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Vettes in the News

Corvette: The 2007 Year in Review

by Keith Cornett on December 27, 2007

There was much afoot for Corvette in 2007. Three special edition Corvettes were unveiled to buyers both domestically and in Europe. We saw the regular production Corvette break through to new levels in performance, specifically with the introduction of Corvette’s LS3 460 hp V8 engine on the 2008 Corvette. But the biggest news of the year comes from the introduction of the 2009 Corvette ZR1. With the amount of hype and speculation surrounding the blue devil/SS/ZR1 Corvette in 2007, this summary of news events could have easily been called “2007: The year of the Corvette ZR1″ due to the amount of coverage that any tidbit or spy photo of the Blue Devil/SS/ZR1 generated. But there is more to Corvette than just the ZR1. Check out our annual Year in Review for more on America’s Sports Car:

January

The renewal of Chevrolet’s Trademark on the ZR1 opens the door to speculation about the official name of the Corvette’s Blue Devil project. The National Corvette Museum celebrated the 10th anniversary of the unveiling of the 1997 Corvette, the first of the C5 Corvettes. Bob Lutz comments on horsepower war with the Dodge Viper SRT10 and throws down the challenge about how important it is for the Corvette “to be the most powerful, most capable, best handling sports car in the United States.” Corvette Racing announces they will be back in 2007 to defend their ALMS crowns despite the lack of a serious competitor in the GT1 class. The Last Sting Ray sold for $660,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale. Callaway’s production C16 coupe debuts at the Montreal Auto Show. Corvette was unveiled as the 2007 Daytona 500 Pace Car.

February

GM Simultaneously confirms production of two limited edition Corvettes: The Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Corvette Z06 and a replica of the 2007 Indianapolis Pace car. GM Europe launches a special “Lemans Victory” Edition Corvette for European Corvette buyers. The Ron Fellows Z06 and the Indy 500 replica Corvette Pace Car make their first appearance at the Chicago Auto Show. Bob Lutz confirms the Blue Devil Corvette will be headed for showrooms in the summer of 2009 as a 2010 Corvette. The Blue Devil Corvette becomes known now as the Corvette SS. An shipping company employee takes close up photos of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette and posts them online. He is subsequently fired.

March

Corvette finishes first in class and second overall in Consumer Report’s Owner Satisfaction Survey. Rick Conti moves from Spitzer Chevrolet to EVS Chevrolet in Random Lake, Wisconsin. Corvette Racing’s C6.Rs finished first and second at the 12 Hours of Sebring. One of the Corvettes is a replica of the special edition Ron Fellows Z06 Corvette. Mid America Motorwork’s Mike Yager named to the Top 50 Car Collector List.

April

Gavin/Beretta win the GT1 class at St. Petersburg. GM Europe launches the Corvette Performance Academy. Two new colors for the 2008 Corvette are introduced. They are Jetstream Blue Metallic and Crystal Red Metallic. Gavin/Beretta win third straight at Long Beach. O’Connell/Magnussen claim the checkered flag at the Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston. GM releases official information about the 2008 Corvette. Changes included a new LS3 engine with base horsepower output of 430 and a refined interior.

May

Popular Mechanics captures spy photos of a red Corvette Blue Devil/SS mule. A week later two new spy photos show the hood of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette having a polycarbonate see-through panel. Source Interlink purchases PRIMEDIA’s Enthusiast Media group which includes Corvette Fever and Vette Magazines. Speculation runs about a 4-door Corvette after an “off-the-cuff” remark from Bob Lutz. Actor Patrick Dempsey piloted the 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace car during the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500. Proteam Corvette’s Terry Michaelis starts his own Corvette Blog.

