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Dealers, do you know where your 2009 Corvette ZR1 allocation letters are? We heard the letters were promised in “early May” and being so close to the date that the system will start accepting orders for the 2009 models, it’s unusual that they haven’t shown up yet. We already know that yearly production will be 2,000 units according to Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter, so what’s the holdup in letting dealers know their preliminary allocation numbers? It could very have something to do with pending legislation in Florida that would cause a ripple effect across the country for not only allocations of the Corvette ZR1 but the Z06 as well.
On May 1st, the Florida Legislature approved a bill pertaining to Motor Vehicle Dealers and their relationship with the licensees (ie manufactures) and sent it to the desk of Governor Charlie Crist for his signature. The 17 page bill, titled “CS for SB 2582” contains language that prohibits certain actions that licensees can take against a dealer including coercion to improve or relocate facilities or punishing dealers for selling motor vehicles knowingly to customers who intend to export them.
However, there are two sections of this bill that deal with fairness of allocations. It is specifically these two clauses that could effect the allocation of a limited production car like the 2009 Corvette ZR1. The worst case scenario is that no Florida Chevrolet dealers will receive the ZR1 because if GM makes one available to any dealer in Florida, than technically it would have to make one available to all dealers in the state, which is what it seems the bill requires.
The two clauses in “CS for SB 2582″ dealing with allocations are below with the relevant passages highlighted:
(18) The applicant or licensee has established a system of motor vehicle allocation or distribution or has implemented a system of allocation or distribution of motor vehicles to one or more of its franchised motor vehicle dealers which reduces or alters allocations or supplies of new motor vehicles to the dealer to achieve, directly or indirectly, a purpose that is prohibited by State Statute 320.60-320.70, or which otherwise is unfair, inequitable, unreasonably discriminatory, or not supportable by reason and good cause after considering the equities of the affected motor vehicles dealer or dealers. An applicant or licensee shall maintain for 3 years records that describe its methods or formula of allocation and distribution of its motor vehicles and records of its actual allocation and distribution of motor vehicles to its motor vehicle dealers in this state. As used in this subsection, “unfair” includes, without limitation, the refusal or failure to offer to any dealer an equitable supply of new vehicles under its franchise, by model, mix, or colors as the licensee offers or allocates to its other same line-make dealers in the state.
(22) The applicant or licensee has refused to deliver, in reasonable quantities and within a reasonable time, to any duly licensed motor vehicle dealer who has an agreement with such applicant or licensee for the retail sale of new motor vehicles and parts for motor vehicles sold or distributed by the applicant or licensee, any such motor vehicles or parts as are covered by such agreement. Such refusal includes the failure to offer to its same line-make franchised motor vehicle dealers all models manufactured for that line-make, or requiring a dealer to pay any extra fee, require a dealer to execute a separate franchise agreement, purchase unreasonable advertising displays or other materials, or relocate, expand, improve, remodel, renovate, or recondition, or alter the dealer’s existing facilities, or provide exclusive facilities as a prerequisite to receiving a model or series of vehicles. However, the failure to deliver any motor vehicle or part will not be considered a violation of this section if the failure is due to an act of God, work stoppage, or delay due to a strike or labor difficulty, a freight embargo, product shortage, or other cause over which the applicant or licensee has no control. An applicant or licensee may impose reasonable requirements on the motor vehicle dealer, other than the items listed above, including, but not limited to, the purchase of special tools required to properly service a motor vehicle and the undertaking of sales person or service person training related to the motor vehicle.
As the Corvette ZR1 is considered its own model, any dealer not allocated a ZR1 could technically invoke these clauses and force a claim against GM for violations. While the clauses would also apply to the Corvette Z06 because its also considered a “model”, our understanding of the bill is that special editions like the Indy 500 Pace Car replicas would be exempt as they are technically an option on a convertible or coupe, and not considered its own “model”.
It’s easy to see the dilemma that GM faces. General Motors has a mathematical formula for which of the 4,000+ Chevrolet dealers that would be able to sell the 2,000 Corvette ZR1s (not taking into consideration that some of that number is planned for export) and if this legislation is passed, GM may be forced to exclude the Sunshine state altogether from its ZR1 allocations unless they want to offer one to every Florida-based dealer first. As you can see, this decision could cause a ripple across the US with thousands of dollars of profit per ZR1 at stake.
We’ll be watching MyFlorida.com for announcement on whether this bill will be signed or vetoed.
Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen cruised to their third victory of the year at Sunday’s Utah Grand Prix at the Miller Motorsports Park outside of Salt Lake City. The #3 Corvette C6.R finished the two hour thirty minute race with a one-minute, 4.9-second victory over their #4 Corvette C6.R teammates Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin. O’Connell and Magnussen now hold an eight point lead (86-78) in the GT1 Drivers Championship.
This was a race that really wasn’t a race as the teams used the 3.048 road circuit as their final test and tune-up for next month’s 24 hours of Le Mans. Keeping the two Corvettes out of danger was the top priority and luckily they did just that. It was such a non-race that SPEED gave the Corvette Racing team just two and half minutes of direct coverage.
