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Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1

I warned you when we heard that Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson was testing driving the Corvette ZR1 out on the Bonneville Salt Flats about his tendency to talk glowingly about Corvettes and then bashing them. It’s beginning to look like that’s what we’re in for after we saw this quote about Clarkson’s time in the Corvette ZR1 in his very unflattering review of the Chrysler Sebring Cabriolet.

In the Sebring review, which Clarkson calls the “worst car in the World”, he’s ranting about the poor quality of American cars when he drops this in eight paragraphs from the end:

“I spent most of my time in America this time in a new Corvette ZR1. It is a fabulous car. Mesmerisingly fast, good looking and amazing value. But after three days the damn thing was beginning to disintegrate. It made me growl with annoyance and despair.”

The next seven paragraphs is typical Clarkson, bashing America and our lack of “history” as the root cause. I’m not going to go into any more details. His constant rants on the subject of American cars and therefore America itself is so tiresome. Unfortunately, he’s about to turn his sights on our favorite sports car and I for one could really care less…


Source:
UK Times Online via Motor Trend Forums

Related:
UK’s Top Gear to Test Drive The 2009 Corvette ZR1
[VIDEO] Top Gear Reviews Z06 Corvette

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The Corvette C6.Rs at Petit Le Mans

The #3 Corvette C6.R piloted by Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen and Ron Fellows finished first in class to win the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans on Saturday. The Corvette completed 365 laps of the 2.54-mile road course and finished 6 laps ahead of their teammates in the #4 Corvette. The #3 Corvette C6.R also won the inaugural ALMS Green Challenge, beating all GT1 and GT2 cars in this race-in-a-race based on performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact.

The Corvette Racing team put a lot of emphasis in winning the Green Challenge. The Corvettes are powered by cellulosic E85 ethanol made from waste wood from a national forest. The #3 Corvette C6.R’s score of 20.391 was the lowest in the GT class. The #007 Aston Martin running in the GT2 class was second with the #4 Corvette C6.R third.

“Going into the second half of the season, Corvette Racing’s goal was to win the first Green Challenge,” said Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. “Winning the Green Challenge with the best score among both GT cars and Prototypes was a team effort that combined the expertise of GM Powertrain, our engine supplier Katech, and Pratt & Miller Engineering.

“It’s not just about making the engine more efficient and more environmentally friendly,” Wesoloski explained. “We looked at things like reducing wheel bearing friction and aerodynamic drag to win the Green Challenge. Alternative renewable fuels are an important part of GM’s gas-friendly to gas-free program, and GM already has more E85-compatible vehicles on the road than any other manufacturer. Green Racing ties in with what the corporation is doing in production vehicles. We’re developing the technology to improve both efficiency and performance, and we’re proving it on the race track.”

The race did have its moments of drama for the team. Oliver Gavin was driving the #4 Corvette C6.R at the 5:43 mark when the throttle linkage malfunctioned coming out of turn 7. Gavin was able to nurse the Corvette back to pit lane by running at idle. The crew was able to fix the issue and 9 minutes later the Corvette was back to running at full speed.

“The fact that the Corvette C6.R engine has so much torque enabled me to get back to the pits,” said Gavin. “Otherwise the hills here at Road Atlanta would have left me stuck out on the track. It was dicey because I had to drive the entire length of the straight with the engine on idle. I was staring in the mirror to make sure I wouldn’t get in anyone’s way – I was going about 25 mph, and they were passing me at 180!”

Corvette Racing’s next event is the Monterey Sports Car Challenge, the season finale of the 2008 American Le Mans Series, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on Saturday, October 18. The four-hour race is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. PDT. NBC will televise the race tape-delayed at 2 – 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 19.



Source:
Corvette Racing
AmericanLeMans.com

Related:
Corvette Racing: Petit Le Mans News Roundup
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan on the Green Challenge

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Bruce Willis and his 1967 Corvette Roadster

Bruce Willis not only has a collection of dirty, bloody, ripped up white t-shirts, as that seems to be how every movie ends with him wearing, but apparently he’s a fairly serious collector of American muscle cars. Come October 25th, his collection will be a bit lighter as he’s selling several cars including two Corvettes.

