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The Lifestyle

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Corvette Style

by Keith Cornett on December 24, 2007

Corvette Christmas Greeting

We originally posted the following take-off of the popular classic “Twas The Night Before Christmas” back in 2005 and every December it continues to be one of our most linked-to posts. I’d like to wish everyone who visits CorvetteBlogger.com a very Merry Christmas and also extend Christmas wishes to the men and women serving our country in the Armed Forces both home and abroad. God Bless you all!


Twas the Night Before Christmas – Corvette Style

‘Twas the night before Christmas and out in the garage,
There wasn’t a trace of a Honda, Toyota, or Dodge.
The presents were wrapped and the lights were all lit,
So I figured I’d mess with my classic Corvette for a bit.

I popped the release and lifted the hood,
When a deep voice behind me said “looks pretty good.”
Well, as you can imagine, I turned mighty quick,
And there, by the workbench, stood good ol Saint Nick!

We stood there a bit, not too sure what to say,
Then he said “don’t suppose that you’d trade for my sleigh?
“No way, Santa” I said with a grin,
“But if you’ve got the time we can go for a spin!”

His round little mouth, all tied up like a bow,
Turned into a smile and he said “Sure! Let’s go!!”
So as not to disturb all the neighbors’ retreat,
We quietly pushed the Vette out to the street,

Then, taking our places to coast down the hill,
I turned on the key and I let the clutch spill.
The sound that erupted took him quite by surprise,
But he liked it a lot, by the look in his eyes.

With tires a’ screaming and side pipes aglow,
We headed on out to where the hot rodders go.
And Santa’s grin widened, approaching his ears,
With every shift up as I banged through the gears.

Then he yelled “can’t recall when I’ve felt so alive!”
So I backed off the gas and asked Santa if he wanted to drive.
Ol Santa was stunned when I gave him the keys,
When he walked past the headlights he shook at the knees!

The Corvette exploded with side exhaust sound!
And when Santa let out the clutch and the tires shook the ground!
Power shift into second, again into third!
I sat there just watching, at loss for a word,

Then I heard him exclaim as we blasted from sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, it’s one hell of a night!!!”


Original Post:
December 24, 2005

Image Credit:
National Corvette Owners Association


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Three years ago car restorers Bill Connell and Joel Lauman got a lead on a rare 1957 Corvette that was parked inside a barn on a pig farm outside of Trenton, Ohio. The two were familiar with the history of the car and its original owner Bill Howe, a local car dealer who raced the car in 1957. While Connell was convinced that this car was a true airbox Corvette, it wasn’t until they were able to make the deal and bring the partially disassembled car back to the shop where upon further inspection it turned out to be the first airbox Corvette produced by Chevrolet.

Joel and Bill next to the restored 1957 Corvette. Original Owner Bill Howe at the Cumberland, MD SCCA race on 5/19/57.
The 1957 Corvette was a true barn find The 1957 Corvette restored to its original glory.

Before we get into the details of what makes an airbox Corvette so rare, let’s go back to 1957 when small town Chevy dealer Bill Howe first got the Corvette. The story goes that Bill and a friend flew from Ohio to the Corvette factory in St. Louis where they picked it up on May 16, 1957. They then drove the car straight though back to Middletown, Ohio. They stopped for a couple of hours of sleep and then they drove through the night to Cumberland, Maryland where they arrived just in time to compete in an amateur SCCA event against some of the best known racers of the day. In the end, Bill Howe and his number “4007″ Corvette came in third place.

Fast forward to present time. As Bill and Joel began work on the Corvette, they brought in noted Corvette historian and Chevy V8 fuel-injection expert Ken Kayser who spent two days researching the Corvette, upon which he proclaimed that the 1957 Corvette was indeed an original airbox Corvette and more importantly, was the pilot car from which only 43 were produced.

So what is an airbox Corvette? I had never heard the term before so I posed my question to the Corvette Forum’s C1-C2 section where the resident expert on airbox Corvettes “DZAUTO” schooled me on the following:

ALL fuel injected 57 Vettes have an air cleaner attached directly to the air meter. Fuel injection units do not like heat, and all of the 57 FI engines (except 43) drew in hot air coming directly from the HOT engine compartment. The 43 Fuel Injected cars which were built with an “Airbox” in 1957 had a somewhat crude, practically hand laid up, fiberglass duct work attached to the left inner fender and a hole was cut into the left side of the radiator support to allow air into the duct work. All of these 43 cars were built with heavy duty everything (translate factory built race car), brakes, suspension, special steering, NO radio, NO heater, wide wheels, tachometer mounted (clamped) on the steering column, fuel injection, HD shocks and that about covers it. Somewhere along the line, the term “Airbox” was tagged to these 43 cars, and it stuck.

