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Twas the Night Before Christmas – Corvette Style

by Keith Cornett on December 24, 2006

I originally posted this last year and thought it would be good to dive into our archives and repost. I like to wish everyone who visits my Corvette blog a very Merry Christmas. I also wish to extend my Christmas wishes to the men and women serving our country in the Armed Forces both home and abroad. God Bless you all!
Twas the Night Before Christmas – Corvette Style ‘Twas the night before Christmas and out in the garage,
There wasn’t a trace of a Honda, Toyota, or Dodge.
The presents were wrapped and the lights were all lit,
So I figured I’d mess with my classic Corvette for a bit. I popped the release and lifted the hood,
When a deep voice behind me said “looks pretty good.”
Well, as you can imagine, I turned mighty quick,
And there, by the workbench, stood good ol Saint Nick! We stood there a bit, not too sure what to say,
Then he said “don’t suppose that you’d trade for my sleigh?
“No way, Santa” I said with a grin,
“But if you’ve got the time we can go for a spin!” His round little mouth, all tied up like a bow,
Turned into a smile and he said “Sure! Let’s go!!”
So as not to disturb all the neighbors’ retreat,
We quietly pushed the Vette out to the street, Then, taking our places to coast down the hill,
I turned on the key and I let the clutch spill.
The sound that erupted took him quite by surprise,
But he liked it a lot, by the look in his eyes. With tires a’ screaming and side pipes aglow,
We headed on out to where the hot rodders go.
And Santa’s grin widened, approaching his ears,
With every shift up as I banged through the gears. Then he yelled “can’t recall when I’ve felt so alive!”
So I backed off the gas and asked Santa if he wanted to drive.
Ol Santa was stunned when I gave him the keys,
When he walked past the headlights he shook at the knees! The Corvette exploded with side exhaust sound!
And when Santa let out the clutch and the tires shook the ground!
Power shift into second, again into third!
I sat there just watching, at loss for a word, Then I heard him exclaim as we blasted from sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, it’s one hell of a night!!!” Original Post:
December 24, 2005
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Corvette: The 2006 Year in Review

