Winding Road socks Corvette Fans in the eye again. But this time its a good thing. In their August 07 issue, which is available for download by subscription, Winding Road rounds up a group of automotive insiders and former execs to discuss the next generation Corvette. In addition to the artist renderings of where the C7 Corvette’s design may possibly evolve, the panel is focused on answering the questions about the viability of a mid-engine Corvette.
Former Corvette Chief Engineer Dave McClellan joins Reeves Callaway, Jim Mussler, David Welch and John Wolkonowicz on the panel and each gives their pros and cons for a mid-engine Corvette. The general consensus appears to be that a mid-engine Corvette would be good for the portfolio, and especially good for the racing program, but that the front-mounted engine Corvette is just better for everyday drivers and in the end, better for General Motors.
Reeves Callaway puts it most succinctly: “The current car is such a good value. There is no better example of great engineering at an expeditious cost. It’s remarkable to me that they do it at $40,000.” That just about sums up the reason why we think Chevrolet should continue to build Corvettes with engines up front.
Turning again to the photos, these are just artist renderings that will probably have no bearing on the final design of the C7 Corvette, codenamed GMX711. Winding Road tells us that final designs were to be presented to GM Design Chief Ed Welburn this month while the introduction is set for 2011. A significant date for sure as the bowtie celebrates 100 years in 2011. We concur…what’s a better gift than a new Chevrolet Corvette!
Blue Devil Corvette to be Named SS (C7 News Inside)
You know you’re still a public figure despite a three year retirement from public service when word of your shopping for a new Corvette makes “Washington Whispers“, a political rumors column at US News and World Report. That’s what happened this week with former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell presently owns a red 2005 Corvette but is looking to upgrade to the new 436 horsepower 2008 Corvette. According to the column, Colin Powell said this about Corvettes:
“You know they have this Z06 that’s 500 horsepower,” he says with awe. “They loaned me a Z06 for three days to see if I liked it,” he tells us. “I loved it, but I would be in jail by the end of the week because that thing was going 90 mph in second gear, and I didn’t know how I was going to use the other four gears.” Afterward, he made this mental note: “Powell, you are 70 years old. Stick to 400 horsepower. You don’t need 500.”
If shopping for a Corvette makes this much news, imagine when the retired General actually takes delivery. Perhaps he would consider an R8C delivery at the Corvette Museum?
US News & World Reports
Indianapolis 500: Corvette Pace Car Photoshoot
With the release of the Bloomington Gold Auction Results from Mecum Auctioneers, we getting some interesting insight into what may be happening with the Corvette Market. 295 Corvettes crossed the auction block during the three day auction weekend, with 145 being sold for a total of $8.2 million in Corvette Sales. That is a 49% sales success rate for the 2007 Gold Auction.
Comparing this year’s Gold auction to the 2006 Auction, we see declines in total cars available (295 vs 344), Sales totals ($8.2 million vs $10.4 million) and percentage sold (49% vs 56%). Okay, Keith. So what does that mean? It means that we may finally be moving back to an enthusiast-driven market, where Corvettes are being bought to be driven, instead of the Collector Market, where Corvettes are bought to be stored. Drivers almost always sell for less than trailer queens, which brings down the prices you see at auctions. A higher percentage of cars that don’t reach reserves and therefore don’t sell tell you that sellers were holding out for prices that didn’t materialize.
So this may be a slightly simplistic view of what’s happening to the overall Corvette market, but it does fit with some of the indicators we’ve seen and heard. I am a believer in trends so we’ll have to see if this continues with auctions that deal primarily with Corvettes.
But this auction did have Corvettes for the collectors. The top selling Corvette was lot #S67, a 1967 Corvette Convertible called “The Roby Price Car”. The Big Block 427 ci/435 hp Corvette carries a Bloomington Gold certificate and was part of the Special Collection back in 1991. It is one of the best documented 1967 Corvettes in existence, with Top Flight Awards in 1989, 2002 and 2003. The Corvette sold for $467,250 with commission.
The second highest-selling Corvette at the auction was a Riverside Red 1963 Corvette Coupe Z06 which sold for $367,500. This Corvette is 1 of 199 Z06 Coupes made in 1963 and has the rare (1 in 63) Big Tank option. There was another 1963 Corvette Z06 that sold for only $139,650. However, there was no write-up available on the Mecum site for this Corvette, and chances are it wasn’t a tanker like the other Z06.
