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Corvettes

Indy 500 Corvettes Help Kickoff Festival on the Circle

The annual kickoff to the 500 Festival was held today at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Despite the soggy weather, a contingent of 2009 Festival Corvette convertibles made their appearance on the Circle. For the first time in five years Corvette will not be handling pace car duties.

This year the all new 2010 Chevy Camaro is sporting the cool paint job while the Festival Corvette’s graphics are bit more subtle, if you can call a Corvette with a huge Indy 500 logo on the side subtle. The Festival Corvettes are used to shuttle dignitaries and track officials around to various 500-related events and then are usually sold.

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NCM to Auction First Competition Sport Corvette Z06

The National Corvette Museum will be raffling the very first 2009 Competition Sport Corvette (RPO CSC) which is a Blade Silver Z06 with Black stripes. The drawing will be held today at 2pm CST and according to an email sent yesterday, only 270 of the 500 tickets total have been sold so your odds of winning are extremely favorable. As the CSC Corvettes all come with a number signifying the build sequence, some lucky winner will get the chance to win #01.

2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06 2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06 2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06
2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06 2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06 2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06

The Competition Sport Corvette Z06 Package features:

  • Blade Silver/Black exterior
  • Ebony interior with Titanium embroidery
  • Corvette Racing “Jake” and “CRS” logos
  • Corvette Racing pedals from Genuine Corvette Accessories
  • Differential Cooler
  • Red painted brake calipers
  • Z06 tall spoiler
  • Head Up Display
  • R8C Museum Delivery

The winner will have the opportunity to take delivery at the Museum and participate in the R8C Delivery Program.

“We are excited to have the first produced representing this extraordinary Corvette model to use as a fundraiser,” states NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode. “We appreciate the allocation from our friends at GM allowing us the chance to purchase this car for use as a fundraiser, and look forward to meeting the winner when they take delivery at the Museum. We hope that by continuing to offer these raffles to benefit the Museum, we are also giving someone an opportunity to become a Corvette owner that might not have had the opportunity.”

The Corvette raffles have become an important fundraising tool for the museum. The muesum actually purchases these Corvettes from the factory and then makes money from the difference in what it collects from the raffle ticket sales.

Tickets for the 2009 Competition Sport Z06 are $425 each and available online at at the Corvette Museum or by calling us at: (800) 538-3883.

Update

Congratulations to William Leighton of The Woodlands, TX drawn this afternoon as the winner of the limited edition 2009 Competition Sport Corvette Z06! William held winning ticket number 054 and his odds were even better than expected because this raffle did not sell out. We sold 464 of the 500 tickets that were made available. William was shopping online in the Corvette Store and decided to take a chance. He has never visited the Museum before and looks foward to coming and taking delivery of this special edition Corvette. Thanks to everyone who participated in this raffle. Your next chance to win is coming up on May 7 when we will draw a winner for the 2009 Cyber Gray Corvette Coupe. Only 500 tickets are being sold at $250 each.


Source:
National Corvette Museum

Related:
Corvette Museum Selling 2008 Corvette Coupe VIN #000001
2009 Corvette Competition Sport Package Pricing Revealed
My Hot Lap Around Sebring in a 2009 Competition Sport Corvette

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Legendary EX87 Corvette Test Mule Offered at Mecum's Spring Classic

Chevrolet Dealer and noted Corvette Collector Bob McDorman will be bringing 25 unique cars to Dana Mecum’s Spring Classic in Indianapolis in mid-May. Among those cars is the first true high-performance Corvette in history, the 1954 EX87 test mule that Corvette’s first Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov drove to 163 mph at the Arizona Proving Grounds.

It was in the mid-1950’s that Zora Arkus-Duntov had Daytona legend Smokey Yunick install an experimental V8 engine into a 1954 Corvette test mule. Following that test, EX87 was reissued a new tracking number of 5951 and was returned to Zora at Chevrolet Engineering to prepare for a high-speed record run at Daytona Beach in January 1956.

Duntov modified the Corvette by replacing the windshield with a curved Plexiglas windscreen and fitting a fiberglass tonneau cover over the passenger side of the cockpit. Zora also fabricated a fiberglass headrest-tailfin for high speed stability.

