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Former Corvette Engineering Chief to Launch Podcast

by Keith Cornett on November 5, 2007

Former Corvette Chief Engineer Dave McLellan who led the Corvette platform from 1975 through 1992 is planning on launching a Corvette podcast on his forthcoming website Appearing on the Podcast Answer Man, Dave says his 18 years at the helm of Corvette in addition to his close proximity with Corvette fans will be the basis of planned topics. McLellan followed in the very big footsteps of Corvette’s first Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov who retired in 1975. Under McLellan’s watch, new technologies were introduced to Corvette including ABS, traction control, airbags, keyless entry and extended mobility tires. He produced the first 140 mph Corvette in more than a decade and his crown achievement was development of the original King of the Hill, the Corvette ZR-1.

“I interact with enough Corvette folks in a years time that I have a pretty good sense of the kinds of questions that people want to ask about the car, or about me or about you know the guys who are doing the car today.” Said McLellan, “It makes the most sense to start out just talking about things I know and are interesting to me and that I think will be interesting to other people and then let it branch from there and that’s where feedback is very useful.”
The new podcast will be produced by and will be appearing on Dave’s soon-to-be-released website, We’ll keep an ear to the intertubes for more details when the site goes live.
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Video: Building the Last C4 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on November 2, 2007

A friend of mine sent me this video which tells the story of the assembly of the last C4 Corvette, 1996′s VIN 21,477. The Corvette was purchased by Mid America Motorwork’s Mike Yager who was able to follow the corvette down the line as it was being assembled. Mike talked and joked with the workers and he encourged them to leave their signature somewhere on the car. The Corvette still resides in Mike’s collection to this day.

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Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale

by Keith Cornett on November 2, 2007

There is a change in the air as Fall seems to have finally arrived. If you’re looking to get behind the wheel of your favorite sportscar, now is the time and is place. With over 500 Corvettes for sale, from C1s to C6s, you’re sure to find the Corvete of your dreams. Below is just a sampling from our bi-weekly “Featured Corvettes at” email newsletter, representing a Corvette from each generation:

1960 Corvette Convertible For Sale 1964 Corvette Coupe For Sale 1980 Corvette Coupe For Sale
1960 Convertible
1964 Coupe
1980 Coupe
1991 Corvette Convertible For Sale 2000 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2008 Corvette Coupe For Sale
1991 Convertible
2000 Coupe
2008 Coupe
Selling Your Corvette? Now is the time and is the place to reach more qualified Corvette Buyers. Corvette Classified Ads are only $25 and run for 3 months. You can post unlimited photos and you have access to make any changes at any time.
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Video: Jay Leno’s E85 C6RS Corvette Reveal

by Keith Cornett on November 1, 2007

Jay Leno unveils his E85 powered Corvette C6RS at the SEMA show and gives us a nice walk around the car, pointing out various mechanicals and options.

Pratt & Miller, builders of Corvette Racing’s C6.Rs and the Corvette Racing inspired C6RS has announced the E85 powered Corvette will go into limited production with versions available in April 2008. Check out the Corvette C6RS at
General Motors
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V7 Twin Turbo Corvette Concept Makes SEMA Splash

by Keith Cornett on November 1, 2007

V7 Twin Turbo Corvette Concept Makes SEMA Splash

For months we’ve been watching the progress on American Supercars 1963 split window inspired Mid-engine Corvette Concept called the V7 Twin Turbo and finally the car was ready for its introduction at SEMA. The concept is an engineering marvel, boasting an LS1 with twin turbos in a mid-engine layout. On the dyno, the V7 churned out 1,067 horsepower and 980 pounds of tourque.


