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The Lifestyle

Corvette – Performance Car with Economy Benefits

by Keith Cornett on July 31, 2006

With gas prices now averaging over $3.00 per gallon there is much talk about what the average person can do to conserve. My advice? Sell your SUV and buy a Corvette. What most of the uninitiated don’t realize is how well the Corvette can do on gas mileage, especially highway mileage. It’s not uncommon to hear owners tell how they average in the high 20′s or low 30′s on their highway driving trips. And with Corvette’s onboard computer, mileage is easier than ever to review, not only between destinations, but over the life of the Corvette as well. Here are some quotes from a thread on CorvetteForum.com about owner’s gas mileage experiences:

Yesterday I decided to do a highway run solely to determine gas mileage per gallon. I fueled up at a station right off the expressway and drove 80 miles. (I know, maybe too short of a trip.) I set cruise control at the speed limit, 65, until approaching Chicago, then 55. (Got a lot of strange looks doing 55 on I355 around the City). Average MPG on the DIC, and verified by refilling at gas station after ride, was 31 mpg! I have a 2006 A6 with 9,800 miles on the odo. So yes, the Vette truly is an economy car. I made a trip from Jacksonville to Orlando a couple of weeks ago on Traffic Disadvantaged I-95 and Construction Challenged I-4. Managed 75-80 mph most of the way and got 28.5 mpg. The car does really great. On our 6300 mile trip we average 28 mpg, 31.3 mpg being the highest for a tank. Average speed for the whole trip was around 70 and I know I saw 105+ a few times. Just finished a 4358 mile trip, WI, MN, SD, ND, WY, MT, ID, and WA. Average mph 60.4, Average mpg 26.6. Yes, this is an economy vehicle with lots of perks. My car has about 5500 miles on it. According to the DIC, i am averaging 20.5 miles per gallon for the life of the car. That is pretty evenly mixed between freeway and city driving.
Of course, if you drive it hard or do a lot of stop-and-go city driving, your miles per gallon stats will suffer, as it would in any car INCLUDING A PRIUS. Boy, that’s an oxymoron…the thought of someone performance driving a Prius. The next time you’re thinking about buying a new car and you want performance AND economy, think green…Bowling Green. Source: CorvetteForum.com
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2007 Atomic Orange Corvettes Debuts

by Keith Cornett on July 26, 2006

I finally saw some real-world photos of the 2007 Corvette with the new 83U Atomic Orange Metallic and I have to say that it is a stunning color. I have posted a side by side with the discontinued Daytona Orange Sunset Metallic and you can definitely see the difference between the two. Atomic Orange is, well, more Orange than the Daytona Sunset.

2007 Atomic Orange Corvette 2006 Daytona Sunset Orange Metallic Corvette
Atomic Orange Daytona Sunset Orange
Based on 2006 Productions numbers, I really don’t see this color being any more popular than DSOM. What did the numbers from 2006 tell us? 50% of Corvettes manufactured are either going to be a shade of red (32%) or black (20%), figures that should remain fairly constant throughout the 2007 model run. Daytona Sunset Orange Metallic was ordered on 1,729 Corvettes, about 5.1% of production. Atomic Orange, while benefiting from being the new color, is not different enough to increase this percentage substantially. That being said, Atomic Orange will be a popular color for those who want to be a bit different than the rest of the crowd. And who knows, perhaps in 20-30 years we’ll look back on either of these two shades of Orange with the same genuine affection that we now have for Warbonnet Yellow. Source: DigitalCorvettes.com
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2007 Corvette Brochure Hits The Net

by Keith Cornett on July 16, 2006

The new brochure for the 2007 Corvette will be on its way to dealers soon, but two websites have already broken down the swag in detail. The brochures come with an accessories catalog and a chip guide for the exterior, interior and convertible top color samples. CorvetteConti.com has a nice shot of the accessories catalog showing a photo of two new wheels including a real 10-spoke. AutoSpies.com has over 40 photos showing the brochure page-by-page. One of the photos shows a nice close-up of the multi-function steering wheel. Interestingly, a quick search on eBay shows a bunch of 2007 Corvette Brochures for sale, so if your dealer doesn’t have them yet, start bidding! Sources: CorvetteConti.com | AutoSpies.com | eBay
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Racing Across the US in a Classic ’54 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 27, 2006

