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Corvettes

Motor Trend tests the 2009 Corvette ZR1

Motor Trend hauled a Corvette ZR1 down to Arizona where they strapped their performance measuring instruments to the 638 hp King of the Hill and went wild on Chrysler’s Proving Grounds. No, the merger ain’t done yet, but Chrysler’s five mile high-speed loop is one of the few places in the US that has the space to test the Corvette ZR1′s top speed.

In addition to bringing their instruments, Motor Trend also brought a test driver who knows how to drive, former IndyCar driver and Daytona 24 Hours winner Didier Theys who drove the Corvette ZR1 and recorded the best performance numbers we’ve seen yet. The magazine hit the magic 200 mph mark, corrected due to a 25-mph headwind, and was still pulling according to the VMAX.

In the other measurements that matter, the Corvette ZR1 performed superbly. 0-to-60 mph was achieved in 3.3 seconds and the ZR1 blew through the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 130.5 mph. The huge Brembo carbon ceramic brakes stopped the Corvette ZR1 from 60 mph in just 97 feet. Finally, the lateral acceleration averaged at 1.1 g.

Motor Trend enjoyed their time spent with the new Corvette, and frankly, who wouldn’t. Check out the article’s opening statement:

Prepare to be humiliated. If, that is, you’re a sports-car maker other than Chevrolet. Call it what you will — “Blue Devil,” “King of the Hill,” even “Steve” – the all-new 2009 Corvette ZR1 is a world-beater.


Here is a comparison of the three instrumented Corvette ZR1 tests:

MAGAZINE 0-60 MPH 1/4 MILE SKIDPAD BREAKING
Motor Trend 3.3 Secs 11.2@130.5 1.10 g 97 ft
Popular Mechanics 3.7 Secs 11.5@127.8 1.04 g 94.9 ft
Car & Driver 3.4 Secs 11.5@128.0 1.07 g 142 ft*

* Car and Driver’s breaking distance test is 70 mph to 0, the other magazines are rated at 60 mph to 0.


Source:
Motor Trend

Related:
Popular Mechanics’ Corvette ZR1 Instrumented Test Results
Car and Driver’s Corvette ZR1 Instrumented Test Results
[VIDEO] Another Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno pulls 549.9 RWHP!
Corvette ZR1 Wednesday: The ‘First Drive’ Reviews Are In

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1963 Corvette Grand Sport Chassis #002

Grand Sport Corvette Chassis #002 – one of the legendary five Corvettes secretly built by Zora Arkus-Duntov and the Corvette engineering team explicitly for racing will be offered for sale at RM Auction’s Automobiles of Arizona in January 2009. The 1963 Corvette Grand Sports are considered to be some of the rarest and most valuable Corvettes ever made, and this will be the first time one is being made available in a public sale.

Built to challenge Carrol Shelby’s Cobras in SCCA and FIA endurance races, the Grand Sport program originally called for 125 of these lightweight Corvette race cars to be built, which would allow the cars to run in the GT class at Sebring and Le Mans. The Grand Sports weighed in at about 1,900 pounds, or 1,300 pounds less than a stock Corvette coupe. They were originally powered by an all aluminum 377 ci V8 with 58 mm side draft Weber carbs. The engine was capable of 550 horsepower and coupled to a 4-speed transmission.

Failing to meet the 125 minimum build, the Corvettes raced in the prototype class in 1963 at Sebring. Although they ran against advanced purpose-built race cars, the Corvettes proved to be superior in speed and handling to the Cobras that raced in the GT class.

The Grand Sports finally got the chance to go head-to-head with the Cobras at the 1963 Nassau Speed Week race. The Corvettes finished third and fourth behind two prototypes and completely bested the Cobras.

Unfortunately the program was cancelled by GM in early 1964. The Grand Sport prototypes, two roadsters and three coupes, survived destruction and fell into the hands of private racers like Roger Penske and George Wintersteen who preserved their heritage for future generations.

1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002
1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 at Watkins Glen 1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 at Mosport  

Some have estimated that a Grand Sport Corvette could sell for as much as $5 million dollars and with that kind of estimate, it’s totally plausible that this Corvette could be the most expensive Corvette ever purchased at an auction.

The #002 Corvette Grand Sport is scheduled for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona event on Friday, January 16th. The following is excerpted from the press release:


Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions, will open the 2009 collector car season in grand style as they offer one of the rarest and most valuable Corvettes in history – the legendary 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport – at their famed ‘Automobiles of Arizona’ event. The January 16th event will mark RM’s 10th anniversary sale in Phoenix, Arizona.

