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Corvette Lifestyles

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.

Corvette Comparisons That Don’t Add Up

by Keith Cornett on February 28, 2006

Corvette comparisons crack me up. Every performance car from some other manufacturer is their answer to the Corvette. And while some do compare to some degree (Ford GT and Dodge Viper), other comparisons fall flat. Today I came across an article from the the Midland Daily News about some guy building a museum for the Pontiac Fiero. Guy loves Fiero’s…good for him, good for others that love Fieros. Right after the introduction of the article though is the money quote:

For Evans, the Fiero is just about the perfect car. It’s sporty, speedy and made of plastic panels over a sturdy frame so parts can be changed easily. Manufactured from 1984-88, the Fiero was to be Pontiac’s answer to the Corvette, but for less money and with less power. The plastic is more forgiving than the Corvette’s fiberglass, so it doesn’t shatter when it gets bumped.
So the Fiero was Pontiac’s answer to the Corvette, but for less money and with less power. My feeling is that because of the inferior power, it doesn’t compare to a Corvette. It’s like saying Meatloaf is like Steak, but for less money and with less taste. Just not quite the same… Anybody else got some good automotive Corvette comparisons? Perhaps we can get enough together for a top 10 list.

Found: 1959 Corvette. Owner Call To Identify

by Keith Cornett on February 26, 2006

Anyone lost a 1959 Corvette recently? Maybe not so recently? Brevard County (FL) Sheriffs Office found a Red/White 1959 Corvette abandoned in a desolate area off Interstate 95. Tracing the owner has proven difficult as the part of VIN was missing, as well as the license plate. The Sheriffs Office ran the part of the VIN it had through different databases but have come up short. Andrew Walters, Brevard County Sheriff’s spokesman said of the found car, “You just don’t leave a Corvette like that sitting on the side of the road. The circumstances that surround this particular case – this is more than just an abandoned vehicle.” He speculates the Corvette may have been dumped by an auto theft ring. The Corvette does have some distinguishing characteristics and that the owner would be able to make a claim on the Corvette based on those identifying features. If you or someone you know lost a 1959 Corvette, call Agent Mike Wallace in the auto theft unit at (321) 454-7007.

Corvette Museum Offers High Performance Driving School

by Keith Cornett on February 22, 2006

Building on the success of the NCM’s first High Performance Driving School, the Museum announced that their second school will be held on June 5-6 at Putnam Park Racetrack in Mount Meridian, Indiana, approximately 50 miles west of Indianapolis, Indiana. Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace is scheduled to attend the event. One lucky student just might have the Corvette Chief Engineer as their instructor. Other guests include longtime GM engineer and Corvette Hall of Fame Member, Gib Hufstader who will be on-hand at the track and will be a featured guest speaker at the event banquet on Monday evening. The school will have four run groups in addition to the instructor group. Two groups will be beginner/novice (Green & Yellow) with minimal to no experience, as well as an intermediate (Blue) group and an advanced (Red) group. Only 70 slots are available. The cost to participate is $395 for museum members and $445 for non-members and all participants will receive an event t-shirt and a seat at the banquet. Non-members will also receive a one-year NCM individual membership with their event registration. Registration will open at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23 at www.CorvetteMuseum.com