The two 1953 Corvettes also did very well, maintaining the pricing trend we’ve seen over the last year. Lot #S91, Chassis #107, has a Bloomington Gold certificate and has just 120 on it since restoration. It sold for $296,625. Lot #S53, which sold for $283,500 is Chassis #210 and has been housed in a climate controlled garage with the same owner for the last 13 years.
Here are the SOLD results from the 2007 Bloomington Gold Auction:
Auction Results: 1953 Corvette Sells for $440,000
Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach: Corvette Sales Top $6.2
Mecum Auction Results: Corvette Sales Tops $5.5 Million
|S125||1957||Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie||Red||$157,500|
|S63||1963||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||Red||$367,500|
|S122||1963||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||Red||$139,650|
|S60||1968||Chevrolet Corvette L-89||Maroon||$89,250|
|S9||1990||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Black||$60,375|
|F23||1991||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||White||$19,950|
|F82||1991||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Red||$25,988|
|S10||1991||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Blue||$60,375|
|S11||1992||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||White||$60,375|
|F36||1993||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Ruby Red||$44,625|
|S12||1993||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Red||$60,375|
|S13||1994||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Green||$60,375|
|S14||1995||Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1||Yellow||$60,375|
Los Jalops got us a pic of American Super Car’s Corvette Super Coupe Concept that is being built for the SEMA show in Las Vegas later this year. The concept, officially called the V7 Super Coupe will be powered by a Chevy LS motor with twin-turbos that should bring up the horsepower output to 1,000. Smoking!
SEMA’s Outrageous C6 Corvette
The Vatican’s release of a 10 Commandments on Driving has sure started a lot of conversations on the auto blogs and forums. The Church is hoping the list will remind drivers to be charitable to others and lessen the occurrences of Road Rage. Interestingly, the most common response I’ve seen to the list is that the Church only needed one commandment: “Move over when a faster car approaches you from behind”.
But my favorite response has been the posting of The Ten Commandments of Corvette ownership by “Pewter Dream” on the Corvette Forum. They are:
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Corvette.
- Thou shalt not worship any other car besides Corvette. For there is but one automotive God.
- Thou shalt not (tell) kill (stories).
- Thou shalt not adulterate your Corvette with ricer wings and flares.
- Thou shall honor all of the mothers and fathers in the history of the Corvette.
- Thou shalt not give false testimony…at your speeding ticket hearing or about your Corvette’s
horsepower or 1/4 mile times.
- Thou shalt not misuse the name of Corvette.
- Thou shall remember the day your Corvette came into your life and keep it holy.
- Thou shalt not steal a glance at that shiny Corvette next to you at the car show and wonder if he is a Rejex, Adams or Zaino fanatic, and then go home and start another “which wax is best?” thread.
- Thou shalt not make for yourself a shrine to your Corvette.
Do you have a Corvette Commandment that should be on this list?
What Would Jesus Drive
Without so much as a chance to cool his jets following Corvette Racing’s 2nd place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ron Fellows has turned his attention to NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway on Sunday. The road-racing specialist has five combined wins in NASCAR’s Truck and Busch series, but so far a Nextel Cup race win has eluded him.
“It’d be huge,” Fellows said of a possible win. “It’s why we keep pursuing it. It’s unfinished business for me. We’ve been fortunate enough to win in the Truck Series and the Busch Series, but I really want to get a win in Nextel Cup.
“When you look at how big and popular Nextel Cup racing is, it’s impossible to ignore. It would be, without a doubt, one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had.”
Fellows will be substituting for Tony Raines in the Hall of Fame #96 Chevrolet. Ron has 15 starts in NASCAR cup races finishing in the top 10 4 times and twice in top 5.
“I thoroughly enjoy doing [NASCAR races], whether it’s Busch, Cup or Truck,” Fellows said. “The Nextel Cup Series is the cream of the crop and on the competitive side of it, these guys are all very, very good. The racing is incredibly close and that’s enjoyable.
“It’s also a lot shorter than what I’ve been doing recently [Le Mans] — and I don’t have to get out of the car during the pit stops.”