by Keith Cornett on December 20, 2006

This was an interesting year for Corvettes and the people that follow them. New Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace took the reigns from the retiring Dave Hill. The rumored Blue Devil/SS supervette project is finally confirmed by GM and evidenced by test mules running the streets around Detroit. The 2006 Z06 Corvette was the official pace car of three major auto races while its big brother, Corvette Racing’s C6.R won their 50th race during their 50th year of racing. In between? Awards, controversy and a whole lot of fun following America’s Sports Car.
January: Tom Wallace officially takes over the Corvette’s Chief Engineer position as Dave Hill retires. Wallace is only the fourth person to hold the Chief Engineer title for Corvette. The oldest surviving Corvette, a 1953 with the serial number of #003 sold at the Barrett Jackson auction for $1 million dollars. Alan Poster gets a call from the Police. His 1968 Corvette which was stolen 37 years ago was recovered, just days before being shipped to a buyer in Sweden.
February: Jay Leno and the Z06 Corvette pace the Daytona 500. Rumors about the mysterious Blue Devil/SS project begin to swirl after comments by Ed Pepper, Chevrolet’s General Manager, appear to give the project credence.
March: GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz weighs in the Blue Devil/SS project by commenting “There will be something special for the Corvette soon.” Chevrolet implements a service bulletin for the C6 Corvettes after reports of C6 coupes’ roofs flying off. The National Corvette Museum makes its expansion program public. Corvette Racing wins at Sebring. The win celebrated Corvette’s 50th anniversary in road racing. AAA names the Z06 Corvette “The Cool Car of the Year”. The Corvette Assembly Plant builds over 4,000 Corvettes in March, the first time in 21 years that Corvette production was more than 4,000 in one month.
April: Atomic Orange, a new color for the 2007 Corvette is revealed. GM opens “The Drive” in Las Vegas which allows ordinary people a change to drive a Corvette around a high-performance loop.
May: Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tom Wallace confirms that GM will be building the Blue Devil/SS Corvette. Lance Armstrong and the Z06 Corvette pace the Indianapolis 500. Top Gear reviews the Z06 Corvette… Jeremy Clarskon is still an ass. GM issues formal recall notice for 30,000 Corvettes for the flying roof (delamination) issue. Corvette Racing finishes 1-2 in the inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston.
June: GM adds 4 Corvette and Cadillac dealerships in Ireland. AutoWeek rumor speculates that the Blue Devil/SS Corvette will be called the Sting Ray… No comment from GM. Corvette Scores Top 3 Ranking in JD Power Quality Award. Official pricing for the 2007 Corvette is announced. The Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green celebrates 25th anniversary. Gus Grissom’s 1967 Corvette listed on eBay. The former Astronaut’s Corvette had a high bid of $310,100 and was a no-sale. Corvette Racing wins the 24 Hours of LeMans. The National Corvette Museum delivers 1,000 Corvette for the year.
July: Corvette Racing takes second place at Lime Rock. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s 2005 Corvette is listed on eBay. The 2006 Model year closes out. 34,021 Corvettes were built during the model year. One rumor speculates the Blue Devil/SS Corvette will be named the Z07 while another one says the horsepower output will be in the 700 range. Neither rumor gains traction. Matthew McConaughey’s 1971 Corvette is listed on eBay. Proceeds from the sale to go to Oprah’s Angel Network. 2007 model year Corvette debuts, including the new Atomic Orange exterior color. Corvette Racing wins their 50th race at Portland. Corvette’s Assistant Engineer Tadge Juechter is elevated to the Corvette Chief Engineer position while Tom Wallace retains the Vehicle Line Engineer title. Motor Tend magazine speculates the Blue Devil/SS supervette will be called the Corvette Stingray.
August: MSRP pricing goes up across the board on Corvette, adds $3K to the price of a Z06. The Z06 Corvette paces the Brickyard 400. Corvette Ranks 2nd in JD Power Dependability Survey. Corvette Racing Finishes 1-2 at Road America.
September: Corvette Museum hosts the 5,000 new Corvette delivery as part of the R8C Museum Delivery Program. GM extends the powertrain warranty on Corvette and other GM vehicles to 5 years/100K miles. Overhaulin does a 1957 Corvette. Pro Team announces the Last Corvette will be sold at 2007′s Barrett-Jackson auction. Corvette Wins Motorist Choice Award.
October: Corvette Racing Third and Fourth at Petit LeMans. GM’s VP of Design Ed Welburn says the gold Chevy Bowtie will be appearing on the Corvette in the coming years. The first test mules of the Blue Devil/SS Corvette are photographed and published online. Corvette Wins 2 Strategic Vision Total Value Awards. The 1972 Corvette Convertible driven by Chris Tucker in the movie Rush Hour is listed on eBay. The National Corvette Museum details their expansion plans to add a library, diner and meeting areas to the existing Bowling Green facility. In the opposite direction are rumors about a V6 kappa-platform vehicle with a Corvette badge. Corvette Racing overcomes performance sanctions to sweep the ALMS Championships in the GT1 class. I finally became a member of the National Corvette Museum.
November: Consumer Digest names Corvette a “Best Buy”. Photos of a silver Blue Devil/SS test mule are posted all over the web. Corvette Wins AutoWeek Readers Choice Award. Ivan and Mary Shrodt donate $1.3 Million dollars to the Corvette Museum. Callaway Cars introduce the Callaway C16 at the LA Auto Show.
December: Kelley Blue Book unofficially names the Z06 Corvette as having the best resale value. Winding Road admits faking photos of the silver Blue Devil/SS test mule. Corvette added to Car & Driver 10 Best Cars List. Z06 Corvette names to Automobile All-Stars List.
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Corvette Racing Leaving The ALMS?

