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Buy House, Get a Free Corvette

by Keith Cornett on May 5, 2006

Robert Cummings house is for sale. Three bedrooms and four baths, 2525 square feet and access to a 600 acre lake in a suburb of Detroit. The house features a home theater with built-in flat panel televisions and a multi-room audio and intercom system. But what really separates his house from the many others for sale is what’s in the garage. Robert is offering a 1995 Red Convertible Corvette as part of the package.

“I just thought it would be a unique approach to selling a home,” he said. “It’s a way to differentiate the house from other houses.” “The Corvette is flawless inside and out with about 40,000 miles.” The car is not driven in the winter or even in the rain. It features automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and a CD player.
While I’ve seen this once or twice of the last couple of years, this is the first time I’ve seen the offer with a Corvette. Robert’s real estate agent was obviously thrilled with the idea. “If it make us stand out above our competition, then we’re all for it,” Christy Brown-Ambrose of RE/MAX 100 said. “If it motivates a buyer to pick up the phone and make that call, then it’s a good incentive.” Interested? Click here for the article from the Novi News
Photo by John Heider/Novi News
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Corvette: Exhibit 1 in GM Turnaround

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2006

Peter DeLorenzo is quickly becoming one of my favorite reads. In March, Peter ripped GM for not doing anything to celebrate Corvette’s win at The 12 Hours of Sebring, America’s top road race event, which coincidentally was also the 50th anniversary of Corvette Racing. This week, Peter had a chance to drive the 2006 Z06 Corvette and came away from the experience with the same reaction by the majority of auto journalists that have preceded him:

“The Corvette ZO6 is simply the most seductive combination of power, speed, drivability, value and overall efficiency that exists in the world today. A high-performance super car for the real world, it is a milestone achievement that deserves recognition as much for its capabilities, as for the people behind it.”
Peter quickly turns his commentary from his driving experience in the Z06 to the culture of “True Believers” at GM who made building the sports car possible. If the “True Believers” where able to be set free from the “Bean Counters” on their most pressing new model rollouts including the Impala, DeLorenzo argues, then the company “would be able to build the kinds of desirable cars and trucks that consumers want to come in and buy of their own volition.” The Z06 is that kind of car and the resurgent success of the Corvette in recent years is once again beginning to fuel the innovation in other GM brands, namely the Cadillac V series, Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky and Aura models. It took Corvette’s “True Believer” in Dave Hill to make that happen. Other brands within GM should also be working hard to find their own Dave Hill. Great rant, Peter. Read it at AutoExtremist.com. And while your there, make sure you read the “RoadKill” article which contains another of their writer’s review of the Z06 Corvette.
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Wallace: Blue Devil Corvette Will Be Built

by Keith Cornett on May 2, 2006

AutoWeek is reporting that Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tom Wallace has confirmed that GM will be building the “Blue Devil” Corvette, a high-end variant of the Z06 which will reportedly have around 600 horsepower. Wallace tells AutoWeek the biggest challenge facing the so-called Blue Devil Corvette is figuring out how to get 600 hp to the ground in such a way that it can be handled by a driver with the money to buy the car. Wallace said GM is considering requiring that Blue Devil—and even Z06—buyers attend a driver school as part of the price of admission. Source: AutoWeek
Photo: AmericanCarFans.com
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GM Parts Supplier Delphi has received a contract to supply the new Ferrari GTB Fiorano with its MagneRide Suspension, the same that is used in both the Corvette Coupe and Convertible models, as well as the Cadillac STS and other premium GM models. The MagneRide suspension uses shock absorbers filled with a fluid capable of changing damping characteristics on the fly. MagneRide is not used on the Z06 Corvette or the Cadillac STS-V. Delphi also supplies the dual zone climate control system as well as the electrial/electronic systems to Ferrari. Some are saying “If it’s good enough for Ferrari…” while I say, “If it’s good enough for the Corvette, it’s good enough for Ferrari at three times the price!” Source: Inside Line
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Tom Wallace Podcast

by Keith Cornett on April 29, 2006

Christopher Jensen of the Cleveland Plain Dealer contacted us to make us aware that there was a podcast available of his interview with Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace. The interview was the basis for his article published earlier this week called “Building A Better Corvette”. The podcast contains information and statements from Wallace that didn’t get published in the story. Listen to the interview or download the MP3.