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 starts at 3:30pm and will be televised on TNT.
Le Mans: #63 Corvette C6.R Finishes in 2nd Place
The sponsoring dealer of my Corvette Club (Tampa Bay Vettes) received their allocation of the 2007 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car this week and offered club members a preview of the limited edition convertible Friday Afternoon. Ferman Chevrolet is offering the Corvette on a first come – first serve basis. MSRP is listed at $67,420 plus the $825 delivery charge.
The replica Pace Car is everything I thought it would be. The graphics are well done but not overpowering like the case in some previous years (remember 1998 anyone?). I especially liked the embroidered logos on the seats, the matching fuel rail covers and of course the “winged tire” Indianapolis 500 badge on the quarter panel. Someone told me when I was taking photos that I should just download them off the internet, because they would be better. I laughed and said “Yes, but these are mine!” So while this is old news, photos and all, the experience of seeing the car up close and personal makes it all new again. Car people would understand that.
So after the preview and some free pizza, the ride home turned out to be an event all unto itself. As it was a club event, I wore my uniform, the 1966 Corvette Convertible pictured below. And while the ride home normally takes about 25 minutes, I got caught in the middle of Florida afternoon rain shower. This is only the second time since 1993 that I’ve been caught in the rain and the first time since having the car painted. Needless to say, the cockpit leaked horrendously so I pulled under the Crosstown overpass until the worst pass. The joke about Florida is true…if you don’t like the weather, just wait 20 minutes. Soon, the heavy rain slowed to light sprinkles and I was able to finish my drive home.
2007 Corvette Pace Car Allocation Info
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
Wow, I can’t believe we are nearing the end of June already. If you are wanting to get behind the wheel of a new or classic Corvette and have a little fun during summer, now is the time. The following six cars were highlighted in June’s Featured Corvettes Newsletter from VetteFinders.com. They are just a sampling of the 500+ Corvettes for sale on the internet’s first dedicated site for selling Corvettes.
Interested in receiving the Featured Corvettes newsletter? Click here to subscribe.
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Patrick, Steve and DCZ arrive at South Bend for the Cannonball One Lap of America. The Team prepares by drinking all night and making disparaging remarks about the Hoosier state. Um, Patrick, I grew up in Indiana…???
Seriously, these shows are fun. We see the team check in and get their map and cool stickers for the Cannonball and then Patrick takes his turn on the skid pad!
‘Vette Dogs’ Corvette TV Show Makes Debut
Last week and throughout the weekend I set a goal to provide timely and interesting updates about Corvette Racing’s attempt to defend their GT1 championship at Le Mans. Truth be told, it was probably the most fun I’ve had on this blog since its inception in 2005. Despite the letdown that comes with your team falling short of the overall goal, second place is still an honor and the Corvette Racing streak of seven consecutive podium finishes is nothing short of amazing.
Here are some related post-race links worth checking out, as the comments and stories come from the people that were there:
The official press release about the Second Place Finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
GM FYI Blog
Listen to four podcasts from the the Corvette Racing Team. The post-race comments come from GM Racing Director Mark Kent, Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan and drivers of the 2nd place #63 C6.R Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen.
Oliver Gavin reflects on what’s it’s like when it goes wrong. The defending GT1 Class championship driver was piloting the #64 Corvette C6.R when the prop shaft failed. Unable to fix the car from the side of the track, Gavin was forced into an early retirement and found other ways to spend the time at Le Mans, including narrating this clip of the #63 Corvette C6.R making contact with a P1 Audi.
I’d like to congratulate the #63 Corvette C6.R team for giving the race their all, especially when 90 minutes into it you were suddenly shouldered with the sole responsibility of winning Le Mans. And for the #64 C6.R Team, you boys handled adversity and bad luck with class and dignity. We know you’ll be back next year with a vengeance!
Lastly, I’d like to thank Richard Prince
who loaned us three great Corvette Racing photos to use throughout the week as our Le Mans banner. You can view his work at Le Mans this year by visiting the Corvette Racing Photo Gallery
Le Mans: #63 Corvette C6.R Finishes in 2nd Place
Le Mans: #64 Corvette Stalled and Possibly Out
LeMans: Podcasts From Corvette Racing Team Members
Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief