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 Americaâ€™s Sports Car:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Corvette: The 2006 Year in Review