June

The 2007 Corvette Convertible won its class in the Strategic Vision Total Quality Index awards. A 1953 Corvette sells for $440,000 at the McMullen Auction outside Detroit. Vette Dog’s internet TV show featuring Patrick Gramm of DigitalCorvettes.com makes its debut. Corvette Racing takes to LeMans for defense of its GT1 crown. The #64 Corvette C6.R dropped out early in race while the #63 Corvette was able to finish the rain-plagued course in Second place. Pricing for the 2008 Corvettes is announced by GM. Bloomington Gold Auction tops $8.2 Million in Corvette Sales. Corvette enthusiasts nationwide celebrate Drive Your Corvette to Work Day. Final 2007 Corvette figures are released.

July

Gavin/Beretta rebound from LeMans DNF to win Lime Rock. LG Motorsports dynos the 2008 Corvette with the new LS3. Popular Mechanic’s Jim Dunne publishes his “Corvette SS Myths Debunked” article. The Corvette is rated by AskMen.com as a Top 10 American Invention. Internet Brands purchases the CorvetteForum.com for an undisclosed amount. Members become angry when Google ads start showing up in their posts. Gavin/Beretta win at Mid-Ohio. The Corvette Z06 is chosen at the pace car for the Allstate Brickyard 400. Corvette’s finish First and Third at the Circuit du Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

August

Motor Trend hits the streets with their 2008 Corvette test drive edition. Corvette win at Road America. Autoextremist’s Peter De Lorenzo rants about how GM may greenlight a Mid-Engined C7 Corvette. A powerful storm moved through Pennsylvania, striking the fairgrounds where Corvettes of Carlisle was held, causing havoc and leaving several with injuries. In other Corvettes at Carlisle news, sales results of the new in-house Corvette auction are lackluster as only 32% of Corvettes in auction are sold. O’Connell and Magnussen win at Mosport. A third Corvette Racing team featuring Fellows and Pilgrim finished third. During a string of auctions held in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, $2.5 million worth of Corvettes were sold. Popular Mechanics published spy photos of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette, this time painted in Velocity Yellow.

September

Motor Trend announces that the Blue Devil/SS Corvette will be badged as the ZR1 and will be introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Spy Photographer Brenda Priddy captures the Blue Devil/SS/ZR1 on video for the first time. The video makes it appearance at FastLaneDaily.com. 300 Corvettes were displayed on the retired USS Lexington aircraft carrier in Corpus Christi. The event raised nearly $60,000 for charity. Picket Lines form outside the Bowling Green Assembly Plant as UAW workers are ordered to strike. The walkout ends two days later as GM and UAW reach agreement on healthcare and job security. Keith Martin launches a specialty magazine called “Keith Martin’s Corvette Market”. The quarterly magazine focuses on the collecting and investment aspects of Corvettes. Wayne Scraba steps down as editor of the NCRS Corvette Restorer magazine. Vette Dogs wraps production following 10 episodes. Season Two is promised featuring new characters.

October

The GM/UAW deal opens the door to much speculation including the year of introduction of the C7 Corvette (2012) and new features of the C7 that include all wheel drive and a dual-clutch transmission. Kappa platform production will also shift to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant as part of the GM/UAW deal. Gavin/Beretta clinch GT1 Championship with a victory at Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta. Lou Gigliotti and Bill Riley announce they will field an ALMS GT2 C6 Corvette in 2008. Kentucky State Representative C.B. Embry files a bill proclaiming the Corvette as the official sports car of Kentucky. Bad Boy Vettes convinces Corvette Racing for a makeover for final race of the 2007 ALMS schedule. The repaint features mascot Jake on the sides and hoods of the two Corvette C6.Rs. Mecum’s St. Charles auction produces $2.8 million in Corvette Sales. Included in the sale was a 1967 427/435 L71 which sold for $393,750 and a 1968 L88 Corvette which took the top sales price at $446,250. A yellow Corvette ZR1 makes an appearance at Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey. The one-lap around the track was the subject of blog posts and forum conversations for days. Gavin/Beretta win the battle of the C6.R Corvettes at Laguna Seca. Ron Fellows wins fans choice as ALMS Most Popular Driver. Jay Leno’s E85 powered Corvette C6RS steals the show at SEMA. A limited production version is announced for 2008.

