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Fittipaldi Leaves Mark at the Corvette Assembly Plant

by Keith Cornett on March 11, 2008

30th Anniversary Corvette Pace Car

Emerson Fittipaldi was in Bowling Green to make his mark on the limited edition 2008 Corvette Indy Pace Cars. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and driver of this year’s official Pace car is signing and numbering each of the 500 30th Anniversary pace car replicas.

That’s great news for those waiting to place their orders as Fittipaldi’s visit leads to the conclusion that GM has production well underway. We know from recent reports that the 2008 Corvette Pace Car has been entered into the dealer’s ordering system but as of last week there were 0 allocations.

The 30th Anniversary Pace Car will be available in both Coupe and Convertible configurations as well as your choice of a 6-speed manual or paddle shift automatic. Unlike last year’s limited edition Pace Car that was produced after the race, GM has promised these Corvettes will be ready for customers prior to the May 25th race day.

While Fittipaldi was in Bowling Green, he stopped in at the National Corvette Museum for lunch and a guided tour. Fittipaldi said, “This is my first time to the plant and Museum and I can feel the passion for this sports car. The new Pace Cars are beautiful and so much fun to drive. What a muscle car the Corvette is.”

Like the 427 Edition Z06 that opened for orders last week, there will be demand for the 30th Anniversary Pace Cars so you better get in line now. It’s my opinion that this is the best looking Pace Car since the original. For ordering information visit Kerbeck Corvette.

National Corvette Museum

Two Unique Corvettes to Pace the 2008 Indianapolis 500
Video: Unveiling the 2008 Indy 500 Corvette Pace Cars

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2009 Corvette ZR1 Hits CraigsList for $350,000

by Keith Cornett on March 11, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1

We’ve heard over and over again that the MSRP for the 620 hp 2009 Corvette ZR1 should be around $100,000. We also know that when the first ZR1 hit the open market back in January at Barrett-Jackson, it sold for 10 times that amount. So we can’t blame some guy in LA who placed an ad on the free classifieds website Craiglist to advertise the sale of two 2009 Corvette ZR1′s with a considerable market adjustment price of $350,000 each:

yes i have guaranteed myself to get three but only selling two who wants one ?dont wait till this summer there are only 2000 being made price will go up SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY.

Will demand for the 2000 or so Corvette ZR1s expected to be produced in 2009 live up to the hype and create a secondary market that hasn’t been seen since the introduction of the 1978 Corvette Pace Car 30 years ago? Jay Leno said during his introduction of the ZR1 at Barrett Jackson that he was the president of the “More Money Than Brains” club. Our craigslist seller might just be a member as well…

Craiglist via

Barrett-Jackson 08: [VIDEO] 1st 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sold for $1 Million
Dealer Attempts Sale of Ron Fellows Z06 Corvette On eBay

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1964 RightHand Drive Corvette

Vette Magazine has a great feature about this 1964 Corvette barn car. What’s unique about the story is that the barn (and car) was located in Australia. Peter Bowen, a finance broker in Toowoomba, Queensland went to buy a ’67 Camaro, but it was full of rust. Then he saw the distinctive shape of the 1964 Corvette and negotiated the sale over the course of several weeks.

Bowen had the Corvette converted to righthand drive by Corvette Queensland, a company that specializes in LHD to RHD conversions. With the interior flipped to RHD as well, it almost gives you the sensation of looking into a mirror. The Corvette underwent a body-off restoration that took some six years to complete, but as you can tell from the photo it was worth the wait.

Visit Vette Magazine to read the entire article and view the photos.

Vette Magazine

Z06 Corvettes Modified with Right-Hand-Drive for Australia

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1954 Corvette

With all the attention the 1953 Corvettes have been getting recently, we thought we’d take a look at what some are calling the best value of the early C1s – the 1954 Corvette.

