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Corvettes

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

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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

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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

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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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