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Saturday Night Hangout: Corvettes @ Insty Tune

by Keith Cornett on August 5, 2007

Saturday came and with it the quest to meet other local Corvette drivers. I hit the Corvette Florida forum and the consensus for a Saturday night cruise-in in Tampa is Andreh’s Insty Tune in North Tampa. Held every Saturday, the informal gathering meets from 5-8pm. Perfect. So leaving the house around 6pm I headed up to Insty Tune. When I got there, the parking lot held 15 other Corvettes, almost all of them backed into their parking space with the hoods up.

Corvettes at Insty Tune in Tampa Corvettes at Insty Tune in Tampa Corvettes at Insty Tune in Tampa
At the gathering I met some new people as well as saw some familiar faces from my Corvette club, Tampa Bay Vettes. Corvettes from nearly all generations were represented, with only the C1 missing. One of more interesting Corvettes was a 2004 Z16 Commemorative Edition Z06 which was also one of the loudest cars I have ever heard. The Z06′s license plate frame say’s it all “Loud Pipes Save Lives”. Yea, I think Zora would have approved.
Related:
Cars and Coffee (and Corvettes!) at the duPont Registry Technorati Tags:
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July 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on August 2, 2007

We got the July 2007 Corvette sales numbers from GM today which continue to show a month-to-month and year-to-year decline in sales based on last year’s numbers, but with the model change over and a two week hiatus at the factory last month we expect these numbers to rebound. In July 2007, total Corvette sales were 2,377 vs 2,794 in 2006. For the calendar year, sales are at 20,135 vs 21,857 at this time in 2006. With the new 2008 Corvette, we are staying focused on the excitement of the LS3 engine and the newly refreshed interior. According to various sources, constraints are coming to an end for the 3LT and 4LT packages and the new 2008 Corvette exterior colors – Jetstream Blue Metallic and Crystal Red – are slowly making their way to dealer showrooms.

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%

Source:
GM.com Related:
June 2007 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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2008 Z06 Wheel and Brake CaliperChevrolet has really done an awesome job over the last few years expanding the number of options that allow the customer the ability to customize their ride straight from the factory. A great example of this customer-centric approach is the number of wheel styles that Corvette buyers can choose from. In 2007 no less than nine wheel styles were available, although not every wheel was available for any Corvette. Regardless, the factory has come along was from the days of the C4 sawblades. Rick Conti received some insider news that says the option for color-coded calipers is seriously being considered. The do-it-yourselfers have been painting their own calipers for years, and admirers have the almost universal reaction of “That’s so cool, where can I get mine done”? Nothing can make a set of chrome or polished wheels look even more serious than a nice set of painted calipers with “CORVETTE” engraved on them. Of course the key phrase is “being-considered” with no decision on introduction or costs yet. But stay tuned as this option sounds like a no-brainer to us!
Source:
CorvetteConti.com Related:
2008 Corvette Wheel and Exhaust Photos Technorati Tags:
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Most of the major car magazines are now hitting the streets with their 2008 Corvette test drive articles and while exciting at first, once you’ve read a couple of them there are really no surprises left. So it wasn’t with any great enthusiasm that I clicked over to Motor Trend Magazine for their “first test drive” article about the 2008 Corvette. I read the article, which as always is very well written and entertaining but it was the images that are the most memorable part of this story. Check out this beautiful Velocity Yellow Z51 Corvette Coupe and then tell me I am wrong.

2008 Velocity Yellow Corvette Coupe 2008 Velocity Yellow Corvette Coupe 2008 Velocity Yellow Corvette Coupe
Photo Credit: David Freers
Some of the best automotive photographers work for the major magazines like Motor Trend, Car and Driver and Road and Track. I wonder when a photo shoot assignment comes up with Corvette as the subject, are they just as excited about taking the pictures as we are about seeing them? Click here for the Motor Trend 2008 Corvette test drive and then make sure you click here for the photo gallery. You won’t be disappointed with either offering.
Source
Motor Trend Related:
Motor Trend Takes Us Inside the Corvette’s LS3 V8 Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Poker: Trumping an Automatic Big Block

by Keith Cornett on July 31, 2007

I took a call today from Robert in Wisconsin who had some questions about early 1970′s Corvettes. His question was should he sell his 1972 Corvette Coupe with a 454 ci engine and an automatic transmission for a 1971 Corvette Convertible with a 350 ci engine and a 4-speed. Like many classic Corvette owners, he was torn between the big block power of the 1972 and the convertible/4-speed combo in the 1971. He wanted a convertible, loved the idea of a 4-speed, but thought he’d miss the power of the big block 454 engine. But in his reasoning, it always came back to what was the more valuable car, so Robert’s major concern was holding the right Corvette from an investment standpoint. Let’s look at the 1972 Corvette by the numbers. Robert had a T-Top Coupe with an automatic and the 454 ci 270 hp engine. 20,496 Corvette T-Top Coupes were produced in 1972, which accounted for 75% of Corvette production. The LS5 454 was chosen by 3,913 buyers, and had an option penetration of 14%. The horsepower ratings were lowered in 1972 from gross to net, which makes the horsepower output a more realistic “real-world” rating. A/C was an option chosen by 63% of buyers and the automatic transmission was chosen by 54% of buyers. Our Corvette Price Guide places an average 1972 T-Top Coupe at $18,900. We add $6,000 for the 454 and $3,000 for the factory air conditioning, so our average 1972 is now valued at $27,900.

