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Customized Corvettes

Corvette Centennial Design Concept: Lutz Comments

by Keith Cornett on September 4, 2008

Corvette Centennial Design Concept

As another set of high quality photos featuring the Corvette Centennial Design Concept make their way to our friends over at Jalopnik, we finally get a comment from GM’s Bob Lutz regarding the significance of the concept in relation to the next generation C7 Corvette.

Since the first photos surfaced earlier this year of the Centennial parked behind a car hauler on the Transformers movie back staging area, the Concept has fueled rumor and speculation about this being a C7 Corvette prototype.

Leftlane News recently posed the production question to GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz:

Leftlane: “Is there any significance to the Chevrolet Corvette Centennial concept, aside from the role in Transformers 2?”

Mr. Lutz: “No, I would say that is in the realm of ‘pure concept.’ At this point, there’s zero intention to produce.”

Leftlane goes on to point out that Lutz said the very same thing about the Camaro beginning as “pure-concept” so anything may be possible.

The Corvette Centennial Design Concept was developed as part of GM’s 100 Year celebration. This design study integrates key design elements of previous Corvettes as well as other GM vehicles.

Once of the more fascinating elements is the stingray emblem on the rear deck behind the split window. It’s a very minor element but it gives the Corvette Centennial an attitude and a sense of identity that is sometimes lacking in design concepts. Bottom line? We think its a great starting point for the C7.

Make sure you view the entire gallery of new Corvette Centennial Design Concept photos at Jalopnik.


Sources:
Jalopnik
Leftlane News

Related:
Transformers Mystery Car Revealed as Corvette Centennial Design Concept
Transformer’s Corvette Concept Revealed
[VIDEO] Sixties Corvette To Make Warp Speed in Next Star Trek Movie?

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Taxicab Corvette Z06: When You Need To Be Somewhere Fast

by Keith Cornett on September 3, 2008

Corvette Z06 Taxicab

If I was ever late to catch a flight, seeing this taxi pulling up in front of the CorvetteBlogger Compound would be a welcome site. But in reality, this Corvette Z06 isn’t a taxicab all. It’s actually one of the 120 cars participating in the 10th Annual Gumball 3000 Rally. Gumball 3000 participants are known for plastering outrageous exterior graphics on some of the world’s top supercars.

Additional photos after the jump.

The previously Black Corvette Z06 was reskinned by the UK’s Raccoon auto branding company in the motif of “The Speeding Cab Company” for the rally. Here are the photos that show the car being wrapped in the parking garage of the Fairmont Hotel in San Fran as well as the finished taxicab parked down on the street.

Corvette Z06 Taxicab Corvette Z06 Taxicab Corvette Z06 Taxicab

The Gumball 3000 takes participants on an 8 day, 3000 mile road rally across two continents. This year’s rally was billed as “East Meets West” as the Gumballers cruised through China and portions of the American West.

Participating in a Gumball Rally isn’t cheap. For one fee of £60,000 pounds (or the price of a Corvette ZR1) all your accommodations, vehicle transportation and of course, admission to the famous Gumballer parties are all covered.

There was also a midyear Corvette Coupe participating in the rally, but I have yet to see any pictures other than a glimpse of the front clip lurking in the background. If anyone has seen a photo of it, please send it over.
Source:
Supercars.net
Gumball 3000 Related:
Royal Oak PD’s New Ride: A Corvette Z06 Police Interceptor
1963 Split Window Corvette Featured in PGR4 Commercials
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The VoltVette: Man Builds a Plug-In Electric Corvette

by Keith Cornett on August 25, 2008

Michael Shoop and his Electric 1978 Corvette

What do you do if you want an electric car but don’t want to pay the more than $26,000 for a Prius? Oh, and you want a car that looks cool too? If you’re Michael Shoop, you enlist a few buddies, buy a 1987 Corvette and build your own. A year after envisioning a 100% electric-powered car, the VoltVette was born.

According to Shoop, the 1987 Corvette is the perfect platform for the do-it yourself project. Its fiberglass body is lightweight, and the clamshell hood which opens forward which makes it easier to work on. Shoop removed the 240-hp engine and replaced with a specially designed electric car motor. The Corvette is now powered by 13 lead 12-volt batteries which produce 156 volts of power that translates to 200 horsepower. The batteries weigh 70 pounds each are a stored in both the engine compartment and cargo area for balance.