Corvette Plant Breaks Build Numbers

by Keith Cornett on April 28, 2006

The National Corvette Museum announced yesterday that the Corvette Assembly Plant produced 4,059 Corvettes in March. This was the first time in 21 years they have exceeded 4,000 Corvettes in one month.
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Wallace Discusses Building a Better Corvette

by Keith Cornett on April 27, 2006

Chief Corvette Engineer Tom Wallace talks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer about building the C7 Corvette. All options are currently on the table according to Wallace including right-hand drive, all-wheel drive, midengine, bigger displacement, swoopier styling and hybrids. While nothing earth-shattering comes from the article, it is always nice to hear the new chief talk about what may be in store for the new Corvette including the demand for more horsepower at a time when gas is $3.50 per gallon:

“Obviously fuel prices tend to make you step back from that once in a while, but the winners will increase horsepower and increase fuel economy. If you can do both of those, you can win. That is where we are going to continue to press. The Z06 is 505 horsepower and the only vehicle in the United States with 500 horsepower that doesn’t pay a gas-guzzler tax. ” said Wallace. When asked about supercharged Corvette, Wallace said “GM really knows how to supercharge and turbocharge engines. Clearly that is one of the alternatives we will continue to look at. You have to be careful about just continuing to increase displacement, because that does cost a lot of fuel economy.”
Wallace also confirms what Bob Lutz said about the production life of the C6 Corvette being around five years.
“We used to go eight, nine, 10 years, and that is too long. I keep thinking five or six years is about the most you want to stretch a major one in this segment. I think you start to get long in the tooth in the sixth year, and year seven and eight you’ll be in trouble.”
Read the entire article at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
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2007 Corvette Order Guide

by Keith Cornett on April 26, 2006

Last week, GM released the official order guide for 2007 Corvettes. While we already alerted you to the major changes for the 2007 model, I thought it would be appropriate to post the entire guide with options and colors offered for each Corvette model: 2007 Order Guide Information Three models:
1YY07 Corvette Coupe
1YY67 Corvette Convertible
1YY87 Corvette Z06 Coupe
1YY07 Coupe Information:
3 Packages; 1LT, 2LT, 3LT
2 Transmissions: MX0 Automatic, MN6 6 Speed

Options:
F55 Suspension Package
Z51 Suspension Package
QG7 Polished Wheels
QX1 Competition Gray Wheels
QX3 Chrome Wheels
R8C Museum Delivery
U3U Navigation with Single CD
VK3 Front License Plate Bracket
CC3 Transparent Top
C2L Transparent and Painted Top

Interior:
023 Cobalt Red
193 Ebony
313 Cashmere
843 Titanium
026 Cobalt Red Two Tone
316 Cashmere Two Tone
846 Titanium Two Tone

Colors:
10U Arctic White
19U LeMans Blue Metallic
41U Black
45U Velocity Yellow Tintcoat
67U Machine Silver Metallic
74U Victory Red
80U Monterey Red Metallic
83U Atomic Orange Metallic Tintcoat
1YY67 Convertible Information:
2 Packages; 2LT, 3LT
2 Transmissions: MX0 Automatic, MN6 6 Speed

Options:
CM7 Power Convertible Top
F55 Suspension Package
Z51 Suspension Package
QG7 Polished Wheels
QX1 Competition Gray Wheels
QX3 Chrome Wheels
R8C Museum Delivery
U3U Navigation with Single CD
VK3 Front License Plate Bracket

Interior:
023 Cobalt Red
193 Ebony
313 Cashmere
843 Titanium
026 Cobalt Red Two Tone
316 Cashmere Two Tone
846 Titanium Two Tone

Colors:
10U Arctic White
19U LeMans Blue Metallic
41U Black
45U Velocity Yellow Tintcoat
67U Machine Silver Metallic
74U Victory Red
80U Monterey Red Metallic
83U Atomic Orange Metallic Tintcoat