Arthur Alvis and 15 year old son Elliot are cruising across America in a 1954 Red Corvette. But the drive isn’t for pleasure. It’s a race, but one based on precision, not speed. They are competing in the Great Race, a road race featuring antique cars 45 years old or more. Drivers are awarded points on the accuracy of a driver and navigator to match a time and average speed over a predetermined course. Each day the drivers are given a new set of written directions which have instructions like “Take the first road to the right”. GPS is not allowed. Team Alvis, who hail from Wichita and call themselves the Kansas Flying Monkeys, a reference from Wizard of Oz, departed Philadelphia, the starting point of the Great Race on June 24 and as of Monday were in 27th place. There are 90 or so contestants driving originally equipped antique cars as well. Driving a classic Corvette 4,000 miles across the US does have its pitfalls. Passing through a thunderstorm in Pennsylvania, Arthur had to drive with one hand out the window, running a squeegee across the windshield. the wiper assembly came loose leaving him with only one wiper. While some of the interior got soaked, Arthur doesn’t sweat it. He says the ’54 is not a show car. “It’s plastic…it won’t rust.” Follow the Kansas Flying Monkeys in their quest to win the Great Race and take home $250,000 in prize money by visiting the Great Race website. Good luck guys…we’re all counting on you! Source: Kansas.com
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Gus Grissom’s 427 Corvette a No-Sale

by Keith Cornett on June 26, 2006

The 1967 Corvette Convertible owned by Astronaut Gus Grissom was a no sale on e-Bay today as the high bid of $310,100 failed to reach the seller’s reserve price. While we do not know what the reserve price was, we did speak with Dr. Marv Friedman to find out what his plans are for selling Grissom’s 427/435 land rocket. Marv said he has listed it twice now on eBay and that this was the second and final listing. The first was in May 2006 where the Corvette reached a high bid of $375,000 but still failed to reach reserve. If the car didn’t sell via eBay then it would tailored out to the Barrett-Jackson auction in January 2007. “I have already spoken with Craig Jackson to make plans to bring the Corvette out to Scottsdale in January for the 36th Barrett-Jackson Auction”, said Marv and continued, “We’re making plans for Jim Rathmann, the former Florida car dealer who sold the Corvette to Gus and who was good friends with him and his wife Betty, to be on the podium to introduce the Corvette.” Marv said that while he did have some offers on the Corvette, one substantial offer would have resulted in the Corvette being taken out of the United States. Marv declined the offer but acknowledged that the winner of the bidding for the Corvette at Barrett-Jackson could end up doing the same thing. Marv mentioned that he is also working on establishing a Gus Grissom Scholarship at Purdue University, where Gus attended college. 2007 will mark the 40th Anniversary of the fire that took the lives of Gus Grissom and fellow astronauts Roger Chaffee and Edward White during a launch pad test at the Kennedy Space Center. View the eBay listing which has some great stories about Gus and his Corvette as well as lots of photos and documentation.
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A One-Of-A-Kind 1967 Corvette. Really!

by Keith Cornett on June 24, 2006

A One-Of-A-Kind 1967 Corvette. Really!

The great thing about being involved in the Corvette hobby is that there is always something new to learn. For example, you may have heard of a COPO Corvette – which stands for Central Office Production Order, an ordering mechanism designed to allow certain customers (usually dealers) the ability to order non-standard components together. Usually with Corvettes, COPO orders had non-standard colors or interiors, or was ordered with some special options, or no options like radio/heater delete for racing. Another type of order was called the SO – Shop Order – which usually originated from the Chevrolet Engineering Center or the GM Styling Studio. The third and less common was a variation called the F&SO – Fleet and Special Order.

Well, that last one was news to me. Just last week at the Bloomington Gold show, there were a few examples of COPO Corvettes and styling cars that went through the auction. Today though I got a preview of the next Corvette Magazine issue and writer/photographer Richard Prince has a great article detailing a F&SO 1967 Corvette that was built for one of the great Corvette salespeople of 1950′s and ’60′s – Bob Wingate.

When you’re the top Corvette salesman in the country for 5 years running, opportunities from the manufacturer come your way. And in 1967, that opportunity came in the form of a 1967 Coupe outfitted with a 427/435 engine, 3.55:1 Positraction and a Wide-Ratio M20 Four Speed, along with American Racing’s Torq-Thrust Alloy Wheels with Blue Streak tires. The Corvette was painted in Goodwood Green with a white racing stripe and had the six taillight modification that was popular back then.

Bob drove the Corvette all over the western United States promoting Chevrolet products. He did some drag racing and autocrossing in the Corvette, and when the 1967 model year was coming to a close, Bob sold the Corvette and was allowed to keep the proceeds as his bonus.

The kid that bought Bob’s Corvette blew the original engine within a few months, and a few months later was involved in a wreck on the I-10 that totaled the car. Or so Bob thought.

Fast forward twenty-five years later. A Southern Californian named Bob Radke buys a project car and although he didn’t know it at the time, it still had the tank sticker. And unlike all other tank stickers Radke had seen, in the upper right hand site in the box marked COPO/F&SO there was a number in it.

Through diligence and hard work, Radke was able to track down Wingate (he was listed in the phone book!) and from there a bond was formed as Radke set out to restore the Corvette. After 7 years, the Corvette has been restored to its former glory. I love these kinds of stories and the article is very written with awesome photos to boot!

