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Vettes in the News

Corvette Assembly Plant Celebrates 25th Anniversary

by Keith Cornett on June 13, 2006

Back in 1979 when word got out of a possible move of the General Motors Corvette plant from St. Louis to Bowling Green, workers thought it was a ploy during contract negotiations. But GM was serious about moving the home of the Corvette and after considering sites in Waco, Texas, Wichita, Kansas and Montgomery Alabama, the General settled on Bowling Green, Kentucky. Two years later, the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line. The date was June 1, 1981. This month the Bowling Green Assembly Plant celebrates its 25th anniversary and the Bowling Green Daily News has put together a special online section detailing everything from the ups and downs of the plant to how the city has become an automotive mecca since the building of the Corvette Museum. Along the way we learn about the four general managers who have guided the plant during the last 25 years and the challenges each of them faced as well as some of the stories from the 900 workers from St. Louis who made the move with Corvette. Click here to read Celebrating 25 Years of Corvette in Bowling Green presented by The Daily News. The section is presented as printed in the newspaper, but all the pages are clickable to enlarge for reading.
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JD Power’s Annual Initial Quality Study measures new-vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership and once again Corvette scored very well in its class. For the Premium Sporty Car Category, Corvette tied for third with the Mercedes-Benz SL Class. Leading the category was the Lexus SC 430 and second place went to the Porsche 911. The annual survey was redesigned for 2006 to capture problems experienced by owners in two categories: Quality of Design and Quality of Production. Chevrolet as an automaker had an average of 124 problems per 100 vehicles, which was also the industry average. Porsche had the best rating at 91 and Land Rover was the worst at 204 problems per 100 vehicles. In ranking the Big 3, Chrysler scored a 120 and Ford came in at 127. Source: JD Power & Associates
Image Credit: CorvetteImages.com
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Corvette Blue Devil to be Called Sting Ray

by Keith Cornett on June 8, 2006

AutoWeek, which last month broke the news that the Blue Devil program is a go in an interview with Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace, reports today that the Corvette Blue Devil project is now being referred to internally as the Sting Ray. Production of the $100,000 Supercharged 7.0-liter 600-hp V8 Sting Ray may start sooner rather than later with units available as soon as 2007, although it’s our guess that it would be a 2008 model available during the summer/fall of ’07. Bits and pieces of the Sting Ray project have been leaked over the past few months with rumors swirling around a Kappa platform project, as well as a special edition Corvette being built for 2007. However, this is the first report that puts them all together as a Corvette project. AutoWeek says that the Blue Devil name was used to get the attention of GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner, who graduated from Duke. That name also allowed the PR guys to “smile slyly” as they claimed there were no plans for a Blue Devil Corvette. Source: Autoweek via Left Lane News
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Normally I shy away from stories like these, but sometimes they are just too unbelievable not to post. So here it is as posted by KESQ in Palm Springs: HAYWARD, Calif. A motorist who sped through a Hayward cemetery in an apparent road-rage pursuit of another car is dead after crashing into a mausoleum. Hayward police say the driver of a classic 1967 Corvette was killed when he skidded out of control and totaled his car this morning at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. The identity of the 52-year-old man was not immediately released. Police say he was chasing a Mercedes-Benz convertible through the cemetery after an apparent argument on a nearby street. Mourners watching a nearby burial witnessed the crash. Police say a pair of crypts inside the mausoleum were jarred open, but the caskets inside were not damaged. The Mercedes driver is being sought as a witness but is not thought to have caused the crash. Source: KESQ NewsChannel 3

Corvettes Go Irish

by Keith Cornett on June 1, 2006

Corvette and Cadillac dealers have been appointed for 4 Irish cities including Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Waterford said Eddie Kavanagh, who is the Sales Director for Cadillac and Corvette Ireland. “These are two of the best know car brands worldwide and we are delighted to bring them to Irish motorists” said Kavanagh. The move continues GM’s expansion into foreign markets. Last month it was reported that GM was also considering setting up a sales distribution chain in Australia for Corvette. Source: Roscommon Herald
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May’s Corvette Deliveries Up 3.5%

by Keith Cornett on June 1, 2006

GM reported today that Corvette deliveries were up 3.5% with 3,317 total sales in May 2006 vs 3,078 total sales in May 2005. For the year, GM has sold 16,125 Corvettes, up 13.4% from 2005 figures of 14,217. Source: GM
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ProTeam Corvette Opening Annex in Auburn

by Keith Cornett on May 30, 2006

ProTeam Corvettes, the largest classic Corvette dealer in the world, will be opening a 30,000 square foot showroom in Auburn, Indiana. The space will allow ProTeam to showcase between 70-100 Corvettes. The ProTeam annex will be located in the American heritage Village across from the Kruse International Auction Park.