Top Colors:
29T Storm Gray
35T Beige
41T Black
1YY87 Z06 Coupe Information:
2 Packages; 1LZ, 2LZ
1 Transmissions: MN6 6 Speed

Options:
QL9 Polished Wheels
Q44 Competition Gray Wheels
R8C Museum Delivery
U3U Navigation with Single CD
VK3 Front License Plate Bracket

Interior:
023 Cobalt Red
193 Ebony
843 Titanium

Colors:
19U LeMans Blue Metallic
41U Black
45U Velocity Yellow Tintcoat
67U Machine Silver Metallic
74U Victory Red
83U Atomic Orange Metallic Tintcoat
New Dealer Accessories Available for 2007: Racing spoiler
Body side moldings
Racing stripe package
Z06 sillplates
Z06 427 hood badge
Hood blanket with color logo

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Missing Roof Panel? No Big Deal!

by Keith Cornett on April 24, 2006

Automotive pundits have jumped all over the story of a Z06 that lost its roof at 60 mph as told by the owner on CorvetteForum.com:

“I still can’t believed this happened. Had just shifted out of first @ around 6900-7000k, hit 2nd and hear a loud crack, pull over and my roof is missing…”

Some want you to believe that this problem is a result of shoddy workmanship or inferior materials. If we are talking about multiple examples, then I would be open to listening to these arguments. Others are all over the story because they think they finally found the Achilles heal of the Z06. GM did issue a recall for C6 Coupes relating to the laminate separating from the panel. Whether or not the Z06 has a similar problem has yet to be decided.

All manufactures from Porsche to Kia have defects in their products. Some have more than others. Corvette has won kudos from owners and industry awards for one of the smallest reported defects per car. Now, when the Z06 in question lost its top, was it scary for the owner? Yes. Could a flying roof panel cause safety issues with other vehicles on the road? Yes! But until it happens more than once, I’m unconvinced that this is a systemic problem to the Z06 in particular and Corvette in general.

In a related note, I got a good laugh listing to the Jalopnik podcast (precast) about this story. Seems there is some confusion on what to call a Corvette’s roof:

“First off, we have to say that the Corvette that had a roof fly off was a Z06. So when you’re listening to Farago and I talking about it being a coupe with a bolted on Targa top we’re talking about a Z06 that only comes as a coupe and not the regular Corvette C6 that only comes with a removable Targa. So when we say “coupe” we really mean Z06. It’s all very confusing.”

Let me help set the record straight with a little lesson on the vernacular when discussing Corvette body styles:

Corvette Coupe: A single roof panel that stretches across the entire top. Some are painted, some are tinted glass. Porsche owns the “targa” name, so technically you can’t call it a targa top. It’s a roof panel.

Corvette Z06: The Z06 evolved from the early C5 hardtop or Fixed Roof Coupe (FRC). It’s not a coupe because the roof is not removable.

Corvette Convertible: The soft top folds into a storage area behind the seats allowing the passengers to bask in the sun.

 

Corvettes For Sale Down Under?

by Keith Cornett on April 20, 2006

Thanks to the success of the C6 in foreign markets, especially Europe and Japan, the Corvette may be sold directly in Australia. This year, 400 Corvettes were sent to Japan which was expected to account for their entire yearly allocation. They sold out in a month. And in Europe, Corvette has sold three times the number of Corvettes in 2005 than in 2004. GM already has a presence in Australia with the Holden and is in the process of establishing distribution for Cadillac and Hummer. Corvette could possibly be sold at select Holden dealers. So will the Corvette be modified for Right Hand Drive? GM’s Bob Lutz says no with the current C6 model, but the C7 should be designed for both markets. Lutz said “With the next iteration of Corvette we really need to look at right-hand drive seriously. There is clearly a demand there, if we get the car right, as the latest model has shown.” “That way you get the economies of scale and all the development is done at the same time. The Corvette is one of GM’s treasured products, so we should make the most of it.” While the C6 has been for sale for two years, Lutz says GM is considering introducing the C7 model “sooner rather than later”. The C5 Corvette had a nine year life-span but GM may cut the C6’s life to five years, which would mean the new model could be available in 2009. Source: www.drive.com.au
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