November

American Supercar’s 1963 Twin Turbo V7 was introduced at SEMA. Another 1953 Corvette sells for $440,000 at Hilton Head’s Concours d’Elegance. Corvette Racing puts the #3 Corvette C6.R up for sale. Selling Price? $650,000. The Z06 Corvette was chosen to pace the 50th Anniversary race of the Daytona 500. In acknowledgement of the golden anniversary, the Corvette Z06 Pace car is decked out in “Anniversary Gold” with Red, White and Blue racing stripes. Several Auto Blogging sites including Jalopnik run GM promotional photos of the new LS9 6.2L V8 that will power the Blue Devil/SS/ZR1. The National Corvette Museum begins its $9 million expansion that will ad 47,000 sq ft to the facility. The addition will include a library and archives area, expanded gift show and conference center.

December

Several significant Corvettes sell at the Wiseman Auction in Tarpon Springs, Florida. A 1955 Corvette owned by Zora Arkus-Duntov sells for $134,750 and a matched set of Corvettes, #39 1953 Corvette, #39 2003 Corvette, and a #39 Corvette pedal car, sell for $390,500. A 1965 Corvette cutaway display sells for $704,000. Corvette Quarterly shows the video that was taken from inside in the Corvette Blue Devil/SS/ZR1 during October’s hot lap of Laguna Seca. Corvette Racing announced that they will return to defend their ALMS crowns in 2008. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 is officially announced. The groundbreaking Corvette is expected to generate 620 horses and cost around $100,000. Those two final details are expected in early 2008.


Related:
Corvette: The 2006 Year in Review

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Corvette’s 2008 Indy Pace Car Unveiling Date Set

by Keith Cornett on December 12, 2007

The Corvette has been chosen yet again to pace the world’s greatest race, the Indianapolis 500. On December 27th the curtain will be raised on the 2008 design and you can be there as part of a National Corvette Museum fundraiser. The NCM was given 19 tickets to the event and they are being sold for $100 each. The ticket admits you to the Indiana Convention Center/RCA Dome in Indianapolis to witness the unveiling of the newest Corvette pace car. The event also includes a Chevrolet Exhibit with displays of a Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, a Camaro Convertible and of course the 2008 Indianapolis Pace Car. There is also mention of a surprise display called the Flying Corvette. We will have to wait and see what that is all about. Finally lunch will be provided to participants in the ballroom, which is your chance to “mix and mingle” with representatives from GM and Chevrolet. Tickets to the event can be reserved at the National Corvette Museum’s website. Click here for details. Related:
Corvette Z06 Chosen to Pace 50th Daytona 500 in 2008 Technorati Tags:
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ZR-What? Corvette C6RS coming April 2008

by Keith Cornett on November 5, 2007

Pratt & Miller's Corvette C6RSPratt & Miller wants you to forget all about the ZR-1, the 650 hp supercharged Uber-Vette due sometime next year. The big hype over the last view days has been reverberating from SEMA with the revelation that the famed race car builders will be producing an ultra limited number of Corvette C6RS, the 8.2 liter E85 powered Corvette with an exterior inspired by Corvette Racing’s C6.Rs. Only 25 Corvette C6RS are planned with deliveries beginning April 2008, however the entry fee into this unique club is stiff: $185,000 plus a C6 donor car. The Corvette C6RS is unique in so many ways and the E85 angle must drive environmentalists crazy. Yet, for the cost of two new ZR-1 Corvettes, is the Corvette C6RS worth the price? As someone pointed out. You’re essentially buying into the association with Pratt & Miller more than the car itself so if you can pony up the $200 large for an ultra cool C6RS, make sure you do it right by providing a velocity yellow donar car and then slapping a number #4 (or #64) on its side and painting Jake on the B-Piller when its complete. With Chevrolet offering what will essentially by four models next year: coupe, convertible, Z06 and ZR1, the tuners in the Corvette enthusiast market will need to push their designs to a new level if they want to succeed in their niche. Despite the costs of ownership, Pratt & Miller has created a winner with its 600 horsepower E85 powerplant and race-inspired carbon fiber panels.
Source:
PrattMillerC6RS.com Related:
Video: Jay Leno’s E85 C6RS Corvette Reveal
Green Gets Mean: The Skinny on Jay Leno’s E85 Corvette C6RS Technorati Tags:
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Corvette: The Official Sports Car of Kentucky