by Keith Cornett on December 18, 2006

Corvette Racing at Leguna Seca“Challenging” is the word Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager, uses to describe the 2006 racing season. Not only did Corvette compete with Aston Martin and other challengers in the GT1 class, they also had to compete against a sanctioning body that at times last year appeared to have it in for Corvette Racing. Balance of Performance adjustments were continually assessed against Corvette Racing throughout the 2006 campaign. Starting with 122 lbs at the beginning of the season at Sebring, the sanctioning body of the ALMS ramped up those adjustments to 199 lbs, plus smaller air restrictors and fuel tanks following Corvette’s 24 Hours of Le Mans win. With one race remaining and the outcome of the season on the line, the sanctions body handed down their seventh adjustment of the season: Both Corvette and Aston Martin would race a 2,535 pounds total, but Corvette would have a smaller engine restrictor. Aston Martin’s 009 won the GT1 Class and Corvette Racing’s No. 4 and No. 3 cars came in 2nd and 3rd at Laguna Seca. Corvette Racing, having amassed enough points earlier in the season, was able to win their 6th GT1 Manufacturer’s Cup. But despite the win, the battle with the ALMS Sanctioning Body may have taken its toll. When asked about next year, Doug Fehan replied “Right now, no decision has been made.” Fehan also would not rule out a jump to a European or Asian series. “We look for formats that allow us to demonstrate Corvette’s durability, reliability and performance… Corvette is a global brand… Expanding markets in China and Asia make it attractive to run a race in Beijing or Shanghai, for example.” Europe’s Le Mans or FIA series are also being considered. “Le Mans remains the cornerstone of what we do.” said Fehan. Fehan expects a decision to be made sometime around the first of the year. It’s our hope that Corvette Racing can stay in the ALMS, however, they must be allowed to compete without performance adjustments. Raising the bar breeds better racing teams. Lowering the bar signals defeat. Let’s hope the ALMS recognizes their errors. Otherwise, they risk losing a major manufacturer to a competing series. Source:
NCM’s America’s Sports Car Magazine
Pratt & Miller (image)
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Z06 Corvette Named to Automobile All-Stars List

by Keith Cornett on December 14, 2006

2007 Z06 CorvetteAutomobile Magazine gives us an end of the year treat with their 2007 Automobile Magazine All-Stars List. For the second consecutive year, the Z06 Corvette has been named an All-Star. Each All-Star (10 total) have a one-page review and this particular Z06 reviews is one of the more fun to read. Here is just a sample:

To exploit all this speed and agility, bring your best driving skills. Those inclined to flick off the Active Handling system do so at the risk of seat stains and Corvette-shaped guardrail dents.
The snappy writing is just the beginning. Automobile Magazine also included a multimedia gallery for each of the cars. There is an image gallery where you can download Z06 desktop wallpapers. You can hear an audio file of the Z06 as the driver shifts through the first three gears. Lastly, there is a video file of a LeMans Blue Z06 Corvette doing some burnouts on Route 66. Source:
Automobile All-Stars
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CorvetteImages.com Passes 30,000 Corvette Photos Milestone

by Keith Cornett on December 13, 2006

1970 Corvette in Bridgehampton BlueCorvetteImages.com, the largest searchable Corvette photo image gallery, just recently passed its latest milestone of having over 30,000 Corvette images in its searchable database (30,310 to be exact). The site, which gets its images exclusively from the ads run on VetteFinders.com, allows users to search and view photos by year, body style, special edition, color as well as image perspective. The searchable gallery is particularly useful for searching out color options. Say you found a Corvette for sale in your local paper, but you’re not all that familiar with the Bridgehampton Blue color scheme. Go to CorvetteImages.com, enter Bridgehampton Blue under color and voila, 30 images are available. The website was created more as an afterthought then one having a preconceived strategy. Our 1979 Corvette was being restored and we were trying to decide on a new color scheme. Flipping through our ads, we realized that a searchable database of Corvette photos could help others as well. Visit CorvetteImages.com CorvetteImages.com is part of our VetteFinders Corvette Network, which also includes this Corvette blog, VetteFinders.com and CorvetteBanners.com.
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Couple Raffles Corvette To Save School

