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The Lifestyle

Warp Speed in a Box: Corvette ZR1 638-hp LS9 Crate Engine

by Keith Cornett on October 29, 2008

The 638-hp LS9 6.2L V8

Listen up resto-mod and performance car builders! Beginning next fall you’ll be able to buy the 638 horsepower supercharged LS9, the new engine built by GM to power the 2009 Corvette ZR1. The engine comes fully dressed and needs only an external oil and coolant tanks, an ECU and wiring harness. The engine features roughly the same dimensions as the 6.2L LS3 so its installation possibilities are plenty.

The LS9 features a mind-blowing 638 horsepower and 604 lb.-ft of torque, more than enough power for winning bragging rights at the track or car show. The heart of the Corvette ZR1 is expected to be made available during the third quarter of 2009. There is no pricing available yet for the LS9, but a quick search of crate engines shows that the Z06′s LS7 is being sold for around $14,000 so expect to pay a bit more.

Here is the press release from GM Performance Parts:

GM PERFORMANCE PARTS SET TO UNLEASH THE SUPERCHARGED LS9 CRATE ENGINE

LAS VEGAS – The LS9 6.2L supercharged V-8 is the power behind the most powerful and fastest production car in GM’s history – the 2009 Corvette ZR1. In the third quarter of 2009, it will be available as a complete crate engine package from GM Performance Parts. It delivers a stunning 638 horsepower (476 kW) and 604 lb.-ft. of torque (819 Nm).

The LS9 crate engine will be the ideal all-in package for enthusiasts and racers who want the ultimate LS power plant for their project cars, from resto-modified vintage Corvettes, muscle cars and street rods to late model F-bodies and “shoebox” Chevys. The supercharger and charge cooler are integrated in the engine’s valley for a lower profile, allowing creative builders to fit the engine in a variety of applications with plenty of hood clearance.

The engine’s 6.2L displacement is shared with the LS3, but the LS9 is built for high-revving power with a supercharger. It uses stronger cylinder head castings and steel cylinder liners that are honed with a deck plate installed to maximize performance and cylinder sealing.

High-rpm-validated lightweight reciprocating parts, including titanium intake valves, are used, along with high-flow cylinder heads that draw the charge forced on them by a sixth-generation supercharger. A new, four-lobe rotor design delivers greater power at the low end and sustains it longer through the rpm band for broad, on-demand power, whether off-idle or at speed. A dual-brick charge cooler is integrated on a unique manifold system that mounts the “blower” in the engine’s valley, with charge cooler on top.

GMPP’s LS9 crate engine assembly comes fully dressed, including the ignition system, supercharger assembly, exhaust manifolds and more. It also includes the production dry-sump oil pan and provisions for the charge cooler’s liquid cooling system. Builders will need an external oil tank, external coolant tank (for the charge cooler) and an ECU/wire harness.


Source:
Motive Magazine via Autoblog

Related:
[VIDEO] 2009 Corvette ZR1 LS9 Engine Build
Corvette ZR1′s Supercharged LS9 Nominated for Engine of the Year Award
The 6.2L LS9 V8: Heart of the 2009 Corvette ZR1 Technorati Tags:
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Bruce Willis' 1957 Corvette Roadster

The 1957 Corvette roadster owned by Bruce Willis was sold at the Bonhams & Butterfields’ California Classic auction on Saturday. The White/White convertible was hammered for a sale at $79,560 which included the undisclosed buyer’s commission. Bruce’s second Corvette in the auction was a 1967 Marlboro Maroon 427/435 Convertible that didn’t reach reserve and was unsold.

The 1957 Corvette was a gift to Bruce Willis from his ex-wife actress Demi Moore. Bruce had the non-standard Blue/White Corvette repainted to Polo White and upgraded the mechanicals by installing front disc brakes with a power booster and adding power steering. The Corvette came with the base 283 ci 220 hp V8 engine and it apparently is an original Radio Delete car.

Bruce Willis' 1957 Corvette Roadster Bruce Willis' 1957 Corvette Roadster
Bruce Willis' 1957 Corvette Roadster Bruce Willis' 1957 Corvette Roadster

Here is the description of the Bruce Willis 1957 Corvette from Bonhams & Butterfields:

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Chassis no. E57S104949

The early Corvettes advanced steadily from the near-prototype hand built construction of the first 300 Corvettes in 1953, through their 3,640 successors in 1954, both with Blue Flame six-cylinder engines and Powerglide, through the first V-8 powered 1955 Roadsters of which only 700 were built.

