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Vettes in the News

SEMA’s Outrageous C6 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on November 1, 2006

The SEMA Show that is currently going on in Las Vegas is the place to see cars and trucks that have been customized to the extreme. And the Outrageous C6 Corvette sponsored by Mid America Motorworks, Sony and Custom Shop fits right into the debauchery of automotive excess on the famed Las Vegas strip. “It takes something special to capture enthusiasts’ attention at automotive events,” said Mike Yager, founder and Chief Cheerleader of Mid America Motorworks. “The Outrageous C6 Corvette is everything we wanted, and more.” The Corvette features a Pro Charger supercharger, Corsa Exhaust, vertical-opening doors and a ton of body panel enhancement. It’s not all show, it will go with an estimated 650 horsepower. The custom leather interior features Ostrich leather and Alcantara synthetic suede. The synthetic fabric provides the look and feel of suede, without the maintenance. But the purveyors of Corvette excess didn’t stop there. Sony dropped in a 5600 watt sound system that damn near takes up the whole cargo area.

Outrageous C6 Corvette Outrageous C6 Corvette Outrageous C6 Corvette
Wargo contacted Mid America Motorworks with a request for a totally new and striking interior for his latest Corvette creation. “I wanted the inside of the car to look as dramatic as the exterior. Mid America Motorworks was my first choice because I know what they can do with interiors. And they certainly came through,” said Wargo. “The C6 Corvette is the perfect platform for performance and styling enhancements,” said Wargo. “When we were done, you still know it is a Corvette, but it is unlike any Corvette you have ever seen.” Can’t make it out to Vegas to see this special C6? Don’t worry, apparently it will be on tour of all the major Corvette Shows in 2007. Source: Gizmag.com
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A V6 Corvette? Hell No Chevy!!!

by Keith Cornett on October 20, 2006

A Kappa-Platform Corvette?Jesus, I go out of town for a couple of days, and the Corvette world just goes to pieces. CorvetteConti.com drops the bomb that his inside sources say yes to a V6 powered kappa platform vehicle wearing a Corvette badge. While Corvettes in the past have offered buyers significantly different powerplants in the past (small blocks and big blocks), this would be a radical departure for Chevrolet: Two completely separate body style models. One the regular Corvette, the other is a mini-vette built on the kappa platform (think Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky),

There has always been talk of an entry level model for Corvettes. The car is a money-maker, it’s got history and enthusiasts that live and breathe Corvette. The success of the Solstice is fueling this effort and the geniuses are GM are probably trying to figure out how they can get a kappa platform for Chevrolet without competing with Corvette. Previous efforts for an entry-level Corvette never really materialized. Conti reminds us that the 99 Hardtop was supposed to be a stripped down Corvette with less power, 17 inch wheels and cloth seats. Thankfully someone (Dave Hill?) stepped in and instead the Z06 was unleashed as the hardtop model.

The only reason Chevy would want to call this car a Corvette is for name recognition. We are in New Coke territory here, folks. Nothing else about this car screams Corvette. Instead of mucking (put an F on it!) up the name of the greatest American Sports Car in history, why not just dig deep into the recesses of Chevy musclecardome and bring back something nostalgic like the Chevelle or Nova. Both are names that lend themselves to performance and affordability, and both names would be seen as Chevy trying to bring Sexy Back like they’ve done with the Camaro.

You boys at Chevrolet better get this right the first or there will be hell to pay from your loyal base. While Corvette people are some of the greatest in the world, this mini-vette and the people that drive it would initially be shunned. That’s right, you can drive your kappa Corvette, but you have to eat lunch at the kids table. Only grownups are allowed at the REAL Corvette table.


Source:
CorvetteConti.com

 

2006 Z06 CorvetteI just stumbled across this podcast from Open Road Podcast which was posted September 22nd. The discussion of the Z06 Corvette by the commentators covers the good, the bad and the ugly of the new Z06 Corvette. Mr. Black, as the story goes, finally coaxed a Z06 loaner from GM for a week and the podcast covers the countless burnouts, powerslides and the phenomenal horsepower of the 7.0 liter engine. His comments on the failings of the Z06 are blunt though so don’t get expect a puff piece. His rant about the interior and gearbox may be useful to those within the Corvette engineering/design team. Following the Z06 review is some talk about the Blue Devil/Stingray/SS Corvette. The last part of the conversation details the design of the C7 Corvette. Supposedly, the car is in now in the design stage and from sources who are knowledgeable of the project say that it has some overtones of the Midyear Coupe without being too retro looking. Specifically the term “Split Window” was used. Hmmm…. The guys behind the Open Road Podcasts are consultants within the auto industry and therefore their pseudo names (Mr. Black, Mr. White, Mr. Blonde) allow them to discuss insider information without fear of prosecution. These guys were a lot of fun to listen to and this particular podcast was a great listen. You can download the podcast from their website or subscribe to the Open Road Podcast at iTunes. Source: Open Road Podcast
Image: CorvetteImages.com
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Corvette Wins 2 Strategic Vision Total Value Awards

