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Corvettes

[VIDEO] Top Gear: Clarkson Loves the Corvette ZR1

by Keith Cornett on November 10, 2008

Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1

The Top Gear episode that featured the 2009 ZR1 aired on Sunday and from the start you could see that Clarkson was absolutely bowled over by the power and refinement of the 638 horsepower Corvette. With no America bashing or usual snarkiness shown other than to the US Government for issues relating to the host’s visas, the show was fun to watch and very entertaining.

We expected to hear the comments that surfaced last month in which Clarkson says about his time spent in the Corvette ZR1 was fabulous, “but after three days the damn thing was beginning to disintegrate. It made me growl with annoyance and despair.” There was none of that. Instead we got the following quotes:

“This is made by two fat blokes in Kentucky.” “I’m starting to like this Corvette…it isn’t the power, it’s the surprise of the power. When you’re driving a Ferrari Enzo, you’re expecting it. This though, it’s quiet, it’s comfortable, it’s beautifully air-conditioned…so you’re simply not ready for the savagery when you put your foot down. I’ve got a heads-up display with your lateral G…and the best stereo in the world…!” “Man, this is great. ” “How can a car as docile as this one be as exciting when the road gets this twisty.” “A proper manual gearbox.” “Are you listening Ferrari? Well done fat man from Kentucky…this…is…a masterpiece!”

Unfortunately, most of the show has been pulled from YouTube due to trademark issues, but one of the segments remains. Better watch it while you can. We’ll attempt to embed the other segments as they become available:

Not to ruin the ending for you, but in the last segment, Clarkson runs the Corvette ZR1 on the Bonneville Salt Flats from 0 to the One Mile Marker in 176.549 MPH.


Source:
Jalopnik

Related:
Top Gear’s Clarkson Offers Glimpse Of His Corvette ZR1 Review
UK’s Top Gear to Test Drive The 2009 Corvette ZR1

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Let’s Go Retro: The Corvette C3R Stingray Renderings

by Keith Cornett on November 9, 2008

C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray

Corvette Vaporware seems to be all the rage these days and those designs that incorporate the features of classic Corvettes always generate a ton of press. Now traveling on the intertubes at warp speed are the computer renderings by Christian Cyrulewski and his C6-based retro Corvette C3R.

The Corvette C3R Stingray is a C6 Corvette based on the classic design of the 1969 stingray, complete with vertical side vents and chrome bumpers. The rear of the C3R, from the cockpit to the taillights is almost a dead ringer of the ’69 Vette. Yet we like how the modern (and functional) influences were incorporated, particularly the Z06 rear brake ducts, giving the C3R a unique classic muscle car look with modern C6 performance.

C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray
C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray
C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray
C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray C6 Based Retro Corvette C3R Stingray

There are not a lot of details about the C3R project other than the renderings and the notice that they are currently in the tooling development phase. TopSpeed reports that Christian is looking to have the C3R debut at the 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit and rebody kits will be offered for sale if there is enough interest in the car.

I’ve noticed a trend with these computer-rendered Corvette sites that almost all will say that they will build it if there is interest. Based on what we have seen so far, the Corvette C3R is high on our list of customized Corvettes we’d most like to see offered and joins the likes of the Rossi 66 and the Fireblade.


Source:
C3Retro.com via Autoblog

Related:
Rossi 66 Melds Sting Ray Design to C6 Corvette Technology
South African Designer Creates Stir With Corvette ZR1 Fireblade

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[VIDEO] This Is No Way For A Corvette To Die

by Keith Cornett on November 8, 2008

Vince McMahon's Corvette gets filled with Cement

I just came across this classic clip from a WWE Raw event that aired in October, 1998. I never followed wrestling but it appears that wrestler Steve Austin and WWE founder Vince McMahon have a love-hate relationship. That relationship must have been even more strained after this event which culminated in Austin filling McMahon’s early C4 Corvette Coupe with cement.

Of course this stunt was planned to boost ratings as this telecast was one of the first wrestling events to air on the USA network on a Monday Night, facing NFL Monday Night Football as well as WCW wrestling on TNT. In an LA Times interview about the stunt, McMahon says he picked a Corvette to make his entrance because, “if you’re going to destroy a car, make it worth destroying.”


Source:
YouTube.com
LA Times

Related:
[VIDEO] July 4th Fireworks Destroys Man’s 1989 Corvette

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Motor Authority’s Next Generation C7 Corvette Rendering

by Keith Cornett on November 5, 2008

C7 Corvette Rendering

With news of the indefinite hold placed on the next generation C7 Corvette due to GM’s financial problems, we sometimes wonder if Corvette 7.0 will ever be made. We do find ways to dream about what could be and luckily for us, this C7 computer rendering by the folks at Motor Authority/Schulte Design goes a long way to filling the void.

This rendering seems to have refined the design of GM’s Centennial Corvette concept that will be appearing in next year’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie. We see the same grille, vertical slat headlights, side vents and the best self-described feature, the jet-fighter glasshouse.

While we realize that this is an unofficial rendering, we applaud the fact that the designer added a Z07 badge and painted the exterior in speeding ticket red. As you should know by now, all Corvettes are red and therefore this concept doesn’t disappoint us in the least. Click here to see the larger version.


Source:
Motor Authority

Related:
Next-Generation C7 Corvette on Hold – Indefinitely
Transformer’s Corvette Concept Revealed

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Proteam Corvette Hosting NCRS Authentication Seminar

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2008

Proteam Corvette to host NCRS Seminar

Proteam Corvette will be hosting classic Corvette expert and NCRS Master Judge Al Grenning and the Heart of Ohio NCRS Chapter on Saturday, November 7th for a day of seminars covering midyear Corvette authentication topics. In addition to Grenning, other well-known figures in the hobby will be attending as well as several rare M-22 Corvettes.