1956 saw Corvette make a major evolution, becoming a true convertible with rollup windows. For the first time its distinctive fender side coves appeared. 1956 also brought Corvette’s first optional high performance engine. Described as “for racing purposes only”, its dual 4-barrel carburetors could be combined with RPO 449 high lift camshaft to deliver something like 240 brake horsepower from the little 265 cubic inch Chevy V-8. It was a harbinger of things to come.

Corvette fully matured in 1957 with a laundry list of 283 cubic inch engines and other performance options. There were five available engines, starting with the 220hp V-8 and ending, of course, with the famous 283/283 Fuelie engine. On April 9, 1957, just over half way through the year’s production, Corvette closed the last gap in its stature as a true sports car with the addition of the Borg-Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission to its options list.

Attesting to the success of the evolved Corvette concept and its execution was the year’s production, 6,339 cars, nearly double the 1956 total of only 3,467.

One of them was this base model Corvette which Demi Moore gave to Bruce Willis. It has had a thorough restoration and is still in sharp, near-showroom condition. A base 283 cubic inch, 220 horsepower car with Powerglide transmission, it was finished in Light Blue with White coves and White upholstery. Although it has a heater it is apparently an original radio delete car, as it has the factory blanking plate in the instrument panel cutout and no RF suppression shielding on the secondary ignition wires.

Bruce Willis then set out to give it some personalization, including installing disc front brakes with a power booster, power steering and radial tires (reproduction BFG Silvertown wide whitewalls) for better handling on 15” wheels with spinner wheel covers. The color combination was non-standard so Bruce entrusted it to the acknowledged experts at Performance Paint in Torrance, California to repaint it in a gorgeous nearly pure bone white color. It comes with both hard and soft tops, both in white to give it a consistent all-white presentation that is outstanding.

It is described as a sweet running Corvette in excellent overall running and driving condition and is ideal for cruising or weekend jaunts in the country. Its all-white presentation is dynamically different and will stand alone among any Corvette display.

If purists ask why it’s presented this way the response, “Because this is the way Bruce Willis wanted it,” is virtually guaranteed to start a conversation.


Source:
Bonhams & Butterfields

Related:
eBay: Charlton Heston’s 1999 Corvette For Sale
Celebrity Sighting: Rush Hour Corvette For Sale on eBay

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Elfi Arkus-Duntov: 1915-2008

by Keith Cornett on October 25, 2008

Elfi and Zora Arkus-Duntov

If Zora Arkus-Duntov is considered the “Father of the Corvette”, then his wife Elfi was most certainly Corvette’s First Lady. The National Corvette Museum announced that Elfi Arkus-Duntov passed away on October 23, 2008 at St. John’s Hospital in Detroit. She had been hospitalized there for several weeks with a severe leg infection.

The former dancer from the Folies Bergere in Paris was 93 going on 19. Together, she and Zora personified the performance and allure of the early Corvettes. Even well into their years, the pair had an energy and spark that infected everyone around them. Now they can be together again.

Funeral arrangements are pending and additional information will be made available via the Museum. Elfi will be cremated and her ashes will be joined with Zora’s as part of the current tribute inside the Museum.


Source:
National Corvette Museum
Photo Credit: Corvette Owners Club

Related:
Zora’s Ashes Rest at Corvette Museum
Video: Zora’s 1955 Corvette Sold By RM Auctions for $134,750

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Split Window 1961 Corvette Headed for SEMA

by Keith Cornett on October 20, 2008

Custom 1961 Corvette Split Window

Macon, Illinois based Street Rods Only specializes in building custom C1 Corvette resto-mods. This 1961 Corvette they are currently working on may be one of the most original trans-generational Corvette designs we’ve seen. Utilizing a 1961 Corvette body which features essentially the same duck-tail rear end of the C2 Corvette, the guys have customized a 1963 style split-window removable hard top to give the car a look that’s truly one of a kind.

The SEMA show is coming up in early November so this Custom Corvette should be nearing completion. We’ll check back to see if we can lay our hands on any completed photos once the car is finished.