The rising values of the 1954 Corvette has surprised many as it appears the 2nd year model is finally making its move. Many factors justify the appreciation of the 1954s, none more significant than the fact that the model year is sandwiched between the skyrocketing values of the 1953 Corvette and the V8 Powered 1955 Corvette. In the past, the 1954 Corvette was in many ways considered the stepchild of the early C1 generation, but no more as collectors are beginning to appreciate the Corvette on its own merits.

Production of the 1954 was moved to its own renovated assembly plant in St. Louis and benefited greatly from the lessons learned from the mostly hand assembled 1953 Corvette. GM’s estimated 10,000 units would be produced but only 3,640 constructed. While the sales projection was way off for the time, this production number is over 10 times the number of 1953 Corvettes produced and over 5 times greater than the 1955 Corvette that followed it.

As there were no real drive-train options offered, the 1954 Corvette is one of those rare years where the values are driven almost exclusively by the exterior color. Of the 3,640 1954 Corvettes produced, it’s estimated that the colors were broken down as: 3,230 Polo White, 300 Pennant Blue, 100 Sportsman Red and 4 Black. Therefore with similar cars (condition, documentation, etc) any color other than Polo White will be valued at $10,000-$15,000 more while the ultra-rare Blacks could command three to four times that.

Our Corvette Price Guide documents the rising values of the 1954 Corvette with an average price of $65,000 and a high of $143,000. However most astounding is the appreciation figures. The 1954′s 1 year appreciation is 30% and the 5 year appreciation figure is 85%. Who’s the stepchild now!

In perusing the market in search of examples we found the following:

1954 Polo White Corvette1954 Corvette Convertible, Blue Flame Six, powerglide, numbers match. Polo White paint with Sportsman Red interior and Beige Soft top. Body-off restored over a five year period with the top and interior being done by professional restorer, John Kennedy of Bountiful, Utah. Show condition! Optioned with powerglide, 3.55 rear, Wonderbar radio, e-brake warning light, windshield washers, courtesy lights, heater, hubcaps, and 6.70×15″ wide white tires. Most all factory correct type components including the spare, jack, jack tools, trunk mat, trunk liner, side curtain, side curtain bag, rebound straps, washer system, tar top battery, shifter, shielding, air cleaners, generator, side draft carbs, and #241 head. A very correct spectacular first generation Corvette that was a recent Bloomington Gold feature car. Looks, runs, and drives excellent. Offered by Proteam Corvette. $119,000

1954 Sportsman Red CorvetteFinished in stunning and rare Sportsman Red with correct Red interior. One of only 100 built, this spectacular motorcar was purchased in Southern California from a professor who acquired the car from its original owner, a GM factory engineer. This museum-quality Corvette is one of the very first three red Corvettes ever built by General Motors. It has only been driven 25,000 miles and has recently undergone a cosmetic restoration, including show quality paint, new interior, new tires and new top (original tires and interior are now boxed and goes with the car!). This spectacular motorcar has been examined by many Corvette experts and is believed to be one of the nicest original examples on the market today. It has the correct, numbers matching engine, correct carburetors and many early unique features such as dual hood releases, ultra-short (pre-Duntov) exhaust tips, correct date-coded side curtains with the storage case, original factory spare and so much more. eBay Buy-It-Now Price: $119,900

1954 Polo Blue Corvette2-owner 1954 Chevy Corvette. 1954 was the first year this car was produced in a color other than white. This Pennant Blue sportster will turn heads at every corner. Except for the paint, this baby is all original. The side curtains, the spare tire, the soft top, gauges, Wonder-Bar Radio, hub caps and even the original windshield-washer fluid container – all original!!! The radio works but the speaker needs to be connected. The Blueflame engine is all original and all numbers match. In 1954, 3230 whites were produced. Only 300 Pennant Blues were produced. This is truly one of the rare ones!!! There are some areas that can use some TLC – for example, the carpeting and driver’s seat. The driver’s side curtain is missing a small screw and both curtains need some work on the rubber trim. The car starts on first try and sounds like a dream. The Powerglide Automatic transmission shifts smoothly. eBay Current Bid: $25,655.00

Proteam Corvette

Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2007

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2008 Corvette 427 Limited Edition Z06

Today’s the day dealers can begin submitting orders for the 2008 Corvette 427 Limited Edition Z06. The Crystal Red Wil Cooksey signature edition pays homage to the fabled sixties big block and is limited to just 427 units in the US and 78 outside North America.

