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With the 24 Hours of LeMans just a week away, we thought it would be cool to take a virtual lap around the historic 8 mile course in a C5-R Corvette.

Qualifying begins June 13th and the 24-hour race on June 16-17. The 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 16 and finishes at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 17. SPEED will televise 17.5 hours of coverage in North America starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT on June 16.
Source:
ifilm.com Related:
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Flickr Photo of the Day: 1959 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 5, 2007

From the Flickr Corvette Pool:

1959 Corvette
Photo Credit: Brindlecat
1959 Corvette Options and Facts 9,760 Corvette Convertibles were produced in 1959. Base Price was $3,875.00 5 different engine options available:
     283 ci 230 hp
     283 ci 245 hp (2×4 carburetors)
     283 ci 270 hp (2×4 carburetors)
     283 ci 250 hp (fuel injection)
     283 ci 290 hp (fuel injection) 7 Exterior Colors Available:
     Snowcrest White was most popular at 3,354 (34%)
     Classic Cream was the rarest at 223 (2%) The 1959 Corvette exterior was nearly identical to that of the 1958 Corvette except the simulated hood louvers and the chrome trunk spears were removed. The instruments were redesigned for better legibility. All 1959 tachometers read to 7,000 RPM in 1,000 RPM increments. The “T” shift handle with positive reverse lockout was introduced on all 1959 models with 4-speed manual transmissions. A storage bin was added under the passenger grab bar, and the grab bar was more heavily padded than it was in 1958. 1959 was the only year for an optional turquoise color soft top.
Source:
Flickr.com
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The 2009 Cadillac CTS-VLast month GM’s Vice Chairman “Maximum” Bob Lutz was derided by many including myself on this blog for making the comment about taking a look at producing a four door Corvette. Along comes the new issue of Motor Trend magazine which has a story about the next generation Cadillac CTS-V, which will have none other than a “detuned” version of the SuperCharged V8 Blue Devil Corvette engine under the hood. Could this be the first step in the evolution of a 4-door Corvette? The news is just another example of the ongoing horsepower wars and we think this is great news for GM as it continues to position the Cadillac against BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. However, the information from the Motor Trend article is not entirely correct:

What’s good for the Blue Devil is good for the Cadillac CTS-v. The next-generation muscle-Caddy, which is expected in the 2009 model year along with the quicker-than-Z06 Chevrolet Corvette, also will get the supercharged LS7 7.0-liter powerplant. While the Blue Devil, which will be named Z07, will have about 700-horsepower (“Trend,” June), expect the engine to be detuned somewhat for the CTS-v to about 600 horses.
The Blue Devil engine is expected to be the LS9 – a supercharged 6.2 Liter V8 that should produce upwards of 700 hp. It’s not a blown version of the current Z06 Corvette’s LS7 7.0 Liter V8. Others have speculated the Cadillac engine will have the supercharged LSA 6.2 liter V8. Both are supercharged variants of the new LS3 engine debuting in the 2008 Corvette later this year, but the LSA will have about 100 horses less than the LS9. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, let’s get back to the plans for the CTS-V. Motor Trend says the 4-door sedan will get an updated suspension with stiffer springs and shocks, Brembro Brakes and a host of exterior changes that will include front and rear spoilers and a mesh grille. Click here to read the Motor Trend article and I would also recommend reading the comments about this story on AutoBlog.com
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Motor Trend
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2007 Corvette ConvertibleStrategic Vision’s 2007 Total Quality Awards have been announced and the 2007 Corvette Convertible won the “Convertibles Over $30,000″ segment. Not only did the Corvette handily beat the competition in its class with the highest Total Quality Index (TQI) score of 930, the mark that measures new vehicle owner satisfaction, it was second in the entire survey only to the Mercedes Benz S-Class which won the Luxury Car class with a TQI score of 938. What’s interesting about this survey is the number of new cars that weren’t included in the results. Strategic Vision claims this is because the sample size of respondents for a specific model was not sufficient enough to be included in the initial public announcement of awards, but may be included in later announcements. Does this mean that other winners may surface later in the year? The competition in the “Convertibles Over $30,000″ segment had an average score of 930, but the closest competitor to the Corvette convertible was the Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster which came in 2nd with a TQI score of 896. The Volvo C70 was third with a score of 886 and the Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet rounded out fourth with an 885 TQI score. GM had one other car winning a class in the survey. The Saturn Aura scored an 892 to put it on top of the Medium Car Segment. BTW, for those of you counting, that’s two more Class Wins than Toyota had. Click here to see all the cars and trucks that made up Strategic Vision’s 2007 Total Quality Awards.
Source:
StrategicVision.com
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May 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on June 4, 2007

