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A Kappa-Platform Corvette?

Yet another tip from my new friend George led me over to Automotive News where a preview of an article that’s related to the recent GM-UAW agreement and the now famous summary outlining the distribution of future GM products states the following:

Two GM plants are left without long-term products
Orion Township, Mich., and Wilmington, Del., will wait
General Motors’ Orion Township, Mich., plant and its assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., did not have new vehicles designated for them as part of broad job guarantees in GM’s tentative new contract with the UAW. Wilmington does not have replacements for the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Opel GT roadsters after 2011. The contract says the next generation of Solstice and Sky will be built at Bowling Green, Ky.

Whoa, Kappa designated platforms will be moving to Bowling Green AFTER 2011? And the C7 Corvette is now slated to be introduced in 2012. And Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tom Wallace is also the Vehicle Line Chief for GM Performance Cars, which in addition to the Corvette and Cadillac XLR includes the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and the Opel GT.

Do you see where I am going with this?

A year ago this month, a bomb was dropped by CorvetteConti.com who wrote about an inside source saying there was a possibility of a Kappa-based vehicle wearing a Corvette badge and sporting a V6. The enthusiast community cried NOOOOOO while Zora rolled over in his grave (I know his ashes are in a urn at the NCM, but that visual doesn’t work here).

But let’s drop the V6 aspect of that story for a minute and concentrate on the core concept: a Kappa-based Corvette. Sure we know economies of scale and the dollars saved when the brands share a platform. Motor Trend even mentions the Kappa C7 Corvette possibility in their Nov 2007 issue. We also know that the Kappa can handle a big V8, as Mallet proved by dropping an LS2 into the Solstice. The downside though is that one kappa looks like the others: The Opel GT looks like a Saturn Sky, which looks like a Pontiac Solstice. Imagine driving down the road, seeing a familiar looking car and throwing out a Corvette Wave, only to find out it wasn’t a Corvette at all. Remember the front view of the Fiero anyone?

Of course this is all just late night speculation on my part. I don’t have an account to Automotive News (help anyone?) so the complete story could be just the opposite. For all I know it could say that the Kappa platform vehicles are going to be sharing the Corvette platform in 2012. But I don’t even think “Maximum” Bob Lutz could sell that story…


Source:
Automotive News
CorvetteConti.com

Related:
A V6 Corvette? Hell No Chevy!!!

 

GM-UAW Deal: C7 Corvette Planned for 2012

by Keith Cornett on October 1, 2007

During the negotiations last week between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, the main sticking point which resulted in the 2 day walkout according to various press accounts was job security. The UAW was looking for assurances that jobs wouldn’t be sent abroad. A glimpse into the tentative agreement that GM and the United Auto Workers signed which ended the walkout also provides details about the GM lineup, the factories that will produce them as well as future target dates for production.

The summary of product commitments included in the agreement shows the C7 Corvette and the Cadillac XLR as arriving in 2012, making them products of the 2013 model year lineup.

We’ve already heard that GM has greenlighted the C7. In an interview earlier this year, Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tom Wallace suggested the C7 Corvette could come as early as 2010, while a google search shows GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is all over the place with various target dates for the C7. Even future GM product watcher Ted Krygier’s website has the C7 (codename GMX711) being introduced during the summer of 2010.

The key point I’m making with these observations is that its important for the faithul not to get caught up with talk of “delays” as target production dates are simply “targets”. The good news is that the C7 is coming and will be here quicker than you think. If you have ever read about the development of the C5 corvette in James Schefter’s All Corvettes Are Red, you get a sense of the major undertaking for producing any new car, and then double or triple that when the new car is the Corvette.

Thanks for the tip, George!


Source:
TheCarConnection.com
Detroit News
CorvetteConti.com

Related:
Autoextremist: GM May Greenlight Mid-Engine C7 Corvette

 

Corvette SS Spy Photo by Jim DunneThe GM Source’s Josh Oliver says the first 2009 Corvette ZR-1 will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Actually, that’s already been speculated, but Josh takes the rumor a step forward by reporting that days after its NAIAS unveiling, the new supercharged 650 hp Corvette ZR-1 will be off to Scottsdale to be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event sometime between January 12-20th.

Should such an event come to pass, the amount of buzz generated by the General would be huge, first with the bounce from the Detroit auto show and then placing the car in the middle of all those car-crazy collectors in Scottsdale with cameras from Speed TV capturing the moment. of course, no word from GM on whether or not this will happen officially or if this is just irresponsible speculation.


Source:
CorvetteZR1Forum.com via Jalopnik.com

Related:
Second Video of Corvette ZR-1 Surfaces

 

Vette Dogs Episode 10: Season One is a Wrap

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2007

Our friends at Digital Corvettes have released Episode 10 of Vette Dogs, which is the final chapter of what is being called Season 1. The storyline for the inaugural season follows Patrick Gramm and fellow DC member Steve Hardy and as they took on the Cannonball One Lap of America. As in the previous episodes, the production values are high and the scenes are filled with eye candy for those of us who love Corvettes.