Grenning is just finishing up on his NCRS Authentication Manual Vol.2 which covers 1965-1967 Protect-O-Plates. The manual provides general descriptions of the evolving warranty program, charts identifying where and how information was applied to the plates in each production year and a detailed photographic analysis for the fool-proof identification of St. Louis issued examples.

Grenning’s advance research includes the “Master Pad Library” containing many thousands of Corvette engine pad photographs and co-authorship of the “NCRS Authentication Library, Vol. 1″, the result of extensive research on 1963 to 1967 midyear trim tags. Both manuals have become the defacto standards to use for thwarting engine restampers and tag counterfeiters.

Other well-known Corvette experts attending the seminar include NCRS notables Bill Calorico, Bill Skinner and NCRS national team leader Nick Culkowski; Corvette restorers Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair and Naber’s Brothers’ Gary Nabers; Bloomington Gold’s David Burroughs and Mecum Auction’s Tom Christman; retired GM engineers Jim Wallace, John Hinkley and Werner Meier. Mike Antonick, writer/publisher of the Corvette Black Book will also be in attendance.

The one day seminar will also focus on the M-22 equipped Corvette and confirmed for the event include the “Best Photo Convertible”, the “Ice Cream Coupe”, the “Penske 1966 L88″, the “Cornelius/Boo Daytona Coupe”, the “Skinner M-22 Convertible” as well as several other 1968 to 1972 M-22 cars.

There is no doubt that this seminar covers fairly advanced topics. Here is a preview of what you can expect:

A close net group of enthusiasts has been quietly collecting 1965 and 1966 M22 Corvettes for more than 10 years. These are elite midyear examples being among the most sought after and valuable production Corvettes ever produced. Some call them “Cobra Killers.” — Most enthusiasts are astonished to discover that more than twice as many big block, M22 competition cars were built in the combined years of 1965 and 1966 as were L88s built in 1967. Beyond that, factory production records for the initiative have been collected, organized and prepared for presentation. In total this information causes fundamental rethinking of Corvette competition, production and engineering during the last three years of the midyear build. This is truly interesting, advanced Corvette research and history – that leaves you amazed.

If you are interested in attending the seminar, please call Proteam Corvette’s Beth Waisner at 888-592-5086 to RSVP. Admission to the seminar is $10 and proceeds will go to the NCRS Heart of Ohio Chapter for donation to charity. For directions, visit Proteam Corvette


Source:
Proteam Corvette

Related:
ProTeam Corvette to Host NCRS Technical Seminar
The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette

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Motor Trend tests the 2009 Corvette ZR1

Late last week we brought you the results of Motor Trend’s Corvette ZR1 instrumented test results. In their testing, MT claimed they hit a wind corrected 200.4 mph on the five mile high speed loop at Chrysler’s Arizona Proving Grounds. Video surfaced today showing a three camera view of test driver Didier Theys hitting that mark. Although he backs it down when the speedometer hits over 200 mph, it looks as though the ZR1 still had some legs for more.

Just to recap those performance test numbers from Motor Trends, the Corvette ZR1′s 0-60 mph was a blistering 3.3 seconds and it flew through the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 130.5 mph. The Corvette ZR1 also pulled 1.10 g on the skid pad and stopped 60-to-0 in just 97 feet.


Source:
Motor Trend via egmcartech.com

Related:
[VIDEO] 1st European Corvette ZR1 Hits 192 MPH On The Autobahn
[VIDEO] GM Releases Official Corvette ZR1 Specs: 638 hp and 205 mph
[VIDEO] Official Video of Corvette ZR1′s 7:26.4 Nürburgring Lap

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2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Nurburgring

Back in June when GM Development Engineer Jim Mero drove the 2009 Corvette ZR1 around the Nurburgring in 7:26.4, we wondered out loud what that time could have been if one of Corvette Racing’s drivers, particularly Jan Magnussen, had the opportunity to drive the 6.2L Supercharged Corvette around the world’s all-important 12.9 mile track. According to several sources, we’ve learned that on Monday, October 27th, Jan Magnussen drove the Corvette ZR1 to a time of 7:22.4, besting the previous time by 4 seconds!

Jan Magnussen’s extensive knowledge of the Nordschleife and his employment with Corvette Racing makes him the perfect candidate for a second Corvette ZR1 attack on the ‘Ring. It was Magnussen that left Corvette’s first mark on the Nurburgring with his Corvette Z06 lap time of 7:42.9 back in 2005.

There is somewhat of a conspiracy afloat about this time, as it was originally posted to FasterLaps.com here and then the entry was deleted. It’s posted again here with credit from Autoblog which listed the information from the original post:

Lap time ID: 49063045e0652
Car: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (476 kw)
Track: Nordschleife
Lap time: 7.22.4
Driven by: Jan Magnussen
Submitter IP: 24.208.168.135
Date & time of submission: 27/10/08, 23:19:01

Without proof including video or a substantiated third-party eyewitness, this time will remain suspect. We also can’t imagine that GM wouldn’t take the opportunity to roll-tape as Nurburgring times have become such an important selling tool for the new super cars, Corvette ZR1 included.

Lastly, this story really leaves us wanting more. How about a race-prepped ZR1 complete with racing tires, roll bar and that really fast looking velocity yellow paint? Now that would be something to see!


Source:
Autoblog.com
MotorGears.com
FasterLaps.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Official Video of Corvette ZR1′s 7:26.4 Nürburgring Lap
[VIDEO] 2009 Corvette ZR1 Laps Nürburgring in 7:26.4

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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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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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