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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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Stolen 1959 Corvette VIN J59S100698

I received the following email last night from Jessica in Ronkonoma, New York about a 1959 Corvette that was stolen from her home garage last week. While I hope this post will help get the word out about the Corvette, my main purpose is to make sure the VIN from the Corvette comes up in Google and other search engines as belonging to a stolen Corvette. If you are familiar with this Corvette or hear anything about VIN #J59S100698 please contact Jessica directly.

Dear Keith,

My uncle found out he had cancer and died within two months, in December of ’07. Everything happened so quickly and before we knew it, my family was dealing with this tragic loss. He left behind a 1959 red corvette convertible as a family heirloom. My uncle didn’t have kids and he was never married. He saved his whole life to buy this car. On March 21, 2008, this car was stolen from our home garage in Ronkonkoma, NY. We have tried everything to get this car recovered, from airing interviews on local tv and radio stations to passing out 1,000 fliers and counting in the community.

Please help us get this car back. Can you post a blog about this car??

With kind thanks,

Jessica Pedersen
631-871-6323
jessicalpedersen@yahoo.com

1959 Corvette Roadster. Red with White Coves, Red interior and a white hard top. The Corvette is an automatic with spinner wheels and white wall tires. VIN J59S100698.


Related:
Stolen Corvette Returned After 37 Years Technorati Tags:
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Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The Competition

GM is unleashing another special edition built exclusively for the European Continent. The Corvette Competition is purpose-built to win both hearts and races for those enthusiasts living “across the pond.” Celebrating Corvette’s racing heritage, the Competition makes the most of the LS3′s 437 horses through maximizing Corvette’s superior power to weight ratio by keeping extras to a minimum. The Corvette Competition isn’t just a trim package like last year’s Victory Edition. It comes standard with an upgraded Z51 performance package, a Z06 rear spoiler and competition grey wheels. The Competition Corvette will be available only in Black and production will be limited.

The Corvette Competition delivers standard features like:

  • A precise 6-speed gearbox with a direct operating gear lever
  • Standard Z51 Performance Package with upgraded torsion bars, brakes and Eagle F1 Run Flat tires
  • Brake cooling ducts for the cross-drilled brake rotors
  • Active Handling System with a Competitive mode for advanced drivers
  • Z06 rear spoiler for improved downforce and high speed stability
  • Design touches that include front and rear sport mesh grilles, a carbon fiber central console, leather seats and Competition grey aluminum wheels

Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The C6 Competition Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The C6 Competition Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The C6 Competition
Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The C6 Competition Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The C6 Competition Europe's Special Edition Corvette: The C6 Competition

This is the second special edition built exclusively for Europe. Last year’s Victory Edition gave European Corvette buyers their very own special edition that celebrated the Corvette’s success in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of LeMans. For more information, visit Corvette Europe.


Source:
Corvette Europe

Related:
Europe to get LeMans Victory Edition Corvette Technorati Tags:
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1964 Corvette Coupe

Barrett-Jackson wrapped up their four day Palm Beach collector car auction and the results have been tabulated: 59 Corvettes sold for $3,861,200. The total doesn’t include a buyer’s commission of 10% as Barrett-Jackson is only reporting the hammer price on their results page.

The top seller of the weekend was a 1958 RestoRod powered by a 1996 LT-4 engine with a 6-speed ZF transmission. The Black/Silver Corvette sold for $155,000 on Saturday. But the big story for the weekend is the strength of the early C3 Corvettes. A 327ci 350hp Rally Red 1968 Corvette roadster sold for $152,000 and in third place at $150,000 was a Cortez Silver 1969 Corvette Coupe with the L71 427/435 engine. Another 1969 Cortez Silver Corvette with a L71 427/435 engine sold for $98,000 while a 1972 LT-1 Corvette hit $92,000.

The weekend wasn’t without its disappointments though. A 1970 LT-1 ZR-1 Corvette sold for just $102,000 despite the fact that only 25 were made. Fuelie prices seemed lower than in previous auctions. A 1960 283/290 FI Convertible sold for $112,000 and a 1962 White Roadster with a 327/360 FI engine fetched $93,000.

Looking at the last few years of the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auctions gives us something else to talk about. There were less Corvettes represented than in previous years and therefore the sales totals are less. But we are also seeing a decline in the average prices from year to year. If we adjust this year’s sales figure to include a 10% buyers commission, Corvettes sold for an average of $71,988 in 2008, down from $75,177 in 2007 and $78,970 in 2006.

