back From The Paint Shop

by Keith Cornett on March 15, 2006

VetteFinders.com’s on-again, off-again restoration of a 1979 Corvette is, well, back on again. For those readers not familiar with this project car, let me give you a brief introduction and bring you up to speed. Way back in 2002, we came across a driver quality 1979 Corvette that had seen better days, but was far from being a basket case. We purchased the coupe for a measly $2,750 and drove it home. A few months later, we had the crazy idea of doing a frame-off and Project 79 was born. During the last couple of years, we had the frame powder coated and then reassembled the Corvette. Thanks again to Van Steel Corvette for providing us with restored braking and suspension parts. The original L48 engine was rebuilt and a stronger cam and headers were added for additional performance. Today, the Corvette was picked up from Color Concepts of Clearwater and trailered to the garage where final assembly will take place. The Corvette was painted in the 2003-04 color ‘Medium Spiral Gray Metallic’ and as you can see, the sun really brings the metallic qualities to life.

Over the next month the Corvette will receive a new interior and all the trim parts on the exterior will be added. Exhaust and an alignment are also planned. For a photographic tour of the restoration, visit the Project 79 site at VetteFinders.com.
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Searching Corvette – What Are You Looking For?

by Keith Cornett on March 10, 2006

Ever wonder what people are looking for on the internet when it comes to Corvettes? I used the keyword selector tool at Overture.com to show the breakdown of the Corvette keyword. The selector tool shows the number of searches done at Overture-releated search sites (Yahoo being the largest) and the search term used. Here are the top 25 Corvette-releated searches from January 2006:

CountSearch Term
  
149780corvette
38573chevrolet corvette
23325corvette part
18462corvette for sale
17763corvette forum
98502006 corvette
7920used corvette
7481corvette z06
6588used corvette for sale
4814classic corvette
4749chevy corvette
45722006 corvette z06
4443corvette accessory
4250champagne corvette
4209corvette picture
4164corvette c6
3814corvette sting ray
3365corvette central
3320corvette wheels
3247corvette restoration
3244corvette club
3176corvette trader
3127corvette museum
30892005 corvette
29431968 corvette
To see the entire list, click here and enter “Corvette” into the search box. Of couse, you can enter other terms to see what they return. It can be quite addicting…
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Cruizing Central Florida in March

by Keith Cornett on March 6, 2006

The weather in Florida this time of year is simply outstanding. High’s in the mid 70′s and no rain in sight. Another great day for a Corvette Cruise. I met up with Chris, my partner at VetteFinders.com, and his 78 Corvette Pace Car Sunday morning at the beach and from there it was 200 miles of driving on one and two lane roads through west central Florida. We left Tampa around 8:30 and worked our way through Hillsborough and Pasco county. At 11:30 we had lunch at deli of the Yalaha Country Bakery in Yalaha, which is just south of Leesburg. Then it was back to Tampa, where again we worked out way back south on mostly county roads and a couple of the main state roads. We saw only one other Corvette, a C3. There were a ton of bikers on the road, and Chris nearly ran over a turkey buzzard. Click here to view the video of the March Corvette Cruise.