The VoltVette: 1987 Electric Powered Corvette The VoltVette: 1987 Electric Powered Corvette The VoltVette: 1987 Electric Powered Corvette

Performance unfortunately is lacking. The 1987 Corvette was designed with a top speed of 149 mph. The VoltVette reached 30 mph on its maiden drive. Shoop could reprogram the Volt Vette to boost the horsepower up to 800, but there’s a catch – he’d need an additional 40 batteries.

And then there’s the torque factor. Like all electric powered cars, the VoltVette generates a massive amount of torque. While trying to increase the power to hit 70 mph he cracked the driveshaft. With a new driveshaft installed as well as some down-home ingenuity that now gives the ’87 Corvette power steering, the VoltVette can reach a top speed of 40 mph.

Shoop estimates the VoltVette costs around 3-cents per mile to operate. Not bad considering the Toyota Prius costs around 7-cents per mile based on $3.50/gallon gas. Electric motors are more reliable as well according to Shoop, “The car industry makes money on parts, repairs and maintenance, and that’s why it hates the electric car.”

The VoltVette was built for under $26,000 which included the cost of the car. “I figured I would get it done, and have the pleasure of cruising by a gas station and maybe waving.”

Read more about the VoltVette on Shoop’s blog hosted by the Minnesota Electric Auto Association.


Source:
TwinCities.com

Related:
Video: Jay Leno’s E85 C6RS Corvette Reveal
Lighter, Greener Corvette on the Horizon

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Corvette Z06 Police Car

Folks in Michigan are getting all gitty about this weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise that runs through the heart of Detroit. From the look of Royal Oak’s newest police interceptor, I’d say the cops should be pretty excited about the cruise as well. This Corvette Z06 in Jetstream Blue Metallic is actually a loaner from the General Motors Police Fleet and will be used to maintain law and order throughout the weekend. More photos after the jump.

Corvette Z06 Police Car Corvette Z06 Police Car Corvette Z06 Police Car
Corvette Z06 Police Car Corvette Z06 Police Car Corvette Z06 Police Car
Corvette Z06 Police Car    


Source:
Jalopnik.com Related:
Fire Chief Selects a 1978 Corvette for Command Car
Hot Pursuit! Bob Lutz’s Corvette ZR1 Police Interceptor
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Corvette Centennial Design Concept

Jalopnik got a tip from “the Auto Insider” about the corvette concept car spotted this summer during the filming of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It’s been identified as GM’s Corvette Centennial Design Concept. So it is a Corvette Concept car, just not the C7 Corvette Concept as some have been speculating.

As the name suggests, the Corvette Centennial Design Concept was developed as part of GM’s 100 Year celebration. This design study integrates key design elements of previous Corvettes as well as other GM vehicles, namely the Camaro.

Transformers 2 Corvette Concept Transformers 2 Corvette Concept
Transformers 2 Corvette Concept Transformers 2 Corvette Concept

As far as the design of the C7 Corvette, we think the designers should use this Corvette Centennial study as their starting point. It would need to be refined so its mostly acceptable to the masses and enthusiasts, but still keeping the sharp design aspects that make you stand back in awe. Can you imagine this thing in black? We should be seeing more of this car early next year before the opening of the Transformers.

Click over to Jalopnik to read more and see the exclusive photo of the full sized clay model.


Source:
Jalopnik

Related:
Transformer’s Corvette Concept Revealed
[VIDEO] Sixties Corvette To Make Warp Speed in Next Star Trek Movie?

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Remarkable 1954 Silver Style Corvette Reborn

by Keith Cornett on July 25, 2008

1954 Style Corvette - Photo credit: James Haefner

While 1954 Corvettes are far from ordinary, VIN #2771 of 3640 produced in the second year of Corvette production took the path that few Corvettes seldom see and has survived to tell the tale 54 years later. This Corvette would become part of an exclusive club known as “style” Corvettes. Style Corvettes were cars usually pulled off the assembly line and sent to GM’s design studios where they would undergo a host of interior and exterior design changes as Chevrolet looked to improve and refine the looks, comfort and usability of the two-seat sports car.