by Keith Cornett on October 10, 2007

Kentucky State Representative C.B. Embry (R) filed a bill for the upcoming Kentucky General Assembly that would officially designate Corvette as the states official sports car. The bill would server to honor General Motors “For locating the [Bowling Green Assembly] facility with us. They have over 900 jobs there that pay very well” said the Representative. The bill doesn’t have any co-sponsors yet, but Embry expects broad support for the bill when the legislature convenes in January. The bill shies from naming the Corvette as “Official Car” due to several other assembly plants located in the state that make the Ford Explorer, Ford F-Series Super Duty Trucks and the Toyota Camry. Embry concludes that “there would be a controversy to name it as the official state vehicle.”
Source:
Louisville Courier-Journal Related:
Corvette Assembly Plant Celebrates 25th Anniversary Technorati Tags:
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Corvette, Orioles Give Ripken Sendoff to Hall of Fame

by Keith Cornett on July 25, 2007

Cal Ripken Jr, the ironman of professional baseball was the center of attention Wednesday night at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Entering the field in a convertible Corvette, he made his way down the right-field foul line tossing balls into the throngs of fans in the stands.

Cal Ripken Tours Camden Yards in a Corvette
Tonight’s event precedes Ripkin’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. While being known for his all time record of 2,632 consecutive games played, Ripkin is also a member of 3,000 hit club and a 19-time All Star. So other than the picture of Cal in a Corvette, why do I bring this up on a Corvette blog? I’m not even a casual fan of baseball, but I think it’s important to remember that in our current climate of sports scandals, NBA’s betting ref or the NFL’s Vick and dog fighting allegations, there are sports heroes that kids and grownups alike can look to, and Ripken is certainly a person that deserves a victory lap in a Convertible Corvette.
Source:
MLB.com Related:
Video: Real Life Superhero Drives A 1975 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Callaway C16 Speedster to Make Debut at Pebble Beach

by Keith Cornett on July 23, 2007

Callaway Cars released the details of the third model in the C16 lineup today and by all accounts this is the most electric. The C16 Speedster, which its increased horsepower and chopped wind deflectors is the ultimate in topless driving. Two humps rise behind the seats to help with airflow although the thought of pushing the 700 hp car to its 210 mph limit makes me a bit queasy. The C16 Speedster is the third such model in Callaway’s 30 year history. Paul Deutschman, who designed the original 1990′s Callaway Speedster was the designer behind the C16 model. Every body panel is designed with aerodynamics in mind. The signature Callaway badge decorates the car inside and out.

The Callaway C16 Speedster The Callaway C16 Speedster The Callaway C16 Speedster
The heart of this Corvette derivative is a 6.2 liter supercharged intercooled V8 which produces 700 hp and 660 lbs of torque. Estimated 0-60 is 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 210 mph. A newly developed coil-over suspension allows the driver to customize the settings for specific road conditions. Unique to the Callaway C16 line is its carbon wheels that weight 40% less than the lightest aluminum wheels. They feature forged magnesium spiders surrounded by carbon fiber rims. 19′s on the front and 20′s in the rear complete the speedster look. The C16 Speedster will makes its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 19, 2007. Production models will be available this fall and the MSRP is just north of $300,000. The good news? For that much money, the C16 is completely tailored to the buyer’s specifications including interior and exterior colors.
Source:
Callaway Cars via AutoBlog.com Related:
Production Callaway C16 Debuts at Montreal
Callaway C16 To Go Topless in New York Technorati Tags:
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Internet Brands Buys CorvetteForum.com