The full article can be found at: Corvette-Mag.com

Photo Credit: Richard Prince

 

FOX Reality TV Show Looking for Corvette Enthusiasts

by Keith Cornett on June 22, 2006

The NCM had this story included in their weekly newsletter. FOX’s hit show “Trading Spouses” is looking for die-hard Corvette enthusiasts and their families to participate in the show which highlights the wealth of cultures and personalities from households across the country. The show requires that each family consist of at least one child between 6-18 years of age and have two parents within the home. At the end of the seven-day shoot, each family receives $50,000! If you are interested, please contact the show’s casting associate, Jason Eskin at: 323-802-0485. Find out more about the show by visiting www.fox.com and clicking on the “Trading Spouses” icon. I visited the FOX site and looked at the Trading Spouses page, but didn’t see anything that specifically mentions Corvette or any other car for that matter. What are they planning, putting a Mustang Mom into a house with a Corvette Dad? Or maybe they take a guy who has a Corvette for a daily driver and they substitute his Corvette for a Chevette. Stay tuned!
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Gus Grissom’s 1967 Corvette Listed on eBay

by Keith Cornett on June 20, 2006

Space Pioneer Gus Grissom had the right stuff when it came to his Red 1967 Corvette Convertible. Nights were spent on the deserted tracks and back roads of Melborne, Florida racing other astronauts. The story goes fellow astronaut Alan Shepard, who fashioned a reputation for himself as “Mr. Corvette”, couldn’t beat Gus’ 427 Corvette as Gus had installed a 4:56 rear end giving him a tremendous edge in 1/4 mile racing. Grissom, the second American in space, and the first American to travel into space twice, was also one of the first to die in the U.S. space program. His Corvette went through four owners before winding up with Jim Falkowski, who purchased the Corvette in 1985 for $9,995. During Jim’s ownership, the Corvette won many awards including NCRS Top Flight, multiple Cypress Gardens, the National Corvette Homecoming in Bowling Green and has been featured in numerous magazines, news articles and calendars.

There is something about a car once owned by a national hero. When paired with a ’67 427/435 Red Convertible, the myth grows exponentially. Now the Gus Grissom Corvette is listed on eBay, giving someone a chance at owning history. Current bid as of June 20th was $178,099 with the Reserve not yet met. The auction runs through June 26th. Source: eBay, Wikipedia
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Ten Things To Do After Buying Your First Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 11, 2006

I received a call today from a guy who just bought his first Corvette. He was very excited to finally own the car of his dreams and he wanted some advice about getting involved in the Corvette hobby. I rambled off a couple ideas and then thought this might be something that can be expanded on. So if you have some ideas, please let me know. 1. Get insurance. More is better than less:

If you just bought a classic Corvette (1953-1982) check into insurance companies like Hagerty or Parish Heacock. Also check with your current insurance provider. I have my ’66 Corvette insured with State Farm for under $300 per year. You may need an appraisal to get the most accurate “stated value” policy. If buying a later model Corvette for pleasure and not as your primary vehicle, let your insurance company know. You might get a break on rates.
2. Buy a custom-fit Corvette car cover to protect your investment, even if parking in the garage. 3. Join one of the Corvette message boards like CorvetteForum.com, DigitalCorvettes.com or the CorvetteActionCenter.com. You are going to have questions and the forum members will certainly have answers. 4. Subscribe to a Corvette Magazine (or two) like Corvette Fever, Corvette Enthusiast or Corvette Magazine. 5. Find a service shop in your area that specializes in Corvettes. If you bought a new Corvette from a dealership, get to know your dedicated service advisor and make sure he knows you. You’d be surprised at the higher level of service you can get. 6. Join a local Corvette club for shows and social cruises. There’s nothing like hooking up with a bunch of like-minded Corvette enthusiasts for a Sunday afternoon cruise. 7. Buy a Corvette service manual or factory assembly manual. If you want to maintain your Corvette properly, it’s best to follow the factory guidelines. 8. If you are restoring, customizing or maintaining your Corvette, get on the mailing lists of Corvette parts supplier catalogs like Ecklers, Mid-America, Corvette Central and Corvette America. Many carry the same items so then it comes down to knowledgeable sales reps, in-stock parts and servicing returns for you to find your favorite supplier. 9. Be courteous and mindful on the road. Yes, you have a Corvette, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an Ass to your fellow drivers. 10. Wave at other Corvette drivers when you see them on the road. This tradition dates back to 1953 and the Corvette wave applies to all generations of Corvettes.
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1963 Split Window Corvette – A Sad Find

by Keith Cornett on June 3, 2006

Found this posted on Flickr – a 1963 Corvette Coupe parked in a field. By the look of it, it has been there for some time. The person who posted the image says the tag is from 1994 – 12 years ago! With a wink, he also adds he sell the address of where the Corvette is located. I’d almost bet it’s another case of Future Restoration Syndrome – Parking a Corvette with the dream of one day restoring it while in the meantime the elements are taking their toll on it. No way to treat a classic Sting Ray. Source: Flickr
Credit: Auto Exposure Canada

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