Tom Cruise: Corvette Owner
Tom Cruise: Corvette Owner
It was a year ago today the 2009 Corvette ZR1 was introduced by Jeff Gordon and Kid Rock at the 2008 GM Style Event, a cars and stars and models extravaganza that kicked off the start of the North American International Auto Show. What a difference a year makes. For 2009, GM lets the cars speak for themselves. So I bring you the Corvette ZR1 at the 2009 NAIAS.
GM’s NAIAS display area.
A new Corvette DVD called VetteCollections will be heading our way in 2009 and the show features an in-depth look at some of the coolest Corvette collections in the country. One of those collections highlighted is the Bill Mullis collection of Ashville, North Carolina. Featuring more than two dozen Corvettes spanning the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations and a sampling from the C5 and C6 generations, you will see all have one thing in common – they’re all black.
The Corvette collection starts with a Black 1954 and covers every succeeding year through 1968. Multiple body styles and powertrains make up the collection and Bill says only a Black 1965 Fuelie Coupe has eluded him to date.
If this segment is representative of all the segments on the forthcoming VetteCollections DVD then count me in for a copy. We’ll be watching the VetteCollections website for news of the release date and perhaps another promo will be released in the meantime.
Our friends at Valley Auto in Bedford, Pennsylvania continue to amaze us with barn fresh Corvettes to feast our eyes upon this winter. This two-owner 1964 Corvette Coupe appears to be a prime candidate for restoration as the numbers match up to some decent options including the L75 327/300 hp V8. Did someone just say Survivor?
This 1964 Corvette Coupe is nicely optioned with the popular 327 cubic inch L75 V8 engine rated at 300 horsepower, power brakes, power steering and a 4-speed manual gearbox. The Ermine White original paint is still on the car and the inside sports the original red interior. The engine compartment looks to be complete as well. The Corvette is numbers matching on the engine, transmission and rear end.
It’s unfortunate that we don’t know the back story as to why the Corvette was parked for so long. The photos show that by the looks of things, this Sting Ray has been sitting for some time. Check out the trailer photo with the mat or carpet stuck to the right front tire.
The 1964 Corvette was placed on eBay December 29th with an opening bid of $500 and a buy-it-now button at $31,995. The auction runs through December 8th and already there have been 14 bidders and 27 bids. The current bid stands at $26,660 with the reserve not yet met.
Readers of CorvetteBlogger know that I havenâ€™t been the biggest fan of Jeremy Clarkson. I’ve harped on the Top Gear host about his over-the-top attitude when it comes to America and America’s sports car, the Corvette. Yet I find my opinion of Clarkson evolving as he surprises me once again by selecting the 2009 Corvette ZR1 as his Car of the Year.
I was downright down on Clarkson following is infamous review in 2006 of the Corvette Z06. But starting late last fall with Season 12 of Top Gear, it appears Jeremy has finally warmed to the Corvette and according to Clarkson, the Corvette ZR1 = Love.
Clarkson’s conversion (or epiphany) began in 2006 while making the Top Gear DVD “Everything Explodes”. While he had a million amazing cars on the set to drive, Jeremy says he most enjoyed driving a Corvette C6 Convertible so much that he used it to drive back and forth to the hotel every night.
Then he drove the 7.0-liter Corvette Zed 06, the Corvette he called typically American: “Rough-riding, uncouth, garish, brash and as tasteless as an onyx lavatory.” Despite the fact the Corvette Z06 is supported by leaf-springs, Clarkson was impressed with some of the technicalâ€™s like the magnesium engine tray that supports the 7.0 liter LS7 was moved back into the car which improved the weight distribution.
And then came the Corvette ZR1 which Clarkson said was the best performance car he’s driven all year…by some margin.
Clarkson takes a swipe at the USA by asking how come it took so long for Americans to make a car so good. But then he sums up the Corvette ZR1 with the following paragraphs:
The 638 hp from that supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is impressive. But it’s the sheer surprise of the 638 hp that impresses most of all. In an Enzo, you know the grunt is there all the time because it shimmies and shakes. The Corvette does not. It’s softer than a C6. It’s as quiet as a Mondeo. It’s as well air-conditioned as a Rolls-Royce. Stabbing the throttle, then, is like lying in a hammock on a warm tropical evening and then suddenly falling out. You’re just not ready for the rush.
The bald figures tell some of the story. But 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds and the top speed of 205 mph do not explain what it feels like when that onslaught comes out of nowhere, and you are watching the world go into hyperspace through a head-up display.
So as Clarkson’s opinion of the Corvette has evolved, so has my opinion of Clarkson. Still, despite acknowledging that Top Gear is a global brand and that cultural issues must be left aside to focus on the car, we get the following Clarksonism when he sums up his Corvette ZR1 = Love article:
“It’s a bloody good car. If I had a collection of automatic weapons, some attack dogs and a wife with tattoos, I’d have one like a shot.