by Keith Cornett on July 19, 2007

The Corvette ForumTroy Roberts has announced the sale of CorvetteForum.com to Internet Brands. The notice showed up today on the front page of the forum and links to an official announcement created this afternoon. Internet Brands runs several car related websites including CarsDirect.com and Autos.com as well as develops the vBulletin forum software that powers the forum. Other forums announced in the acquisistion include LS1Tech, AudiWorld.com and MustangForum.com. According to the post by Roberts, the plan will be for the Corvette Forum to remain as a stand alone site, and additions in content and features will be coming soon. The Forum was founded in early 1999 and is widely regarded as the largest in our niche with over 110,000 members. Our classified ads website VetteFinders.com has been a sponsor of the site since 2001. CorvetteForum.com recently made the leap to new, faster servers provided by Internet Brands. According to the FAQ of the sale, Internet Brands will be providing infrastructure and technology resources for the site.
Source
CorvetteForum.com via Alarm:Clock Related:
Source Interlink Buys Publisher of Corvette Fever for $1.2 Billion Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Coins and their Ilk Cheapen the Brand

by Keith Cornett on June 30, 2007

Corvette CoinsI started seeing these coins on CNBC a couple of days ago. Some podunk country offers up their coinage to some “collectors” mint who designs a coin that is an exclusive legal, non-circulating tender. Oh, and it’s such a limited deal that you can only buy five. Give me a break. These are simply trinkets that are designed to do one thing and one thing only. Separate you from your money. And since when is .925 considered pure? As a Corvette owner, you obviously have some discretionary money to spend. Are you so gullible to allow these predatory companies think they can separate you from your money simply because it has a Corvette logo on it? Reminds me vaguely of the dialogue in the Chris Farley movie Tommy Boy. Rewritten, it would sound like this, “You could take a dump in a box and then slap a Corvette logo on it and then some sap would feel good about it, and would buy it.” See what I’m saying? In the end, all you really have left is a box of crap that won’t get you three bucks on eBay. You’d be better off putting the $19.95 (plus $4.95 shipping and handling) in your gas tank and going for half a days cruise. Or buy that one little part that you’ve been putting off forever. Me? I think I’m finally going to order that hubcap inset that I lost oh, three or four years ago. For those of you who haven’t see the commercial, it’s playing on Jalopnik.com For those of you who just have to have it because, gasp, it celebrates the 100 year anniversary of GM, order your box of crap Corvette Coins at CorvetteDollar.com
Source:
CorvetteDollar.com
Jalopnik.com Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Fever MagazineSource Interlink, a distributor of magazines, CD’s and DVDs in supermarkets, discount stores and bookstores announce yesterday that they have agreed to purchase PRIMEDIA’s Enthusiast Media division for $1.2 billion dollars. The Enthusiast Media group is made up of 70 specialty magazines, 90 special interest websites and 65 events. The group posted revenue of $525 million in 2006. Corvette Fever and Vette Magazine are both published by the Enthusiast Media group, along with MotorTrend, Hot Rod and Automobile magazines. The purchase of PRIMEDIA’s Enthusiast Media Group establishes Source Interlink as a vertically integrated company that will publish the magazines and then distribute them in over 110,000 retails stores throughout North America.
Source:
The Tampa Tribune Related:
PRIMEDIA Selling Corvette Fever, Vette Magazines Technorati Tags:
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Patrick DempseyActor Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Sheperd on the hit TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”, was named the driver of the 2007 Corvette convertible Pace Car at the 91st Indianapolis 500. The worlds largest single-day spectator event is scheduled for Sunday, May 27th. While Dempsey is know for his acting work, he is no stranger to auto racing. Dempsey is a co-owner of IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 team Vision Racing. He also drives in selected sports car races for Hyper Sport Racing and off-road events.

“Most people recognize Patrick Dempsey from his on-screen endeavors,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “But among the racing community, where Chevy plays a role globally, he is known as a dedicated car and racing enthusiast. Being accustomed to high performance cars and racetracks, he’s a great candidate to drive the Pace Car, and he’ll no doubt appreciate the Corvette’s power and handling abilities.”

Source:
National Corvette Museum Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500 Technorati Tags:
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