Based on comments from Patrick on the DC forums, it sounds as though a Season 2 is in the works. We can only hope it comes sooner rather than later as we looked forward to the (nearly) weekly releases of each episode at VetteDogs.com.
Source:
VetteDogs.com Related:
Vette Dogs: Oklahoma’s Hallett Motor Racing Circuit Technorati Tags:
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Accident Lands Corvette in Iowa Home’s Basement

by Keith Cornett on September 28, 2007

A homeowner in Hiawatha, Iowa heard a loud crash early Thursday morning and upon investigating, found a yellow C5 Corvette in their house. The car crashed through the wall of the split level home before coming to rest fully in the basement. The driver, 52 year old Lee Francis Brown was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving.

Corvette Crashes into House Corvette Crashes into House Corvette Crashes into House
Amazingly, the Corvette appears not to have been seriously damaged considering it crashed through a wall of a home.
Source:
KCRG.com Related: Brakes Fail, Split-Window Corvette Lands on Wall Technorati Tags:
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The Corvette Restorer Magazine from the NCRSThe National Corvette Restorers Society announced that Wayne Scraba will be stepping down from his Managing Editor position of The Corvette Restorer magazine. Under Scraba’s tenure, The Corvette Restorer Magazine was redesigned and now has a very professional quality normally associated with high-line publications. So now the search begins for Wayne’s replacement, and as we like to highlight cool jobs that surround our hobby, here is the job description if you are interested in becoming the next Managing Editor for the venerable NCRS publication: 1. Solicit, edit verify and assemble suitable reprinted materials
2. Develop original content
3. Manage a production schedule
4. Control an operating budget
You must have the ability to travel to selected (five to seven) NCRS events held around the country, gathering story ideas and photographical assets. Interested? Contact Dick Whittington at 336-957-6106 for details.
Source: NCRS.org Technorati Tags:
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Strike Ends as GM and UAW Reach Tentative Agreement

by Keith Cornett on September 26, 2007

General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached an early morning agreement to end the two day strike. The agreement will need to be ratified in the coming days by UAW membership, but it’s expected to pass. Workers are expected back as early as today which will be good news to new Corvette buyers with orders in the system, as well as those expecting to make the journey to Bowling Green to pick up their new car at the National Corvette Museum. CorvetteConti.com and CorvetteBlog.com, both supported and sponsored by Chevrolet stores, offered up the following communications from various GM brass:

GM Dealers,
Subject: Update on UAW Negotiations Earlier today, General Motors and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract, covering approximately 74,000 represented employees. The agreement, subject to member ratification, paves the way for GM to significantly improve its manufacturing competitiveness, providing the basis for maintaining and strengthening its core manufacturing base in the United States. The tentative agreement includes a memorandum of understanding to establish an independent retiree health care trust, as well as other changes to the national agreement. Following ratification, implementation of the memorandum of understanding is subject to approval by the courts, and satisfactory review of accounting treatment with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Rick Wagoner sent a message indicating how this agreement will help us close the fundamental competitive gaps that exist in our business. The projected competitive improvements in this agreement will allow us to maintain a strong manufacturing presence in the United States along with significant future investments. The GM negotiating team members and support staff and the UAW bargaining team are to be commended for their dedicated work on this new agreement. I want to personally thank each of you for your continued focus on our customers and for promoting our full lineup of great cars and trucks, including your efforts on the current retail event, which runs through October 1. Importantly, to address any concerns regarding delivery of parts to your dealerships an additional communications from Doug Herberger, Vice President — Service and Parts Operations, will be forwarded to you later today via GM Messenger on DealerWorld. Mark LaNeve
Vice President
Vehicles Sales, Service & Marketing ——————– GM Leaders, General Motors and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract, covering approximately 74,000 represented employees. The agreement, subject to member ratification, paves the way for GM to significantly improve its manufacturing competitiveness, providing the basis for maintaining and strengthening its core manufacturing base in the United States. The tentative agreement includes a memorandum of understanding to establish an independent retiree health care trust, as well as other changes to the national agreement. Following ratification, implementation of the memorandum of understanding is subject to approval by the courts, and satisfactory review of accounting treatment with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This was a very difficult and complex set of negotiations for GM and the UAW. I want to thank all the GM negotiating team members and support staff for their dedicated work on this new agreement. I also want to commend the UAW bargaining team for their professionalism in these negotiations. The next step involves UAW leaders traveling to the plants to explain the new contract and seek ratification. We will communicate the final outcome. Thanks for your support. Regards,
Diana Tremblay
GMNA Vice President – Labor Relations
Perhaps the best message of all is no message. The Bowling Green Assembly Plant has removed the notice informing the suspension of the factory tour and it appears that all will return to normal in a very quick fashion.
Source:
CorvetteConti.com
CorvetteBlog.com Related:
Corvette Assembly Plant UAW Strike Video Technorati Tags:
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Introducing Keith Martin’s Corvette Market Magazine