by Keith Cornett on December 12, 2006

1966 Corvette Coupe Here’s another example of Corvette generosity. Over the last few years there has been an increase of classic corvettes being raffled for charity. The National Corvette Museum even uses raffles for fundraising by offering new Corvettes several times a year. This is a story of a couple offering their own personal classic Corvette to raise funds and save a school. Gerry and Bonnie Rack have owned their 1966 Corvette Stingray since 1973. Yet the thought of their grandchildren’s elementary school closing due to lack of funds was enough for them to offer the classic Corvette in a raffle in hopes of keeping the school open. The school, Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary in Cincinnati has been open for 153 years and current operating costs are $850,000 year. Because of declining enrollment, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese is considering closing the school. The Corvette raffle will raise funds for the school by offering 5000 tickets at $100 each. “Somebody will want it; somebody will take care of it,” Gerry Rack said. “When the day comes, I probably will be sad.” Sad indeed. Gerry bought the Nassau Blue (now Marina Blue) Corvette after serving as an Army mechanic during the Vietnam War. It took 4 years of saving and he finally purchased the Corvette in 1973. He sold it to a friend because he needed the money, but later bought it back. It was once stolen, but he got it back again. The school is somewhat a family institution for the Racks. Bonnie’s father and grandfather both attended. They currently have 2 grandchildren enrolled and seven more on the way. Said Bonnie Rack, “It’s worth it. The kids are worth it.” The Racks generosity is just the latest example of Corvette people who care. For more information on raffle tickets: Click here www.savestpetesschool.org or call 513-967-2247 Sources:
The Columbus Dispatch | The Enquirer Related:
Couple Donates $1.3 Million to Corvette Museum Technorati Tags:
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Irresponsible Speculation: Another Corvette Spy Photo?

by Keith Cornett on December 5, 2006

In the latest chapter of VetteGate (I sure hope we are nearing the end!) the debate that Winding Road wants you focus on is not how they mislead the public and their peers, but how this whole exercise has, according to Winding Road’s online editor Chris Paukert “opens up a valuable debate into the small but substantial economy that’s popped up around spy photography, and more honestly, artist’s renderings. Much of it is based disproportionately on speculation, and while some of that is healthy (especially when qualified as such), the issue of quality-control needs to be revisited. If that dialogue among readers, publications, and photographers is the unintended consequence of our story, that’s wonderful.” So in the spirit of said debate, I submit what appears to be a spy photo of an unknown prototype. It has the characteristic rear fascia and distinctive cue’s of a C5 Corvette. So perhaps Winding Road, with their infinite wisdom and ability to walk the high road and doing what’s best for the automotive community while looking down on the rest of us for irresponsible speculation, can please help me with my quality control. Because you know us dumb bloggers, if it says Corvette, we gotta run with it…

New Corvette Prototype?
Many of you have seen and commented about the letter I received from Winding Road asking me to remove their images from www.CorvetteBlogger.com. Here are five sites that are still posting their most valued “intellectual property”. I’ve contacted several of them and guess what? They have not been asked to remove the images: - http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2956978
- http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67032
- http://web.camaross.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487840
- http://forums.streetfire.net/showthread.php?t=13038&page=1&pp=10
- http://forums.finalgear.com/showthread.php?t=15174 Tomorrow, we will definitely be moving away from this story. All that’s been said, well has. Besides, the word coming from CorvetteConti.com is that there is a Special Edition White Z06 in works that could possibly show up at January’s Detroit Auto Show. Woo Hoo!!! Stay tuned for details!!! Image: Honda-Tech.com Related:
Winding Road Fakes Corvette SS Pics – Looses All Credibility
Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues
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Winding Road’s VetteGate – Hypocrisy Continues

by Keith Cornett on December 4, 2006

My interest in this story was beginning to wane. After three days of VetteGate – the creation of a fake Blue Devil/SS test mule by Winding Road for the expressed purpose of spreading misinformation across the Internet – I found that there wasn’t really much more to say. I see those following the story have divided into two separate camps. The first is the “It’s just a joke, get over it” camp for which most people that don’t have a Corvette are in, and the second is the “Where is the journalistic integrity” camp, where I fall into. So I was all set to move on. But then I got an email today from Winding Road’s Online Editor Chris Paukert, who asked me to remove the photos and story showing the creation of the fake Blue Devil SS:

Keith, Appreciate you chiming in on the faux Blue Devil ruse, even if your opinion is obviously different from that of our publication. It’s certainly a debate worth having, and we encourage you to continue to discuss the matter in your (and any other) forum. That said, by hosting and posting our copyrighted material, you are breaking the law, and we would appreciate it if you’d remove all Winding Road material immediately. You are welcome to link to our magazine or website (or, if you prefer not to do so, that is fine as well),but screen captures of our text and images are illegal and will be treated as such. http://www.corvetteblogger.com/index.cfm/2006/12/1/Winding-Road-Fakes-Corvette-SS-Pics–Looses-All-Credibility Please let us know of your compliance within 48 hours. Thank you for your time. Best, Chris Paukert
Online Editor
So here is where I see the hypocrisy in this request, which by the way, I have honored. Winding Road created a lie that they hoped would spread across the internet and it worked. AutoWeek, MotorTrend and others all picked up on the lie as well as enthusiast sites like the forums and of course, us. Winding Road didn’t spread the lie, but because they created it, they are ultimately responsible. Now, when it comes to the truth being told and setting the record straight, they don’t want that information out there. They want to control it. A publicity stunt where the prize is measured in page views and downloads. This is why their “ruse” as they put it, has ultimately caused them more backlash then I think they expected. Here are some quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy:
Chris Doane:
If I had to guess, Autoweek, Motor Trend and The Car Connection aren’t laughing. All of these outlets published the photos of the fake car on their websites believing it to be an authentic GM prototype. It was, after all, a fairly convincing forgery. Needless to say, this obviously doesn’t make those outlets look good in the credibility department. Some of you may think these media outlets don’t have any credibility to begin with. That’s fine if you think that, but we’re talking solely about this particular incident. Brenda Priddy:
I was a bit disappointed when I heard about the “prank”. Frankly, my major concern was that our actual “spy photos” would lose their value – their creditability. I’ve already had dozens of e-mails from readers questioning our Blue Devil / Stingray photos, which are in fact actual General Motors’ prototypes.
I take the stance that had this prank been pulled by a couple of guys somewhere, well okay, very funny, you got me. For years the media tells us not to believe what we see on the Internet. Those of us who make their living online certainly know that to be true, and Winding Road should too. There is an old saying about how a bear doesn’t shit in his own cave. And that’s exactly what Winding Road did. They were the bear and we were the cave. It’s just now dawning on them they have to live in the cave too. Source: AutoBlog.com | Winding Road Disclaimer: I did not speak nor solicit the quotes from Chris Doane and Brenda Priddy directly. Therefore, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of said quotes at this time. While they did come from a respected online automotive blog, unless I get a sworn deposition that is notarized and contains verifiable DNA from both Mr. Doane and Ms. Priddy, we will not be able to stand behind these remarks as either truthful or accurate. Welcome to the new world of automotive journalism, courtesy of Winding Road.

Corvette Makes Car And Driver 10 Best Cars List

by Keith Cornett on December 3, 2006

2007 Z06 CorvetteCar and Driver once again solicited cars from manufacturers for an intense week of evaluating and testing for their annual 10 Best List. Their criteria is fairly straightforward and can be broken down with three words: expectations, assumptions and surprises. And the three rules for judging? A base price no higher than $71,000. The car must be on-sale no later than January of 2007 and the manufacturer must submit a model for Car and Driver’s staff to evaluate. The Chevrolet Corvette made the Car and Driver 2007 Top 10 Best Cars list. The review includes the usual chest pumping that are the hallmarks of any Corvette review: Chevy’s pushrod driven V8 engine extracts copious power while composite body panels keep the car light. But the money quote is the summary:

This combination of heritage and sophistication gives the Corvette a uniquely American blend of performance, swagger, and everyday livability — characteristics that are all amplified in the 505-hp Z06 version. And in one final bow to tradition, the Corvette delivers this virtue at a price vastly lower than any of its competitors.
Interestingly, each car that made the 10 Best List had the EPA City Mileage number posted, but not the highway. I love telling people how Corvette can get upwards of 28-30 MPG on the highway. You can view the entire list at Car and Driver Source: Car and Driver via Autoblog.com
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November 2006 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on December 2, 2006

GM’s November 2006 Sales Report has been released. Corvette Sales for November 2006 have shown a -12.2% decline from November 2005. Last month, GM sold 2,773 new Corvettes vs. 3,157 for the same month in 2005. This is the second month in a row we have seen a decline, though last month’s dip was only -3.4%. Calendar year to date sales are still strong with 33,437 Corvettes sold January-November 2006 vs 29,218 sold in 2005. That is still on pace for a 14.4% increase over last year. There were 25 selling days for both the November 2006 and 2005 sales period. Source: GM
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