Zora then went to work on the engine, increasing displacement from 283 to 307 ci and ordered a special camshaft from Engineering before loading EX87 onto a trailer and heading for GM’s Arizona Desert Proving Ground.

Engineering delivered “Duntov’s Cam” to the proving grounds and once installed, the test mule set a new record of 163 miles per hour. That cam became know as the “Duntov Cam”.

Once testing at the proving grounds was completed, the engine was pulled and installed in another famous Corvette #6901 which set a new record at Daytona with a run of 150.583 mph.

Following the death of Smokey Yunick in 2001, his widow called friend Steve Tate and said she had “some stuff around the shop” and to come see if there was anything he wanted. Among that “stuff” was an engine marked “Record Run”, the same engine Smokey installed in EX87/5951.

Tate tracked down the car and purchased it and its original Chevrolet experimental log book. Tate restored the Corvette and reunited it with the engine that set records so long ago. Upon completion, the Corvette was featured at the 2003 Bloomington Gold Corvette show.

EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule
EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule
EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule  

The 1954 EX87 Corvette is one of the featured cars being auction by Mecum at the company’s Spring Classic in Indianapolis on Friday, May 15th. The auction will be part of the Mecum’s Muscle Cars and More TV show on HD Theater. Visit Mecum Auctions for more info and the car list for the Original Spring Classic Auction.


Source:
Mecum Auctions

Related:
Auction Preview: 1957 COPO Air-Box Fuelie Corvette Racer
Auction Preview: 1965 Caplan/Gulstrand Corvette Racer
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1969 Corvette L88 COPO Racer
[VIDEO] Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 Sells for $1.05 Million
Breaking News: Corvette Grand Sport #002 Fails to Reach Reserve

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 Corvette Production Schedule with Plant Mgr Paul Graham

While at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, we heard from the manager of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Paul Graham about GM’s plan to close factories over the summer. Paul informs us that the only change for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will be an additional week added to the normal two week shutdown in July. We also hear from Corvette’s Chief Engineer about the production targets for the Corvette ZR1 and how its production has been affected with these closures.

Paul also commented on how the factory was able to work with Corvette engineering and marketing to be able to provide all these different options for Corvette buyers. Paul reiterates that capacity is available to build all the models: Coupe, Convertible, Grand Sports, Z06 and ZR1 as well as the special editions like the GT1 Championship and the Competition Sport.

Tadge takes a amount to address the rumors around the closure of the high performance vehicle unit and says they had nothing to do with building the Corvette ZR1 and Z06. Those cars were built by Corvette’s engineering team and that team is still in place.

Related:
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible Walkaround

I was able to get some quality “alone” time with this new 2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible. This car is VIN #5 and was built the week of the April 20th. The Corvette features a Cyber Gray exterior with the new chrome Grand Sport wheels. This GS doesn’t have the Z15 RPO Heritage Package which includes the fender hash mark graphics and embroiderd “Grand Sport” on the seats. Instead it has the new 0B1 Crossed Flags headrest embroidery. Also inside you’ll see the Dark Titanium/Ebony two-tone interior.

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Production Schedule with Plant Mgr Paul Graham
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving recently hosted the crew of SPEED TV’s “SuperCars Exposed” and that episode is airing this evening at 9pm EST. The show will feature host Tanner Foust test driving the Evolution MotorSports EVT850 performance system for the Porsche 997 Turbo. Later in the episode, Faust will go head to head against Bondurant’s Chief Instructor Mike McGovern who’ll be driving one of the school’s 2008 Corvette Z06s.

The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is one of the largest driving schools in the country, featuring a 15-turn, 1.6 mile road course. The school is an official partner of GM and also hosts the 2 day Corvette ZR1 school that’s included in the purchase of the top-of-the-line Corvette.

“What a thrill to have the ‘SuperCars Exposed’ team and the amazing technology of Evolution MotorSports’ products running laps around our race track,” said Bob Bondurant, CEO of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. “We always enjoy hosting TV crews and conducting media events at Bondurant because our high-performance track is ideal for capturing exciting driving scenes on camera.”

