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Spied: 2009 Corvette ZR1 Running the ‘Ring

by Keith Cornett on April 9, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Nürburgring

It’s been a while since we used the word “Spied” and “ZR1″ in a headline, but that is exactly what was caught on the Nordschleife portion of the Nürburgring in Germany last week. BridgeToGantry.com photographed the Blue Devil sporting a most interesting exterior color as it put its 620 horses to ground on one of the most famous road courses in the world.

Edmunds.com has an exclusive video of the Corvette ZR1 at Nürburgring. The report is that ZR1 is turning laps in the low “1:40s” (Don’t they mean 7:40s?) and times should improve as the track conditions have been a bit on the damp side.

2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Nürburgring

GM has an “Any Time Any Where” mentality when it comes to running the Corvette ZR1 on public tracks, having shocked the auto world back in October with a couple of hotlaps around Laguna Seca. Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter boasts the ZR1 will beat the track record for production cars at any road course in the world. It’s no doubt that the ZR1 has something to prove – can she compete with the fastest production cars to lap the ‘ring? Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen lapped the track in a Corvette Z06 back in 2005 with a time of 7:42.9. Nissan GT-R claimed a best lap time of 7:38.54 back in September 2007 while a Porsche Carrera GT lapped the ‘ring back in 2004 with a time of 7:28.

This story is about to go global with ramifications from Nürburg to Detroit and points in between. As official lap times are released, CorvetteBlogger.com will have them here for you.


Source:
BridgeToGantry.com
Edmunds.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Eight 2009 Corvette ZR1′s Spotted in Bowling Green
Take a Hot Lap Around Laguna Seca in the 2009 Corvette ZR1

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GM’s Free Corvette Restoration Package

by Keith Cornett on April 8, 2008

Do you own a classic Corvette? If so, grab your phone and have your Corvette’s vehicle Identification Number (VIN) available because GM offers a free Corvette restoration package for those of us living in the States. The package contains year specific data sheets including production numbers, facts, options, original pricing, colors, chassis and engine info including casting numbers. A second part of the restoration package includes some basic information on storage and care, period ads, clubs and museums and a list of GM Restoration Parts dealers.

The package is available by calling 800-222-1020 and asking for your Free Corvette Restoration package. It usually takes between a week or two to receive. I heard about this and received my package years ago, but a recent tip on the Forum reminded me about it.

I’m not sure what the cutoff years are but is sounded like the request is good for at least C1 to C3 owners and perhaps even early C4′s as well. This is a nice touch from the General to offer this free information for Corvette owners on cars sold 30, 40 and even 50 years ago. And as one forum member stated, you can’t beat the price!


Source:
CorvetteForum.com

Related:
Mike Yager’s Corvette Bible

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Corvette ZR1 Fireblade

The interwebs have been on fire since the release of South African designer Idries Noah’s digital rebodied Corvette ZR1 dubbed the ZR1 Fireblade. The automotive blogosphere is throwing around phrases like “a hotter ZR1″ and “better than the real ZR1″ and the breathless excitement about a car that isn’t even real leaves me shaking my head. I usually doesn’t give much coverage to rebodied Corvettes (other than Callaway or the new Pratt & Miller C6RS) as I prefer the real thing.

And I’m not so sure whether this was an exercise in car design or digital lighting but the concept works for me in an exaggerated hotwheels sort of way. The polycarbonate window showcasing the King of the Hill’s LS9 Supercharged 6.2L V8 is still there but enlarged to show more. The swooping curves and angles are everywhere and I especially like the rear-end treatment from the B-pillar back. The front? Not so much.

Corvette ZR1 Fireblade Corvette ZR1 Fireblade
 
Corvette ZR1 Fireblade Corvette ZR1 Fireblade

The Corvette ZR1 Fireblade is a dream only, but perhaps the styling gurus at GM’s Corvette studio should take notice of the strong design cues as they lay pen to paper designing the next generation Corvette.

So what do you think of the Corvette ZR1 Fireblade? Love it? Hate it? Should GM designers consider aspects of this design for the C7? Leave a comment by clicking the link below.