A Regular Production 1957 Corvette Fuel Injection Unit 1957 Corvette Fuel Injection Unit with a Fresh Air Intake (airbox)

Restoring the 1957 Corvette to its original glory took over two years and more than 1,500 hours. Fifty years and five months after Bill Howe took delivery of number “4007″, the Corvette was completed. As with most freshly restored classic Corvettes, the 4007 1957 Corvette will make an appearance at an NCRS show to be judged and Corvette Forum member “66rag427″ mentioned in the airbox post that the 1957 Corvette is expected to be judged next month in Dayton, Ohio. He’s promised photos so we’ll see how well it scores when he reports back.

Finally, there is a bit of a mystery surrounding the airbox option. For many years the option was know as RPO 579E and in fact The Corvette Black Book shows that 43 Corvettes had the 283 ci FI engine option at an additonal cost of $726.30. However in Ken Kayser’s book entitled The History of GM’s Ramjet Fuel Injection on the Chevrolet V-8 and its Corvette Racing Pedigree he states that the real airbox option was actually 579D, an RPO not listed in the Black Book. Corvette Forum’s DZAUTO has read Kayser’s book and says the author seems to have a pretty convincing argument based on the research of GM’s archives on the subject.

Regardless of the airbox option’s RPO codes and how many may have been produced, what’s worth remembering about this story is the fact that an ultra rare Corvette with a unique racing history was found partially disassembled in a barn and was brought back to life by two guys with a passion for both Corvettes and local automotive history. For more on this fantastic barn find, click here to view a video complete with historical footage of that SCCA race on May 19, 1957.


Sources:
Middletown Journal
CorvetteForum.com

Related:
Corvette Barn Find
Barn Find: 1968 Corvette Convertible

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Five People in the Corvette Hobby I’d Like to Meet

by Keith Cornett on December 15, 2007

I saw a post on an unrelated blog about the author’s desire to meet five people that he found interesting. That led me to wonder about the five people I’d like to meet in person, but I also decided to narrow my list down to specifically people within the Corvette community. This is probably the first of two posts, the second being those Corvette legends that have already passed. However I digress. Each of these gentleman is destined for the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame, and two of the members on this list have already achieved that distinction. My list of five people in the Corvette hobby I’d like to meet in no particular order:
1. Noland Adams

Noland knows more about classic Corvettes than you can shake a powerglide at. He hold’s NCRS membership #4 and he founded the Solid Axle Corvette Club. While leading the NCRS back in the seventies, he was responsible for bringing the midyear Corvettes into the NCRS fold, a controversial decision back then but one that has since come to define how new Corvettes are added to judging each year. Noland was inducted into the NCM Corvette Hall of Fame in 2003.

2. Tom Wallace
Wouldn’t you love to know what Tom Wallace knows about the future direction of the Corvette? We are in very exciting times right now and meeting the man in charge would be an awesome thrill.

3. Dave Hill
I always admired the way Dave Hill appeared to relate to the average Corvette owner. He always seems to have a genuine interest in what owners said and felt about his Corvette, the C5. In fact, my impression of Dave Hill is that he would be a great person to kick back and have a few beers with while listening to stories of what the folks in the Corvette program had to overcome in the nineties to build the C5 Corvette. Dave was inducted into the NCM Corvette Hall of Fame in 2006.

4. Mike Antonick
Mike is the only guy on this list that I have no idea what he looks like. But every year I pluck down my $15 bucks for a new copy of his Corvette Black Book and every year it is just about the best money spent when it comes to Corvette publications. When heading off to a Corvette show, his Black Book is always along for the ride. A person new to the Corvette hobby could damn near become an expert if he could commit those pages to memory.

5. Reeves Callaway
I can sum up Reeve’s contribution to Corvette (and wannabe tuners) in just 2 words. Well, one word: Sledgehammer! and one RPO code… B2K!
So there you have my list of five people in the Corvette hobby I’d like to meet in person. Any comments regarding my list? Who is a living Corvette personality you would most like to meet? Related:
Corvette’s Tom Wallace Q & A
My Thoughts on Dave Hill
Vette Magazine: A Conversation with Reeves Callaway Technorati Tags:
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NCRS Kicks Off Membership Drive

