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The Lifestyle

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

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Lighter, Greener Corvette on the Horizon

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[VIDEO] Man Builds Running 1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine

by Keith Cornett on August 12, 2008

1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine

Ever since Jim Moyer was little, he had an interest in all things mechanical. While serving in the Army back in 1964, he started building his first miniature engine, the coyotee 4-cylinder, which took nearly 30 years to complete. This isn’t just a model, but an actual working engine capable of producing 11,000 RPMs. Today, Jim’s current project is a 1/6th scale Chevrolet 327 cubic inch V8 modeled on the L76 365 hp engine found in 1964 Corvettes.

Jim measured an actual 327 V8 as his guide and then began the process of fabricating the parts. The head and block began as billet aluminum that was painstakingly machined on a bridgeport-style mill. The 5-main crank has real babbit bearings and the cam is a scaled version of a 30-30 Duntov. Jim created dies for stamping out the front cover, oil pan and rockers. And since this is a running engine, there is spark ignition, a pressurized oil system and a cooling system just like those that are found on an actual 327 CI V8.

The engine will currently run for brief periods as the video shows. Jim is still completing the water pump and radiator, valve covers and the carburetor.

1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine 1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine 1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine

Here are the specifications for Jim Moyer’s 1/6th scale 327 ci Chevrolet V8 engine:

Type: 1/6th scale V8
Displacement:
1.10 cu in, 18 cc
Bore: 0.600 in
Stroke: 0.487 in
Ignition: Spark
Construction:
Machined Billet
Began Construction: 1998
First Ran: 11/3/05


Source:
MoyerMade.com

Related:
LS2 Corvette Engine Animation/Screensaver

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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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Five Do-it-Yourself C6 Corvette Appearance Mods

by Keith Cornett on August 7, 2008

Billet Aluminum C6 Corvette Grille

One of the great things about the C6 is the bevy of aftermarket appearance accessories that allow owners to personalize their Corvettes to their own tastes. We turned to our friends at Ecklers Corvette Parts for a list of five popular C6 Corvette appearance modifications that most owners can install themselves with simple tools in just a few minutes.

C6 Corvette Accessories Corvette Side Fender Stainless Steel Styling Grilles
This is an appearance item that is so popular, GM is now installing them for customers at the factory. In about 30 minutes and using the included self adhesive strips, you can install these stainless steel perforated grilles to the front side panel vents on 2005-2007 Corvettes.
 
C6 Corvette Accessories C6 Corvette Convertible Waterfall Emblem
The C6 Corvette Convertible Waterfall emblem for 2005-2007 Corvettes is affixed to the rear interior deck panel that sits between the driver and passenger seats. Using the double-sided tape, you can stick these stock replacement emblems just about anywhere.
 
C6 Corvette Accessories Embroidered C6 Corvette Rear Cargo Shade
Add style to your Corvette Coupe and Z06 while keeping your interior cooler with a new Corvette Rear Cargo Shade with an embroidered C6 logo. This is a direct replacement for the stock shade that comes on 2005-2008 Corvettes.
 
C6 Corvette Accessories Polished Billet Aluminum Corvette Grille
One of my favorite appearance items for the C6 Corvette are these Corvette Grilles. They fit within the otherwise “plain jane” opening on the Corvette’s front bumper. Made out of polished billet aluminum, the grille attaches in minutes without modifications using self-locking ties. Fits 2005-2008 Corvette Coupes and Convertibles.
 
C6 Corvette Accessories Corvette Rear Bumper Letter Set
There are two ways to add color and contrast to your Corvette’s rear bumper. You can go the scary route and attempt painting your rear “CORVETTE” letters or you can add these mirror polished stainless steel letter inserts. The inserts are laser cut and affix easily with two-sided tape. Fits all 2005-2008 Corvette models.

These five items are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dressing up your C6 Corvette. If you are not already getting their C6 catalog, visit Ecklers Corvette Parts and request your free catalog today.


Source:
Ecklers Corvette Parts

Related:
The Z06 Corvette is a 427… Show Your Cubic Inches!

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VetteGirl.TV Video Series

If you haven’t yet seen Becky Anderson AKA Vette Girl tearing up some of the best tracks in America in a borrowed Corvette Z06, head over to the internet show’s newly launched website, www.vettegirl.tv. The show is off to a fast start with five episodes already produced and posted, and they can all be viewed on the new site.