The life span of a “style” Corvette was usually short. It was common for these cars to be destroyed after their “styling” exercises were concluded, but in some instances they were returned as close as stock as possible and resold. In some rare cases, they were kept in their restyled configuration and sold to GM employees or outsiders with ties to the Corvette program

Yet E54S002771 wasn’t pulled from the assembly line like the typical style Corvette. She started out the way most 2nd year Corvettes did – delivered to her new owner with a factory fresh Polo White enamel exterior with Sportsman Red interior. The original owner of #2771 was a GM employee named Roger Crispel. Roger longed for a 1953 Corvette, but being neither a VIP nor a celebrity, the two credentials needed to secure 1 of the 300 Corvettes built in that first year, had to settle on a 1954 model.

Roger received his Corvette in the middle of 1954 and thoroughly enjoyed the car until he started having issues with the mechanicals and the top. His Chevrolet dealer was powerless to help and may have actually contributed to Roger’s problems as at one point the Corvette wouldn’t go any faster than 15 mph. Copies of letters exist today show Roger wrote to Chevrolet Chief Engineer Ed Cole, describing his issues with his 1954 Corvette and how his euphoria and enthusiasm for the car had turned to dismay. Cole suggested dropping off the car at GM’s executive garage and Roger was given use of a company car while the mechanical problems could be correctly diagnosed and fixed. GM performance contributor and 3-time Indy 500 winner Mauri Rose signed off on the engine performance once the repairs were completed. Fitted with the second generation top now found on 1955 Corvettes, the Corvette was reunited with her owner.

In 1955 Roger was leading one of GM’s various interior design studios and needed a Corvette for a proposal. Instead of requesting a Corvette off the assembly line, he offered up his own car for the exercise. The first design exercise for #2771 was Shop Order 2536 and was dated 4-14-55. That exercise had the Corvette painted orange and black. “Hideous” is the word that Roger used to describe the appearance of his Corvette at the conclusion of the study.

A second Corvette design proposal was floated a few months later and once again Roger offered up his own 1954 Corvette as the subject. This exercise was Shop Order 10028 and was dated 2-11-56. The Corvette was repainted in a finish that Roger himself created. The color was described as having a goldish-silver hue and so he named it “Sahara Silver”. The interior was redone in a two-tone black and silver alligator leather trim and the original beige top was replaced with black canvas which really complimented the silver exterior and black and silver interior. Other styling enhancements included an engine-turned gauge bezel, a prototype three spoke Corvette steering wheel, vertical “shark-fin” headlamp fittings and a center armrest storage console.

1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette
1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette
1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette

The “shark-fin” headlamp fittings are one of the more interesting aspects of the second design proposal. 1953-1955 Corvettes are well known for their wire-mesh basket headlight covers, but due to laws in several states that prohibited obstruction of the headlights, the vertical shark-fin was tested as an alternative to the production headlamp baskets. In the end only two sets were made with one set installed on this 1954 Corvette while the other set found its way to GM Design Chief Chuck Jordan’s own Corvette.

The details of the two separate style exercises were well documented as Roger kept fastidious records. The 2-inch GM binder retained with the Corvette details the progress of the design proposals and numerous photos show the corvette undergoing the work in GM’s design shops. The Corvette itself is documented with the shop order (SO) id and date stamped on a metal plate that was then riveted to the Corvette’s cowl.

Sometime in the early Seventies, the Corvette was sold to Bruce Vollmer who restored the Corvette back to its original Polo White with Sportsman Red interior. The custom parts like the shark-fin headlamp splitters, dash, steering wheel and top all remained on the car. Shortly after this restoration, #2771 was parked in a heated garage where it remained for 30 years. Family, work, and money are often the reasons why cars are parked and forgotten and such was the case with this 1954 Corvette Roadster.

1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette 1954 Style Corvette

Corvette restorer Werner Meier knew #2771′s second owner Bruce Vollmer and had seen the Corvette in person. He had also seen the two-inch binder that documented her time in GM’s design studios. Knowing the special history of the Corvette, Werner often tried to convince Bruce to let him restore the car, but to no avail. Finally, the time was right and the Corvette was sold to well known automotive collector Ken Lingenfelter (no relation to John), who had the car transported to Werner’s Masterworks Automotive Services in Madison Heights, Michigan for restoration.