by Keith Cornett on September 26, 2007

Keith Martin's Corvette Market MagazineKeith Martin is a well-known personality in the Sports car collecting hobby, publishing the Sports Car Market Magazine and appearing on television as a commentator and co-host of SPEED’s coverage of Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale. His latest venture is Keith Martin’s Corvette Market: Insider’s Guide to Collecting, Investing, Values and Trends. The Corvette Market magazine is scheduled for publication 4 times per year and the inaugural edition was mailed last week. As someone who takes an interest in Corvette values, I can tell you this new publication is a home run. Corvette Market offers feature articles and insights on the top Corvette models in the collector arena. Issue 1 features the heavy hitters: The 1953 Corvette, The 1687 L71 Corvette and the model that is currently trending well, the 1969 Corvette. But the real genius behind Corvette Market is the auction reports and analysis from a well-rounded group of Corvette aficionados. In the premier issue, the June 2007 Bloomington Gold Auction falls under the microscope of Keith’s analysts and no punches are pulled when telling you why the Corvette sold or didn’t sell. Here is an example from the Mecum Bloomington Gold coverage:

Keith Martin's Corvette Market Magazine

#F57 – 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. S/N 19467S715499. Riverside Gold/White/Black Vinyl. Odo: 6,293 Miles. 427-ci 390-hp V8, 4-bbl, 4-Speed. Excellent resprayed Riverside Gold paint, otherwise completely original. Interior shows very light wear, top has heavier wear and s frayed at the edges. Good engine compartment, original window sticker. A strong car with loads of originality. Condition: 2 Sold at $38,850. Analysis:
The ’69 Corvette had the same owner since 1971 and he clearly pampered it over the years. The L36 390-hp 427s are great performing cars without the wildness of the 435-hp cars, but the L71 always commands the top dollars. This one sold for well below market value for an L36. A real bargain for a car of this quality.
If you liked that, there are 186 more just like it in the premier issue of Corvette Market Magazine. Other reports are also included both in the magazine, issue 1 contains a listing of the top 100 corvettes auction prices of all time, as well as on the dedicated web site, www.VetteMarket.com, where the Plus subscription will get you full access to the Corvette Market Auction database containing over 2,000 Corvette market reports like the one above. A one-year subscription to Keith Martin’s Corvette Market Magazine is $29.95 or $48.00 for the plus version. With just one issue of his new magazine, Keith Martin has created a must-have reference guide for Corvette collectors and those that follow Corvette pricing trends and values.
Source:
VetteMarket.com Related:
Auction Results: Bloomington Gold Totals $8.2 Million in Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Assembly Plant UAW Strike Video

by Keith Cornett on September 25, 2007

The Bowling Green Daily News has an interesting two minute video shot outside the Corvette assembly plant showing the perspective of the strike from Local UAW 2164. Listen to the disappointment from the line walkers when two tractor-trailers full of new Corvettes leaves the grounds on the way to dealers for delivery. It’s a sad situation for not only the automaker and its workers, but the customers whose Corvettes may be caught in the middle with no time-table for delivery.


Source:
Bowling Green Daily News Related:
Picket Lines Form at Corvette Assembly Plant as UAW Strikes Technorati Tags:
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Picket Lines Form at Corvette Assembly Plant as UAW Strikes

by Keith Cornett on September 24, 2007

Corvette assembly line workers picket on Corvette DriveThe United Auto Workers have made good on their threat to carry out a nationwide strike as contract talks with General Motors have stalled. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, about 30 workers formed picket lines at 10:00 am this morning at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant, home of the Corvette and the Cadillac XLR. More workers joined their ranks on Corvette Drive as they left the plant. While the automaker has sufficient stocks to withstand a short strike, the effect on Corvette would probably be more pronounced due to its limited production compared to other GM vehicles. According to Corvette Blog’s National Corvette Stock Report, over 3,100 2008 Corvettes were available on the ground as well as 4,451 2007 Corvettes. The factory churns out 150 Corvettes or so daily so the walkout will probably inconvenience those with current orders as well as those owners opting for the R8C Museum Delivery Option. A message was posted on the Bowling Green Assembly Plant’s website that says “GM Tours are suspended until further notice.” Stay with CorvetteBlogger.com as we will continue to monitor the UAW’s strike and its effects on Corvette production.
Source:
Bowling Green Daily News Related:
UAW Prepares to Strike: Corvette Assembly Plant Targeted Technorati Tags:
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