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AP Photo: NAIAS Show Prep Features Z06 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on January 3, 2007

In this photo released by General Motors, workers cover a Chevrolet Corvette to keep the dust off of it as preparations for the North American International Auto Show continue Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan. The show opens to the public on January 13. The more than $200 million cost of the exhibits, and the scores of new models on display, are designed to impress car executives, analysts, reporters and the general public alike and help fill auto showrooms in 2007. (AP Photo/General Motors, John F. Martin)

Z06 Corvette
Source:
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Monterey Red To Be Phased Out in 2007

by Keith Cornett on January 3, 2007

2007 Corvette - Last Year for Monterey RedFollowing up on our conversation yesterday with Rick Conti from CorvetteConti.com fame, we learned that Monterey Red is the second of two colors being phased out during the 2007 model run and will not return for 2008. The other color to be dropped is LeMans Blue. Monterey Red was the third most popular color for Corvettes in 2006, making up nearly 15% of all Corvettes produced. The color was one of two shades of Reds currently being offered on Corvettes, the other being the bright Victory Red. Monterey Red is the darker of the two shades of red. We are still waiting to find out what color will be added to the Corvette lineup for 2008. As Conti mentioned the new color has been assigned RPO code 89U and starts with Crystal Clar***. I did a bit of looking at the Corvette Black Book and saw that there was a dark shade of Red, almost maroon, that Corvette used from 1980-1982 called Dark Claret. Being that the two shades of Red combined for 32% of total Corvette colors, and that Chevrolet has offered multiple shades of Red on Corvettes for the last few years, it makes sense that we might expect another shade of Red to join Victory Red for the 2008 Corvette.
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com via CorvetteConti.com Related:
Final 2006 Corvette Production Numbers Technorati Tags:
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Advance 2008 Corvette Production Info

by Keith Cornett on January 2, 2007

CorvetteConti.com has posted a bevy of changes coming to the 2008 Corvette and probably the biggest letdown is that the Blue Devil/SS project is going to be released as a 2009 model year instead of 2008. I had heard some rumblings late last year that the supervette model was being pushed back, but of course we won’t know for sure until we have confirmation from GM. But now for some good news regarding the 2008 Corvette. Engine:
It appears that the LS3 6.2L V8 engine is a go for the new model year. The LS3 is slated for the coupe and convertible models. Specs for the new engine have yet to be released, so we are still unsure what the horsepower rating will be. Exterior Colors:
This is the last year for LeMans Blue. Rick doesn’t think that GM will even carry the color through the end of the model year. Initially we thought that GM would be resurrecting Mulsanne Blue for 2008, however, it looks like they will instead introduce a new blue called Bluestream(RPO 85U). Another exterior color from 2007 will also replaced but we don’t yet have confirmation on what that color is or what the new color will be named. We do know that Atomic Orange Metallic will be available for the 2008 Corvette. Interior Colors:
Coupes and Convertibles will have 9 interior choices. It looks like all 7 that are being produced for the 2007 model will carry over to 2008 and there will be 2 new choices called 245 Sienna Custom Leather Wrap and 425 Linen Custom Leather Wrap. The Z06 Corvette will also pick up these interior combinations. Options and Wheels:
Coupes and Convertibles will be getting a fourth options package, 4LT. So for coupes, you can choose 1,2,3 or 4LT and convertibles will offer 2,3 and 4LT. The Z06 is also picking up a new package of 3LZ. Unfortunately, we do not yet know what the packages contain. Wheel choices are the QG6, the Split Spoke standard wheel, QX1, a Split Spoke Wheel in Competition Grey, and the QG7 Forged Polished wheel. No sign yet of the QX3 Chrome wheel option. A different axle will be available on the automatic. GU2 is a 2.73 performance axle for the 6 speed automatic. Lastly, a couple new RPO codes have shown up, but we are unsure what or how they will be used. They are NPP and CCR. Rick Conti always seems to get this information before anyone else and more often than not, his info is right on the money. Please visit CorvetteConti.com and make sure you register to be a member while you are there. Thanks, Rick!
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
2007 Corvette Last Year for Le Mans Blue? Technorati Tags:
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Name Games: GM Renews ZR-1 Trademark

by Keith Cornett on January 1, 2007

ZR-1 Emblem

It recently came to the attention of some enterprising Corvette enthusiasts with a bit of time on their hands that GM has renewed its federal trademark for ZR-1, the option code for Corvettes built from 1990-1995 with the 32-valve DOHC LT-5 engine. A trademark extension was filed on December 5, 2006 and it appears the purpose of the filing was to allow GM the use of the moniker for merchandise and accessories related to the ZR-1 Corvette. However, I did a little more digging at the United States patent and trademark office and found that a renewal for the ZR-1 trademark was made November 3, 2006 for the use of “Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles”.

