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Corvettes

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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Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1

I warned you when we heard that Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson was testing driving the Corvette ZR1 out on the Bonneville Salt Flats about his tendency to talk glowingly about Corvettes and then bashing them. It’s beginning to look like that’s what we’re in for after we saw this quote about Clarkson’s time in the Corvette ZR1 in his very unflattering review of the Chrysler Sebring Cabriolet.

In the Sebring review, which Clarkson calls the “worst car in the World”, he’s ranting about the poor quality of American cars when he drops this in eight paragraphs from the end:

“I spent most of my time in America this time in a new Corvette ZR1. It is a fabulous car. Mesmerisingly fast, good looking and amazing value. But after three days the damn thing was beginning to disintegrate. It made me growl with annoyance and despair.”

The next seven paragraphs is typical Clarkson, bashing America and our lack of “history” as the root cause. I’m not going to go into any more details. His constant rants on the subject of American cars and therefore America itself is so tiresome. Unfortunately, he’s about to turn his sights on our favorite sports car and I for one could really care less…


Source:
UK Times Online via Motor Trend Forums

Related:
UK’s Top Gear to Test Drive The 2009 Corvette ZR1
[VIDEO] Top Gear Reviews Z06 Corvette

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Motor Trend C7 Corvette Rendering

Motor Trend’s Mike Conner is reporting that a mid-engine design for the next generation Corvette is out. Unfortunately, he also mentions the C7 Corvette is on hold and unlikely to launch earlier than 2014.

Mid-Engine Corvette supporters, including GM’s Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz, believe they can achieve better fuel economy utilizing gas-saving cylinder shutoff with an LS3 V8 mounted behind the driver as its hard to deactivate cylinders based on the current front engine/rear transaxle setup without adding a clutch to deactivate the driveshaft.

Detractors counter that the extra weight that comes with a mid-engine layout and its heavy rear cowl would offset any fuel-economy savings of cylinder shutoff.

Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your outlook of a mid-engine Corvette) the accountants appear to be having the final say as the funding for a complete ground up redesign of the Corvette is just unavailable during this time of GM’s fiscal difficulties.

With all that being said, MT says don’t count out Tom Wallace and his team considering 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 for the base C7 Corvette.

Sources:
Motor Trend

Related:
Lighter, Greener Corvette on the Horizon
Late Night Speculation: C7 Corvette Moving to Kappa Platform?

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Bruce Willis and his 1967 Corvette Roadster

Bruce Willis not only has a collection of dirty, bloody, ripped up white t-shirts, as that seems to be how every movie ends with him wearing, but apparently he’s a fairly serious collector of American muscle cars. Come October 25th, his collection will be a bit lighter as he’s selling several cars including two Corvettes.

Strength, performance and individuality are all words that could describe Bruce and the characters he portrays in the movies, but we’re talking about his classic car collection, and most notably his Corvettes. The two cars will be offered up for auction by well-known auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields October 25th at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

1957 Corvette Owned by Bruce Willis 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
A gift from his then wife Demi Moore, it received a thorough restoration and retains its original 283cu-in engine delivering 220hp, has Powerglide transmission, front disc brakes, power booster, power steering, and comes with both soft and hard tops.
(Estimated Price: $70,000/$90,000)
 
1967 Corvette Owned by Bruce Willis 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Considered the most desirable year-model Corvette in history, this 427cu-in big block offers 435hp and takes off like it’s turbocharged when the second set of Holley 2-barrel carbs comes on line. Like all of Willis’ cars, it has extras like power brakes, power steering, Cragar S/S alloy wheels, and an Alpine 5-CD changer in the glove box with an infrared remote so it doesn’t detract from the otherwise stock appearance or require removal of the original AM-FM radio.
(Estimated Price: $110,000/$150,000)

In addition to the Corvettes, Bruce is also offering up a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible, a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT 500 Convertible and a 1969 Dodge Charger.

Check out Bonhams & Butterfields website for more details. Interested collectors may register to bid in person or remotely via the website or by telephone.


As a matter of full disclosure, I am also partial to 1968 Pontiac Firebirds as that’s the car I bought for my son several years ago. However, reports of his Firebird beating my 66 Corvette in a race have been greatly exaggerated.


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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Barn Find: 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible Racer

by Keith Cornett on October 1, 2008

1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible

One of the approximately 80 L-88 Corvettes produced in 1968 was recently unearthed in North Florida by the guys at Proteam Corvettes. Unrestored and most definitely molested, this L-88 street racer is unique as only one or two known L-88 Convertibles were produced with a Rally Red exterior and red interior.

This Corvette was a one-owner car since new until September 24, 2008 and features all the goodies you can expect on an L-88 racer: The M22 4-Speed close ratio heavy duty transmission, J56 special heavy duty brakes, F41 heavy duty suspension, a heavy duty rear end and the sure sign of an original street racer: radio delete! The big block that came with this race-bred convertible is a GM warranty engine.

1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible
1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible
1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible

Proteam is considering invitations for displaying the Corvette before it heads into the shop for a complete restoration. Terry believes these original Corvettes in their “as-found” condition can be an invaluable tool for senior judging seminars. Sure it’s not a Survivor® but it is still a really neat find.

Visit Proteam Corvettes to see over 100 photos of this very cool L-88 Corvette street racer.


Source:
Proteam Corvette

Related:
Barn Find: 1968 Corvette Convertible
Rare 1957 “Airbox” Corvette Found & Restored to Former Glory

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[VIDEO] Another Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno pulls 549.9 RWHP!

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1 Dyno Sheet

The Vette Doctors of Amityville, NY had a customer bring his new 2009 Corvette ZR1 into their shop and this time we got three dyno runs on video. The sound this Corvette makes is impressive. I think that it would have been pretty cool to have been there in person to hear it.

The shop performed three base dyno pulls and their best run was 549.9 rear wheel horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque, better than what we saw last week when two Corvette ZR1′s averaged 535 RWHP on a dynojet. According to the post, these are adjusted numbers. That’s a 13.8 percent loss which again is within the normal parameters.

Now for the crazy part. The Corvette ZR1 is in the shop because the owner is “already looking for a little more power!”. Vette Doctors is working on some custom programming to get the full potential out of the new King of the Hill. They are also will be working with American Racing Headers to develop a ZR1 specific header system. The shop is hoping to have these changes on the car and back on the dyno in the next week and will be posting those new numbers as soon as they are available.


Source:
Corvette Forum
The Vette Doctors

Related:
2009 Corvette ZR1 Hits the Dyno
[VIDEO] GM Releases Official Corvette ZR1 Specs: 638 hp and 205 mph Technorati Tags:
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GM Raises Prices on All 2009 Corvettes

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

GM announced yesterday an across the board price increase on all Corvettes produced on and after September 29, 2009. Coupes, Convertibles, Z06s and the ZR1 will have their MSRP raised by $1,520. This price will effect any Corvette that is not already in dealers stock.

Kerbeck Corvette’s Sales Manager Dave Salvatore told us you are price protected if you have a Customer order date prior to September 29th. He also sent us the new Corvette base prices (not including the $850 destination charge or the ZR1’s gas guzzler tax):

  • Coupe – $48,565
  • Convertible – $53,220
  • Z06 – $73,925
  • ZR1 – $103,970

The good news is that Kerbeck Corvette has over 85 2009 Corvettes in stock at the old price! Call Dave and his team today at 1-877-537-2325 to get the best price available and make sure you tell him CorvetteBlogger sent you!


Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply

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