Werner used the data and pictures from the second design exercise as the basis of the restoration and the results of his eight months of labor are stunning. Much of the chrome had to be redone and Werner concentrated much of his talents on improving the fit and finish of the panels and gaps that early Corvettes are notoriously known for. Werner also had to take special care when working on the car’s custom pieces like the “shark-fin” headlight splitters. They were showing deterioration when he received the car and should anything have happened to them during the restoration process, there was no supplier call to order a new set.

The future of #2771 remains to be written, but looks to be much brighter since becoming one of the cornerstones of Ken Lingenfelter’s 150 car collection. Ken recently shared this Corvette and several others as E54S002771 made her public debut at the NCRS Michigan Regional Meet in Novi in Mid May 2008.

For a pricing perspective we turned to Vette-N-Vestment’s Bob Kroupa who said that documented style Corvettes are very rare and when they do reach the open market, they usually sell for a premium price. Bob mentioned the recent sale of two style Corvettes that were sold during 2006′s Bloomington Gold auction as a comparison. Both were owned by the former President of Chevrolet Bunkie Knudsen. A pink 1964 automatic coupe with air that was styled for his wife sold to collector Bob McDorman for $367,500 while Mike Yager of Mid America snatched up Bunkies personal frost blue 1964 Coupe for $278,250.


Source:
Masterworks Automotive Services
Corvette Forum

Photo Credits
Al Steiger – North Oaks Corvette Club
James Haefner – Haefner Photo
John Hinckley – Michigan NCRS

Related:
Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale – 1954 Edition
Rare 1957 “Airbox” Corvette Found & Restored to Former Glory

 

1984 Corvette ZR1 – The Custom Vettamino Edition

by Keith Cornett on May 8, 2008

1984 Chevy Vetteamino

I haven’t checked to see if there is a full moon out or not, but for whatever reason we are coming across a full spectrum of Corvette oddities this week. Yesterday it was the 1954 custom Corvette Hardtop we spotted on Craigslist. Today its a Chevy Vettamino, a chopped 1984 Corvette with a very El Camino-like bed for those trips to Home Depot or for helping your friend move a couch.

The brains behind this $115,000 (no kidding!) modification was the original owner of Bayliner Boats who unfortunately has passed. Like most over-the-top customizations, the Corvette is listed for just a fraction of that amount at $35,000 or best offer which according to our Corvette Price Guide is still $14,000 higher than the $21,000 high price for a Condition 1 1984 Coupe.

1984 Chevy Vetteamino 1984 Chevy Vetteamino 1984 Chevy Vetteamino

The Corvette does feature some nice upgrades like the 1991 rear end fashioned into a functional tailgate and the chrome C4 ZR-1 wheels. But its the ZR-1 badge on the back that makes us wonder exactly what is hiding under the hood.

The ad states that the sellers missed the deadline to have this car entered into the Barrett Jackson auto auction, which of course means “Only a drunk rich guy whose a member of the More Money than Brains club” would buy it. But hey, their loss is your gain, right? Now if it only had a topper…


Source:
ClassyAuto via Jalopnik.com

Related:
Spotted on Craigslist: Unique 1954 Corvette Hardtop
When Customizing Corvettes Goes Too Far

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V7 Twin Turbo Corvette Concept Makes SEMA Splash

by Keith Cornett on November 1, 2007

V7 Twin Turbo Corvette Concept Makes SEMA Splash

For months we’ve been watching the progress on American Supercars 1963 split window inspired Mid-engine Corvette Concept called the V7 Twin Turbo and finally the car was ready for its introduction at SEMA. The concept is an engineering marvel, boasting an LS1 with twin turbos in a mid-engine layout. On the dyno, the V7 churned out 1,067 horsepower and 980 pounds of tourque.

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SEMA Corvette Super Coupe Concept

by Keith Cornett on June 24, 2007

The V7 Super CoupeLos Jalops got us a pic of American Super Car’s Corvette Super Coupe Concept that is being built for the SEMA show in Las Vegas later this year. The concept, officially called the V7 Super Coupe will be powered by a Chevy LS motor with twin-turbos that should bring up the horsepower output to 1,000. Smoking!


Source:
Jalopnik.com

Related:
SEMA’s Outrageous C6 Corvette

 

When Customizing Corvettes Goes Too Far

by Keith Cornett on September 1, 2006

One of the timeless debates about classic Corvettes revolves around modding/customization versus the pursuit of Matching Numbers restoration. We see these conversations all the time on some of the forums and people are usually quite passionate on both sides of the debate.

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