LeftLaneNews Details GM’s LS Engine Plans

by Keith Cornett on October 31, 2007 did a query of their sources at GM to provide a detailed look of future plans for GM’s LS engines. For our purposes, we’ll cover the three that have implications for Corvette: The LS7, LS8 and LS9. The LS7
The LS7 is a naturally aspirated 7.0 liter motor and is the current top of the line performance engine for GM, appearing exclusively in the Corvette Z06. It is hand built at GM’s Wixom Performance Center, and therefore very expensive to make. The LS7′s days are numbered according to Leftlanenews sources, ceasing production sometime during late 2009 or mid-2010. Previous rumors of the Cadillac CTS-V getting the LS7 appear to be false. Instead, the performance Cadillac sedan will get the new LSA motor next year with the Corvette Z06 upgrading to the supercharged small block LS8 in 2010. The LS8
The LS8 is a 6.2 liter smallblock V8 with a supercharger. This motor will be dropped into the top-end Zeta platform cars with the Camaro Z28 being the most likely candidate. Initial specs have it at 475-500 horsepower with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. As mentioned above, the Corvette Z06 will receive this power plant in 2010 with a possibility of an uptuned version to ensure Corvette’s horsepower superiority over the Zeta cars. The last thing a Corvette owner who plunks down $75K for a Z06 is going to want to hear is that they bought the Corvette with the Camaro engine. The LS9
So much has already been written about the LS9 that is seems like it’s already in production and out on the streets. Another 6.2 liter smallblock V8 with a supercharger, it has an integrated intercooler on the intake manifold. Estimated horsepower is speculated to be 650 hp with 700 hp in reach. The ZR-1 may also feature an optional automatic with paddle shifters. Earlier this year it was said that the LS9 would come only equipped as an automatic, but the run by the ZR-1 with an LS9 coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission at Laguna Seca earlier this month quashed that rumor. The LS9 will be hand built starting in July 2008 at Wixom Performance Center alongside the LS7 as no more than 2,000 units are expected per year.
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ProTeam Corvette to Host NCRS Technical Seminar

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2007

The Protect-O-Plate from my 1966 CorvetteThis coming Saturday, November 3rd, ProTeam Corvette will host NCRS members from four states for a day-long seminar on trim tags, Protect-O-Plates, documentation and the decoding of these items. As documentation plays an important role in pricing and valuations, the morning seminars will focus on what ProTeam calls Chevrolet’s predictable measure of each car and the missteps and omissions that occurred along the way. An afternoon seminar is also planned that will address the cylinder case and its perceived importance on originality. The hands-on session will center on the every day exceptions, aberrations, corrections, errors, do-overs, misapplications, and general conundrums associated with factory production. NCRS Master Judge Al Grenning will be the instructor for the day-long event. Grenning is a Senior Bloomington Gold Restoration Workshop Instructor, Division Director for Numbers and Tags – Bloomington Gold Certification as well as being a member of the National Corvette Certification Board & National Corvette Survivor Board. His research includes: the “Master Pad Library” containing many thousands of Corvette engine pad photographs and co-authorship of the “NCRS Authentication Library, Vol. 1″, the result of extensive research on 1963 to 1967 midyear trim tags. Additional research includes midyear Protect-O-Plates, trim tags and a large comprehensive photocopy library of St. Louis Corvette production documents. The seminar will serve to spread the Corvette gospel through education about the cryptic history and factory anomalies of America ‘s true sports car. Any questions about this and future seminars, contact Terry Michaelis at ProTeam Corvette.
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Last week’s press announcement from General Motors about Jay Leno’s E85 Corvette Z06 appearing at the SEMA show was short on details, but now that SEMA is here, we’ve got the skinny on the Chin’s mean green Corvette Z06.

