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Corvette Wins Motorist Choice Award

by Keith Cornett on September 27, 2006

The 2006 Chevrolet CorvetteWe must be coming to the end of the year as I am sensing another round of the obligatory “Car of the Year” awards getting ready to be announced. And while I am not sure half these awards are worth the pixels used to promote them, if a Corvette is selected, than it is my duty as an American to report it! First up! The Motorist Choice Award from IntelliChoice.com and AutoPacific. This is a new award created from the surveys of both organizations that created “a new measurement that speaks to both the hearts and minds of car buyers.” Really, the survey boils downs to owner satisfaction with their vehicle combined with an analysis of the vehicle’s cost of ownership and value. Both items that the Corvette has excelled at in recent years. The Corvette was listed as winning the Sports Car category, but get this. There were 29 winning models by segment and class, 12 classes for cars, 7 classes for SUV’s, 8 truck classes and 1 van class. Here’s what each organization said about the Chevrolet Corvette:

AutoPacific Take on Corvette’s Win – The Chevrolet Corvette wins the first Motorist’s Choice Award® for Sports Cars. It also won top honors among Sports Cars in AutoPacific’s 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award®. Corvette’s strong image and vehicle reputation are reinforced by great Fun to Drive attributes like power, acceleration and handling. IntelliChoice Analysis – The Corvette, with plenty of horsepower on tap, is a true American “Triple Crown” winner. Not only a Motorist’s Choice and Vehicle Satisfaction winner, but also a repeat 2006 “Best Overall Value of the Year” winner. 5 year ownership costs are equally amazing at just $45,510, well over $6000 below it’s nearest competitor. The Chevrolet Corvette, as much fun to drive as it is to own!
Yep, the Corvette rocks! But if you’re really interested in automotive awards than make sure you stay tuned as we are surveying the automotive landscape in anticipation of the 2nd Annual CorvetteBlogger.com Car of the Year award to be announced in December. Sources: IntelliChoice.com and AutoPacific
Image: CorvetteImages.com
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The Last Corvette to be Sold at Barrett-Jackson

by Keith Cornett on September 25, 2006

The Last Corvette This announcement is really no big news since the Last Corvette’s restoration was completed in January of this year. As anyone that knows anything about this car knows that the final stop is Scottsdale, Arizona. But for those that don’t know what the Last Corvette is, let me do a quick recap. The Last Corvette is a 1967 Corvette Coupe with a 427-390 hp engine and a 4-Speed transmission. The VIN, #22940 was the last Corvette produced of the 1967 model year production run and therefore the last of the 1963-1967 “Midyear” Corvettes produced at the St. Louis Corvette Assembly Plant on July 12, 1967. The Corvette has been on Pro Team’s radar since the mid 90′s, but it wasn’t until 2005 that a deal was reached to purchase the unrestored car for 10x’s the VIN: $229,240.00 Is the last of the 1967 Corvettes that big of a deal? Some say yes. Terry Michaelis of Pro Team Corvettes, who owns the Last Corvette is fond of saying “Sure they made Corvettes after 1967, but who cares” when promoting this Corvette. And according to Craig Jackson, President of the Barrett-Jackson Auction, “Being the absolute final car of a world-famous model makes this one of the most collectible cars in the world.” Well okay. I’ve never subscribed much to the theory that the end of a model run is worth more because it was the last. I can understand being first, but not last. Comparing apples to apples, is a 67 Coupe with a 427/390 worth more than a 1967 L88 or L89? And something else is bothering me about this Corvette. The whole process seems to me to be a slick marketing event put together by some very smart people for only one reason…to make money. A lot of money. I guess if you are putting $229,420 into a Corvette that needs a frame-off restoration, you need a plan to make that money back. I don’t hold that against Pro Team or anyone else associated with this Corvette. It will sure be interesting to see what this Corvette can do when compared to some real highly collectible Corvettes that should be available this year at Scottsdale. In defense of the Last Corvette’s publicity-hungry run-up to the auction at Barrett-Jackson, Pro Team has teamed up with two charities. The Ronald McDonald House and the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation will both benefit from the sale of the Last Corvette from matched donations, and in the case of the Ronald McDonald House, a Name the Final Bid contest. And finally, not to appear totally negative about the marketing machine that is the Last Corvette, there is one element to this unprecedented sales campaign that I am really interested in. Premiering on December 7, 2006 is a six part documentary which chronicles the Corvette’s history and restoration. That series will air on SPEED and is titled American Muscle Car: The Last Stingray. This is will be a real joy to watch as the production quality should be extremely high and the companies that donated time and service are the tops of the Corvette industry including Naber’s Motors in Texas where the frame-off restoration was completed. More information about the Last Corvette can be found at TheLastCorvette.com
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Overhauled ’57 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on September 19, 2006

