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Gus Grissom’s 1967 Corvette Listed on eBay

by Keith Cornett on June 20, 2006

Space Pioneer Gus Grissom had the right stuff when it came to his Red 1967 Corvette Convertible. Nights were spent on the deserted tracks and back roads of Melborne, Florida racing other astronauts. The story goes fellow astronaut Alan Shepard, who fashioned a reputation for himself as “Mr. Corvette”, couldn’t beat Gus’ 427 Corvette as Gus had installed a 4:56 rear end giving him a tremendous edge in 1/4 mile racing. Grissom, the second American in space, and the first American to travel into space twice, was also one of the first to die in the U.S. space program. His Corvette went through four owners before winding up with Jim Falkowski, who purchased the Corvette in 1985 for $9,995. During Jim’s ownership, the Corvette won many awards including NCRS Top Flight, multiple Cypress Gardens, the National Corvette Homecoming in Bowling Green and has been featured in numerous magazines, news articles and calendars.

There is something about a car once owned by a national hero. When paired with a ’67 427/435 Red Convertible, the myth grows exponentially. Now the Gus Grissom Corvette is listed on eBay, giving someone a chance at owning history. Current bid as of June 20th was $178,099 with the Reserve not yet met. The auction runs through June 26th. Source: eBay, Wikipedia
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Corvette Values: 1974 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on June 19, 2006

PLE submitted the following Corvette pricing question via Yahoo! Answers and we decided to take a look at it. Two days later we received an email from Yahoo stating that our answer was his favorite. PLE’s Question: I need to sell this car very soon. Would rather use online auction other than ebay. Need help from corvette collectors out there. Matching numbers, all original 36K miles, car is sweet. Asking $23,000. Is this too much or too little? Thanks!! Our Answer: Unless your Corvette has a 454, is a convertible and is in show condition, then you are asking a a bit too much for your Corvette. 36K miles though is great for a 74 and a matching numbers to boot! eBay will give you a good idea of where your Corvette should be priced based upon demand. Our annual price guide puts the high around $19K although an average price can be half of that. If your Corvette doesn’t sell on eBay, you may also want to consider a corvette-only site like VetteFinders.com or usedcorvettesforsale.com or list it on one of the Corvette forums. Source(s): VetteFinders.com’s Corvette Price Guide
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More On Corvette’s Win at LeMans

by Keith Cornett on June 18, 2006

This year’s 24-hour endurance test reprised the drama of last year’s battle. The No. 63 Corvette C6.R and the No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 were in lockstep from the start, separated by less than a lap in the running order for hour after hour. The turning point came in the 22nd hour when the green Aston Martin went to the garage with a mechanical problem. At 2:09 p.m., Jan Magnussen officially took the lead – a lead that Corvette Racing would not relinquish. The winning Corvette completed 355 laps, made 25 faultless pit stops, and won by a five-lap margin of victory.

“You have a one-lap cushion, the Aston is in the garage, and you are five laps ahead of the next car,” crew chief Ray Gongla radioed Magnussen when he took the point. “Do you copy? Can you hear us?” “Yes, I can hear you,” the Dane replied, “but I just can’t believe it!”
Joining the three Corvette Racing drivers on the victory podium were Luc Alphand, Patrice Goueslard and Jerome Policand, who finished third in their independent Corvette C5-R with 346 laps completed. The No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Max Papis finished seventh after encountering drivetrain problems. The No. 63 Corvette’s star-crossed weekend continued when it pitted at 1:20 p.m. in a cloud of smoke from the transmission. The crews from both cars went to work, removing, rebuilding and reinstalling the overheated gearbox. One hour and nine minutes later, Johnny O’Connell rejoined the fray. “The rules don’t allow you to replace the complete transmission, but you can rebuild it,” explained team manager Gary Pratt. “We had a gearbox issue in Sebring, but we didn’t expect it here, and it might have been the result of one problem creating another problem. Corvette Racing Quotes: Olivier Beretta: “The key to our success was to never give up. Once again Le Mans proved to be race that isn’t won until the checkered flag is out. We had a difficult moment during the night when Ollie hit an LMP car and we subsequently got some vibrations. Then we had a refueling problem and all of a sudden we were almost a lap down. We decided to push and a couple of hours from the end we started biting big chunks out of their lead. Then they hit problems and the race fell back our way. ” Oliver Gavin: “As always it was a fantastic race, super hard all the way against the Aston Martins. And once again everybody dug deep. This race is a testament to everybody involved who has worked so hard. It’s been a truly remarkable result to win three in a row against a super professional team like Prodrive. There were moments when you thought, this is going to be tough, when you felt the race falling away from you, but we just hung in there until it came back to us.” Jan Magnussen: “It was a very tough race, all 24 hours of it. We pushed all the way, and after we hit problems we didn’t sit back. We didn’t want the race to run away from us. By daylight we were almost a lap down but we just kept pushing and pushing until the Astons failed, and eventually they did. We never got any presents, we earned this win!” Source: CorvetteRacing.com
Photo Credit: Philippe Chemin – ACO/Nikon
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Corvette Racing Wins The 24 Hours of LeMans

by Keith Cornett on June 18, 2006

This year’s running of the 74th annual 24 Hours of LeMans featured only a few lead changes as it became a battle between the #009 Aston Martin and the #64 Corvette. The Corvette was leading after 6 hours in the race, but a slightly longer pit stop allowed Aston to get out first and take the lead of the GT1 class. The Aston then lead with a 1 lap lead for most of the night and into the day when they developed a problem with their clutch. That pit stop allowed the #64 Corvette driven by Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen to take the lead for good. The #63 Corvette ran into problems early in the race. A spinout dropped the Corvette driven by Fellows/O’Connell/Papis down to 7th place in the GT1 class where they stayed most of the race. Finishing second in the GT1 class was the #007 Aston Martin. 5 laps down from the #64 Corvette, they were never a threat to Corvette Racing’s 1st place finish. A European team racing the C5.R Corvette finished 3rd. This is Corvette Racing’s 5th GT1 class win at LeMans in 6 years. Photo Credit: Philippe Chemin – ACO/Nikon
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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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