1971 Corvette Convertible 1972 Corvette Coupe
A labor strike shortened production of the 1971 Corvette. Only 21,801 Corvettes were produced, with 33% being Convertibles. 67% of all Corvettes featured the base engine, a 350 ci 270 hp power plant, and the base 4-speed was installed in 42% of 1972 Corvettes. Our average price on a 1971 Corvette Convertible is $23,500 I confirmed these values with Bob Kroupa, who writes for several of the Corvette magazines and publishes his own monthly newsletter, the Vette-N-Vestment’s Corvette Market Letter and he agreed that the 1972 Corvette Coupe with the 454 and AC would be valued higher than the 1971 roadster with a standard 350 ci and a 4-speed. I initially thought the 1971 Convertible with a 4-Speed coupled to a 350/270 would be worth more than a 1972 automatic Coupe with a 454/270 and AC. But only 14% of ’72 Vettes have the big block option and combined with the C60 Air option, there was no chance in overcoming that hand. So what trumps an automatic big block Corvette Coupe? For Robert, it just may be that feeling of driving down a Wisconsin road with the top down and the summer air blowing around you while shifting through the gears of the 4-speed.
Source:
Corvette Black Book
Corvette Price Guide Related:
Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2006 Technorati Tags:
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Spa 24: Corvettes Finish 1st and 3rd

by Keith Cornett on July 29, 2007

Carsport Holland's #5 Corvette C6.R wins the 24 Hours of SpaAfter completing 532 laps around the 4.3 mile Circuit of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, the #5 Carsport Holland Corvette C6.R took the checkered flag to win the 24 Hours of Spa. The win wasn’t without drama. Weather became a major factor with the safety cars making their presence off and on during the times when thunderstorms raked the area. With an hour left in the race, the GT class leader Vitaphone Maserati MC12 missed a turn and landed in the gravel, which gave the lead lap to the #5 Corvette C6.R. The Maserati MC12 was able to get back onto the leap lap but was unable to catch up to the Carsport Holland Team and had to settle for second place. Third place was taken by the Corvette C5-R driven by the hometown team of PK Carsport. The Luc Alphand Adventure Corvette C6.R started off extremely strongly in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, but dropped back due to a sequence of problems, and finished sixth. Oliver Beretta, clarifying what happened during his 2 hour 45 minute stint behind the wheel in the early hours of the morning, said:

“The first incident was when I touched a Maserati which caused a bit of bodywork damage but was not a problem, I could continue. Then, a few laps later, I was overtaking a Porsche into Eau Rouge when I saw a piece of debris on the track. I could not avoid it because of having just overtaken the Porsche; I heard a noise so knew something had happened and then I had a big understeer and knew the tire had gone. That was when I came back into the pits.” Later on, Oliver Gavin had problems with the throttle. “It was about 3.30 in the morning and I came out of La Source and the throttle pedal went straight to the floor like it was broken. I tried lifting it with my toe but it was floppy. I guessed the linkage was broken. We lost about five laps while it was being repaired which is a huge shame as things were going pretty well until then.”
The Maserati MC12′s were very competitive at the 24 Hours of Spa with four finishing in the top seven. All four Corvette teams finished within the top ten. Unlike last month at LeMans where Aston Martin had been very competitive, this endurance race saw all three Aston Martin DBR9′s fall from the race and did not finish.
Source:
FIAGT.com
PlanetLeMans.com
Photo Credt: © DPPI Related:
Spa 24: Corvette Race Report – Hour 10
Corvette Racing: Reunited for the 24 Hours of Spa
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Spa 24: Corvette Race Report – Hour 10

by Keith Cornett on July 28, 2007

At hour 10 of the 24 Hours of Spa, the Corvette C6.R’s are battling it out with the Maserati MC12 teams. It is currently 1am local racing time and the number 5 Carsport Holland C6.R is the lead position having completed 217 laps. The next three places are all held by Maseratis. In fifth place is the PK Carsport Corvette C6.R followed by Luc Alphand Adventures with Corvette Racing’s Beretta and Gavin sharing driving duties.