“SuperCars Exposed” airs tonight at 9pm EST with a replay Tuesday morning at 9am. If you like what you see, make sure you visit Bondurant website for a list of upcoming courses and specials. Some courses are now 15-40% off and make sure you check out the Father’s Day RPM event.


Source:
Bondurant
Photo Credit: Matsiltala @ Flickr

Related:
Bondurant Driving School Adding 2009 Corvette ZR1 to Fleet
[VIDEO] Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

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2009 Corvette Model Year Sales Data - Preliminary Results

During the GM Engineering Seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, preliminary production data for 2009 was released. Most interesting is the total 2009 model year production through April 21, 2009 which stands at 15,237. This is the lowest amount of Corvettes produced in a single model year since the 9,752 Corvettes built during the first year of the C5 Corvette in 1997 and 20,000 less than the 35,000 Corvette built in 2008. Also included in the report is the penetration for exterior colors as well as some of the more popular options.

Corvettes Produced Amount Percent    
         
Coupes 7,717 51%    
Convertibles 3,120 21%    
Z06 Hardtop 3,160 21%    
ZR1 Hardtop 1,240 6%    
  _______ _______    
Total 15,237 100%    
         
Exterior Colors Coupe Convertible Z06 ZR1
Black 20% 16% 26% 26%
Crystal Red 17% 19%    
Cyber Gray 16% 12% 23% 36%
Victory Red 13% 14% 10% 10%
Blade Silver 11% 8% 10% 5%
Jetstream Blue 8% 6% 9% 16%
Arctic White 6% 8%    
Velocity Yellow 5% 17% 7% 5%
Atomic Orange 5% 3% 5% 2%
         
Options Coupe Convertible Z06 ZR1
         
1LT 38% 8%    
2LT 15% 22%    
3LT 42% 62%    
4LT 5% 9%    
1LZ     13%  
2LZ     52%  
3LZ     35%  
1ZR       3%
3ZR       97%
         
CC3 – Transparent Roof 17%      
C2L – Dual Roof Pkg 13%      
         
MX0 – 6-Speed Auto Paddle 67% 82%    
F55 – Selective Ride Control 10% 34%    
Z51 – Performance Package 37% 28%    
U3U – Stereo/XM/Nav 27% 47% 77%  
NPP – Dual Mode Exhaust 47% 57%    
QG6 – Sparkle Silver 30% 15%    
QG7 – Polished 17% 13%%    
QX1 – Competition Gray 7% 3%    
Q9V – Chrome 46% 57%    
Q10 – Z06     10%  
Q8A – Chrome     56%  
Q76     15%  
Q6A – ZR1 Sterling Silver       20%
Q6B – ZR1 Chrome       80%

As many of you know, 2009 will be the last year for Victory Red and Atomic Orange. Victory Red is being replaced by Torch Red, however Atomic Orange will not be replaced when production ceases on the 2009 Corvette. With the highest penetration of just 5% on the Corvette Coupe and just 2% of Corvette ZR1s wearing Atomic Orange, its easy to see why that color is being phased out.

During the Day 2 walk around at the Museum, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said the Corvette ZR1 is on pace for about 1,400 units this year. Despite the assembly plant shutting several times this year, Tadge said GM continued to have suppliers manufacture and bank those critical parts needed for ZR1 production, so that when the assembly resumes after the plant has been idled, those critical parts are available.


Source:
National Corvette Museum

Related:
Final 2008 Corvette Production Numbers
Final 2007 Corvette Production Numbers

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The 2010 Corvette's Launch Control Explained

In addition to the new launch control system coming to all manual transmission Corvettes in 2010, there is another new feature coming exclusively to the Corvette ZR1. Called Performance Traction Management, the system integrates the Selective Ride, Traction Control and Active Handling systems and manages the vehicle’s acceleration based on the conditions and driver’s selection.

The Corvette Team re-engineered the ride control switch on the center console. The normal mode continues to give you the tour and sport adjustments on the shock absorbers, but switching into Competition Mode then brings up the Performance Traction Management. The ride control switch than illuminates to PTM Traction. Turning the switch then allows the driver to select the Traction mode.