Strength, performance and individuality are all words that could describe Bruce and the characters he portrays in the movies, but we’re talking about his classic car collection, and most notably his Corvettes. The two cars will be offered up for auction by well-known auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields October 25th at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

1957 Corvette Owned by Bruce Willis 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
A gift from his then wife Demi Moore, it received a thorough restoration and retains its original 283cu-in engine delivering 220hp, has Powerglide transmission, front disc brakes, power booster, power steering, and comes with both soft and hard tops.
(Estimated Price: $70,000/$90,000)
 
1967 Corvette Owned by Bruce Willis 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Considered the most desirable year-model Corvette in history, this 427cu-in big block offers 435hp and takes off like it’s turbocharged when the second set of Holley 2-barrel carbs comes on line. Like all of Willis’ cars, it has extras like power brakes, power steering, Cragar S/S alloy wheels, and an Alpine 5-CD changer in the glove box with an infrared remote so it doesn’t detract from the otherwise stock appearance or require removal of the original AM-FM radio.
(Estimated Price: $110,000/$150,000)

In addition to the Corvettes, Bruce is also offering up a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible, a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT 500 Convertible and a 1969 Dodge Charger.

Check out Bonhams & Butterfields website for more details. Interested collectors may register to bid in person or remotely via the website or by telephone.


As a matter of full disclosure, I am also partial to 1968 Pontiac Firebirds as that’s the car I bought for my son several years ago. However, reports of his Firebird beating my 66 Corvette in a race have been greatly exaggerated.


Source:
Bonhams & Butterfields

Related:
eBay: Charlton Heston’s 1999 Corvette For Sale
Celebrity Sighting: Rush Hour Corvette For Sale on eBay

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September 2008 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on October 2, 2008

Corvette sales continued to be pretty decent through September, no doubt bouyed by the Employee Discount Program on remaining 2008 Corvettes that ran through the end of the month. Last month, 2,318 Corvettes were delivered but sales were down 18.3% over September 2007. W continue to have some major concerns with the impact the credit crunch may have in the coming months.

Within the last month, GM began making moves to ease the impact of the current economic slowdown in regards to Corvette Sales. The first will be a cut in production later this month by closing the Bowling Green Assembly Plant for a week as well as the slowing production line – two moves that should ease dealer inventories. GM also announced a $1520 price increase across the board, while not in itself a significate price hike, it is a move that will help offset some of the cuts that GM has been making to ensure profibility.

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%
April 3,190 3,227 -1.1% Jan-Apr 9,968 11,403 -12.6%
May 2,904 3,300 -12.0% Jan-May 12,872 14,703 -12.5%
June 2,082 3,055 -31.8% Jan-Jun 14,954 17,758 -15.8%
July 1,870 2,377 -21.3% Jan-Jul 16,824 20,135 -16.4%
August 4,242 2,877 47.4% Jan-Aug 21,066 23,012 -8.5%
September 2,318 2,837 -18.3% Jan-Sept 23,384 25,849 -9.5%


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 7,821 Corvettes on the ground as of yesterday and can be broken down into:

  • 2007 Corvettes – 210
  • 2008 Corvettes – 2,828
  • 2009 Corvettes – 4,783
Here’s the current breakdown in 2008 Corvette inventory in case you’re still looking to score a deal:
  • 1,265 Corvette Coupes
  • 849 Corvette Convertibles
  • 714 Corvette Z06


Source:
GM.com
JeffHardy.com

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply
August 2008 Corvette Sales

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Corvette Racing: Petit Le Mans News Roundup

by Keith Cornett on October 2, 2008

The Corvette C6.Rs at Petit Le Mans
We got a ton of news and quotes coming for the Corvette Racing team as they prepare for Saturday’s 1,000-Mile/10-Hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Stay with CorvetteBlogger as we follow the factory-backed Corvette C6.Rs in what will be their last appearance in the GT1 class at the American Le Mans series premier event before transitioning to GT2 next year.


Wednesday Practice

Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis went quickest in GT1 at 1:16.867 (118.959 mph). The trio was 0.095 seconds quicker than the sister Corvette of Jan Magnussen, Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell.

Magnussen and O’Connell lead the class championship by 23 points over Beretta and Gavin. There are 55 points remaining over the final two events with 30 points going to Petit Le Mans winners.