by Keith Cornett on October 9, 2006

2006 CorvetteBoth the Corvette Coupe and Convertible won their classes in the annual Strategic Vision Total Value Awards. The awards are based on an index which factors economic issues against the total new vehicle ownership experience. The factors that make up the index include reliability, a solid warranty, strong anticipated resale value, durability and innovation. The Corvette Coupe won its class of “Small Specialty over $25,000″ with an index score of 798. The Mercedes-Benz CL Class Coupe was second with a score of 790 and the BMW 3-Series Coupe was third at 784. The average score for the class was 762. The Corvette Convertible won its class of “Convertibles of $30,000″ with an index score of 789. The BMW Z4 Roadster was second with a score of 778 and the Porsche Boxster came in third with a score of 775. The average index in the Convertibles over $30,000 was 755. GM was the top domestic corporation and won 4 Total Value Segments, three of which were won by Chevrolet products. Other GM winners included the Saturn Vue, winning the Small SUV segment and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 which won the Heavy Duty Pickup segment.

“GM’s new warranty will bring new prospective buyers to the brand, who otherwise might have felt the quality, durability and value was missing,” said Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision automotive research group. “If GM can communicate the right quality cues and value in current and future vehicles, then they will be poised for success in the near future.”
Source: Strategic Visions, Inc.
Image: CorvetteImages.com
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Corvette Number 002 Found?

by Keith Cornett on October 4, 2006

C1 Corvette Ken Amrick is reporting in the Fall 2006 issue of On Solid Ground that the body from Corvette #002 may have been located. On Solid Ground is the publication of the Solid Axle Corvette Club. Many modifications and oddities about the early Corvette body appear to be consistent with records showing that body No. 002 served as a test car for production Corvettes, including whether the then-developmental small-block V-8 would work in the two-seater. GM records show body No. 002 was assigned duty as an engineering test vehicle (and assigned No. 3951), and was used in various V-8 design tests, as well as cooling system, 12-volt power, Powerglide and exhaust development. The body that was recently found was removed when car No. 3951 received a new body in May 1955. There are some interesting characterists to the body believed to be that of #002. They include: • The body has a one-piece floor, thought only to exist among the first 12 Corvette bodies. • The fiberglass finish is extremely crude, especially in trunk and behind seats, per early cars. • The right-side inner fender has been reworked to fit a 12-volt battery. • The brake pedal arm and emergency brake have differences from any other Corvette. • Several sets of holes in the firewall indicate multiple placements of heater motor and hoses. • The normal exhaust holes were covered with factory-type materials, and there is evidence that extra exhaust holes were cut in rear fenders, as on 1956-’57 V-8 models. An early photograph known to be of body No. 002 shows two sets of exhaust holes, and they are in the same location on the body of the car in question. The earliest known Corvette still existing is No. 003, which has been restored to show condition and sold at the 2006 Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale for $1 million dollars. Corvette No. 001 is known to have been destroyed in a burn test by General Motors. I’m hoping that there will be more details about this historic find including how, where and when. Keep in mind as well that we are not talking about a complete Corvette, only the original body. We’ll try to post more details when they are released. Source: Old Cars Weekly
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Our friends at DigitalCorvettes.com landed themselves a big one last night, as the first photos of the Blue Devil/Stingray/Z07 Corvette have finally been posted. Head over to read an interview with photographer Chris Doane, who needed 15-20 minutes just to get in front of supercharged ‘Vette to take some photos.

Blue Devil Corvette 1966 Corvette
Source: DigitalCorvettes.com
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Corvette To Display the Chevrolet Bow-Tie?

by Keith Cornett on October 3, 2006

Z06 with a Bow-TieGM’s VP of Design Ed Welburn was on the weekly Autoline Detroit television show and discussed the increasing design synergy across Chevy models with a common design theme becoming obvious in the coming years. The host pointed out that the gold bow-tie emblem doesn’t appear prominently on the Corvette and Welburn responded by saying this is likely to change. “The gold bowtie will be there,” he said. “There is a strong signature grille that we are developing for all Chevys,” Welburn explained. “We will depart a bit in the grille area […] but that bowtie will be there on every Chevy.” Let me tell you two things that Chevrolet won’t do. There will not be an integration of a “common grille theme” on the Corvette, and second, the Chevrolet Bow-Tie will not be a predominant feature on the Corvette. Look at the photo. Because the Corvette depends on a massive flow of air, the design does not lend itself to having a traditional grille period. So yeah, you can bet your ass there won’t be a common grille theme on the Corvette. For 50 years Corvettes have had their own distinct logo. Everyone already knows that a Corvette is made by Chevrolet. The bow-tie is already integrated into the Corvette logo itself. As you can see at DigitalCorvettes.com, owners are already up in arms against the idea. As the photo illustration from CorvetteConti.com shows, it’s a pretty silly thought and should be dismissed by Tom Wallace immediately. Instead of logos and symbols, GM needs to transfer the attributes that made Corvette great (quality, performance and unique style) to the rest of the Chevrolet lineup. Source: Leftlane News Update
Here is a link to Autoline Detroit where the show can be viewed online.
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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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