PHOENIX, Arizona (October 21, 2008) – Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions will mark their 10th anniversary Automobiles of Arizona auction event in Phoenix, Arizona with the sale of one the rarest and most valuable Corvettes in history – an all mighty 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (chassis no. 002).

Often referred to as one of the most fascinating enigmas in motor racing annals and certainly one of the most valuable, the Grand Sport was General Motor’s contender to Ford’s venerable Shelby Cobra. Envisioned by the legendary ‘father of the Corvette’, Zora Arkus-Duntov, these top secret, hand-built race cars were designed to win at FIA endurance races and ultimately the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only five were built out of an expected 120 car run before General Motors cancelled its competition activities in early 1964. Miraculously, each of the prototypes escaped destruction orders, falling into the hands of private racers who preserved their heritage for future generations.

From this elite fraternity, the multi-million dollar 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (Chassis no. 002) with its original un-restored race body is being offered for the first time ever at RM’s Biltmore auction in January. Previously owned by Roger Penske and George Wintersteen, 002 is one of just two roadsters produced out of the original five prototypes.

“The Corvette Grand Sport is one of the greatest American racing cars and quite possibly, one of the most historically significant American built race bred automobiles ever produced,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions. “Additionally, for Corvette enthusiasts, this car is singularly the most important and significant Corvette to ever come to market, making its offering in Arizona a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire such an important piece of American motoring history.”

Keith Martin, Publisher of Corvette Market Magazine adds: “The Grand Sport is clearly one of the most desirable Corvettes ever built. With its significant racing history, featuring a strong showing in the 1966 U.S. Road Racing Championship, it is the most important Corvette to ever be offered for sale publicly.”

This legendary Corvette will be presented along with over 100 exceptional vintage automobiles and motorcycles.


Source:
RM Auctions
Corvette Legends
Photo credits – Studio: RM Auctions-Troy Wood Vintage: Dave Friedman

Related:
1962 Gulf Oil Corvette Sells for $1.485 Million at Pebble Beach Technorati Tags:
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1958 Corvette Resto-Mode was the top Corvette sale at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas

As mentioned earlier today in our Results post, it seems wholly appropriate that the top Corvette sale at Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural collector car auction in Sin City was a Resto-Mod. On the final evening of the auction, this Silver-Blue 1958 Corvette Roadster was bided up and hammered home for $170,000.

This Corvette is a Resto-Mod done right. Blending the classic looks of the 1958 Corvette and preserving its stock appearance, one might never guess that lurking under the hood is a C6 Corvette’s 400 hp LS2 V8 coupled to a Tremec 6-speed transmission. Creature comforts like power steering, power windows, air conditioning, heated seats, iPod deck are all included.

The Corvette was built by Greg Thurmon of GTS Customs. The design concept was to preserve a stock look without sacrificing modern conveniences, handling and ride. This blend was achieved by converting original gauges to work with the LS2, painting the car in the original color of Silver Blue, custom dying the leather to match the stock Silver Blue vinyl, adding custom stock appearance shift plate, converting the original radio to AM/FM and most notably having custom wheels created to duplicate the look of the 1958 hubcaps, scaling up the diameter to accommodate modern profile 55 series tires.

Reportedly costing over $225,000 to build, the Corvette was sold for $170,000 to a very enthusiastic buyer.

1958 Corvette Resto-Mod 1958 Corvette Resto-Mod 1958 Corvette Resto-Mod


Source:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
SPEED

Related:
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1968 Corvette Convertible at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1966 Corvette Coupe at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas
Auction Results: Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Tops $3.3 Million in Corvette Sales
Corvette Auction: Barrett-Jackson’s Inaugural Las Vegas Event

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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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Next-Generation C7 Corvette on Hold – Indefinitely

by Keith Cornett on October 18, 2008

C7 Corvette Rendering

It was just two weeks ago that Motor Trend reported the next generation Corvette would be pushed back to 2014. With turbulent economic crises threatening the very existence of the Big 3 automakers, word comes from AutoWeek that GM has put plans for the C7 Corvette on indefinite hold with no official word or set timetable.

Luckily, none of the sources are suggesting that the Corvette will go away. Corvette Vehicle-Line Executive Tom Wallace told AutoWeek “No one is saying we’re not doing Corvettes. We’re still bullish on Corvettes.” When asked directly if there was any chance the Corvette would die, Wallace stated emphatically “No way.”