Corvette Racing’s #3 Jan Magnussen on Petit Le Mans

“Petit Le Mans is a fantastic race. There are so many fans there. It’s a long event – 1,000 miles – so people tend to come there and camp out. It’s very similar to Sebring in terms of atmosphere. And the race is a little bit different than the other long races that we do. The track kind of lends itself to harder racing because you have to take bigger chances to get through traffic. But it’s, for me, a fantastic event, and I’m looking to go back there and do more than 14 laps or whatever I did last year before I got pushed off.”



A Ford for Andy Pilgrim?

Yes, that was a GM man in the pits of a Ford GT-R team Wednesday. Andy Pilgrim will co-drive Black Swan Racing’s GT2 entry with Anthony Lazzaro and team owner Tim Pappas. Pilgrim is part of Chevrolet’s factory road-racing program but received permission from GM to drive Pappas’ car.

Looking ahead, it’s not a bad idea. Corvette Racing announced in September that it will move to GT2 following next year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pilgrim said not to read too much into his drive this weekend as he doesn’t know how Corvette Racing will utilize him next season.

“Tim had wanted me to drive the car for awhile and it worked out this race where I could,” Pilgrim said. “It’s good to get the experience in GT2 because of the future of GM’s Corvette program and testing the GT2 car.”



Johnny O’Connell’s Charity Auction

Corvette Racing driver Johnny O’Connell will host his annual charity auction at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, October 3, at Road Atlanta’s infield winner’s circle. O’Connell organized the auction in 2001 in memory of his father to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association and The Guest House, a senior citizen day care center in Gainesville, Ga.

Drivers, teams, and manufacturers have donated memorabilia and merchandise, and O’Connell will play the role of auctioneer. The event has raised more than $200,000 for charity to date.



Bad Boy Vettes PitCam

BBV will be down in Atlanta for Petit Le Mans this weekend and their ever popular PitCam will be bringing you a live feed from the pits while the Corvette C6.Rs are on the track as well as behind the scenes view of the paddock. A chat room will be running in conjunction with the PitCam operation. Expect to see video starting on Friday.



Mad Max’s Birthday

Max Papis returns to Corvette Racing as the third driver of the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R at Petit Le Mans. The popular Italian will celebrate his 39th birthday on Friday, October 3, on the eve of the endurance race. Happy Birthday, Max!



Have You Voted?

There is still time to vote for this year’s American Le Mans Series “From The Fans” awards. The Corvette Racing team’s fearless leader Doug Fehan has been nominated so drop what you’re doing and vote for Godoug now! As fans, we can also vote for the Most Popular Driver Award and I have thrown my support behind Corvette Racing driver Johnny O’Connell. His charity auction this weekend is just another reason why he is one of the good guys in this league. Go Johnny!



The 1,000 mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans will take place this Saturday, October 4th. SPEED will televise the race live starting at 11am.



Sources:
Paddock Talk | Newshaus | Bad Boy Vettes | American Le Mans

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan on the Green Challenge
LG Motorsports GT2 Corvette Returning to ALMS for Petit Le Mans

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Barn Find: 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible Racer

by Keith Cornett on October 1, 2008

1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible

One of the approximately 80 L-88 Corvettes produced in 1968 was recently unearthed in North Florida by the guys at Proteam Corvettes. Unrestored and most definitely molested, this L-88 street racer is unique as only one or two known L-88 Convertibles were produced with a Rally Red exterior and red interior.

This Corvette was a one-owner car since new until September 24, 2008 and features all the goodies you can expect on an L-88 racer: The M22 4-Speed close ratio heavy duty transmission, J56 special heavy duty brakes, F41 heavy duty suspension, a heavy duty rear end and the sure sign of an original street racer: radio delete! The big block that came with this race-bred convertible is a GM warranty engine.

1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible
1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible
1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible

Proteam is considering invitations for displaying the Corvette before it heads into the shop for a complete restoration. Terry believes these original Corvettes in their “as-found” condition can be an invaluable tool for senior judging seminars. Sure it’s not a Survivor® but it is still a really neat find.

