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Podcast: Final Preparations for the 24 Hours of LeMans

by Keith Cornett on June 17, 2006

What a great weekend for Corvettes. In Illinois, the 34th Annual Bloomington Gold Corvette show and Auction is now in full swing, and for racing fans, the 24 Hours of LeMans starts today. I’ll be tuning into the Speed Channel often throughout the day and into the night for updates on Team Corvette and their quest for the 5th win in 6 years.

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Bloomington Gold Corvette Auction Preview

by Keith Cornett on June 16, 2006

Today begins the most significant Corvette auction of the year and the one that sets the Gold Standard for all other Corvette auctions to follow. Yes, I’m talking about the 34th Annual Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA show at St. Charles, Illinois. Mecum Collector Car Auctioneers is once again handling the Gold Auction and from taking a look at the list of Corvettes already consigned to the show, I can tell you that that this is going to be a good one. Here are six of the most valuable Corvettes to go through the Bloomington Gold Auction. Click the photo for a larger picture or click the link to view the description:

1953 – #005 1955 – #009 1967 – L89
     
1967 – L89 1967 – L88 1969 – L88
Included in this year’s Gold Auction are some very rare Corvettes. Two 1953 Corvettes, including #005 which was the first Corvette sold to the public, will be going through the auction on Saturday. The second 1953 Corvette will be paired with a 1993 Corvette, both carrying the matching serial number of #258. Also featured will be 10 classic Corvettes from the Dr. Vance Shappley Collection. Included in this collection is a pair of original GM factory styling cars, a pair of Z-06 coupes and a 1969 L88 Coupe. The two Z-06 coupes, a 1963 and a 1964, will be sold as a pair; the remaining eight will be sold individually. And what would Bloomington Gold be without some rare Big Blocks? This year, three of the most sought after 1967 Corvettes will make their appearance on the Auction Block. Two L89 Corvettes – a convertible and a coupe – both with matching number 427/435 engines featuring the L89 aluminum heads will be sold Saturday afternoon. The L89 option was so rare in 1967 that only 16 were produced. Both cars contain extensive documentation. Next is a 1967 Corvette Coupe with a 427/435 L88 – 1 of only 20 produced. These three Corvettes should see high six figures if not passing the million dollar mark based on the current collector car market. Check back next week or subscribe to our newsletter as we will be posting the prices for all Corvettes sold at the 2006 Bloomington Gold Auction. Source: Mecum Collector Car Auctioneers
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Corvette Assembly Plant Celebrates 25th Anniversary

by Keith Cornett on June 13, 2006

Back in 1979 when word got out of a possible move of the General Motors Corvette plant from St. Louis to Bowling Green, workers thought it was a ploy during contract negotiations. But GM was serious about moving the home of the Corvette and after considering sites in Waco, Texas, Wichita, Kansas and Montgomery Alabama, the General settled on Bowling Green, Kentucky. Two years later, the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line. The date was June 1, 1981. This month the Bowling Green Assembly Plant celebrates its 25th anniversary and the Bowling Green Daily News has put together a special online section detailing everything from the ups and downs of the plant to how the city has become an automotive mecca since the building of the Corvette Museum. Along the way we learn about the four general managers who have guided the plant during the last 25 years and the challenges each of them faced as well as some of the stories from the 900 workers from St. Louis who made the move with Corvette. Click here to read Celebrating 25 Years of Corvette in Bowling Green presented by The Daily News. The section is presented as printed in the newspaper, but all the pages are clickable to enlarge for reading.
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Official 2007 Corvette Pricing Announced

by Keith Cornett on June 12, 2006

CorvetteConti.com posted the official pricing for the 2007 Corvette on his website. Prices listed include the three Corvette modes: Coupe, Convertible and Z06 as well as all the options. One new option that I had not heard before is RPO D30 option which allows you to mix and match interior and exterior colors. For example, the non-standard combo Blue with a red interior is now possible with this option at $590.00. Very cool indeed!

MODELS
Coupe w/ $825 destination charge
$44,970
Convertible w/ $825 destination charge
$52,910
Z06 w/ $825 destination charge
$66,465!
 