Jay Leno's E85 Corvette C6RS Jay Leno's E85 Corvette C6RS Jay Leno's E85 Corvette C6RS
Jay’s E85 Corvette it turns out, is much more than just a Z06 with a retrofitted engine. In addition to the custom 8.2 liter aluminum V8 that churns out 600 horsepower and 585 pounds of torque on E85, he went to Pratt & Miller, builders of Corvette Racing’s C6.R racecars, for some custom body work that makes this ethanol powered supercar one of kind. The Corvette C6RS sports a black exterior with wider front and rear fenders and a wider rear fascia with an integrated spoiler on top and diffuser on the bottom. The new body work adds 1.6 inches to the width of a standard Z06 and is designed to enhance fuel efficiency though better aerodynamics. The C6RS has Michelin’s mounted on BBS Wheels with 18′s on the front and 19′s on the back. Additional performance options also provided by Pratt & Miller include a custom DeWitt high-capacity radiator with dual cooling fans, a carbon-fiver ram-air induction kit and Brembo brakes with six-piston mono-block calipers in front and four piston rear calipers. The interior was also customized with several premium items from the Genuine Corvette Accessories catalog including the two-tone shift knob and boot, leather-covered armrest, parking brake handle and boot, and interior trim kit and racing-style pedal covers. Interestingly, despite all the specs regarding Leno’s e85 Corvette, the one fact omitted is fuel efficiency. I suspect that its on par with is fossil-fuel burning siblings or slightly less due to the high performance 8.2 liter V8. After all, E85 doesn’t improve gas mileage, it’s really just a substitute for gasoline. That being said, 600 horsepower is still a cool way to go green…
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Corvette Racing: Fellows Named Most Popular ALMS Driver

by Keith Cornett on October 24, 2007

Ron Fellows receives the coveted Most Popular Driver AwardFor the fourth time in his legendary ALMS career, Corvette Racing’s Ron Fellows was selected by the fans as the American LeMans series Most Popular Driver. Fans were able to cast votes through the ALMS website. The award capped a season that started behind the wheel of the first signature model in the 55 year history of the Corvette, the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06. Ron drove a replica of that Corvette first at Sebring and then again at his home track of Mosport during the 2007 season. The award was presented during the annual season ending banquet following the Monterey Sports Car Championsips at Laguna Seca. In addition to the Most Popular Driver Award, ALMS founder Dr. Don Panoz presented Ron and his wife Lynda a specially commissioned Corvette painting in recognition of the couple’s efforts at the Le Petit Elegance charity fundraiser at Petit Le Mans. Ron auctioned off the signed pink helmet he wore during the race with the proceeds donated to breast cancer research. Congratulations Ron for all your hard work and the significant contributions to the Corvette brand.
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A year ago, Jay Leno, the well-known car collector and host of NBC’s Tonight Show was talking up his 650 hp EcoJet concept, a car built on the Corvette Z06′s frame, fueled by biodiesel and powered by a turbine engine. The car was well received, but because of its “concept” status and batmobile-like design, Jay’s attempt at an alternative-fueled supercar was never really taken seriously. All that will change next week at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. In collaboration with GM’s display of alternative fuel vehicles, Jay brings another “project car” to the table, and this one has much more serious and immediate applications. GM calls their SEMA display “Green Gets Mean” and the centerpiece will be Leno’s custom built Corvette Z06 that runs completely on E85 fuel. The Corvette boasts a custom 500 cubic inch engine that generates 600 horsepower! No other specifics on the Corvette are yet available so stay tuned for SEMA event coverage next week. In addition to the ethanol-powered Corvette, GM Performance Parts will introduce its LS3 crate engine and a limited-edition Anniversary 427 crate engine that’s an all aluminum big-block based on the legendary ZL-1. A cast-iron big block 427 is also available which features most of the high-performance attributes of the Anniversary 427.

Trivia Question:
How many Corvette ZL-1′s were produced and what was the year of production?
Now, I don’t mean to go off on a rant, but it would be interesting to learn the spec’s of Leno’s E85 Corvette and to see a performance comparison against a similarly outfitted Z06 that runs on pump gas. While the perception from tree huggers is that the Corvette is a gas guzzling V8 that only deserved to be produced in that bygone era of 50 cents a gallon gasoline, truth is the current model gets 28 MPG highway and some owners have report higher averages based on their route and driving conditions. I believe owners would embrace a flex-fuel powered Corvette as long a performance wasn’t sacrificed. While I don’t necessarily believe that E85 is a long term solution to our “oil addiction”, I, like many Americans would rather send my dollars to farmers in the Midwest instead of dictators in the Mideast. Besides, Leonardo DiCaprio would look way more cool pulling up to the Oscars in an E85 Corvette instead of his current Toyota Prius. Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong…
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