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Former Corvette Chief Engineer Launches Series of Podcasts

by Keith Cornett on February 1, 2008

Dave McLellan in a Corvette ZR-1

Dave McLellan had some pretty big shoes to fill as Corvette’s 2nd Chief Engineer. After the retirement of living legend Zora Arkus-Duntov in 1975, Dave took over the program during what is considered by many to be the low point of Corvette’s history. By the end of his tenure however, not only had a he turned around the Corvette with the successful launch of the new C4 Corvette in 1984, he may have single handedly reignited the horsepower wars with the development and introduction of the 375 hp Corvette ZR-1 in 1990. Dave’s tenure as Corvette Chief ended in 1992 when he stepped down after 33 years at GM and the baton was passed to Dave Hill.

Dave McLellan’s latest venture is the launch of a new website and podcast series called CorvetteChief.com. I met Dave McLellan at the NCRS show in Kissimmee in January and listened to a discussion he was having with enthusiasts on the development of the C4 Corvette ZR-1. With his impact felt in three separate Corvette generations – the C3, C4 and C5, Dave’s experience within GM and his current contacts should provide valuable insight – not only into Corvettes of the past – but future Corvettes as well.

The first podcast on his new site focuses on one of the more persistant rumors surrounding a future Corvette design – the midengine Corvette. Taking us through the previous midengine designs, the Cerv-1, Cerv-2 and the New York Show Car, we learn that GM has had an eye on that type of design configuration for quite some time. But other than John Delorean, there has been little support at the top of GM to push the program further – let alone a call from the Corvette enthusiast community to make it happen. Lastly, one of the insights I found most interesting is that Dave doesn’t accept the premise that a midengined Corvette would cost too much – something we keep hearing as the primary obsticle that would be needed to be overcome for production to happen.

You can hear Dave McLellan’s first podcast at CorvetteChief.com


Source:
CorvetteChief.com

Related:
Video: In the CorvetteBlogger.com Garage – V1.2
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Featured Corvettes for Sale at VetteFinders.com

by Keith Cornett on February 1, 2008

Sure it might be cold out there. It’s winter after all and depending on where you live you might even be faced with the prospect of snow on the ground. But did you know sometimes the best deals happen during the off-season? If you’re thinking of adding a new Corvette to the garage this year, there is isn’t a better place to look than the Corvettes available from our classified ads web site VetteFinders.com. With over 500 Corvettes for sale, from C1s to C6s, you’re sure to find the Corvette of your dreams. Below is just a sampling from our bi-monthly “Featured Corvettes for Sale” newsletter representing a Corvette for sale from each generation.

1961 Corvette Convertible For Sale 1967 Corvette Convertible For Sale 1974 Corvette T-Top For Sale
1961 Convertible
$46,900
1967 Convertible
$65,995
1974 T-Top
$13,500
 
1990 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2004 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2008 Corvette Convertible For Sale
1990 ZR-1 Coupe
$29,500
2004 Coupe
$37,900
2008 Convertible
$56,995

Selling Your Corvette? Now is the time and VetteFinders.com is the place to reach more qualified Corvette Buyers. Corvette Classified Ads are only $25 and run for 3 months. You can post unlimited photos and you have access to make any changes at any time.


Source:
VetteFinders.com

Related:
Maybe All Corvettes Should Be Red

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Corvette Market Introduction and Subscription Special

by Keith Cornett on January 30, 2008

We’d like to thank the guys over at Keith Martin’s Corvette Market for selecting CorvetteBlogger.com as their featured Corvette website in their latest email newsletter. CorvetteBlogger.com was founded in the Summer of 2005 as an information vehicle to discuss three pillars surrounding the Corvette hobby: Corvette Buying and Selling, Corvette News and Information, and the Lifestyle that surrounds owning the great American Sports Car. If this is your first time to CorvetteBlogger.com, please check us out and consider subscribing to our site via RSS or email.

Click here to see the video clip of Keith Martin’s Corvette Insider seminar from Russo and Steele.

If you’re not a subscriber to Corvette Market magazine, they are offering a limited subscriber special for $22. Corvette Market magazine is a must-read if you like to follow the latest trends in Corvette pricing and valuations. But you better hurry, to get this special rate you need to subscribe before midnight, Wednesday January 30th.