Chip FooseOverhaulin’ on the TLC Network is airing a new episode this evening featuring a 1957 Corvette. Like the previous Corvette episode, you’ll either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle road for Chip Foose when it comes to him redesigning the American classic sportscar. I am a fan of the show, but I tend to cringe whenever I see the “A Team” yank an original engine and replace it with a crate motor. No photos have yet surfaced of the Overhauled 1957 Corvette, yet one post on CorvetteForum.com claims the following: “Now that the cat is out of the bag, except for the steering wheel and matching engine trim (you’ll see), the ’57 is very nice and the brakes are to die for.” Tonight’s show is titled “Roadies Stole My ‘Vette!” The 1957 Corvette has been in Carl’s family for 46 years. But Carl and his wife are too busy with their family and business. Meanwhile, the Corvette sits in the garage, waiting for the time and money that will one day restore it to its original “cool”. The new episode will appear Tuesday night at 9pm EST. Source: TLC.com via CorvetteForum.com
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Blue Devil Corvette To Run Nuerburgring?

by Keith Cornett on September 14, 2006

A 2006 Z06 Corvette at NuerburgringSoooo, could this be one of the firsts in a series of shake downs for the Blue Devil Corvette? Johnny O’Connell of Corvette Racing fame (#3 car) posted on his web site that he will be test driving some Corvette street cars around the Nuerburgring, a 12.9 mile closed road track in Germany. And how is Johnny prepping for his week abroad? He’s learning the course by practicing on his X-Box! I love it!! From Johnny O’ Connell’s Website:

Every now and then you get to do something really cool in this job. This Saturday I’m headed over to Germany to run some Corvette street cars around the Nuerburgring. I’ve been there once before back when I drove for Panoz, and did do one lap on the long circuit, but this is going to be several days driving on it and should be a blast. I’m getting to know the circuit beforehand by practicing on X-Box, so hopefully will have it memorized before I get there.
This isn’t something new for Chevrolet. Back in 2005, Jan Magnussen, another Corvette Racing driver tested the soon-to-be-released 2006 Z06 on the famed ‘Ring, posting one of the fastest laps ever recorded at 7:43. Also, I might be mistaken, but I am unaware of Chevrolet testing the regular C6 (Non-Z06) Corvette in Germany either. If I am wrong on that, please let me know. Source: JohnnyOConnell.com
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GM Extends Corvette’s Warranty Coverage

by Keith Cornett on September 6, 2006

The new GM Warranty websiteEarlier this year, GM’s Vice Chairman asked readers of the FastLane blog for input on their turnaround. Overwhelmingly, readers pointed to the quality issue as a major concern when buying a GM car or truck. What is telling about GM’s turnaround is the fact that they are listening to their customers and are addressing their concerns. Today GM announced that beginning with the 2007 model year, it will be extending its powertrain warranty in the United States and Canada to five years or 100,000 miles. Previously the warranty was three years or 36,000 miles. The warranty is transferable and has no deductible. GM is also extending the roadside assistance and courtesy transportation programs to five years or 100,000 miles. These changes apply to Corvette as well as every passenger car and truck across GM’s eight divisional brands. In addition to the powertrain warranty, GM still provides three year or 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty for the Corvette and other Chevrolets, GMCs, Pontiacs and Saturns. Buicks and Cadillacs get a four year or 50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. GM will begin promoting the new warranties during Thursday night’s NFL season opener between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins. Also, a dedicated web site (www.gm.com/warranty) is available for you to read up on the coverage. Source: GM Fastlane Blog | GM Warranty
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Crikey! Corvette Sting Ray Getting A Bad Rap

by Keith Cornett on September 5, 2006

Since the untimely death of Australian Zoo director Steve Irwin at the hands, er, barb of a stingray was announced Sunday, I knew the comparisons of fish and Vette were bound to happen. As the Beach Boys say, fuel injected Sting Rays are only deadly when you’re a 413. But this was a freak accident and for someone like Steve Irwin who faced death more than once, at least he died doing something he loved. So leave it to the Jalopnik’s to come up with Steve Irwin’s Revenge, a video of a classic Sting Ray loosing it on the strip when racing against a Dodge Viper. Their reasoning? Steve loved reptiles more than a flappy fish. Well, I concur on their final wish. Rest in peace, Steve.