Visit Proteam Corvettes to see over 100 photos of this very cool L-88 Corvette street racer.


Source:
Proteam Corvette

Related:
Barn Find: 1968 Corvette Convertible
Rare 1957 “Airbox” Corvette Found & Restored to Former Glory

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Corvette Ad Watch: AC Spark Plugs and the Mako Shark

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

AC Spark Plugs and the Mako Shark

In this vintage AC Spark Plugs magazine ad, the headline reads “Shark by Chevrolet – ACtion sparked by AC”.

The ad features Chevrolet’s XP-755, otherwise known as the Mako Shark. Under the illustration, the small text description reads “The XP-755 Chevrolet Corvette Shark: 102.1″ wheelbase, 192.2″ overall, 327-cubic-inch displacement, V-8 engine featuring Roots-type supercharger, 4 side-draft carburetors developing over 400 horsepower.”

A Roots-type Supercharger on the Shark? Who knew…

Click here for a larger version of the ad.


Source:
Pink Ponk @ Flickr via WellMedicated.com

Related:
Corvette Ad Watch: 505 Horses + You = The Corvette Z06
Corvette Ad Watch: Mobil 1 Ad Features Corvette ZR1

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LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies GT2 #28 Corvette

Lou Gigliotti and his flame-painted #28 GT2 Corvette are returning to the ALMS to compete in the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans this weekend in Atlanta. Lou will be teaming up with Tomy Drissi while the third driver may be Marc Goossens, who filled the third seat at Sebring.

The LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies Corvette was last seen at Miller Motorsports Park in May where the team posted a season-best 6th place finish. The Corvette has been updated slightly and should be quicker than the Utah race where the team ran as high as 3rd. Lou said “Riley and our LG Team have completed some updates that we are very pleased with.”

The car will be on Dunlop Tires for this race and the team is very optimistic about the improved performance. The #28 Corvette will also have a new sponsor for Petit LeMans, the 20th Century Fox Movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. The movie will be in theaters December 12th and you can view the movie trailer here.



Source:
LG Motorsports

Related:
[VIDEO] ALMS GT2: LG Motorsports #28 Corvette at Utah

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GM Raises Prices on All 2009 Corvettes

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

GM announced yesterday an across the board price increase on all Corvettes produced on and after September 29, 2009. Coupes, Convertibles, Z06s and the ZR1 will have their MSRP raised by $1,520. This price will effect any Corvette that is not already in dealers stock.

Kerbeck Corvette’s Sales Manager Dave Salvatore told us you are price protected if you have a Customer order date prior to September 29th. He also sent us the new Corvette base prices (not including the $850 destination charge or the ZR1’s gas guzzler tax):

  • Coupe – $48,565
  • Convertible – $53,220
  • Z06 – $73,925
  • ZR1 – $103,970

The good news is that Kerbeck Corvette has over 85 2009 Corvettes in stock at the old price! Call Dave and his team today at 1-877-537-2325 to get the best price available and make sure you tell him CorvetteBlogger sent you!


Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply

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[VIDEO] Another Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno pulls 549.9 RWHP!

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1 Dyno Sheet

The Vette Doctors of Amityville, NY had a customer bring his new 2009 Corvette ZR1 into their shop and this time we got three dyno runs on video. The sound this Corvette makes is impressive. I think that it would have been pretty cool to have been there in person to hear it.

The shop performed three base dyno pulls and their best run was 549.9 rear wheel horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque, better than what we saw last week when two Corvette ZR1′s averaged 535 RWHP on a dynojet. According to the post, these are adjusted numbers. That’s a 13.8 percent loss which again is within the normal parameters.

Now for the crazy part. The Corvette ZR1 is in the shop because the owner is “already looking for a little more power!”. Vette Doctors is working on some custom programming to get the full potential out of the new King of the Hill. They are also will be working with American Racing Headers to develop a ZR1 specific header system. The shop is hoping to have these changes on the car and back on the dyno in the next week and will be posting those new numbers as soon as they are available.


Source:
Corvette Forum
The Vette Doctors

Related:
2009 Corvette ZR1 Hits the Dyno
[VIDEO] GM Releases Official Corvette ZR1 Specs: 638 hp and 205 mph Technorati Tags:
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