The two Corvette C6.Rs are now on their way back to Detroit where they will be cleaned up and then shipped to France later this week.
Corvette Racing’s next event is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, on June 14-15. The 76th running of the classic 24-hour endurance race on the 8.5-mile Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans will begin at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EDT). Portions of the race will be televised live on SPEED.
Olivier Beretta dug deep on his third and final qualifying lap to win the GT1 Pole in Sunday’s Utah Grand Prix with a fastest lap of 1:43.869 (105.641 mph), edging his teammate Johnny O’Connell in the #3 C6.R by just .175 seconds. The pole win was the 22nd for Corvette Racing’s driver from Monaco.
The battle for the GT1 pole was split in the first two laps with Beretta winning the first lap and O’Connell winning the second.
“Mike West, my crew chief, told me on my second lap that I was behind Johnny, so I said to myself, ‘OK, this is the last lap, I must do the maximum that I can,’” said Beretta. “My Corvette C6.R was perfect, so the quick lap time came.”
The road course at Miller Motorsports Park has been once of the favorites of the Corvette Racing team in recent years. This year, the course has been reconfigured to a 3.048 circuit.
“It’s good to be quick for three qualifying laps, but the car must be quick and comfortable for the whole race,” Beretta noted. “This is the last preparation for the big race in Le Mans, so we have been testing and everything is working well. There is always strong competition between the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette on the track, but we are always working together to find out what can help us for Le Mans. That is the one race we really want to win.”
The Utah Grand Prix is the final ALMS race before the team packs up and heads to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-June. The twin Corvette race cars are scheduled to be flown across the Atlantic just days after the Utah race.
“The cars have came through unscathed so far, and that’s our main objective this weekend,” reported Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. “We’ve achieved good top speeds with the cellulosic E85R ethanol at this track so the new fuel is working really well for us. We’re also working on muffler development in view of the sound restrictions at Le Mans, and it looks like we’ll have good horsepower when we go to France.”
In GT2, LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies #28 Corvette finished with a fastest lap of 1:49.057 (100.615 mph) to start 9th out of the 14 cars that qualified.
The American Le Mans Series Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by The Grand and Little America Hotels, the fourth round of the 11-race ALMS, is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 18. SPEED will broadcast the two-hour, 45-minute race live at 3 p.m. EDT.
Photo Credit: American LeMans
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The future of GM’s Corvette Racing program is cloudy once again with the decision by the corporation to shelve its mid-engine Le Mans “Evo” platform. The C7R (conceptualized above by Automobile Magazine) was expected to be the first American manufactured race car in 44 years to compete for the overall win at Le Mans, the world’s most prestigious endurance race. The move last month by ACO, the Le Mans rule-makers to backtrack on plans to launch the Evo class leaves Corvette Racing without a ride after the 2010 racing season, and my oh my what an awesome ride that would have been.
Back in 2007, new rules were adopted for Le Mans starting in 2010 that would have combined the GT1 and LMP1 into the “Evo” class. The Evo racers would have featured cars designed with closed cockpits in a move to emphasize more of the relationship between the racy road cars and their production siblings instead of the open cockpit formula styled cars currently running in the LMP1 class. However current LMP1 contestants including Audi and Peugeot complained loud and hard about the rule changes to the point that the ACO rules committee will allow them to continue in their current configuration, albeit modified to reduce overall top speeds, for years to come.
As usual, there are conflicting stories and finger-pointing as to the status of the Evo program with Sweet Pete De Lorenzo of AutoExtremist.com saying that the class is very much on and that the “brain trust” at GM was halting the program because a mid-engined Corvette wouldn’t have a direct connection to the production Corvette. His “rant” against GM’s preference for NASCAR above all other forms of racing is a great read for those of us who prefer the road racing efforts epitomized by the success of Corvette. GM’s road-racing program director Steve Wesoloksi said the Evo program has only been suspended due to the questionable regulations surrounding the revised Le Mans classes. And while cost concerns were a factor, he does say the door is open to resuming the Evo program should the class move forward.
Corvette Racing has essentially been racing itself the last two years because of these pending rule changes. With the Evo racer shelved and no competition likely in the GT1 class, a move down to the GT2 class is now looking more certain. GM’s contract with Pratt & Miller runs through 2010 so its likely we’ll see the team racing the familiar C6.Rs for at least the near future.
Wesoloski also said the FIA, Europe’s counterpart to the ALMS, and the ACO are working with GM, Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin to produce a single GT class based more on the specifications of production cars, which would allow the companies to compete head-to-head. So despite the loss of the Evo Corvette, another Corvette-based racer is likely to be on the horizon to take on the best the world has to offer.
So let me get this straight…A car named after a boat is used as the design inspiration for another boat? Swedish designer Bo Zolland takes the classic design cues from a 1963 Corvette split window coupe and applied it to this ultra cool speed boat design. It’s the ultimate Corvette Corvette! While these boats are just concepts, there is actually a swedish company taking orders to build you the real deal.
More photos after the jump.