Source:
Corvette Market

Related:
[VIDEO] A Look at Keith Martin’s Corvette Insider’s Seminar
Corvette Market’s C3 Find, Buy & Drive Adventure

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Bell Motorsport's Aston Martin DBR9

It’s the news Corvette Racing fans been waiting to hear. An Aston Martin DBR9 will be launching an American LeMans Series GT1 effort in 2008. The team will be funded by Jim Bell and will race under the Bell Motorsports banner. Jim is a 30 year veteran of sports car racing and an engineer by trade. He will be joined by new partner Michael Fux. Bell has played an integral part of various teams raging from prototype to most recently the Team Transport Porsche 911 GT3 car in last year’s ALMS season. His last GT1 experience came back in 2005 with ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R.

Bell Motorsports’ Aston Martin DBR9 turned up the fourth annual Winter Test at Sebring on Monday wearing the trademark British Green exterior with neon green lipstick and red wheels. The car is listed as #08 and features a GT1 class designation on her sides. According to those who watched the Aston during Monday’s testing sessions, the team is displaying some caution as they warm to the feeling of the car and the track. This particular DBR9 was built in 2005 and sold to a private collector but has never officially raced.

The #08 Aston Martin DBR9 will be going up against the two C6.R’s fielded by Corvette Racing in the GT1 class on March 15th at the 56th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first of twelve ALMS races. Corvette Racing finished 1-2 at Sebring last year despite competition from another Aston Martin DBR9 fielded by Team Modena.

“Aston Martin always has made a premium race car and automobile,” said Bell, team principal, “and there is no better place to showcase a premium brand than in the American Le Mans Series. Having been involved with the Series since its inception, I know it will be an extraordinary challenge but it’s one we all relish and look forward to. We enjoyed competing in the American Le Mans Series with the ACEMCO Saleen S7R against Corvette Racing in 2005 and at Le Mans in 2006. I think we have developed a mutual, competitive respect for one another, and having the chance to rekindle that in 2008 makes me proud and eager with anticipation.”

Competition breeds success and this announcement puts Corvette Racing on notice that if they wish to win their eighth consecutive championship, they’ll have to beat a top notch team with a proven winning ride, the Aston Martin DBR9. And something tells me Corvette Racing’s Manager Doug Fehan couldn’t be happier right now.


Source:
AmericanLeMans.com
Photo Credit: dreycraft

Related:
Corvette Racing Moves to E85 for 2008 ALMS Season
Corvette Racing Will Return To ALMS GT1 in 2008

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Hot Pursuit! Bob Lutz’s Corvette ZR1 Police Interceptor

by Keith Cornett on January 29, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1 Michigan State Police Car
You know that feeling. You’re cruising a few miles over the speed limit when you top a hill or round a corner and come face to face with The Man. But this time he ain’t driving a Ford Crown Vic or a Chevy Impala. The Man is behind the wheel of a 2009 Corvette ZR1 and you might as well be riding a bicycle. As a fan of Corvette police cars, this picture put a smile on face today. Someone sent GM’s Bob Lutz a photochopped Corvette ZR1 decked out in Michigan State Police graphics and featuring the prerequisite light bar, bumper guard and awesome blacked out wheels. Without regard to notifying the PR department who were baffled by the incoming calls from new media outlets, Bob uploaded the image to GM’s Fastlane Blog with the following quote:

“Your Worst Nightmare
Go ahead…make their day. Just try and outrun them!”

Source:
GM FastLane Blog via Jalopnik.com

Related:
Corvette ZR1 Unveiled to Corvette Museum Members
Barrett-Jackson 08: [VIDEO] 1st 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sold for $1 Million
2009 Corvette ZR1 Photo Gallery
The New King of the Hill: The 2009 Corvette ZR1

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Keith Martin’s Corvette Market magazine held a self-described Insider’s Seminar where he and a panel of Corvette expert’s discussed the Corvette Market and its trends from yesterday, today and tomorrow. The seminar was held at the Russo and Steele event on January 18th in Scottsdale. Here is a brief video which shows the panel discussing the Corvette market with the question on the table being “What Corvette would you buy for $100,000?”

So the question now goes to you. Given $100,000, what Corvette(s) would you buy? Leave your answer in the Comments area and we may just send one commenter a free 2008 Corvette Price Guide.