Second Quarter continues to remain strong for Corvette sales as the factory had its best sales month this year to date. In May 2007, customers took delivery of 3,300 Corvettes, just 17 less than what was sold in May 2006. For the 2007 calendar year (Jan-May) sales total 14,703 Corvettes. We’re still looking at an year-to-year decline of -8.8% from the 16,125 Corvettes sold in 2006.

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%

Source:
GM.com Related:
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C6.R Corvettes on test day at LemansToday’s pre-qualifying session at LeMans saw Corvette Racing setting the pace for the 15 car GT1 class. The #63 Corvette driven by Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell and Ron Fellows ran the fastest lap in the class at 3:49.207. The #64 Corvette with Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis was third with a lap clocked at 3:51.628. Sandwiched between the two factory C6.R Corvettes was the #007 Aston Martin piloted by Enge, Herbert and Kox which lapped the famous track in 3:50.848. With 22 minutes remaining in the 8-hour testing session, Jan Magnussen posted the fast lap of the day, which was held by the #007 Aston Martin. The practice session gives the teams the opportunity to adjust aerodynamic settings, suspensions and test tires. This is the only practice session on the 8.5 mile course prior to the official practice and qualifying starting June 13th.

“Today has been the best ‘pre-qualifying’ I have ever had with Corvette Racing,” said Magnussen. “We managed to set up the car just the way we like it and made very good progress throughout the day. We now have a car with which we can attack hard without risking falling off, which is exactly what we’ll need for the race because I think this year will be a tough one.” “Some people wondered why we were racing in the American Le Mans Series even though we had no competition, and I think today’s result provides a clear answer,” said Doug Fehan. “We’ve done a tremendous amount of work over the winter and early this season, and the testing that we’ve done with Michelin has been outstanding. The drivers, engineers and mechanics did another exceptional job, and that’s one of the reasons why Corvette Racing is successful.”
Competing in the 15-car GT1 Class are five Corvettes (4 C6.R’s and 1 C5-R), six Aston Martin DBR9′s, two Saleen S7R’s, a Ferrari 550 and a Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT. Luc Alphand Adventures brings the C6.R Corvette that one at LeMans last year and the C5-R that finished third in class in 2006.Rounding out the Corvette teams is a C6.R Corvette from PSI Experience. Qualifying for the world’s most prestigious auto race is June 13-14 and the 24-hour race on June 16-17. The 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 16 and finishes at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 17. SPEED will televise 17.5 hours of coverage in North America starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT on June 16.
Source:
PaddockTalk.com
Photo Credit: Philppe CHEMIN – ACO/Nikon Related:
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Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell writes on his website about LeMans and the competition that the two C6.R teams will face. For the first half of the ALMS season, Team Corvette faced only one challenger – an Aston Martin at Sebring. That will change when the teams head to LeMans later this month where there will potentially be 15 or more cars in the GT1 class. Here’s some of what Johnny O has to say:

This year could perhaps be our most difficult ever. Not only will the factory Astons be there with a stronger package than what they had last year, but there will also be a few Saleens run by a very strong team that knows how to do well at Le Mans. The Saleen on paper should be the fastest, followed by the Aston….then us. Just kind of the way the ACO has written the rules. I think there are something like 15 or 17 GT1 cars. Most of them strong, so it will be a battle indeed. Our strength though, will be in the back of every teams mind. Our cars are the strongest. Bar none. We’ve proven it year after year. Both cars have always finished, and always at least one on the podium. In my mind it will take an extreme effort to qualify in the top 5. Again, just how things will play out speed wise. But Around the 20 hour mark, as others are struggling and getting fatigued as well as there cars, know that we’ll be pushing even harder.
The 24 Hours of Lemans will be held June 16-17th in France. SpeedTV will once again be providing coverage. For more Lemans Pre-Race notes from Johnny O’Connell, check out his website at JohnnyOConnell.com.
Source:
JohnnyOConnell.com Related
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One of the most influential voices in the Corvette Collector market has recently started his own blog. Terry Michaelis, owner of ProTeam Corvette Sales has been posting for a month or so on tmichaelis.com, and already the blog contains some great information about buying classic Corvettes. His first blog post was actually in January following the sale of the Last Sting Ray at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. Funny thing, he posted the video of the sale that I captured and shared here on CorvetteBlogger.com A few years ago I was at the Winter auction in Kissimmee Florida when I noticed this guy wearing a ProTeam shirt. He was walking around a midyear Corvette that was second or third in line for the block. He had a cigar in his mouth and another 10 or so in his chest pocket. As he walked around the car, he ran his fingers along the outside wheel wells as his face maintained a sort of detached interest in the car. Yet you could tell that he was studying that Corvette hard. Right then I knew that this was a guy that knows Corvettes. A mutual friend of ours is Bob Kroupa from Vette-N-Vestments. Bob provides our yearly Corvette Pricing Guide as well as serves as our online Corvette appraiser at VetteFinders.com. Bob once said that facts that Terry carries around with him is staggering. He’s got all those numbers in his head and can tell in just a minute or two whether or not a Corvette is original. I’ve run into a Terry a couple of times since then, almost yearly at the Mecum auction held each January. He probably doesn’t remember me from Adam, but that’s all right. I always try to say hello. ProTeam is sometimes derided in the hobby but I’ve never fully understood why. Terry and his staff travel the country buying investment-quality Corvettes and selling them at a profit. A buyer of a ProTeam Corvette can be guaranteed a super clean original Corvette that will provide a decent return on investment. And when you got 150 or so of these classics under one roof, that says something. Whenever I see a new Corvette blog, I always try to say hi. It’s great that we are getting different viewpoints and the knowledge that Terry shares will make us all smarter when buying or selling Classic Corvettes. Stop by Terry’s blog and give him an online Corvette wave.
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Maybe All Corvettes Should Be Red

by Keith Cornett on May 30, 2007

There is a famous saying in Vettedom that goes “All Corvettes are Red”. After seeing this 1967 Corvette Convertible, I understand why. As my ’66 is black, I’ve never really took the statement to heart. But the statement isn’t about the actual color of the car, its about personality, like saying Blondes have more fun. A red corvette says “Here I am!” and screams “watch me go!”. A red Corvette tells the world that your ride is both fun, yet there is serious performance under the hood and all you need to do is stomp on the gas pedal to unleash it.

Little Red Corvette. Baby You're Much Too Fast!
Having said that, sometimes it is about the color. Red Corvettes tend to have a higher resale value and sell faster then most other colors. Even in the later models, Red Corvettes outsell their peers. In 2006, the two reds, Monterey and Victory, combined for nearly 1/3 of all Corvettes produced. Which brings us back to this gorgeous big block midyear. Offered for sale at $96,500 at VetteFinders.com
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New for 2008 Corvettes: Jetstream Blue Metallic

by Keith Cornett on May 29, 2007

2008 Corvette in Jetstream Blue MetallicWay back in January we learned that a new exterior color called Jetstream Blue Metallic would be replacing the popular Lemans Blue Metallic on the 2008 Corvette. Our friend and proud new papa Rick Conti has just got his hands on the first photo of Jetstream Blue Metallic painted on an entire car, not just the fender as we saw David Hill carrying around May’s C5/C6 Bash at the Museum. The new color, coded 85U is reminiscent of previous lighter shades of blue used on Corvettes like Nassau Blue, Marina Blue and Mulsanne Blue. Also debuting in this photo is the new QG7 High Polished Wheel. The wheels high polished shine makes a nice contrast against the Jetstream Blue exterior and should be even more striking on black and red Corvettes.
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CorvetteConti.com Related:
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