“The annex will mirror what we’re doing in Napoleon,” said ProTeam President Terry Michaelis. “We’ll draw off each other’s inventories, selling from stock in both locations.”
ProTeam chose Auburn because of its proximity to the company’s headquarters in Napoleon, OH and Fort Wayne, IN, which is home to a large number of Corvette collections can enthusiasts. Another big selling point was the closeness of the Kruse International Auction Park.
Dean Kruse, President of Kruse International said, “We are enthused about having the world’s largest Corvette operation as part of our overall automotive complex. We hope that this expansion will greatly benefit ProTeam, and we are willing to do whatever to ensure his success in Auburn.”
ProTeam has assembled the largest collection of classic Corvettes for sale in the world with 150-200 Corvettes for sale at any one time. Their headquarters in Napoleon features 60,000 square feet of showrooms and restoration facilities. Click here to visit ProTeam Corvette Source: FortWayne.com
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Z06 Corvette Engine Plant Running at 120% Capacity

by Keith Cornett on May 29, 2006

While most automotive pundits would not usually call an engine plant “cool”, that is exactly how the GM Powertrain Build Center in Wixom, Michigan is being described by Auto123.com writer Jonathan Yarkony of the Canadian Auto Press. GM’s PBC is considered a boutique factory with 100,000 square feet facility and 58 employees when compared with the Ford factory down the road with nearly 4 million square feet. And while the Ford plant will soon be idled, the PBC’s engine production is running at over 100% of capacity for the two high performance engines it produces. The plant currently builds for two models: The Z06 Corvette’s LS7 and the Cadillac’s V-Series LC3. The LS7 production is running at 120% while the V-Series LC3 is at 140%. How these powerplants are built are also unique: One master builder will assemble the entire engine from start to finish, and when they are finished, their name is affixed to the block on a small plaque. This method of building engines has produced an unforeseen consequence: Groupies. Some owners who have visited the PBC have the builder of their engine sign their engine covers or have given rides – a very cool fringe benefit. Click here to read the entire article at Auto123.com. Related: LS7 Factory Tour
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GM Recalls 30,000 Corvettes for Roof Issue

by Keith Cornett on May 27, 2006

After receiving 21 reports of roofs detaching from 2005 and 2006 Corvette coupes, GM issued a formal recall to fix what is being called a delamination problem. Initially thought to effect only 2005 Corvettes, for which a recall notice was already issued, GM expanded it to include 2006 Coupes after learning that roofs also flew off those coupes as well. The recall applies only to 2005 and 2006 Corvette Coupes with the painted removable roof panel, not the transparent panel. The unintentional separation occurs when adhesive that holds the base of the roof to the car frame weakens and fails, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today on its Web site. GM spokesman Alan Adler said that owners with problem roofs may notice water leaks or a snapping noise when going over a bump. In addition to the 21 reports of the roof actually flying off, GM received 395 reports of partial separating of the roof.
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CorvetteConti.com shared some interesting statistics about the current 2006 production including a breakdown of options and colors ordered on the Coupe, Convertible and Z06 Corvette through April 7, 2006. Top colors continue to be Black and the two reds: Monterey Red and Victory Red. Daytona Sunset and Artic White are the colors least chosen. 2006 Corvette Exterior and Interior Colors:

Exterior Colors Coupe Convertible Z06
       
Artic White 6% 6%  
Black 19% 19% 26%
Daytona Sunset Orange 7% 5% 5%
LeMans Blue 11% 9% 11%
Machine Silver 14% 14% 16%
Monterey Red 18% 20%  
Velocity Yellow 9% 10% 23%
Victory Red 16% 17% 19%
       
Interior Colors      
       
Ebony 61% 52% 61%
Cashmere 23% 32%  
Titanium Gray 12% 12%  
Red 4% 4%  
Ebony/Gray     25%
Ebony/Red     14%
       
Visit CorvetteConti.com to see the breakdown of selected option penetrations on the 2006 Corvette.
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