GM’s VP of Global Design Ed Welburn was asked to put together his list of the top 10 Chevrolet’s ever produced as the company celebrates the 100 years since the founding of the brand. As head of the General Motors design studios, Welburn follows in the footsteps of legendary Chevy designers Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell. As such, Welburn picks are tightly focused on the heritage of style and innovation that resulted in some of the most iconic cars and trucks produced by the automaker. In his list of top 10 Chevys, two of Welburn’s picks are Corvettes.
This morning we were tipped about a “mystery” Corvette or Camaro that will be auctioned this weekend at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach. After digging around the interwebs and firing off a bunch of emails, it was our tweet to Corvette PR rep David Caldwell who confirmed that the 2012 Chevrolet on Barrett-Jackson’s run list was indeed a special edition Corvette.
We caught up with Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles at the 2011 12 Hours of Sebring and he graciously gave us a few minutes to talk about a variety of subjects relating to Corvettes. Some of the topics we discussed include the latest changes for the current 2011 model year, the new Corvette Z06X track concept car and the progress of the C7 Corvette.
Since 1981, Bowling Green has been the home of Corvette production and it looks like the Kentucky assembly plant is on tap to build the next generation Corvette as well. According to a report from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, GM is considering a possible $131.1 million project at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. To help sway the manufacturer, the board announced it was offering the automaker $7.5 million in incentives for the new project.
More good news from General Motors regarding Corvettes. Sales of America’s sports car continue to gain momentum as outlined in GM’s monthly sales report for March 2011. 1,163 Corvettes were delivered last month, a 17.3% increase over the 955 Corvettes delivered during March 2010. This was the best sales month for Corvettes since July 2010 and the first 1,000+ selling month since October 2010. For the calendar year, Corvette sales were 2,839, a 16.7% increase over last year’s 2,433 Corvettes sold January-March 2010.
Mecum’s Kansas City Auction was held a couple of weekends ago and it was definitely the place to be for buying and selling Corvettes. 59 Corvettes crossed the block and 42 of those found new homes. That’s a 71% sales success rate for the Corvettes in the auction. All together, Mecum sold $1.2 million in Corvettes during the two-day sale.
Corvette Racing kicked off the 2011 American Le Mans Series with two new cars and two new drivers at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. After 12 hours of going pedal to the metal, the twin C6.Rs finished third and fourth in GT. The No 03 Corvette C6.R with Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia earned the podium and was the only non-BMW to finish on the lead lap. The No 4 Corvette C6.R with Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Richard Westbrook fought off several potential setbacks and spent much of the race climbing out of a three-lap deficit to end in fourth place.
Becoming an annual tradition, Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles and Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter made the trip down to Sebring Florida last weekend to show off some cool Corvette concepts and several 2011 regular production cars as well as give a couple seminars with Corvette owners. The first seminar was held Friday afternoon and the topics were the latest updates on the 2011 Corvette as well as some non-specific C7 Corvette news.
Fans of Corvette and readers of this blog are familiar with the extra attention Corvette owners can receive from the factory as well as some of the advanced personalization options when buying a new Corvette. If you thought the ZR1/Z06 Engine Build Experience was cool, wait until you hear about the new PIN RPO. Yes, Corvette owners can now choose your own VIN. This is great for collectors who want to match an older Corvette’s sequence number with a brand new Corvette. The special RPO does come with a hefty price of $5,000 and like the Engine Build Program, you’ll be working a Corvette concierge to coordinate the special order.