Here are the five settings as outlined in the GM Engineering Seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash:


PTM Mode #1 – Wet

  • This is the mode intended for use during damp or wet track conditions by drivers of all skill levels.
  • Engine torque is management based on the given track conditions.
  • Active Handling is enabled.

PTM Mode #2 – Dry

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by less experienced drivers or those learning a new track.
  • Engine torque is slightly managed based on the given track conditions.
  • Active Handling is enabled.

PTM Mode #3 – Sport

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by drivers who are familiar with the track they are driving. This mode requires more driver skill than PTM Mode #2.
  • More engine torque is available than in Mode #2.
  • Active Handling is enabled.

PTM Mode #4 – Sport

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by drivers who are familiar with the track they are driving. This mode requires more driver skill than PTM Mode #3.
  • The same level of engine torque is available as in Mode #3.
  • Active Handling is disabled.

PTM Mode #5 – Race

  • This is the mode intended for use on dry track conditions by experienced drivers who are familiar with the track they are driving. This mode will require more driver skill than all the other modes.
  • Available engine torque is maximized for cornering speed.
  • Active Handling is disabled.


Tadge says the system has show to be able to improve the times of pro-level drivers and so for skilled-level drivers, the PTM system “turns him into a hero”.


Related:
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport at the NCM

Team Corvette was on hand at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash to fully brief the Corvette faithful on the new 2010 Corvette. Here is the team introducing the new model in the Corvette lineup, the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport.

Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles opened the discussion by running through the content of the new Grand Sport and then turned over the mic to Kirk Bennion, Corvette’s Exterior Design Manager who tells us that inspiration for the new vertical side vents comes from an original pencil drawing of the ZR1. Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter wraps up the seminar discussion by presenting the technical and performance details of the new model. The video culminates with the live reveal in the Museum’s main rotunda to the very enthusiastic crowd.

The new Grand Sport models (Coupes and Convertibles) will fit between the standard coupes and convertibles and the Z06 in the Corvette lineup. The Grand Sport features the standard LS3 engine but uses the wider Z06 size wheels, tires, brakes and chassis.

From a performance standpoint, the Grand Sport has better weight distribution and the wider Z06 tires significantly increase the models 0-60 times. While the base Corvette’s 0-60 mph time is 4.3 seconds, the Corvette team thinks the new Grand Sport’s time should be at 4.0 seconds but Tadge opened the door to the possibility that it could break the 4 second barrier.

The models effectively replace the Z51 Performance Package by introducing the new Z52 package for the coupe which features the dry sump oil, differential cooler and the same higher gear ratios found on the Z51 package.

A Heritage Package will be offered for owners who want a unique package like the 1996 version that includes the hash mark decals and special embroidery on the seats. The hash marks are available in 4 distinct colors: Black, Gray, Silver and Pearl White.

Pricing wasn’t announced for the Grand Sports at the unveiling, but both Tadge and Harlan say Corvette owners will be pleased when pricing is announced in early May.

Related:
[VIDEO] Teaser Video of 2010 Corvette Grand Sport Reveal
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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The 2010 Corvette's Launch Control Explained

During the 2010 Corvette seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter goes into more detail about the new Launch Control option that will be standard on all manual transmission Corvettes. The system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to give the driver the optimal amount of traction on a full throttle start. The best news? Corvette’s Launch Control System will not void your warranty!

To engage the launch control system, the driver puts the traction control into competitive mode and then pushes the gas pedal to the floor. The system will hold a predetermined RPM based on which engine you have (LS3/LS7/LS9). When the driver quickly releases the clutch, the launch control modulates engine torque 100 times per second to get the best traction.

GM’s testing of the system found that just about any driver can achieve very consistent times on par with that of a skilled driver’s best efforts.

The best news is that use of the launch control system will not void your warranty – an obvious reference to Nissan’s GT-R that until recently had a policy of voiding warranties if the car broke while using their version of launch control. Tadge mentioned this fact several times to the delight of the audience.

Related:
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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