Source:
Corvette Market via AP Insights

Related:
Corvette Market’s C3 Find, Buy & Drive Adventure

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Corvette ZR1 Unveiled to Corvette Museum Members

by Keith Cornett on January 28, 2008

Last Saturday at the Detroit Auto Show, the National Corvette Museum revealed the new Corvette ZR1 to a select group of members. We were unable to attend the event, but one of our friends and regular readers, 16-year old Justin Society was there and offered to share his experience and a couple photos of the event. Justin’s enthusiasm for Corvette is infectious and the hobby should be thankful when a young man takes an interest in Corvette the way Justin has.

The 2009 Corvette ZR1 Revealed! The 2009 Corvette ZR1 Revealed! The 2009 Corvette ZR1 Revealed!

From the Summerset Hotel, four greyhound buses picked up approximately 150 to 200 NCM members. Everyone felt like the bus ride took forever, our looking forward to seeing the ZR1 was definitely the cause. When we arrived at the Cobo center we were given tickets and then waited in the lobby. We soon proceeded to walk through the desolate show floor where the covered Lambo’s and new R8 were held. As we made our way through the Dodge environment, NCM members took a minute to stare at the Viper and think how badly the ZR1 will outperform their leviathan.

When the NCM members entered the GM territory we saw a small blanketed shape in the Chevrolet portion, we all started walking faster to see the Corvette Team who was standing next to the car. Harlen Charles, Kirk Bennian and Tom Wallace were some of many representatives from GM who were standing by.

We experienced a 40 minute presentation by Harlen Charles, Kirk Bennian and Tom Wallace and then after the presentation anyone on the Corvette staff was open to any questions.

I personally asked questions to Harlen Charles and Kirk Bennian and they were happy to answer them. I was assured of a Corvette design that kept traditional but pushed the envelope a little bit further, especially in efficiency in aerodynamics. Harlen also acknowledged that Corvette may go on a diet but it would still remain competitive with its main competition and would not make too many sacrifices that would jeopardize its world class performance. He did not say so but he seemed very confident that the C6 has a little more life left in it.

The convention was starting to open to the public and people slowly started trickling into the ZR1 area. Some were amazed to see a group with matching shirts and the more Corvette savvy individuals were even more amazed to see Tom Wallace talking to people.

Thanks again Justin for sharing your NCM experience at the Detroit Auto Show.

Related:
Video: The Introduction of the Corvette ZR1 at GM Style
2009 Corvette ZR1 Photo Gallery
The New King of the Hill: The 2009 Corvette ZR1

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Auction Results: [VIDEO] 1953 Corvette Sold for $261,800

by Keith Cornett on January 27, 2008

Cool weather and an occasional shower were not enough to slow down the buyers from coming out to Mecum’s High Performance Auction this weekend in Kissimmee Florida. One of the star cars of the auction was this 1953 Corvette, serial #112. This Corvette was previously offered in 2007 and was the only no-sale out of the eight 1953 Corvettes we saw at auctions last year. At the Mecum’s High Performance Auction in St. Charles back in October it received a high-bid of $225,000.

Serial #112 appears to be the real deal. Featuring matching numbers and the owner’s history, this Corvette spent most of its life in Northern Indiana in St. Joseph County. It comes optioned with powerglide transmission, wonderbar radio, emergency brake warning light, windshield washers, courtesy lights, heater, hubcaps and 6.70×15″ wide white tires.

At the Kissimmee Auction, a high bid from Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvette for $238,000 was enough to sell the Corvette this time around as it was reserved up to $235,000. Total price for the first-year Corvette after the 10% buyers commission was $261,800. UPDATE: When Mecum published the official results from the Kissimmee auction, this 1953′s price with sales commission was listed as $249,900.

Just a quick note about my experience at the Mecum auction. I’ve been going to the Kissimmee auctions for about 10 years now since it was paired up with the NCRS winter regional. It’s amazing how big this auction has become. Huge tents everywhere keep the Corvettes and other muscle cars cool and dry in case of inclement weather. Plenty of seating is availble for non-bidders and this year’s auction featured a couple of bars. Vendors are on the ground and there were plenty of choices for food. Mecum really puts on a great auction and if you enjoyed watching the Barrett-Jackson auction on TV, then you owe it to yourself to get out and see one of these large multi-car auctions live.