Source: Jalopnik.com | Google Video
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2007 Convertible Price Increase On The Way?

by Keith Cornett on August 30, 2006

2007 Corvette ConvertibleCorvette Forum dealer Ken Fichtner posted a message today that an interim price change is coming on selected Chevrolet vehicles including the 2007 Corvette Convertible. Orders entered into VOMS on or before August 27, 2006 are price protected. Unfortunately, there is no indication on exactly how much the price increase will be. Here is the full text of the post: Subject: 2007 Chevrolet Interim Price Change Effective 8/28/2006
Message #: CHF20060056 Chevrolet will announce revised 2007 model year Suggested Retail prices effective with vehicles produced on or after August 28, 2006. The revised Suggested Retail prices will affect the Avalanche, Aveo, Cobalt, Corvette Convertible, HHR, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Impala, Uplander, Trailblazer, Equinox, Tahoe, Suburban and Express. Dealer invoice amounts will increase accordingly. Dealer discounts remain unchanged. Dealer price schedules will be available in GM Dealerworld under Sales &/Or F&I Tabs effective August 28, 2006. Reference administrative message #VSF20040006 (dated February 26, 2004) for more information regarding this web site. All qualified bona fide sold retail orders entered in VOMS on or before August 27,2006 and delivered to the original customer after that date will be price protected. These units will be invoiced at prices in effect at the date of production; however, the dealer open account will automatically be credited for the price increase once the unit has been delivered. Generally, fleet orders are invoice price protected (i.e., bid center FBC order types, VQ orders). All other fleet orders will be price protected according to the bona fide sold retail price protection policy above. Refer to the price protection effective date on the invoice. Source: CorvetteForum.com
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Man Flips Corvette Pulling Out Of Driveway

by Keith Cornett on August 29, 2006

Corvette FlipI really don’t know what to make of this accident, and unfortunately, the local news media was more concerned with getting some cool video of the overturned Vette than they were with asking “How did this happen?” and “Are you a moron for leaving your driveway at 90 MPH!” Anyway, the story is that a Peabody, Massachusetts man flipped his Corvette while trying to pull the vehicle out of his driveway on Saturday morning. The car came to rest against a neighbors house, wedged between the house and a tree on the front lawn. The driver’s arm was pinned under the car, but he only suffered minor injuries. You can view a news account (I’m being liberal with the term news as it only shows video of the Corvette upside down) from Boston’s WHDH-TV.
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Stolen Corvette Now Restored, Ready for New Life

by Keith Cornett on August 28, 2006

Remember Alan Poster? His 1968 Corvette had been stolen in early 1969 and it was 37 years later in January 2006 that authorities found it at the Long Beach port in California during a routine customs check. Not much is known as to what happened to the Corvette over the last three decades, and during that time it was repainted Silver and the blue interior changed to red. As the recovery of the Corvette created a stir among the auto enthusiast community, CorvetteAmerica.com donated $15,000 in parts and restoration shop California Classics did the work to return the 1968 Convertible back to its original configuration. Last weekend at the Corvettes at Carlisle show, Alan reintroduced the Corvette to enthusiasts and media, and has dubbed the newly restored classic “Reunion Blues”. He plans to use his Corvette’s “celebrity status” to promote worthy causes.

1968 Convertible Corvette 1968 Convertible Corvette 1968 Convertible Corvette
Photos: Dave Scavone for CorvetteAmerica.com
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New Chevy Commercial Touts Corvettes HWY MPG

by Keith Cornett on August 26, 2006

A new commercial from Chevrolet focuses on the highway fuel economy of its passenger vehicles. This particular spot aired earlier this week on ESPN’s SportCenter. The commercial starts with how Chevrolet is a car company that helps it customers get more from their cars, including gas mileage. 9 out of 10 Chevrolet passenger cars get an EPA estimated 30 highway miles per gallon or better is the claim. The new Corvette Z06 is shown with the voiceover saying “Here’s one that doesn’t…but it still gets 26 MPG highway”. “Chevy…We’re taking a full tank further” is how it ends. A very well-done commercial. See the clip below:

It is great to see Chevrolet use the Corvette in its commercials in an active way, as opposed to just showing a picture of it on a car transport. With its Halo status and the fact that it is one of Chevy’s moneymakers, the company needs to find more avenues for linking its line of cars to the heritage of the Corvette.
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