Here are the full results from the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Auction:

LOT # YEAR MAKE MODEL PRICE
46 1969 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $31,000
47 1965 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $63,000
64 1964 CORVETTE COUPE $54,000
98.1 1980 CORVETTE CUSTOM COUPE $10,000
100 1982 CORVETTE COUPE $19,500
312 1982 CORVETTE COUPE $15,500
323 1994 CORVETTE COUPE $19,000
324 1992 CORVETTE COUPE $16,500
331.1 1975 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $19,000
340.1 1990 CORVETTE COUPE $44,000
345 1965 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $53,000
348 1958 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $73,000
348.1 1965 CORVETTE COUPE $73,000
350.1 1968 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $152,000
355 1970 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $65,000
356 1966 CORVETTE CUSTOM COUPE $70,000
361.1 1963 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $80,000
364 1966 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $65,000
365 1965 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $64,000
370 2000 CORVETTE AVELATE CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE $47,000
372.1 1958 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $63,000
385 2004 CORVETTE 88TH INDY 500 OFFICIAL PACE CAR $58,000
385.1 1964 CORVETTE COUPE $100,000
388 1972 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE LT-1 $92,000
388.1 1972 CORVETTE COUPE $66,000
389 1962 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $70,000
394 1964 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $71,000
401 1961 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $61,000
422 1992 CORVETTE CUSTOM COUPE $17,000
600 1973 CORVETTE COUPE $13,500
609 1988 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $16,500
627.1 1978 CORVETTE SILVER ANNIVERSARY PACE CAR $28,000
630 2003 CORVETTE AVELATE CONVERTIBLE $70,000
632 1962 CORVETTE FI CONVERTIBLE $93.000
633.1 1970 CORVETTE COUPE $62,000
636 1967 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $66,000
641.1 1959 CORVETTE CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE $80,000
642 1967 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $72,000
643 2007 CORVETTE DAYTONA 500 PACE CAR RE-CREATION $64,000
645 1965 CORVETTE COUPE $107,000
646 1969 CORVETTE COUPE $150,000
652 1962 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $80,000
655 1957 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $90,000
670.1 1970 CORVETTE LT-1 ZR-1 COUPE $102,000
672.1 1960 CORVETTE FI CONVERTIBLE $112,000
678 1966 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $112,000
678.1 1961 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $118,000
681.1 1965 CORVETTE CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE $92,000
683 1957 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $80,000
684 1954 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $72,000
685.1 1969 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $67,000
688 1958 CORVETTE CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE $155,000
688.1 1969 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE L71 $98,000
689.3 2007 CORVETTE CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE $67,000
707 1994 CORVETTE COUPE $21,000
908 1985 CORVETTE COUPE $6,700
925 1994 CORVETTE COUPE $20,000
942 1960 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE $57,000
956 1963 CORVETTE CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE $58,000
         
      TOTAL CORVETTE SALES: $3,861,200

Sources:
Barrett-Jackson.com
SpeedTV.com

Related:
[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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1969 L71 427/435 Corvette on the block at Barrett-Jackson's Palm Beach Collector Car Auction

In what could very well be the all time high price, this 38,000 mile 1969 Corvette Coupe equipped with the potent L71 427 ci 435 hp engine sold for $150,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction in March 2008. Our search for a previous high led us to Keith Martin’s VetteMarket.com Corvette database where an L71 Corvette Coupe sold at Barrett-Jackson’s 2006 Scottsdale auction for $116,100 while the overall high for 1961 L71 Corvettes goes to a convertible model that sold at the same auction for $128,200.

This Cortez Silver example (Lot #646)is highly documented and fully authenticated. The Corvette features the L71 427 ci 435 hp engine, M21 close ratio 4-speed manual transmission and F-41 suspension. Options include factory side mount exhaust, power disc brakes, power steering, power windows, Redline tires, headrest and shoulder belts.

This kind of money for early C3 big blocks has mostly been reserved for the 200-odd L88 Corvettes. It will be interesting to see if the market follows or if this was just a case of Barrett-Jacksonitis.

Sources:
Barrett-Jackson.com
SpeedTV.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 08: 1970 Corvette ZR-1 Sells for $102,000
[VIDEO] Friday’s Featured Corvettes: Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Edition
2008 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Corvette Auction Preview

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