Custom 1961 Corvette Split Window Custom 1961 Corvette Split Window Custom 1961 Corvette Split Window


Source:
Street Rods Only via CarDomain.com

Related:
Rossi 66 Melds Sting Ray Design to C6 Corvette Technology

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Corvette Ad Watch: AC Spark Plugs and the Mako Shark

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

AC Spark Plugs and the Mako Shark

In this vintage AC Spark Plugs magazine ad, the headline reads “Shark by Chevrolet – ACtion sparked by AC”.

The ad features Chevrolet’s XP-755, otherwise known as the Mako Shark. Under the illustration, the small text description reads “The XP-755 Chevrolet Corvette Shark: 102.1″ wheelbase, 192.2″ overall, 327-cubic-inch displacement, V-8 engine featuring Roots-type supercharger, 4 side-draft carburetors developing over 400 horsepower.”

A Roots-type Supercharger on the Shark? Who knew…

Click here for a larger version of the ad.


Source:
Pink Ponk @ Flickr via WellMedicated.com

Related:
Corvette Ad Watch: 505 Horses + You = The Corvette Z06
Corvette Ad Watch: Mobil 1 Ad Features Corvette ZR1

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Actor and Corvette Racer Paul Newman Dies at 83

by Keith Cornett on September 28, 2008

Paul Newman and his GT1 Corvette

The country lost one of the greats this weekend with the passing of Paul Newman. Newman was diagnosed with lung cancer 18 months ago and passed away this weekend at the age of 83 years old. Paul’s love of auto racing is well documented since he starred in the 1969 movie Winning. Once hooked, he raced for the rest of his life. Just last year he had two SCCA regional class wins and a second place finish. Newman won four amateur national championships, a second place finish at Le Mans and in 1995 won the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Paul’s car of choice was his GT1 Corvette. Every year it was renumbered to coincide with his age. Last July, Paul and his #82 Corvette finished 4th at the Glen Nationals at Watkins Glenn.

Perhaps one of the most stirring stories in racing took place in August when Lime Rock shut down for a couple of hours so that Newman could take his final laps in the Corvette.

God Bless you Paul and thank you for your support of Corvette Racing over the years. Click here for Paul Newman’s official obituary.


Source:
Autoblog Related:
Paul Newman Is Still Racing Corvettes at 82 Technorati Tags:
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Transformers Corvette Concept Revealed as Sideswipe

by Keith Cornett on September 25, 2008

Corvette Centennial Design Concept on Set of Transformers

Since the mysterious Corvette Centennial Design Concept was spotted on the set of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, there has been much speculation about the identity that the car would portray when in Robot mode. At a recent Hasbro Licensing summit in Malaysia it was revealed that the Corvette was in fact Sideswipe.

Producer Michael Bay has had to jump through some hoops to appease the Transformers fan base (we know all about rabid fan bases) because GM has an exclusive agreement to provide the vehicles for the movies. In the original cartoon, Sideswipe was one of original crew members of the ARK, although he was a red Lamborghini when in auto-mode.

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

I’m the first to admit that I’m not really up on Transformers trivia. I’d rather have a hunk a junk that can make the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs any day than a car that transforms into a robot. But I digress. I’m just still trying to understand that if you’re a robot hiding on earth, why pick a Corvette Concept car as your secret identity?


Source:
Seibertron

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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Six Popular C6 Corvette Performance Mods

by Keith Cornett on September 25, 2008

C6 Corvette Performance Mods

Last month we brought you Five Do-it-Yourself Appearance Mods for your C6 Corvette. Now that you got your ride looking good, its time to turn our attention to adding some performance and additional horsepower to your C6 Corvette. Once again, we turned to our friends at Ecklers Corvette Parts who gave us a list of the most popular C6 Corvette mods.

One of the easiest ways to add additional horsepower and torque, as well as give your Corvette a great sound is to add an aftermarket exhaust system. Here are three popular systems:

C6 Corvette Performance Mods CORSA Sport with Pro-Series 3-1/2″ Quad Tips
The CORSA Sport provides a deep, full-bodied exhaust note at idle, yet provides a clean, crisp powerful exhaust note under acceleration. The system features straightflow thru design mufflers which provide 64% more exhaust flow than stock mufflers, giving you more power and torque. The CORSA Sport system is a bolt on system fitting all 2005 Corvettes as well as 2006-08 manual transmission Corvettes except the Z06. The system will delivered 5-8 rear wheel horsepower.
 