Talk is now about the how the C6 Corvette’s run can be extended. One version of the story is that the C6 could be upgraded significantly in 2012 as a ’13 model. Wallace says we’ll see changes sooner than that. “There are changes, some neat stuff, coming for 2010 that I can’t talk about yet.”

Read the entire article at AutoWeek.


Sources:
AutoWeek

Related:
C7 Corvette Rumors: No Mid-Engine and C7 Pushed Back to 2014

 

1968 Corvette Auctioned by Barrett-Jackson

We really liked this 1968 Corvette that crossed the auction block at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas Collector Car Auction Thursday evening. The Corvette roadster offers drop-top cruising, a very fun 327/350 L79 V8, and maybe its biggest selling point: Originality. SPEED’s commentators made the comment during this auction that cars are only original once, and this 1968 Corvette seems to fit the bill.

This 1968 Corvette turned 40 this year and wears its years very well. In addition to original lacquer paint, interior and chrome, this Corvette is also unmolested under the hood and still retains all its original numbers matching components included the desirable L79 327/350 V8, S-Speed Muncie transmission and the original Rochester 7028219 Quadrajet carb. Only 54,000 show on the odometer. The first year C3 also comes with an original owner’s manual and warranty book. The car spent almost its entire life in California and Arizona and is solid and rust free.

The final gavel price of $31,000 amazed SPEED’s Matt Stone, who immediately added the Corvette to his “Well Bought” list.

We agree with Matt. The new owner should consider running this Corvette through Bloomington to see if it could earn the coveted Survivor award. That certificate alone would add to the value of the car. It’s only original once…


Source:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
SPEED

Related:
Corvette Auction: Barrett-Jackson’s Inaugural Las Vegas Event

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2009 Corvette ZR1 at Milford

Last week we brought you the first instrumented test results on a 2009 Corvette ZR1 performed by Car and Driver. This week, Popular Mechanics strapped their Racelogic VBOX GPS-based data recorder to the new supercharged 6.2L Corvette and went at it on one of the test tracks inside GM’s Milford Proving Grounds. PM’s enthusiasm for the car can be summed up in one word: WOW.

One of the more interesting parts of this test is how Popular Mechanics goes into much detail about the ZR1′s launch control works, something we haven’t heard a lot about. Here’s their description of what it is and how it works:

The system automatically limits engine torque to keep the rear tires hooked up. It’s different from traction control because launch control actually allows some wheel spin and progressively feeds in power to produce jack-rabbit starts. With it, even novice drivers can maximize nearly all the thrust the ZR1 has to offer.

With the launch control engaged, the ZR1 hits 60 mph in 4 seconds and does the quarter mile in 12 seconds at 127 mph. Turning off the computer aids and relying on technique and driver skill, the Corvette ZR1 nailed 60 mph in 3.70 seconds, 100 mph in 7.80 seconds, 150 mph in 16.61 seconds. The quarter mile was run in 11.50 seconds at 127.82 mph.

Last week’s Car & Driver instrumented test also had the ZR1 running the quarter in 11.50 seconds at 128 mph.

As a further comparison, Popular Mechanics last test of the Z06 showed the 505-HP Corvette hitting 60 mph in 4.37 seconds and the quarter mile in 12 seconds at 120.90.

Finally, Popular Mechanics called the braking and skidpad results impressive with the ZR1 pulling a 1.04 g on the skidpad and braked 60-to-0 mph in 94.98 feet.

Here are the full results Popular Mechanics’ Corvette ZR1 Instrumented Test:

Popular Mechanics' Corvette ZR1 Instrumented Test


Source:
Popular Mechanics

Related:
Car and Driver’s Corvette ZR1 Instrumented Test Results
[VIDEO] Another Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno pulls 549.9 RWHP!
Corvette ZR1 Wednesday: The ‘First Drive’ Reviews Are In

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1966 Corvette Auctioned by Barrett-Jackson

One of the main reasons to pay close attention to this week’s Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas collector car auction is to see how the turbulent economy will play on Corvette values. Sure this is only the first of several midyears running through the auction, but judging from the gavel price of this nicely optioned 1966 Corvette Coupe small block, both buyer and seller should be pleased.

This Nassau Blue 1966 Corvette Coupe features a 327 cubic inch V8 rated at 350 horsepower and is paired with a 4-speed manual transmission. The numbers matching engine has less than 500 miles since a restored-to-original rebuild. The ’66 Coupe has all new and correct suspension including springs, shocks and bushings. The nearly new Firestone Goldline tires are correct for 1966. Non-original knock-off wheels and side exhaust give the Corvette excellent curb appeal.