There are two ordering cycles for the 427 Limited Edition with the second cycle opening in two weeks. Only dealers who were allocated Z06s today are getting 427s, so all of this week’s Z06 allocations nationwide are for the 427 Limited Edition Z06.

The Z44 Option features a unique exterior paint scheme including a black “Stinger” hood, special chrome wheels, Dark Titanium Leather Wrapped interior and special 427 badges throughout. MSRP begins at $84,195.

The previous two limited edition Corvettes, 2007′s Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 and the Indianapolis Pace Car both sold out very quickly and there is every indication that demand will be high for the first of two planned 2008 Limited Edition Corvettes. Making its debut in May will be the 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.

If you are interested in placing a deposit on the 427 Corvette Z06, better jump on the phones today and give our friend Dave Salvatore of Kerbeck Corvette a call at 1-877-537-2325. The nation’s #1 Corvette dealer has joined as a sponsor and we are honored to be associated with perennial Corvette sales leader.

Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Introducing the 2008 Corvette 427 Limited Edition Z06

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The Corvette ZR1's Eaton Supercharger

Yesterday’s excellent AutoBlog video with GM Small Block Assistant Chief Engineer Ron Meegan took us inside the Corvette ZR1′s LS9 engine. From that presentation we learned why engineer’s started with the base Corvette’s 6.2 Liter LS3 engine vs. the 7.0 Liter LS7 found in the Z06, as well as the various components that were upgraded to fulfill the quest of 100 horsepower per liter. Little did we know that video would be followed up with parts two and three, taking us further into the inner workings of the supercharger that powers the new King of the Hill. More after the jump.

Part two focuses on the Eaton Supercharger and Meegan again clearly explains how the 4-lobe supercharger works and the challenges GM engineer’s faced with mating it to Corvette’s 6.2Liter V8. Part three concludes the series with Meegan discussing the differences between the supercharged 6.2L V8′s found in the new Cadillac CTS-V sports sedan and the Corvette ZR1.


[VIDEO] How It Works: Inside the Corvette ZR1′s LS9 Engine
Corvette ZR1 News Archive

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| | | | | | had the opportunity to talk with GM’s Assistant Chief of Small Blocks Ron Meegan who takes us step by step through the 6.2 Liter LS9 engine that will power the new Corvette ZR1. Ron tells us right from the start how engineers were targeting the 100 horsepower per liter mark and therefore why the decision was made to use the 6.2L engine vs the ZO6′s 7.0L LS7.

But perhaps the most informative part of the video is how Meegan gives us an engineer’s overview of specifically how the Eaton Supercharger was integrated into the 6.2L engine as well as the lengths GM’s engineers had go to strengthen the various components to be able to withstand the output of 620 horsepower.


Corvette ZR1 News Archive

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February 2008 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on March 4, 2008

February’s Corvette sales were very similar to January’s number with just over 2,000 Corvettes being delivered. The Year to Year comparison is in stark contrast to the month to month figures with a change of -25.6% from February 2007 compared with February 2008. So what the heck is going on with Corvette Sales?

My analysis is purely antidotal based solely on the public data I have access to but this is what we are seeing. There has been a drastic reduction in new Corvettes being delivered over last year. Secondly, the amount of new 2008 Corvettes available has grown by nearly 1,000 units to 6,455 in February compared to January’s 2008 Stock Report.

External factors play an important role in sales of sports cars. Adverse weather conditions throughout much of the country can dampen sales as well as growing concerns with a slowing economy.