Yep, Clarkson is evolving all right.
Thanks for the tip George!
The National Corvette Museum has posted a new fundraiser auction on eBay – the sale of the very first Corvette produced in 2008. The Corvette – VIN #000001 – is a 2008 Coupe painted in Velocity Yellow and features the highly anticipated 4LT custom leather wrapped interior. The Corvette was part of GM’s Show Car Division where it was used primarily at Corvette Racing displays and at the Bloomington Gold show.
The 2008 model year saw Corvette get a number of significant mid-cycle upgrades and this Corvette Coupe appears to have been built with that in mind. VIN #000001 was the first Corvette fitted with the new LS3 6.2L engine producing 430 hp and coupled with the NPP dual mode performance exhaust, horsepower stands at 436.
The VIN #000001 Corvette also features F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control, Polished Aluminum Wheels, OnStar, Heated Seats, AM/FM Stereo with 6-Disc In Dash CD Changer with MP3 playback and premium 7 speaker Bose sound system, XM Satellite Radio, Power Telescoping Steering Wheel, Head Up Display and Garage Door Opener.
The Corvette has just 977 miles on the odometer and comes with the remaining 5-Year 100,000 mile warranty. We are told the key fobs have all GM internal tags in place.
General Motors donated the Corvette to the Museum, and proceeds from the sale will benefit the non-profit organization.
The auction kicked off today and runs through January 5th. The Corvette Museum will also provide the winner with a copy of the Build Sheet which shows approximated date of production, options, VIN and Order numbers.
Click here to visit the eBay auction for the 2008 Corvette Coupe VIN #000001.
Here’s a call you don’t want get from your Corvette restoration shop: “About your 1962 Corvette Roadster. There’s been an accident down here at the shop and well, you should probably get down here right away while the cops are still around.” That scenario probably came true for one unlucky owner after an SUV owner lost control of his Jeep and crashed through the wall of a St. Augustine restoration shop.
There’s just something special about a barn car seeing the light of day after years of storage. Despite the thick coat of dust and the surface rust that cloaks the engine compartment, beyond the dirty interior and ripped seats, there’s the overwhelming feeling that this Corvette is about to get a fresh start. A new owner somewhere is about to embark on a journey of restoration – whether by himself or through the service of a restoration shop – with the end reward being that this Corvette will once again hit the open road.
The original owner of this 1962 Corvette roadster parked her in a barn one day in 1973 and there she sat for the next 35 years. The owner recently sold the Corvette to Valley Auto in Bedford, PA who promptly listed the beige convertible on eBay where is sold last week for $26,000.
The description states that this is a non-matching car as the original engine was stolen years ago but was replaced with a correct 870 block heads and intake. The VIN tag reads 20867S111262 which puts the assembly of the Corvette in May 1962, about 4 months before last 62 Corvette would be completed and the C1 Solid Axle era would come to an end.
The new owner has many choices ahead to make for the future of this fresh barn car. Whether a historically accurate restoration or a resto-mod build awaits this Corvette is anybody’s guess. But that’s part of the fun of owning one of these special cars, isn’t it?
“This is what the founding fathers wanted us to be driving” says Jay Leno as he pulls up to a stoplight in his new 2009 Corvette ZR1. The new 638-hp supercharged Corvette is the latest edition to Jay Leno’s Garage and we have the privilege of riding shotgun with late night’s funny man as he puts the Corvette through its paces and points out the unique features in a style that only Leno can.
Jay gives us a walk-around the new Corvette while he discusses some of the finer points of the new Corvette like the 20-spoke 19″/20″ wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, standard carbon ceramic drilled disc brakes, magnetic selective ride control as well as pointing out the flares, vents and spoilers that are unique to the ZR1. He also touches on the story about the special clear coat that protects the carbon fiber – yes, Virginia it does cost $60,000/gallon.
One of the surprising aspects of the video is that Jay shows us that he owns VIN 001 – most thought that honor went to Chevy dealer Dave Ressler who paid $1 Million at Barrett-Jackson for the honor of owning VIN #001. Turns out there are three sets of Corvette ZR1 VINs – Ressler ownes one – and the one one of that unique set. The demo and dealer test Corvette ZR1 were produced under a separate VIN and then the production customer cars have their own VIN. Very interesting!
I love to listen to Jay talk about the Corvette while he’s driving it. Just seeing him behind the wheel while talking about the amazing torque of the ZR1 then watching him floor it puts it all into perspective. Jay is a Corvette guy and listening to him talk about Corvettes, while driving the most it shows. This was a fun ride!
Jay Leno’s Garage