The bidding started at $10,000 and quickly rose to $30,000 before a more methodical climb to its gavel price of $57,000. This is in the range that we’ve been seeing quality 1966 small blocks sell for and we believe that both buyer and seller should be satisfied.


Source:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
SPEED

Related:
Corvette Auction: Barrett-Jackson’s Inaugural Las Vegas Event

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Car and Driver’s Corvette ZR1 Instrumented Test Results

by Keith Cornett on October 9, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1

While many of the major car magazines have test driven the new 6.2L supercharged Corvette ZR1 and dubbed it the “Best Vette Ever”, Car and Driver took their test drive a step further by strapping their measuring equipment into the newest Corvette and recorded the first performance data by a neutral party. The verdict? How about one of the best super cars ever!

How’s this grab you for performance:

  • Zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds
  • Zero to 100 mph in 7.6 seconds
  • 11.5 seconds, 128-mph quarter mile

Oh, but there is so much more. On the skidpad, the Corvette ZR1 pulled 1.07 g’s and those massive 15.5 inch ceramic rotors stopped the Blue Devil from 70 mph in just 142 feet – the shortest stopping distance Car and Driver ever recorded for a production car. The editors claim they tried to reach the Corvette ZR1s maximum velocity of 205 mph but ran out of room.

Calling the Corvette ZR1 the “giddy bargain among ultra high-performance automobiles”, the Car and Driver team says just one “stab of the accelerator pedal should serve as a reminder that not only is the ZR1 the best Corvette ever, but it is among the best sports cars available today.”

Check out the full review where some of the worlds best super cars including the Aston Martin DBS, Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, Dodge Viper and the Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano are compared to the new King of the Hill, the 2009 Corvette ZR1.


Source:
Car and Driver

Related:
[VIDEO] Another Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno pulls 549.9 RWHP!
Corvette ZR1 Wednesday: The ‘First Drive’ Reviews Are In

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Is the Sun Setting on the Corvette ZR1?

A proverbial bombshell was dropped last night when Patrick Gramm of DigitalCorvettes.com posted news about GM halting Corvette ZR1 production. Patrick was told by a source that ZR1 production was to be halted and the model may have been cancelled despite no known issues that would warrant a production stop.

The story was given credence with Corvette Conti’s post about Corvette ZR1 orders with production dates suddenly disappearing from the system. Corvette orders are assigned a Target Production Week (TPW) and when those TPWs start disappearing, people get nervous.

We confirmed the order process with Kerbeck Corvette’s Sales Manager Dave Salvatore who told us that not seeing a TPW is completely normal, especially on early production cars. Dave says they did the same thing to the Corvette Z06s when they came out. “They do this so as not to get people mad or nervous if there’s a delay during the early production.”

Fact is, production has been halted on the Corvette ZR1 as well as the other three models this week as GM idled the Bowling Green Assembly plant to allow for a bit of constriction in supply. Salvatore says that he is hearing that once the plant’s operations resumes next week, Corvette ZR1 production will be doubled to make up for the loss numbers during the shutdown.

Finally, Autoblog weighed in, pulled out the rolodex and called GM’s Terry Rhadigan, Global Communications Director for Chevrolet, who responded with a terse statement designed to put this rumor to bed: “Not True”.

Going back to the Digital Corvettes post, there are several members with “sources” within the Corvette program that have provided reliable information over the last few years when it comes to Corvettes in general and the ZR1 specifically. They are saying that this rumor is not true and not what they are hearing. One of the members said the following:

The huge amounts of money that were spent on the ZR1 were for R&D. In other words, most of the money was spent before the car even went into production. That money is spent and gone…it’s never coming back. Killing the ZR1 at this point won’t get that money back and wouldn’t really save that much money in the grand scheme of things. There might even be penalties to pay to suppliers for cancelling the parts contracts. Even if you do cancel the contracts, how much are you really saving by not paying for the parts for a 2000-3000 unit/year vehicle program? Again, not that much in the grand scheme. It makes more sense to keep building this super-limited run vehicle and get all the money out of it you can. They will sell every one they build.

We count Patrick of DC as one of our online friends and his information is usually reliable. But I feel for the guy who may have led him astray on this if that’s the case. Patrick followed up with a comment in the thread that mentioned “balls” and “chopping block” so we’ll see where this story goes.


Sources:
DigitalCorvettes.com
Corvette Conti’s
Kerbeck Corvette
Autoblog

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply

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