If the current trends remain constant over the next four months, then the 2008 MY could possibly have the lowest model year production total since 1997′s introduction of the C5 Corvette. Unless Chevy reduces output and allows the market to absorb the cars that are currently on the ground it’s likely well see incentives to move the 2008′s and make way for the 2009′s that will begin to hit dealers in late summer.

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%

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 6,455 2008 Corvettes on the ground. That’s an increase of 975 Corvettes compared with January’s 5,480 total.

  • 3,695 Corvette Coupes
  • 1,353 Corvette Convertibles
  • 1,407 Corvette Z06

According to the site, there are 1,191 2007 Corvettes still available at dealers across the nation.


January 2008 Corvette Sales

Sharon StoneA bizarre saga unfolded Sunday night at Elton John’s post-Oscar party. One of the highlights of the party is the celebrity auction with proceeds benefiting The Elton John AIDS Foundation. Longtime supporter Sharon Stone has donated cars in previous years to the event, but this year she made a bit of extra news when she decided to give her 1974 T-Top Corvette to the cause.

The Corvette, it was said, was valued at $40,000 and the expectation was that it would be sold for around $120,000. For what it’s worth, the High price for a 1974 T-Top in our Corvette Price Guide is only $19,900, but this is Hollywood we’re talking about. Read the rest of this story after the jump.

So the auction for the Corvette starts and unfortunately for all involved, an unidentified bidder opened the bidding at $1 Million. The audience, obviously stunned by the opening ante, sat on their hands and let the bidder win. But when it came time to settle up, the bidder explained that he didn’t have the money to buy the Corvette. He said his plan was to make a big bid and then drop out as soon as someone bid more.

The Corvette went unsold. The AIDS foundation lost an expected contribution. And Sharon Stone was not amused…

The story reinforces two important lessons about bidding for cars at auctions.

  • Never be the guy to open the bidding. Let someone else set the opening mark.
  • Never bid unless you intend to buy.

And while I can’t say what was going through the mind of Sharon Stone’s deadbeat bidder when he called out $1 Million, I am betting that there is a third and final lesson to this story:

  • Never indulge in alcoholic beverages if you plan to bid (and buy) at an auction.

Source: via

Dazed But Not Confused: McConaughey’s 71 Corvette on eBay

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Pratt and Miller’s Corvette C6RS Goes Topless

by Keith Cornett on February 26, 2008

Jim Miller's Corvette C6RS

As the co-owner of Pratt and Miller, builders of Corvette Racing’s C6.Rs, Jim Miller probably gets a lot of perks with his job. While free tickets to all the ALMS races and LeMans would be sweet, we think receiving the first production Corvette C6RS roadster is just about the coolest fringe benefit ever!

The Corvette C6RS burst on the scene last fall at SEMA with a conversion of Jay Leno’s personal Corvette Z06 into the mean green E85 C6RS. Shortly thereafter, Pratt and Miller announced a limited run beginning in April 2008 with an expected peak at 25 units. The Corvette C6RS isn’t for those with weak constitutions. Powered by a Katech 8.2 liter 500 ci V8 that produces 600 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft of torque, the C6RS employs many of the components and characteristics used by Pratt and Miller on Corvette Racing’s C6.R GT1 racecars.

Corvette C6RS pricing information and additional photos are after the jump.

But perhaps the most stunning aspect of the Corvette C6RS is its price. For the cost of a donor Corvette + $185,000, all that performance and styling upgrades can be yours. With the Corvette ZR1 beginning production in July, we wonder how much in demand the Corvette C6RS will be. Still, for those that want something a bit different, a Corvette C6RS from Pratt and Miller is a walk on the wild side of Corvette performance.

Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS
Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS Pratt and Miller's Corvette C6RS

Visit the gallery at Pratt & Miller to view more behind the scenes photos on converting a Corvette to the Corvette C6RS.

Pratt & Miller via

Green Gets Mean: The Skinny on Jay Leno’s E85 Corvette C6RS
Video: Jay Leno’s E85 C6RS Corvette Reveal

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