From the USPTO:

Word Mark ZR-1
Goods and Services IC 012. US 019 021 023 031 035 044. G & S: Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 77036100
Filing Date November 3, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) General Motors Corporation CORPORATION DELAWARE 300 Renaissance Center P.O. Box 300 Detroit MICHIGAN 482653000
Attorney of Record Timothy G. Gorbatoff
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Now it would be irresponsible speculation on my part to think that GM would have an interest in using the ZR-1 RPO code for the Blue Devil/SS Corvette. There is a line of thinking that GM wouldn’t use the ZR-1 RPO for the Blue Devil/SS because the term is so closely aligned with the 1990′s LT-5 Corvette. However, the use of the ZR-1 RPO in the 90′s was actually the second time it was used. GM first introduced the ZR-1 package back in 1970 which included the LT-1 engine (350ci 370hp), M22 transmission, heavy-duty power brakes, transistor ignition and aluminum radiator. Fifty-three Corvettes were ordered with the package during its three-year availability.

Use of the ZR-1 name for a new “King of the Hill” Corvette actually makes more sense than some of the other names suggested like the Z07. That RPO was related to a suspension package in both the seventies and nineties, and doesn’t really ooze of high performance history that GM appears to be fond of dusting off and reusing in new applications.


Source:
United States Patent and Trademark Office
DigitalCorvettes.com
CorvetteForum.com

Related:
The Blue Devil’s New Name – The Z07 Corvette

 

The Z06 Corvette Goes Topless

by Keith Cornett on December 30, 2006

The Z06 Corvette Goes ToplessBack in the good old days, a guy could walk into a Chevrolet dealership and order a convertible with the L88 427ci engine. Ask a dealer today if the Z06 Corvettes comes in a drop top, and they’ll probably laugh at you. GM engineers will tell you with all that horsepower, the hardtop help the Z’s body from getting all twisty. Too bad someone hasn’t figured out how to remove the top of a Z06 Corvette while maintaining or increasing torsional rigidity? Oh, but someone has. Genaddi Design Group is introducing their LSR Roadster, a Topless Z06 Corvette with some pretty interesting innovations. It seems that Gerisch and his team figured out a way to lose the top while tripling the torsional rigidity of the car. A secret that led to GM and Genaddi parting ways on the project after Gerisch refused to share the knowledge with GM. The LSR Roadster isn’t just about having an open air cockpit. This Corvette features aluminum body panels, larger wheels and wider tires. I’m sure photos of the rear end alone will spark some heated debates among the purists and the mods. And will I usually fall into the purist camp, I’m kind of digging this car. The topless option is available for $49,000 and doesn’t include the cost of a Z06 Corvette. Source:
ForbesAuto.com Related:
LA Auto Show: The Callaway C16 Technorati Tags:
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Dealer Makes Good on New Corvette For Customer

by Keith Cornett on December 29, 2006

Wrecked CorvetteMost of us cringe at the thoughts of leaving our Corvettes with any service shop for any amount of unsupervised time because the fear that some employee may take it for a joyride. Ferris Bueller anyone? Autoblog has picked up on a story about one such Corvette owner who left his car at San Rafael Chevrolet for fixing a trunk lid and came back the next day to find $15,000 in damage to the front passenger side. Apparently, an employee took it for a ride and wrecked it while spinning out in gravel and then was hit by a box truck. As the posting went on the Corvette Forum, the owner (CF handle: ask1ed) wanted his Corvette replaced or repaired and compensated for the lost value of the car due to the wreck. The dealership initially wanted to pay for the repairs, which would take six weeks. The owner urged forum members to email or call the dealership on his behalf and it appears the publicity worked. The dealership’s General Manager called the owner and promised to provide a comparable Corvette with the same color scheme and options package. San Rafael Chevrolet did the right thing by offering to replace (and quickly) the wrecked Corvette. While that’s the happy ending to this story, I would like to quote the owner’s post about his experience with Corvettes:

I believe this was a misunderstanding on his part (Dealer). An occupational hazard. When you have thousands of cars coming through your lot, I think you tend to forget what this car means to the common man. It’s the poor man’s Ferrari; and I don’t believe that rich people own these cars. Poor people buy them, after scraping and suffering and working hard for every dollar for years and years. It was you people who reminded him. You reminded him this car is not just a car. It’s a special thing, the last American icon in the automotive world. We looked forward for many years, with a lot of passion, lurking on the forums, without ever posting. We waited for seven months for our car to be delivered as ordered. We could not believe how smooth it was. How fast it was. (Sorry CHP for speeding.) How it handled. And to tell the truth, we have never had so many people so willing to help us over anything in our entire lives. So it was sort of shocking to see so many strangers helping us. I guess, it’s a gang; and when you mess with one member of the gang, you mess with all of us. Anyway, we will see if he comes through as promised, and I do believe he will. It was you guys who reminded him, “It’s not just a car, “IT’S A VETTE.” And you can quote me on that. GM should adopt that as an ad campaign. Call my people and you can have the slogan.
“It’s Not Just A Car…It’s A Vette”! Source:
Corvette Forum via Autoblog
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Corvette: The 2006 Year in Review

by Keith Cornett on December 20, 2006

This was an interesting year for Corvettes and the people that follow them. New Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace took the reigns from the retiring Dave Hill. The rumored Blue Devil/SS supervette project is finally confirmed by GM and evidenced by test mules running the streets around Detroit. The 2006 Z06 Corvette was the official pace car of three major auto races while its big brother, Corvette Racing’s C6.R won their 50th race during their 50th year of racing. In between? Awards, controversy and a whole lot of fun following America’s Sports Car.
January: Tom Wallace officially takes over the Corvette’s Chief Engineer position as Dave Hill retires. Wallace is only the fourth person to hold the Chief Engineer title for Corvette. The oldest surviving Corvette, a 1953 with the serial number of #003 sold at the Barrett Jackson auction for $1 million dollars. Alan Poster gets a call from the Police. His 1968 Corvette which was stolen 37 years ago was recovered, just days before being shipped to a buyer in Sweden.
February: Jay Leno and the Z06 Corvette pace the Daytona 500. Rumors about the mysterious Blue Devil/SS project begin to swirl after comments by Ed Pepper, Chevrolet’s General Manager, appear to give the project credence.
March: GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz weighs in the Blue Devil/SS project by commenting “There will be something special for the Corvette soon.” Chevrolet implements a service bulletin for the C6 Corvettes after reports of C6 coupes’ roofs flying off. The National Corvette Museum makes its expansion program public. Corvette Racing wins at Sebring. The win celebrated Corvette’s 50th anniversary in road racing. AAA names the Z06 Corvette “The Cool Car of the Year”. The Corvette Assembly Plant builds over 4,000 Corvettes in March, the first time in 21 years that Corvette production was more than 4,000 in one month.
April: Atomic Orange, a new color for the 2007 Corvette is revealed. GM opens “The Drive” in Las Vegas which allows ordinary people a change to drive a Corvette around a high-performance loop.
May: Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tom Wallace confirms that GM will be building the Blue Devil/SS Corvette. Lance Armstrong and the Z06 Corvette pace the Indianapolis 500. Top Gear reviews the Z06 Corvette… Jeremy Clarskon is still an ass. GM issues formal recall notice for 30,000 Corvettes for the flying roof (delamination) issue. Corvette Racing finishes 1-2 in the inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston.
June: GM adds 4 Corvette and Cadillac dealerships in Ireland. AutoWeek rumor speculates that the Blue Devil/SS Corvette will be called the Sting Ray… No comment from GM. Corvette Scores Top 3 Ranking in JD Power Quality Award. Official pricing for the 2007 Corvette is announced. The Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green celebrates 25th anniversary. Gus Grissom’s 1967 Corvette listed on eBay. The former Astronaut’s Corvette had a high bid of $310,100 and was a no-sale. Corvette Racing wins the 24 Hours of LeMans. The National Corvette Museum delivers 1,000 Corvette for the year.
July: Corvette Racing takes second place at Lime Rock. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s 2005 Corvette is listed on eBay. The 2006 Model year closes out. 34,021 Corvettes were built during the model year. One rumor speculates the Blue Devil/SS Corvette will be named the Z07 while another one says the horsepower output will be in the 700 range. Neither rumor gains traction. Matthew McConaughey’s 1971 Corvette is listed on eBay. Proceeds from the sale to go to Oprah’s Angel Network. 2007 model year Corvette debuts, including the new Atomic Orange exterior color. Corvette Racing wins their 50th race at Portland. Corvette’s Assistant Engineer Tadge Juechter is elevated to the Corvette Chief Engineer position while Tom Wallace retains the Vehicle Line Engineer title. Motor Tend magazine speculates the Blue Devil/SS supervette will be called the Corvette Stingray.
August: MSRP pricing goes up across the board on Corvette, adds $3K to the price of a Z06. The Z06 Corvette paces the Brickyard 400. Corvette Ranks 2nd in JD Power Dependability Survey. Corvette Racing Finishes 1-2 at Road America.
September: Corvette Museum hosts the 5,000 new Corvette delivery as part of the R8C Museum Delivery Program. GM extends the powertrain warranty on Corvette and other GM vehicles to 5 years/100K miles. Overhaulin does a 1957 Corvette. Pro Team announces the Last Corvette will be sold at 2007′s Barrett-Jackson auction. Corvette Wins Motorist Choice Award.
October: Corvette Racing Third and Fourth at Petit LeMans. GM’s VP of Design Ed Welburn says the gold Chevy Bowtie will be appearing on the Corvette in the coming years. The first test mules of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette are photographed and published online. Corvette Wins 2 Strategic Vision Total Value Awards. The 1972 Corvette Convertible driven by Chris Tucker in the movie Rush Hour is listed on eBay. The National Corvette Museum details their expansion plans to add a library, diner and meeting areas to the existing Bowling Green facility. In the opposite direction are rumors about a V6 kappa-platform vehicle with a Corvette badge. Corvette Racing overcomes performance sanctions to sweep the ALMS Championships in the GT1 class. I finally became a member of the National Corvette Museum.
November: Consumer Digest names Corvette a “Best Buy”. Photos of a silver Blue Devil/SS test mule are posted all over the web. Corvette Wins AutoWeek Readers Choice Award. Ivan and Mary Shrodt donate $1.3 Million dollars to the Corvette Museum. Callaway Cars introduce the Callaway C16 at the LA Auto Show.
December: Kelley Blue Book unofficially names the Z06 Corvette as having the best resale value. Winding Road admits faking photos of the silver Blue Devil/SS test mule. Corvette added to Car & Driver 10 Best Cars List. Z06 Corvette names to Automobile All-Stars List.
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Irresponsible Speculation: Another Corvette Spy Photo?