Source:
SeriousWheels.com via WorldCarFans.com via Autoblog.com


Related:
Pratt and Miller’s Corvette C6RS Goes Topless

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Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS at the Acura Sports Car Challenge

When we hit the American LeMans Acura Sports Car Challenge in St. Pete this weekend we knew we would see some fast Corvettes, but one of the yellow Corvettes on the track wasn’t part of the Corvette Racing stable. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised to find Pratt & Miller’s new Corvette C6RS in the fleet of Vitesse track cars. The ALMS Vitesse cars, which also included an Audi R8 are used for showcasing the race course for VIP’s. We first caught site of the Corvette C6RS on the track Friday just as the Corvette C6.Rs began their qualifying runs and then came across it again on Saturday as the ALMS field was leaving the paddock for the race course.

As this is a Victory Yellow Corvette C6RS convertible, we wonder if this was the very same car presented to Pratt & Miller co-owner Jim Miller in late February.

Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS
Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS
Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS

The Corvette C6RS is impressive to see in person. Perceptibly wider than regular-production Corvettes, the rebodied Corvette features a C6.R’s race-inspired hood. I particularly liked the exposed carbon fiber spoiler on the front.

Only 25 of Pratt & Miller’s C6RS are expected to be built at a cost of a donor C6 plus $185,000. The Corvette C6RS is powered by the Katech 8.2 liter V8 engine, a 500 cubic inch powerplant that generates 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. Visit the gallery at Pratt & Miller to view more of the Corvette C6RS.


Sponsored By:
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: ALMS Qualifying in St. Pete
Pratt and Miller’s Corvette C6RS Goes Topless
Green Gets Mean: The Skinny on Jay Leno’s E85 Corvette C6RS
[VIDEO] Jay Leno’s E85 C6RS Corvette Reveal

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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races

by Keith Cornett on April 5, 2008

Corvette Racing in St. Petersburg

When I started blogging about Corvettes back in 2005, there were many reasons why I decided to follow Corvette Racing: They are a factory-backed team, racing technology is incorporated into production Corvettes, and let’s face it, they’re winners. Little did I know back then how hooked I would become over the years following the team.

I finally got a chance to see the team up close in St. Petersburg and spent two days at the temporary track that makes up the Acura Sports Car Challenge. I’m sore, sunburned and dead tired…and I had the best time watching the Corvette C6.Rs in person. Guys getting paid to race Corvettes…and I thought I had a great gig.

Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta drove the #4 C6.R to a 4.75 seconds win over teammates Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen. The Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9 collided with a GT2 Dodge Viper and was forced to retire from the race.

Corvette Racing will be headed to Long Beach, California in two weeks where they will compete on another temporary raceway circuit at the Tequila Patron American LeMans.

If you are a fan of Corvettes, you owe it to yourself to get to one of the American LeMans races. You won’t be disappointed. However, if there is one thing I recommend its this: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!


Sponsored By:
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: ALMS Qualifying in St. Pete

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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: ALMS Qualifying in St. Pete

by Keith Cornett on April 4, 2008

I took the afternoon off and made my way over to St. Petersburg for Friday’s ALMS Acura Sports Car Challenge practice and qualifying session and I got to say it was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time. The General Admission ticket got me into the stands and paddock area where you can get right up to the teams and watch them go to work.

Olivier Beretta led the GT1 class with a time of 1:09.727 (92.934 mph) to win his 21st career pole position. Johnny O’Connell and the #3 Corvette C6.R team was 2nd in the class at just 0.541 seconds behind the #4 Corvette C6.R. O’Connell’s best lap was a 1:10.268 (92.218 mph). Rounding out the GT1 class was the Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9 which ran a best lap of 1:11.532 (90.59 mph).

One interesting part of the video happens at 0:54 seconds when the #4 Corvette is leaving the pits. You will see a yellow Corvette track car and it turns out that it is a Pratt & Miller Corvette C6RS. I saw the front Z06-stlye air vent but the black roof threw me off. Later I saw it parked in paddock and man it is sweet!

I’ve got tickets for tomorrow’s race and will post a recap of the day’s events.