Zolland offers up several different power plants that these retro speed boats can be powered by, including the 496 or 502 Mercruiser, LS9 Marine or the 550 hp Volvo Penta Diesel. In the red example about, we believe Bo goes off the deep end by mounting what appears to be dual Viper V10s just feet behind the passenger cockpit. We think if you are going through the process of recreating the original sting ray, it should at least be powered by a pair of modern 7.0L Chevy LS7s, right?
MB in Minnesota submitted his 1967 Corvette Roadster to Corvette Values:
1967 Corvette Roadster, VIN #194677S105XXX. L71 427-435 engine, 4-Speed Transmission. 52,436 original miles. Goodwood Green with Saddle vinyl interior. The Corvette’s options include power steering, M21 transmission, factory side exhaust, headrests, shoulder harnesses and a Black Vinyl hardtop. The exterior paint is good, mechanicals are excellent and the Corvette is all original and has never been restored. Documentation includes the original bill of sale, protecto plate and owner history.
Find out how we valued this Corvette after the jump.
The VIN indicates it was built in December, 1966, early in the 1967 production year. The owner indicates the mileage, 52,435 is original and correct.
This Corvette is rare from a number of perspectives. The first being it is all original and has not been restored. It is Goodwood Green in color, the most popular paint color in the 1967 Corvette model year. The paint is classified in good condition. The interior is in excellent condition, including the door panels, carpet and Saddle vinyl seats with optional headrests. In addition, this Vette has the optional shoulder belts. Both the headrests and shoulder belts can be considered rare with less than 8% of the 1967 models ordered with these options.
This Corvette is powered by a very desirable high performance, 427-435, original motor coupled with a four-speed close ratio manual transmission.
Other options include the correct side-mounted exhaust system, power steering, AM/FM radio and cast aluminum bolt-on wheels (added, not ordered when the Corvette was built). Another rare option is the black vinyl covered hardtop.
From a curb appeal standpoint, this Corvette presents an excellent profile with its Green paint and White ‘stinger’ trim on the hood and the optional wheels and bright side exhaust.
Adding to its value, this Corvette’s originality is substantiated by the available bill of sale, protecto plate and owner history.
We place a value of $125,000 on this very original, low mileage 1967 Corvette Roadster.
As a side-note, the one year appreciation factor in average price for a 1967 Roadster is 11%. Also, this Corvette appears to be ready for NCRS and/or Bloomington certification that could enhance the value of this Corvette by an estimated $25,000.
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So you’re an American in Germany, home of the beerhouse and wiener schnitzel and you’re hungry. So where do you go to grab something fast and familiar? McDonalds of course! The Corvette ZR1 is shown here sitting in a parking lot at a local German McDonalds while the drivers are no doubt filling themselves up on “Royales with Cheese”.
More photos after the jump.
Team Corvette has been in Germany with the ZR1 doing their high speed testing around the NÃ¼rburgring. Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said that the “ZR1 will beat the track record for production cars at any road course in the world” and that he expects a ‘ring lap time of around “seven minutes twenty something seconds.”
According to Autogespot.com, “Hij is gespot! Er zwerven al geruime tijd spyshots over het net en nu is hij open en bloot gespot op de parkeerplaats bij een McDonalds in Duitsland. De Corvette ZR1 zal volgens de heren van Corvette in staat zijn ieder record van productie-auto’s op ieder circuit te verbeteren. ”
Using Google’s Dutch to English transltor:
“He is spotted! There has long been spyshots wander through the net and now he is openly spotted at the parking lot at a McDonalds in Germany. The Corvette ZR1, according to the lords of Corvette capable of any record of production cars at any circuit.”
It appears that GM’s Corvette guys have a soft spot for fast food. Back in March, we brought you the video of a group of Corvette ZR1 drivers filling up at a Wendy’s in Bowling Green, Kentucky before making the long trek to Detroit.
Lastly, I’ve got to ask, what is up with that German McDonald’s parking lot configuration?
I haven’t checked to see if there is a full moon out or not, but for whatever reason we are coming across a full spectrum of Corvette oddities this week. Yesterday it was the 1954 custom Corvette Hardtop we spotted on Craigslist. Today its a Chevy Vettamino, a chopped 1984 Corvette with a very El Camino-like bed for those trips to Home Depot or for helping your friend move a couch.
The brains behind this $115,000 (no kidding!) modification was the original owner of Bayliner Boats who unfortunately has passed. Like most over-the-top customizations, the Corvette is listed for just a fraction of that amount at $35,000 or best offer which according to our Corvette Price Guide is still $14,000 higher than the $21,000 high price for a Condition 1 1984 Coupe.
The Corvette does feature some nice upgrades like the 1991 rear end fashioned into a functional tailgate and the chrome C4 ZR-1 wheels. But its the ZR-1 badge on the back that makes us wonder exactly what is hiding under the hood.
The ad states that the sellers missed the deadline to have this car entered into the Barrett Jackson auto auction, which of course means “Only a drunk rich guy whose a member of the More Money than Brains club” would buy it. But hey, their loss is your gain, right? Now if it only had a topper…