by Keith Cornett on November 27, 2007

NCRSThe National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) has kicked off a major membership drive and if you own or are in the process of buying a classic Corvette, you really need to consider becoming a member. The non-profit enthusiast group has a current membership base of nearly 16,000 families dedicated to the restoration, preservation, history and enjoyment of the Corvette. I’ve been a member (#36013) for about 6 or 7 years and I can tell you the yearly dues are one of the best investments you can make, especially for those new to the classic Corvette hobby or looking to purchase their first collectible Corvette. As a member of the NCRS, you’ll receive: The Corvette Restorer Magazine
The quartery magazine features 56 pages of the best unbiased technical and how-to articles written by the most famous and trusted names in the Corvette hobby. The NCRS Driveline
Averaging 130 pages an issue, the bi-monthly newsletter is full of articles, but the real draw is the the 600+ classified ads from members for buying and selling Corvettes, parts and information. Expert Help
Unbiased expert Corvette answers from 18 NCRS Technical advisors, as well as access to the thousands of Corvette Restorer articles, NCRS publications, and one of my favorite places to visit on the web, the NCRS Technical Discussion Forum. Corvette Events and Local Chapters
The 45 local NCRS chapters sponsor judged shows, technical sessions, road tours and social events. These events are a great way to meet and learn from fellow members. I’ve often used the phrase that knowledge is power when it comes to buying and selling classic Corvettes. Join the NCRS today by visiting www.NCRS.org or by calling 513-385-8526.
Source:
National Corvette Restorers Society Related:
ProTeam Corvette to Host NCRS Technical Seminar
Wayne Scraba Stepping Down as Editor of NCRS Corvette Restorer Technorati Tags:
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Holiday Traffic Brings Corvette Fans Together

by Keith Cornett on November 26, 2007

Charlie's 1965 Nassau blue ConvertibleThe Thanksgiving holiday found me driving a rented GMC Acadia from Tampa to Southeastern Kentucky for our annual family reunion. Friday kicked off the second leg of our trip as the family and I journeyed down I26 in South Carolina, picking up I95 on our way to Savannah Georgia. The round trip is about 1,800 miles and offers a lot of time for reflection. Seeing a couple of old cars including a first gen Mustang and a cool candy apple red Oldsmobile 442, I lamented the fact that you don’t see many C2 Corvettes on the highway anymore. Then I came across Charlie and his 1965 Corvette Convertible. Settling in behind the Nassau Blue 1965 Convertible, I set the cruise to 75 and kept a respectful distance. It was in the mid 50′s on Friday, a bit chilly for top-down driving as you can see. And because of the chill in the air and my six year old sleeping in the back seat, I decided against putting down the windows to hear the sound emanating from the side exhaust of the blue Convertible. The feeling of driving a midyear Corvette down a highway is something that can’t easily be explained. It’s just one of those things that has to be experienced for yourself. Seeing Charlie made me wish I was on a road trip in my 1966 Corvette, driving down the highway on my way home from what must have been a cool adventure. I snapped a couple photos of the 1965 Convertible and then made my Savannah exit, leaving Charlie to continue on by himself, never knowing a Corvette brother-in-arms was in that white GMC that tailed him for those few miles. Monday morning came and I was reviewing the photos from the long weekend. Seeing that the 1965 Corvette had a Florida vanity plate, I decided to see if I could track down the driver. Looking first to see if he was a member of any of the forums, I struck gold on my first attempt with the Corvette Forum and sent Charlie the following message:

Charlie: Very nice 1965 Corvette. I was lucky enough to fall in behind you for about 20 miles on I95 in South Carolina just before the Georgia border. I was driving a white GMC SUV. Send me your email and I will forward you a couple of photos I took. Keith
aka keith@vettefinders on the forum…
Charlie responded back within the hour:
Keith: I remember a white SUV that stayed with me for a while. It was a beautiful day and I was feeling good. I was headed home from Thanksgiving with my family in Charlotte. I spent the night in St. Augustine and the next morning I stopped at the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona. Too many cars to see in one day. I had to be home in Ft. Lauderdale by Saturday night.
I sent Charlie the two photos I took of him in his Corvette, both from the rear as he headed down the highway. Turns out he was on the final leg of an extended road trip which took him and other members of the Sting Rays Corvette Club up to Deals Gap North Carolina for a run on the Tail of the Dragon. Charlie’s Corvette is ideal for highway driving as he dropped a Tremec 5-Speed into it during the second restoration. You can see the former barn car for yourself on page 80 of December 2007′s Corvette Fever Magazine. We passed a couple of more emails during the day and I suggested the two of us meeting up in January at the NCRS Winter Regional in Kissimmee, Florida to say hello. Charlie, I was tired and bored from the long ride and then I saw you and your beautiful Corvette driving down the road. Thanks for allowing me to tag along! Related:
A Corvette Thanksgiving Technorati Tags:
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Former Corvette Engineering Chief to Launch Podcast

by Keith Cornett on November 5, 2007

Former Corvette Chief Engineer Dave McLellan who led the Corvette platform from 1975 through 1992 is planning on launching a Corvette podcast on his forthcoming website CorvetteChief.com. Appearing on the Podcast Answer Man, Dave says his 18 years at the helm of Corvette in addition to his close proximity with Corvette fans will be the basis of planned topics. McLellan followed in the very big footsteps of Corvette’s first Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov who retired in 1975. Under McLellan’s watch, new technologies were introduced to Corvette including ABS, traction control, airbags, keyless entry and extended mobility tires. He produced the first 140 mph Corvette in more than a decade and his crown achievement was development of the original King of the Hill, the Corvette ZR-1.