Sponsored By:
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

Related:
[VIDEO] Sebring 2008 – O’Connell Pilots the #3 Corvette C6.R to Historic Win

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Mecum Collector Car Auction

Last Saturday evening was the first of six consecutive Mecum collector car auctions that are being broadcast live on the HD Theater channel. Some get the channel, but many of us don’t so we’re relying on Mecum’s website to both inform us of what’s coming up each week as well as what the final results are from the previous week’s auction. Yesterday’s mass email to Mecum’s Infonet subscribers gave us several reasons to smile while at the same time cursing the gods of television programming for being shut out from this weekend’s broadcast. But if you do get HD Theater, tune in this Saturday night, 8pm eastern time to see the following Corvettes:


Lot B34 1963 Corvette Z06/Tanker

1963 Corvette Z06/TankerThis spectacular Sebring Silver split window coupe with Black interior is an original Z06 car, and features the massive 36 gallon fuel tank for endurance racing. The $1,818.45 Z06 Special Performance Equipment option package also includes the 360-horsepower, fuel injected 327 with 11.25:1 compression, 4-speed transmission, 4.11 positraction differential, power brakes with metallic linings, heavy duty stabilizer bars, as well as heavy duty springs and shocks. Other optional equipment includes 6.70 x 15 4-ply, whitewall tires, tinted windshield, power windows and signal seek radio. Only 199 Z06 Corvettes were produced and only 66 had the N03 Option 36 gallon fuel tank. A very rare Corvette indeed.


Lot B37 1961 Corvette Convertible RPO 687

1961 Corvette ConvertibleThis rare and highly documented Corvette features the fuel injected, solid lifter, 315 horsepower 283 V-8, 4-speed transmission and 4.11 positraction. The Corvette is 1 of 233 equipped with RPO 687 – Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension package. Other optional equipment includes deluxe heater, 2 tops and Wonderbar radio. Finished in Honduras Maroon with a Fawn Beige interior. It was awarded a Bloomington Gold Survivor Certification and an NCRS Top Flight Award in 1994 and was also featured in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1996. Additionally, it has won the Chevy/Vettefest Nationals Gold Spinner Award and the prestigious Corvette Triple Crown Award.


Lot B1 1966 Corvette Coupe L36 427/390

1963 Corvette Z06/TankerThis is the Corvette that will be kicking off the evening. Lot B1 is a Sunfire Yellow Corvette Coupe with Black interior. The Corvette is powered by the L36 427 ci 390 hp V8 engine. It has a 4-speed manual transmission, side exhaust, power brakes and power windows. The Corvette underwent a frame-off restorationa and features just 50,000 original miles. And while this is just a personal preference, I love the factory original hubcaps in liu of knock-offs on this Corvette. A very nice Corvette with fantastic curb appeal.

Mecum’s auctions allow sellers to place a reserve price on their cars so it will be interesting to see how well these vintage Corvettes do. We’ll follow up with the results as soon as their available.

Sources:
Mecum Collector Car Auctions

Related:
Mecum Kissimmee 2008 Results: $4.5 Million in Corvette Sales

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1961 Jewel Blue Corvette

I love 1961 Jewel Blue Corvettes. This shade of blue is a perfect contrast with the white coves and I think its the first year GM got a blue color right. The one year only color option produced just 855 examples. The rarity and beauty of Lot# 678.1 instantly became one of my favorite Corvettes from the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach last weekend.

This 1961 Corvette is the result of a recently completed frame-off restoration in 2008. Features include a 270 hp dual quad 283 ci V8 coupled to a 4-speed transmission, white wall tires, wonderbar radio and a white soft convertible top.

The Corvette was bidded on for nearly 5 minutes before hammering at $118,000. The full auction video is after the jump.

One of the better parts of the video begins at 3:15 and shows the bidder who at $110,000 is reminded that he purchased the previous lot, a 1965 Nassau Blue Convertible, at $112,000 so why not raise this bid $2,000 so it will be the same price as the previous Corvette. He drops out at $112,000 and then leans over to the guy next to him and mutters $113,000 as a joke and for a moment I thought the ring man was going to call it out as a bid.