Source:
Mecum High Performance Auctions

Related:
RM Auction Results: 1953 Corvette Sells for $290,400
2007 List of 1953 Corvettes at Auction
[Video] Matched Set of 1953/2003 Corvettes sell for $390,500

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CAFE-Diem: New Mileage Regulations Put C7 Corvette On Hold

by Keith Cornett on January 25, 2008

Following up on our story earlier this week about Tom Wallace talking about building a lighter, greener Corvette, we have heard from Motor Trend’s well connected sources inside GM that say the Corvette C7 project is currently on hold. It seems the automaker is working to address the interim mileage requirements in advance of the 2020 35 mpg regulations. According to MT, that study could keep development of the C7 on the shelf until late 2009.

One of the strategies that Corvette may have been pursuing in the design of the C7 also appears to have gone by the wayside according our favorite former Detroit adman Peter De Lorenzo of AutoExtremist.com. Pete said last year that the midengined C7 Corvette was a go as GM had addressed the technologies needed to allow for production of a midengined Corvette while still retaining a price point that would effectively guarantee the car could still be available for the masses. De Lorenzo now says that those technologies that were reported as solved apparently were more complex than originally thought so therefore the midengined Corvette won’t be happening anytime soon.

Tom Wallace also commented on a midengined Corvette saying it has the potential to be more fuel efficient but there are currently too many roadblocks to production including the ability to build an affordable convertible model. (I guess it’s tricky finding the space to store the top because the damn engine is in the way!)

And with Wallace again talking about reductions in weight and power, it may be they are taking a hard look again at the Kappa platform, which is set to move to Bowling Green in 2012 anyways.

The stopping and starting of a next-generation Corvette project is nothing new for GM. It happened several times to the C5 Corvette according to the book “All Corvettes Are Red”, so it should only be a matter of time before we hear the green light has once again been given. In the meantime, I’m sure the boys in the design studio will probably still find the time for working on the C7, the next great American sports car.

Sources:
Motor Trend
AutoExtremist.com

Related:
Lighter, Greener Corvette on the Horizon
Late Night Speculation: C7 Corvette Moving to Kappa Platform?

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2008 Corvette Callaway Package

I’ll admit it. I am a bit of a Callaway fanboy. Late last year I named Reeves Callaway to my list of 5 Corvette people I’d like to meet. Ever since the B2K twin turbo package from the late eighties, he’s consistently been one of the most knowledgeable and creative forces in the Corvette aftermarket. So when I saw the new photos of the 2008 Callaway Corvette package, I can’t help but to let out a gasp and a few ohhs and ahhs.

Callaway Cars, the Corvette super tuner shows off their new supercharger package that gives the C6 Corvette’s 6.2L LS3 a kick in the shorts by adding 150 horsepower yet keeping the car emissions-compliant in all 50 states. The upgrades will cost you $18,500 and are backed by Reeve’s superior craftsmanship and a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty to boot. With horsepower greater than a Z06, but costing less than the new ZR1, the Callaway Corvette could just well be the middle ground for the serious performance enthusiast.

The package consists of GM’s LS3 engine, an Eaton/Magnuson roots-style supercharger, an air/liquid intercooler, upgraded fuel system with high-flow injectors, Callaway Honker cold air intake and a custom computer tune. A new hood painted to match and a silver “power bulge” and custom insignias round out the Callaway look.

With the 2008 package, you can expect 580 hp with 510 lb-ft of torque and a top speed, or maximum velocity as its stated of 200 mph. The Callaway Corvette is available in either coupe or convertible, with a standard or paddle-shift 6-speed automatic, and you can order directly through the factory or deliver your own car. Callaway has several other high performance upgrades including suspension, brakes, wheels and tires.

2008 Corvette Callaway Package

But I’m not through gushing about Callaway yet. Tuners tend to like the view from the top. So while Chevy was getting set to release their new 620 horsepower king of the hill ZR1, Reeves decided a little upgrade of the their widely successful C16 Callaway was in order. Now, the hand built LS3s are fortified with an intercooled supercharger, CNC ported cylinder heads, upgraded valvetrain, Callaway cold-air intake and free-flowing exhaust to achieve an incredible 650 horsepower and 585 lb-ft of torque.

The C16′s contain a host of upgrades from the stand Corvette including a whole new exterior skin, while the interior features lush leather upgrades and Callaway’s signature badges just about anyplace they’d stick.

The C16 Coupe will cost you $150,000 while the cabrio runs $158,000.

See both these Corvette derivatives at CallawayCars.com

Sources:
CallawayCars.com via Autoblog.com

Related:
Five People in the Corvette Hobby I’d Like to Meet

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