C6 Corvette Performance Mods B&B Bullet Performance with Round Tips
Billy Boat performance exhaust introduces the newest and most aggressive C6 performance exhaust system-the BULLET! The bullet has quickly become the industry standard for a deep aggressive muscle car sound. The Bullet is a bolt-on installation and owners will have a 11-13 horsepower improvement over the stock exhaust system. The boldest tip style and configuration insure the C6 scream “muscle car”.
 
C6 Corvette Performance Mods Borla Stinger II Sport S-Type with Quad Round Tips
The Borla Stinger II system is race inspired and delivers that classic American Muscle Car sound. Featuring the exclusive X-Pipe that evens out exhaust pulses for improved flow, the Borla Sport system outflows all other aftermarket systems by 27%. Each system is an easy bolt-on product and includes all necessary mounting hardware. Fits all C6 Corvettes except the Z06.

It’s a fact that if you want more horsepower out of your engine, you got to get more air into it. These two Air Induction systems force the air directly into your C6 Corvette’s intake, lowering temperatures and increasing horsepower.

C6 Corvette Performance Mods BPP Vortex Rammer Cold Air System
BPP’s Rammer replaces the restrictive stock air box assembly. The cool air is forced through BPP’s sealed air box, through BPP’s revolutionary air cleaner and then into your intake, lowering manifold air temperature by almost 70°. The system will yield up to a 36 horsepower improvement at the flywheel and up to 36 fl.-lbs. of torque. Easy to install and fits all C6 Corvettes except the Z06.
 
C6 Corvette Performance Mods Vararam Snake Charmer
Vararam Snake Charmer cold air intake is formed using two construction processes, the upper is roto molded and the lower scoop is vacuum formed to ensure maximum performance at all times. With other cold air kits, you can normally expect 10-15 horsepower but the Vararam can provide 39-42 horsepower at the flywheel through a mile. For 2005-2007 Corvettes.

Finally, no self respecting power-hungry Corvette owner would be without a flash-tuning programmer:

C6 Corvette Performance Mods Diablo Sport Predator Tunable Performance Programmer
The Predator is an awesome tool for three reasons: The stock Diablo Sport download gives you a 18-21 horsepower on LS2, You can make custom enhancements including adjustments in timing, fuel enrichment, rev limiter, electric fans, shift firmness and shift RPM plus you can eliminate GM’s torque management on automatics and finally, the Diablo will you cam get full OBDII diagnostics for your Corvette. For use on 2006-2007 Corvettes including the Z06.

These six performance mods are just the beginning for getting more horsepower out of your 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:
Five Do-it-Yourself C6 Corvette Appearance Mods

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[VIDEO] Cindy McCain – Corvette Drifter?

by Keith Cornett on September 17, 2008

Cindy McCain Drifting a Corvette

There are many things we don’t know about the personal lives of the Presidential candidates and that extends to their spouses as well. ESPN’s E:60 took some time with Cindy McCain and I was surprised to learn that she has a serious passion for all kinds of motor sports and has even pursued drifting.

According to her son Jack, after seeing a drifting race, Cindy was taken immediately with the sport and the two of them flew to Japan to learn from one of the Country’s highly regarded instructors.

Unfortunately, due to a wrist injury suffered on the campaign trail, we don’t get to ride along with the wife of the Republican Presidential candidate behind the wheel and sliding sideways around the corners of a track, but we do see video we’re assuming to be Cindy drifting one of the yellow Corvettes at Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix.

Cindy apparently has a soft spot for NASCAR as well. The video shows her behind the wheel of Corvette Z06 Pace Car, which she drove at a NASCAR race at Pocono in August.

Cindy and her son Jack are finishing building a Nissan 240 SX with a “tricked out engine” as she calls it and promises to continue her passion for motor sports if her husband is elected.



Source:
ESPN

Related:
Bondurant Driving School Adding 2009 Corvette ZR1 to Fleet

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Only in Vegas: Rent A Corvette Z06

by Keith Cornett on September 15, 2008

C6 Corvette Z06 For Rent on the Vegas Strip

I was in Las Vegas for a long weekend to attend the wedding of a friend. Walking the strip, we came across an exotic car rental service which had this Corvette Z06 parked out front.

I couldn’t take it for a spin though as my lucky streak was limited to picking good restaurants and fast taxi lines. I was lucky to leave with a Corvette shirt on my back. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – including my money! Related:
Hertz To Offer Exclusive Limited-Edition Corvette ZHZ

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