Sources:
Barrett-Jackson.com
SpeedTV.com

Related:
Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 08: Corvette Sales Top $3.8 Million
[VIDEO] Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 08: All Time High for 1969 L71 427/435 Corvette
[VIDEO] Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 08: 1970 Corvette ZR-1 Sells for $102,000
[VIDEO] Friday’s Featured Corvettes: Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Edition
Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 2007: Corvette Sales Top $6.2 Million

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Mid-engine Corvette Sketch from GM Styling

Freelance Journalist Frank Washington was out for a morning walk in his hometown of Detroit when he was viciously attacked. Beaten and stabbed, Frank spent over 11 hours in the operating room as his attackers broke nearly every bone in his face. Frank is well known in the automotive writing circles and news of his attack prompted spy photographer Brenda Priddy and other journalists to set up several benefit auctions on eBay to help Frank financially while he recovers.

One of the items offered is two sketches drawn in the GM Styling Corvette Studio circa 1973 by then GM designer Ron Will. The sketches were part of the advance design program to create a mid-engined Corvette. The program was spearheaded by the head of Chevrolet, John De Lorean and Corvette’s Cheif Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and resulted in several prototypes including the Chevrolet Aerovette show car. Unfortunately, due to spiraling production costs the project for the on-again off-again mid-engined Corvette was eventually killed in favor of continuing the front engine layout.

Mid-engine Corvette Sketch from GM Styling

The framed sketches measure 22×24 inches and are signed by designer Ron Will.

The auction runs until April 5th at 18:33 PDT and the current bid as of Wednesday is $455. Check out this auction and the other eBay auctions that Brenda and her colleagues have pulled together to benefit Frank Washington.

Thanks for the tip PC!


Source:
eBay.com

Related:
Corvette Museum Auctions Parts on eBay

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March 2008 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on April 1, 2008

With today’s release of delivery data outlining March’s 2008 Corvette sales, we see the delivery numbers starting to creep back to the norm we’ve become accustomed to over the last few years. 2,692 Corvettes were sold in March 2008, a 30% increase over February’s delivery figure of 2,071. The number is still off the 3,158 Corvettes sold in March 2007, but we’re happy to see the improvement during these increasingly difficult economic times.

In addition to the 2008 Corvette sales, we are still tracking the number of 2007 Corvettes that dealers have available. Chevrolet has several discount programs in place to move last year’s models and they appear to be working. At the end of February we saw 1,191 2007 Corvettes on dealer lots but as of March 31st, that number has dropped to 893.

Monthly Corvette sales data is after the jump.

2008 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2008 2007 % Change Months 2008 2007 % Change
January 2,015 2,234 -9.8% Jan-Jan 2,015 2,234 -9.8%
February 2,071 2,784 -25.6% Jan-Feb 4,086 5,018 -18.6%
March 2,692 3,158 -14.8% Jan-Mar 6,788 8,176 -17.1%


2007 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%
May 3,300 3,317 -4.3% Jan-May 14,703 16,125 -8.8%
June 3,055 2,938 0.1% Jan-Jun 17,758 19,063 -6.8%
July 2,377 2,794 -11.4% Jan-Jul 20,135 21,857 -7.9%
August 2,877 2,990 -3.8% Jan-Aug 23,012 24,842 -7.4%
September 2,837 3,056 -3.5% Jan-Sept 25,849 27,903 -7.4%
October 2,484 2,761 -13.5% Jan-Oct 28,333 30,664 -7.6%
November 2,438 2,773 -12.1% Jan-Nov 30,771 33,437 -8.0%
December 2,914 3,081 -5.4% Jan-Dec 33,685 36,518 -7.8%


Corvette Stock Report:
A check of Jeff Hardy’s website shows a total of 6,742 2008 Corvettes on the ground. That’s an increase of 287 Corvettes compared with February’s 6,455 total.

  • 3,843 Corvette Coupes
  • 1,424 Corvette Convertibles
  • 1,475 Corvette Z06

According to the site, there are 893 2007 Corvettes still available at dealers across the nation.


Source:
GM.com
JeffHardy.com

Related:
February 2008 Corvette Sales

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