INTERIOR
UE1 – ON STAR
$695
D30 – NON RECOMMENDED COLOR COMBO
$590
**6 NEW TWO TONE SEATS
$695
Z51 – PERFORMANCE PKG
$1,695
U3U- NAVIGATION
$1,750
U3U & 1LZ (Z06 only)
$3,640
US9 & 1LZ (Z06 only)
$1,890
C2L – ROOF PACKAGE
$1,400
CC3 – TRANSPARENT ROOF
$750
 
TRANSMISSION/SUSPENSION
F55 – MAGNETIC RIDE w/ DRILLED ROTORS
$1,995
MN6
NC
MX0-AUTOMATIC
$1,250
 
WHEELS
Q44 – Z06 COMP GREY WHLS
$395
QL9 – HIGH POLISHED Z06 WHLS
$1,495
QG7 – HIGH POLISHED WHLS (cpe & cvt)
$1,295
QX1 – COMP GREY WHL (cpe & cvt)
$395
QX3 – CHROME WHEEL (cpe & cvt)
$1,850
 
PACKAGES
Z06
1LZ
2L
$3,845
 
COUPE & CONVERTIBLE
1LT
N/C
2LT
$1,495 coupe
2LT
N/C convertible
3LT
$4,945 (coupe)
3LT
$5,540 (convertible)
 
PREMIUM EXTERIOR COLORS
19U LEMANS BLUE
$300
45U VELOCITY YELLOW
$750
80U MONTEREY RED
$750
83U ATOMIC ORANGE
$750

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Ten Things To Do After Buying Your First Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 11, 2006

I received a call today from a guy who just bought his first Corvette. He was very excited to finally own the car of his dreams and he wanted some advice about getting involved in the Corvette hobby. I rambled off a couple ideas and then thought this might be something that can be expanded on. So if you have some ideas, please let me know. 1. Get insurance. More is better than less:

If you just bought a classic Corvette (1953-1982) check into insurance companies like Hagerty or Parish Heacock. Also check with your current insurance provider. I have my ’66 Corvette insured with State Farm for under $300 per year. You may need an appraisal to get the most accurate “stated value” policy. If buying a later model Corvette for pleasure and not as your primary vehicle, let your insurance company know. You might get a break on rates.
2. Buy a custom-fit Corvette car cover to protect your investment, even if parking in the garage. 3. Join one of the Corvette message boards like CorvetteForum.com, DigitalCorvettes.com or the CorvetteActionCenter.com. You are going to have questions and the forum members will certainly have answers. 4. Subscribe to a Corvette Magazine (or two) like Corvette Fever, Corvette Enthusiast or Corvette Magazine. 5. Find a service shop in your area that specializes in Corvettes. If you bought a new Corvette from a dealership, get to know your dedicated service advisor and make sure he knows you. You’d be surprised at the higher level of service you can get. 6. Join a local Corvette club for shows and social cruises. There’s nothing like hooking up with a bunch of like-minded Corvette enthusiasts for a Sunday afternoon cruise. 7. Buy a Corvette service manual or factory assembly manual. If you want to maintain your Corvette properly, it’s best to follow the factory guidelines. 8. If you are restoring, customizing or maintaining your Corvette, get on the mailing lists of Corvette parts supplier catalogs like Ecklers, Mid-America, Corvette Central and Corvette America. Many carry the same items so then it comes down to knowledgeable sales reps, in-stock parts and servicing returns for you to find your favorite supplier. 9. Be courteous and mindful on the road. Yes, you have a Corvette, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an Ass to your fellow drivers. 10. Wave at other Corvette drivers when you see them on the road. This tradition dates back to 1953 and the Corvette wave applies to all generations of Corvettes.
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JD Power’s Annual Initial Quality Study measures new-vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership and once again Corvette scored very well in its class. For the Premium Sporty Car Category, Corvette tied for third with the Mercedes-Benz SL Class. Leading the category was the Lexus SC 430 and second place went to the Porsche 911. The annual survey was redesigned for 2006 to capture problems experienced by owners in two categories: Quality of Design and Quality of Production. Chevrolet as an automaker had an average of 124 problems per 100 vehicles, which was also the industry average. Porsche had the best rating at 91 and Land Rover was the worst at 204 problems per 100 vehicles. In ranking the Big 3, Chrysler scored a 120 and Ford came in at 127. Source: JD Power & Associates
Image Credit: CorvetteImages.com
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Auction Results: Mecum Spring Classic

by Keith Cornett on June 9, 2006

At the 19th Annual Mecum Spring Classic Auction held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Belvidere, Illinois over Memorial Day weekend, 48 Corvettes ranging from a 1954 Polo White Convertible to a 2004 Black Z06 crossed the auction block. Of the 48 Corvettes, 30 were sold for $1,122,714 in total Corvette sales. The highest selling price went to a 1967 Sunfire Yellow Convertible (pictured) with a 427/435 engine which sold for $147,000 while the lowest price paid was $7,500 for a 1976 T-Top Corvette. A black ’67 Corvette had the highest bid overall but was a no-sale at $200,000. Corvette Auction Results:

Lot # Year Description Sales Price Status
S211954Corvette Polo White$60,000Bid
F1251957Corvette Red$71,000Bid
F1261958Corvette White$40,950Sold
S5871959Corvette Red$63,000Sold
F501961Corvette Maroon$64,575Sold
S641962Corvette Maroon$61,950Sold
S91963Corvette White$43,050Sold
F871964Corvette Red$39,500Bid
S33.11964Corvette Red$49,000Bid
S411964Corvette Red$47,500Bid
F641965Corvette Maroon$59,850Sold
U5591965Corvette Blue$61,950Sold
M81965Corvette$16,800Sold
S311966Corvette Silver$95,550Sold
S531966Corvette Blue$68,250Sold
F1641967Corvette Maroon$36,750Sold
F5321967Corvette L-89 Silver$115,500Sold
F5731967Corvette Blue$150,000Bid
F581.11967Corvette Red$170,000Bid
S591967Corvette Marina Blue$83,000Bid
S553.11967Corvette Black$200,000Bid
S5601967Corvette Yellow$147,000Sold
T441968Corvette Red$21,525Sold
F401969Corvette Red$31,000Bid
F1321969Corvette Silver$20,000Bid
F1651969Corvette$32,000Bid
F578.11969Corvette Yellow$37,275Sold
S911969Corvette Black$46,463Sold
U221971Corvette Red$12,600Sold
U241971Corvette White$26,250Sold
S5061972Corvette Red$31,500Sold
U1341972Corvette Silver$40,000Bid
S1611973Corvette Gold$28,350Sold
U301975Corvette Orange$10,763Sold
U601975Corvette Red$14,700Sold
T1331976Corvette Red$7,500Sold
T891979Corvette Dark Blue$8,500Sold
F1491979Corvette L-82 Red$20,475Sold
F571982Corvette Silver/Green$17,000Bid
F351986Corvette White$15,750Sold
F1291988Corvette White$15,750Sold
F111990Corvette ZR-1 Black$24,000Bid
U5251990Corvette ZR-1 Red$24,500Bid
S161991Corvette Red$16,013Sold
U81991Corvette Red$15,000Bid
F581994Corvette Copper$16,800Sold
F481996Corvette Silver$17,325Sold
U102004Corvette Z06 Black$39,000Bid
Source: Mecum Collector Car Auctioneers
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Corvette Blue Devil to be Called Sting Ray

by Keith Cornett on June 8, 2006

AutoWeek, which last month broke the news that the Blue Devil program is a go in an interview with Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace, reports today that the Corvette Blue Devil project is now being referred to internally as the Sting Ray. Production of the $100,000 Supercharged 7.0-liter 600-hp V8 Sting Ray may start sooner rather than later with units available as soon as 2007, although it’s our guess that it would be a 2008 model available during the summer/fall of ’07. Bits and pieces of the Sting Ray project have been leaked over the past few months with rumors swirling around a Kappa platform project, as well as a special edition Corvette being built for 2007. However, this is the first report that puts them all together as a Corvette project. AutoWeek says that the Blue Devil name was used to get the attention of GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner, who graduated from Duke. That name also allowed the PR guys to “smile slyly” as they claimed there were no plans for a Blue Devil Corvette. Source: Autoweek via Left Lane News
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Podcast: Team Corvette Ready for LeMans

by Keith Cornett on June 7, 2006

In this latest podcast from GM’s Fastlane Blog, Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan talks about Corvette Racing’s preparations for the most prestigious racing event in the world, the 24 Hours of LeMans. Doug discusses what Team Corvette needs to do in getting ready for this endurance race that taxes not only the cars, but the drivers and crew as well. Competition in the GT Class will be intense this year with four Aston Martins, a Saleen, Ferrari and a European C5 Corvette team. According to Fehan, the GT class tends to be the focus of most of the fans because that’s where the classic battles take place. Despite the competition, Fehan is optimistic that the Corvette Racing team will extend its record to five 1-2 finishes in the most recent six years at LeMans. Visit the GM Fast Lane Blog or Download the MP3. Photo: Richard Prince
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Normally I shy away from stories like these, but sometimes they are just too unbelievable not to post. So here it is as posted by KESQ in Palm Springs: HAYWARD, Calif. A motorist who sped through a Hayward cemetery in an apparent road-rage pursuit of another car is dead after crashing into a mausoleum. Hayward police say the driver of a classic 1967 Corvette was killed when he skidded out of control and totaled his car this morning at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. The identity of the 52-year-old man was not immediately released. Police say he was chasing a Mercedes-Benz convertible through the cemetery after an apparent argument on a nearby street. Mourners watching a nearby burial witnessed the crash. Police say a pair of crypts inside the mausoleum were jarred open, but the caskets inside were not damaged. The Mercedes driver is being sought as a witness but is not thought to have caused the crash. Source: KESQ NewsChannel 3