“I interact with enough Corvette folks in a years time that I have a pretty good sense of the kinds of questions that people want to ask about the car, or about me or about you know the guys who are doing the car today.” Said McLellan, “It makes the most sense to start out just talking about things I know and are interesting to me and that I think will be interesting to other people and then let it branch from there and that’s where feedback is very useful.”
The new podcast will be produced by BitCastMedia.com and will be appearing on Dave’s soon-to-be-released website, CorvetteChief.com. We’ll keep an ear to the intertubes for more details when the site goes live.
Source:
Podcast Answer Man Related:
Video: Building the Last C4 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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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.

READ MORE →

Corvette Returns to Water with Malibu Boats

by Keith Cornett on October 3, 2007

Malibu Boats Corvette EditionThose of you who are knowledgeable in Corvette trivia know that the name for Corvette came from Chevrolet’s Chief photographer Myron “Scottie” Scott, who turned a dictionary to the letter C and found the name of “a speedy pursuit ship in the British Navy”. With a fresh licensing deal from General Motors, Malibu Boats will be helping Corvette return to her roots by building the new Corvette Limited Edition Sport-V, a water sports boat based on the design of the 2008 Corvette C6. This isn’t the first time Malibu Boats has produced a Corvette for General Motors. In the 1990′s Malibu produced boats with styling cues from both the C4 and C5 Corvette. Now, the 3rd generation Corvette Sport-V will be available in both Coupe and Z06 editions. The Z06 package includes the 512 horsepower 7.0 liter LS7 and features Z06 emblems and trailer wheels. Previous versions of the Malibu Corvette featured a Corvette styled hood, an instrument panel styled like a Corvette dash and a bucket-seat interior trimmed in the Corvette pattern. Actual Corvette emblems are strategically placed inside and out, while openings for the bilge vents have been integrated into the transom and styled like Corvette taillights. Even the dual exhausts carry Corvette-style extended chrome tips, while the matching trailer flashes four frenched taillights and genuine Corvette alloy wheels with Z-rated Goodyear tires. The new Corvette Limited Edition Sport-V will be unveiled at the Malibu Boats Dealer meeting in November and should be in showrooms this winter. Based on previous sales of the C4 and C5 Malibu boats, these limited production boats won’t be available for long.
Source:
WakeWorld
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The Corvette Restorer Magazine from the NCRSThe National Corvette Restorers Society announced that Wayne Scraba will be stepping down from his Managing Editor position of The Corvette Restorer magazine. Under Scraba’s tenure, The Corvette Restorer Magazine was redesigned and now has a very professional quality normally associated with high-line publications. So now the search begins for Wayne’s replacement, and as we like to highlight cool jobs that surround our hobby, here is the job description if you are interested in becoming the next Managing Editor for the venerable NCRS publication: 1. Solicit, edit verify and assemble suitable reprinted materials
2. Develop original content
3. Manage a production schedule
4. Control an operating budget
You must have the ability to travel to selected (five to seven) NCRS events held around the country, gathering story ideas and photographical assets. Interested? Contact Dick Whittington at 336-957-6106 for details.
Source: NCRS.org Technorati Tags:
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Vettes and Jets on the Lex

by Keith Cornett on September 20, 2007

A couple guys from my Corvette Club (Tampa Bay Vettes) made the 1,100 mile trek from Tampa, Florida to Corpus Christi, Texas to take part in Vettes and Jets on the Lex last weekend and luckily for us they set up a temporary blog so we can follow their adventures. If you’ve never seen 300 Corvettes on an aircraft carrier, it is a site to behold. According to the local paper, the event broke a record for most cars on an aircraft carrier and raised almost $60,000 for the Wounded Warriors Project and United Service Organizations of South Texas. After this event, Richard and Wes are heading north to Effingham, Illinois for Mid America Motorworks annual Fun Fest.

Vettes and Jets on the Lex
For additional photos from Richard and Wes on their trip to the USS Lexington and Mid America Motorworks’ Fun Fest, Click Here.
Source:
Vettes & Jets on the Lex/Fun Fest Blog
Vettes & Jets on the Lex Related:
Cars and Coffee (and Corvettes!) at the duPont Registry Technorati Tags:
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