by Keith Cornett on December 5, 2006

In the latest chapter of VetteGate (I sure hope we are nearing the end!) the debate that Winding Road wants you focus on is not how they mislead the public and their peers, but how this whole exercise has, according to Winding Road’s online editor Chris Paukert “opens up a valuable debate into the small but substantial economy that’s popped up around spy photography, and more honestly, artist’s renderings. Much of it is based disproportionately on speculation, and while some of that is healthy (especially when qualified as such), the issue of quality-control needs to be revisited. If that dialogue among readers, publications, and photographers is the unintended consequence of our story, that’s wonderful.” So in the spirit of said debate, I submit what appears to be a spy photo of an unknown prototype. It has the characteristic rear fascia and distinctive cue’s of a C5 Corvette. So perhaps Winding Road, with their infinite wisdom and ability to walk the high road and doing what’s best for the automotive community while looking down on the rest of us for irresponsible speculation, can please help me with my quality control. Because you know us dumb bloggers, if it says Corvette, we gotta run with it…

New Corvette Prototype?
Many of you have seen and commented about the letter I received from Winding Road asking me to remove their images from www.CorvetteBlogger.com. Here are five sites that are still posting their most valued “intellectual property”. I’ve contacted several of them and guess what? They have not been asked to remove the images: - http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2956978
- http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67032
- http://web.camaross.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487840
- http://forums.streetfire.net/showthread.php?t=13038&page=1&pp=10
- http://forums.finalgear.com/showthread.php?t=15174 Tomorrow, we will definitely be moving away from this story. All that’s been said, well has. Besides, the word coming from CorvetteConti.com is that there is a Special Edition White Z06 in works that could possibly show up at January’s Detroit Auto Show. Woo Hoo!!! Stay tuned for details!!! Image: Honda-Tech.com Related:
Winding Road Fakes Corvette SS Pics – Looses All Credibility
Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues
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Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues

by Keith Cornett on December 4, 2006

My interest in this story was beginning to wane. After three days of VetteGate – the creation of a fake Blue Devil/SS test mule by Winding Road for the expressed purpose of spreading misinformation across the Internet – I found that there wasn’t really much more to say. I see those following the story have divided into two separate camps. The first is the “It’s just a joke, get over it” camp for which most people that don’t have a Corvette are in, and the second is the “Where is the journalistic integrity” camp, where I fall into. So I was all set to move on. But then I got an email today from Winding Road’s Online Editor Chris Paukert, who asked me to remove the photos and story showing the creation of the fake Blue Devil SS:

Keith, Appreciate you chiming in on the faux Blue Devil ruse, even if your opinion is obviously different from that of our publication. It’s certainly a debate worth having, and we encourage you to continue to discuss the matter in your (and any other) forum. That said, by hosting and posting our copyrighted material, you are breaking the law, and we would appreciate it if you’d remove all Winding Road material immediately. You are welcome to link to our magazine or website (or, if you prefer not to do so, that is fine as well),but screen captures of our text and images are illegal and will be treated as such. http://www.corvetteblogger.com/index.cfm/2006/12/1/Winding-Road-Fakes-Corvette-SS-Pics–Looses-All-Credibility Please let us know of your compliance within 48 hours. Thank you for your time. Best, Chris Paukert
Online Editor
So here is where I see the hypocrisy in this request, which by the way, I have honored. Winding Road created a lie that they hoped would spread across the internet and it worked. AutoWeek, MotorTrend and others all picked up on the lie as well as enthusiast sites like the forums and of course, us. Winding Road didn’t spread the lie, but because they created it, they are ultimately responsible. Now, when it comes to the truth being told and setting the record straight, they don’t want that information out there. They want to control it. A publicity stunt where the prize is measured in page views and downloads. This is why their “ruse” as they put it, has ultimately caused them more backlash then I think they expected. Here are some quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy:
Chris Doane:
If I had to guess, Autoweek, Motor Trend and The Car Connection aren’t laughing. All of these outlets published the photos of the fake car on their websites believing it to be an authentic GM prototype. It was, after all, a fairly convincing forgery. Needless to say, this obviously doesn’t make those outlets look good in the credibility department. Some of you may think these media outlets don’t have any credibility to begin with. That’s fine if you think that, but we’re talking solely about this particular incident. Brenda Priddy:
I was a bit disappointed when I heard about the “prank”. Frankly, my major concern was that our actual “spy photos” would lose their value – their creditability. I’ve already had dozens of e-mails from readers questioning our Blue Devil / Stingray photos, which are in fact actual General Motors’ prototypes.
I take the stance that had this prank been pulled by a couple of guys somewhere, well okay, very funny, you got me. For years the media tells us not to believe what we see on the Internet. Those of us who make their living online certainly know that to be true, and Winding Road should too. There is an old saying about how a bear doesn’t shit in his own cave. And that’s exactly what Winding Road did. They were the bear and we were the cave. It’s just now dawning on them they have to live in the cave too. Source: AutoBlog.com | Winding Road Disclaimer: I did not speak nor solicit the quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy directly. Therefore, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of said quotes at this time. While they did come from a respected online automotive blog, unless I get a sworn deposition that is notarized and contains verifiable DNA from both Mr. Doane and Ms. Priddy, we will not be able to stand behind these remarks as either truthful or accurate. Welcome to the new world of automotive journalism, courtesy of Winding Road.

We got duped, folks. Not just me, either. Every Corvette fan that has been following the development of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette was suckered along with all the automotive blogs and “legitimate” magazines that have followed the story. Winding Road calls the print article “Gamesmanship: The Corvette WR”. The ruse? To build a Blue Devil/SS Corvette mule in the hopes that it would be photographed and published on competitors magazines and websites. Here are the November 16th photos of the Blue Devil/SS and the accompanying story that a student named “Yonni G” just happened to be cruising near Milford and just happened to have his dad’s camera and just happen to be quick enough to squeeze off a couple frames..

Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Yonni’s Comments:
“As I was driving I saw the prototype way ahead of me on the road, and it looked like a really aggressive Corvette. Luckily I had borrowed my dad’s camera for a project at school and had it with me in the car and snapped some shots as it passed by. The car was amazing! It sounded very powerful and definitely did not seem like your everyday Corvette.
So, before I get to my comments about how Winding Road just threw its credibility out the window, here are the images from their Jan 07 print edition:

    • Charles D. Fowler, III: I stopped subsribing to both after many years, and within a year or two of even having a “feature” article accepted and published, after meeting Corvette Fever execs at Carlisle. With the merger, I...
    • Jeff McKay: I also asked a local dealer and they knew nothing about it. How do I order it myself? I think that would be faster than trying to convince them they should know about it.
    • CrystalKnight: I have always loved the 63, one of my favorite classics of all time, and I have had a many sports cars…, owned and loved the C5 even though it was heavy and underpowered, owned and loved the C6 convertible. ….I...
    • CrystalKnight: I have always loved the 63, one of my favorite classics of all time, and I have had a many sports cars…, owned and loved the C5 even though it was heavy and underpowered, owned and loved the C6 convertible. ….I...
    • tonyman262: I have an 89 C4 & an 07 C6, both white. After seeing the CUE system; the daughter may get the 07, I NEED a C7 with the CUE system. The 89 C4 stays with me. The C7 (artic white of course) could just end up being the new...
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