Becky’s enthusiasm for going fast is infectious. For those of us that have never taken a Corvette to a track event, its interesting to see what happens next as we’re new to this experience as well. And for you guys who do take their Corvettes to the track, watch out for the Blue DC C5 Z06 sporting the number 13, because the girl driving it only has one thing on her mind and it doesn’t involve following your ugly ass.

Vette Girl – An American Adventure is produced by Patrick Gramm of DigitalCorvettes.com and the quality and content to date have been excellent. A new episode is usually posted every 10 to 14 days and the interesting storyline has turned the series into a must watch for any serious Corvette fan. Make sure you register and you’ll be notified when a new episode is posted. We hear the next track on Vette Girl’s conquest list is Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. Go Vette Girl Go!


Source:
www.vettegirl.tv

Related:
[VIDEO] VetteGirl.TV Video Series Makes Debut

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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

 

Corvette Ad Watch: 505 Horses + You = The Corvette Z06

by Keith Cornett on July 24, 2008

505 Horsepower

Many domestic Corvette owners may not realize this, but the Middle East, and in particular the countries of Kuwait, Qatar, and UAE, is becoming one of the hot beds for Corvette ownership outside the US. These are oil rich countries where western influences are allowed and even encouraged.

You can easily search and find photos of car shows and gatherings featuring 50-75 Corvettes. Go online to the Corvette forums and you will find members from across this region participating in the same topics of discussion that we’re involved in. Recognizing this trend, Grey Worldwide, GM’s advertising partner in the region, created the following ad that was published earlier this year.

Click here for a larger version of the ad.

Source:
Ads of the World via Jalopnik

Related:
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Transformer’s Corvette Concept Revealed

by Keith Cornett on July 17, 2008

Transformers 2 Corvette Concept

I was skeptical at first about the photos that surfaced last month from the filming of the Transformers 2 movie showing what was reported as a Corvette concept. But some intrepid photographer was to get to the automotive staging area on the set of the sequel currently being filmed on Edwards Air Force Base and snapped a few photos including this one showing not just one Corvette Concept, but two.

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

The lines on this Concept do scream Corvette with what appears to be a highly evolved coke-bottle design and a split rear window. The chopped top and wrap around windshield (first appearing on the ’53 Corvette) are so cool and the massive tires look to be able to supply plenty of traction. Could this be a preview of the C7? Let’s hope!

As GM is supplying many of the vehicles for the movie including the Chevrolet Beat, Trax and the now familiar next-generation Camaro, we wonder if this is an actual C7 style exercise, a tuner rebody or the product of a famous movie car customizing shop. GM has supplied two concepts to Michael Bay previously, the Camaro for the first Transformers movie and a Cadillac Cien for the cinematic thriller The Island, (LOL, cinematic thriller…) so we’re not off base for making the suggestion.

The sequel, officially titled as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is sure to be hit when it makes it to the big screen next year. Total gross of the first Transformers movie was $319 Million in the US and $708 Million worldwide. GM’s product placement of concepts into movies allows the automaker feedback about their designs as well as gives the base a chance to warm up to any redesign of the iconic American sports car.


Source:
Jalopnik

Related:
[VIDEO] Sixties Corvette To Make Warp Speed in Next Star Trek Movie?
Lighter, Greener Corvette on the Horizon

 

Fire Chief Selects a 1978 Corvette for Command Car

by Keith Cornett on July 16, 2008

Corvette Documentation

Dennis, Massachusetts Fire Chief Mark Dellner has added a new vehicle his fleet – a “fire engine red” 1978 Corvette outfitted with a light bar, graphics and a siren that can be heard two miles away. Chief Dellner says the use of the Corvette as his personal command and control vehicle makes perfect sense: “when I have to get to a fire, I have to get there fast.”

According to Chief Dellner, the Corvette will also be a public relations boon. “Actually, no, it’s just keeping up with the times,” said Dellner. “Young people like to see that public officials are ‘with it,’ and the Corvette projects the image they expect.”

“We had a little trouble mounting the light bar just behind the T-top, but it fits beautifully. Also that massive chrome siren can be heard two miles away. This little baby will get me through town at 80 miles an hour. This car was the official pace car for the 1978 Indianapolis 500. Tell me, what better car is there in which to race to a fire?”

The town’s police chief Mike Whalen has received calls from concerned citizens about the prospect of the Fire Chief’s Corvettes racing through town at 80 mph. His only comment was “Does it come in blue?”

Check out the full tongue and cheek post of the Fire Chief’s new Corvette at capecodtoday.com
Source:
capecodtoday.com Related:
Hot Pursuit! Bob Lutz’s Corvette ZR1 Police Interceptor
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