Corvette in the lead at the 24 Hours of Spa
Lead changes have been constant in the GT class, usually depending on who is pitting. Our Corvette Racing Boys in the Alphand Adventures #3 Corvette C6.R started on row two and have consistently been in the top 5 up to this point. The fastest time of the race has been posted by the #18 Corvette C5-R at 2:20.549.
Source:
PlanetLemans.com Related:
Corvette Racing: Reunited for the 24 Hours of Spa
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Brakes Fail, Split-Window Corvette Lands on Wall

by Keith Cornett on July 27, 2007

1963 Split Window Corvette Lands on WallYesterday morning, Carl Sprague was backing out his Riverside Red 1963 Corvette Coupe out of the garage when suddenly he was taken for a ride he will never forget. The brakes failed, sending the split-window coupe down the sloping driveway and onto a front yard retaining wall. Luckily a friend with McGuyver-like skills suggested jacking up the back of the suspended Corvette and setting the chassis on planks, using a 4-wheel drive with a winch to slide the Corvette off the wall. According to the Fullerton, California resident, the plan worked and the only damage appears to be a minor scratch on the left panel.
Source:
OC Register Related:
Long Island Z06 Corvette Catches Fire Technorati Tags:
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Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale

by Keith Cornett on July 27, 2007

Owning a car that was previously owned by a celebrity is like owning part of pop culture history. In this week’s Featured Corvettes for Sale, we’ve come across a very nice straight axle for sale by Max Weinberg, E-Street Band drummer and band leader of NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”. We’ll also pick a Corvette from the Mecum High Performance Auction in Iowa as well as show you our eBay Corvette pick of the week. 1957 Corvette Convertible
1957 Corvette ConvertibleIt was 1975 when the Boss broke through to the top of the music charts and the musicians who made up the E-Street Band rode that wave with him. Drummer Max Weinberg recalls growing up in the Beach Boys era when songs like Shutdown romanticized the Corvette Sting Ray. And when car enthusiasts become successful as Max Weinberg has, having a large garage full of classic and antique cars is the norm. At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California, Max Weinberg will be offering several classics including a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. Max describes the Corvette as a trailer queen, totally disassembled and restored back to new…better than new as Weinberg states in this Forbes Auto interview:

“The Corvette is absolutely a trailer queen show car. It’s like a brand new car. It was completely and totally disassembled, and Dominick (Salvemini), who I think is one of the premier restorers in the country, because of our personal relationship took even greater care than he normally would. And normally he’s A-plus, plus – this is beyond. He is very precise, let’s just say that. So this car is stunning, the color is stunning and it’s essentially a new car – it’s a new ’57 Corvette. And it was one of the editions with the radio delete and heater delete, which was a very specific function. This was a car that was meant to be driven fast. One thing we did do is we lowered the engine compression a bit to accept regular gas, because if you kept it with the original compression, the higher compression, you’d need jet fuel.”
Max’s 1957 Corvette will be offered by Christie’s Auctions on August 16th at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California. 1967 Corvette Convertible
1967 Corvette ConvertibleMecum Auctions is hosting a 250 car gathering in Des Moines this weekend and several very nice Corvettes are being offered. If you’re looking for an original mid-year that you’re not afraid to drive, then this beautiful 1967 Corvette Convertible could be just what the doctor ordered. You can still get into a very nice small block midyear for under $50,000, and trust me, there’s nothing small about owning a 327 ci 300 hp American Classic. This 1967 has two previous owners and is numbers matching with documentation. The Corvette comes in Marina Blue with Bright Blue interior, has the auxiliary hard top and is a 4-Speed. The only catch on this car is that it’s being sold in Iowa tomorrow, but Mecum offers absentee bidding so get moving now! 2005 Corvette Coupe
2005 Corvette CoupeOur last Corvette was chosen because Yellow Corvettes are just cool. Oh, and 750 hp Corvettes are cool too. Why wait for the Blue Devil/SS with its projected 650 horsepower when you can get a proven 10 second Corvette for half the price. This 2005 Velocity Yellow Corvette was modded by MTI and features a Procharger Supercharger, upgraded MTI cam, Kooks headers and a Borla SS exhaust. It’s an automatic and has just 26,000 miles. The 05 Coupe is being offered on ebay with a Buy-It-Now price of just $47,995. Do you have a Corvette for sale that you think would be worthy of being featured? Drop me an email and let me know where we can find out more about it. And stay tuned for next week’s Friday’s Featured Corvettes.
Related:
Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale (07/20/07)
Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale (07/13/07)
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Earlier this week we posted a photo of what turned out to be a festival car for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The Yellow Corvette Convertibles were decorated very lightly with some graphics and the race logo on the doors. Today we received the official photos and it turns out that a White Corvette Z06 will be handling the Pace Car duties. White Z06 Corvettes were only made for the 2007 Ron Fellows Signature edition, so this is may be a one-off version prepared for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Interestingly, with its LS7 505 hp V8 engine, this Corvette is more than able to hang with the NASCAR racing vehicles it was destined to pace.

Corvette Z06 Allstate 400 Pace Car Corvette Z06 Allstate 400 Pace Car

Credit: IMS Photos by Shawn Payne
The Allstate 400 Corvette Pace Car features a red hood (Crystal Red Metallic?) with a white Chevy bowtie logo and red and blue checkerboard design on top of the white exterior on the sides. Logos tastefully grace the doors and the official safety lights are installed on the hardtop. Chevy Day at the Brickyard on Friday will kickoff the weekend of racing. Practice and qualifying is Saturday, July 28th and the race will be held on Sunday, July 29th beginning at 2pm.
Source:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Related:
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Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
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