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Corvette Racing to Defend ALMS Crown

by Keith Cornett on January 17, 2007

The No. 4 Corvette at the 2006 12 Hours of SebringCorvette Racing announced today that they will indeed be back for the 2007 season of the American Le Mans Series. The team will be defending their GT1 Manufacturers, Team and Drivers championships. Officials also announced that Corvette Racing will be heading to France in June to race for its sixth GT1 win in 7 years at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 12-race series opens March 17th at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Corvette Racing will have the cars in Sebring Florida for testing sometime in February. Corvette has won America’s greatest sports car race in four of the last five seasons. So now the only question is who will Corvette be racing against in the GT1 class. Aston Martin, facing money problems and driver defections, hasn’t yet announced their intentions to return to the series. It’s quite possible the only racing we’ll see in the GT1 class will be between Corvette Racing’s #3 and #4 Corvettes. While that would be somewhat disappointing, the real winner is still the Corvette Owner as stated by GM Racing Director Mark Kent:

“The Corvette C6.R race program continues Chevrolet’s tradition of racing production-based vehicles to improve the breed. The continuous exchange of information and the constant transfer of technology between the racing and production programs ensure that lessons learned on the track benefit every Corvette on the highway.”

Source:
WhoWon.com
AmericanLeMans.com
Image Credit: Richard Prince Related:
Corvette Racing Waits for Aston Martin Decision
Oliver Gavin Reflects on the 2006 ALMS Season Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Wins Polk Award for Owner Loyalty

by Keith Cornett on January 17, 2007

2006 Corvette CoupeR.L. Polk and Co, the automotive industry’s guru for consumer loyalty information named the 2006 Corvette as the Premier Sports Car with the highest owner loyalty. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make. General Motors won the Overall Manufacturer award for the seventh consecutive year. Other GM cars to win their categories included the Chevrolet Impala and Tahoe, and the Saturn ION and Vue. For the 2006 model year, Corvette’s loyalty ranking was 27.0 where the average loyalty percentage for the Premier Sports Car category was 19.8.
Source:
R.L. Polk and Co. Related:
Z06 Corvette Named to Automobile All-Stars List
Corvette Makes Car And Driver 10 Best Cars List Technorati Tags:
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Corvette History: The Debut of America’s Sportscar

by Keith Cornett on January 17, 2007

1953 CorvetteFifty-Four years ago on January 17, 1953 the American public was introduced to the Chevrolet Corvette concept car at the largest car show of the time, General Motors’ Motorama. Held at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the show attracted over 45,000 people on opening day. Based on the feedback from the Motorama show, the Corvette was rushed into production and the first production Corvette rolled off the assembly line just six months later on June 30th. Only 300 were made the first year and the sticker price was just under $3,500.
Source:
NCM Corvette Timeline Related:
003 Sells for 1 Million Dollars Technorati Tags:
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Barrett-Jackson Auction Starts Today

by Keith Cornett on January 16, 2007

2007 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car AuctionThe Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction gets underway today with the first 150 cars expected to cross the auction block. This is the 800 pound gorilla of car auctions and the prices of cars sold at this auction could help us forecast the collector car market for the rest of the year. While we’ve already mentioned the star Corvettes like The Last Corvette, the Dual 1963 SWC Tankers and the 1967 Yenko Corvette, there is actually a wide variety of Corvettes that will be available. In fact, 150 Corvettes are expected to be sold in the next few days raging from a 1953 Convertible to a 2003 Safety Pace Car. Speed Channel (check your local listings) will have coverage throughout the week with most of the action happening in primetime on the weekdays and afternoons through primetime on the weekends. You can get a list of the lot numbers scheduled for each day so if there is a particular car you are interested in, you can probably see it auctioned. The Star Corvettes that we mentioned above as well as most of the other star cars are scheduled for primetime on Saturday. CorvetteBlogger.com will have continuing coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction as well as a roundup of the results as they become available.
Source:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
Speed Related:
2006 Barrett-Jackson Corvette Sales Top $12.6 Million Technorati Tags:
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Wanted: Owner with Modded Z06 Seeks Competition

by Keith Cornett on January 15, 2007

When you have a high performance sports car that you just dumped a bunch money into, usually you can’t wait to hit the streets to see what she can do against the competition. One enterprising poster on the D.C.’s Craiglist takes it a step further. He’s advertising. His ad seeks some pretty heavy hitters for “Performance Evaluations” including an AMG SL65 and a Ford GT. Oh, and if your law enforcement, you need not apply. Here is the advertisement:

I own a modified corvette 2002 Z06 and would like to do some testing versus the AMG SL65 V12 Twin Turbo and/or Ford GT Supercar…for straight-lined acceleration performance evaluations. Will pay for gas. I’m not law enforcement.
Law enforcement need not reply to this ad.

Source:
Craigslist Related: MPH Mag’s Dream Z06 Review Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Cruise: The 5 Bridges Run

by Keith Cornett on January 14, 2007

Last year in a post called “Ten Things To Do After Buying Your First Corvette”, I talked about joining a Corvette club and participating in events with other Corvette owners. At the time I wrote that, I was unaffiliated with any local clubs in the Tampa Bay Area. Well, New Years came around and one of my resolutions was to join a Corvette club and do some shows, events and cruises. So last week I joined Tampa Bay Vettes, a club that boasts an active membership of over 250 people. Today, I participated in a cruise called the 5 Bridges Run with over 50 Corvettes that made a 100 mile circuit across the five major bridges of Tampa Bay. It was a blast. 50 Corvettes rolling down the road is an awesome site. Corvettes from all years participated, from C1 to C6. I shot some video, which was a bit difficult when driving, but I think it captures the fun and excitement of the cruise:

If you are not a member of club, perhaps you need to make it one of your resolutions to join a local club as well! Click here for a list of Corvette Clubs.
Related:
“Ten Things To Do After Buying Your First Corvette” Technorati Tags:
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Barrett-Jackson Preview: 1967 427/435 Yenko Corvette

by Keith Cornett on January 13, 2007

In today’s collector car world, the name “Yenko” is associated more with Camaros, Novas and Chevelles than Corvette. But the association of the legendary Corvette Hall of Fame member should be synonymous with Corvette and here is why. Before Don Yenko and Yenko Chevrolet became one of the largest “supertuners” of GM muscle cars in the 60′s and 70′s, Don raced Corvettes. Driving for the Gulf Oil Racing Team in the early sixties, Yenko and teammate Dick Thompson dominated the A & B Production classes, and Don captured the B Production crown in 1962 and 1963. Fast forward to 1967. Yenko is now fielding his own team with support from Sunray DX Oil Co and wins the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring’s GT Class in a 1967 L88 Corvette. In the late 1960s, Michael Summers was one of the drivers for Yenko’s Corvette racing teams, and his personal Corvette, ordered through Yenko Chevrolet, is the focus of our Barrett-Jackson preview.

1967 Yenko Corvette
The car is a fully documented, 427 hp/435 ci numbers-matching Yenko Corvette Convertible. This Corvette is one of only five of the rarest color combinations (White with Bright Blue Trim and Interior) and one of the highest factory optioned Corvettes known to exist. Renowned Corvette restorer Nabers Brothers of Houston completed a body-off restoration in 2002. Documentation includes the original Protect-o-Plate signed by Don Yenko, tank sheet, order sheet, owner history, original pictures with a video of the original owner, Michael Summers. The 1967 Yenko Corvette has two NCRS Top Flight Awards (98.7%) and is Bloomington Gold Certified. The Corvette contains the following factory RPO’s: AO1- Tinted Glass
A31- Power Windows
A15- Leather Bright Blue Trim
AB2- Headrests
CO5- Convertible White Top
CO7- Auxiliary Hardtop
F41- Special Front and Rear Suspension
G81- Positraction Rear Axle
J50- Vacuum Power Brakes
K66- Transistor Ignition System
L71- 435 HP V8 Turbo Jet
N14- Side Dual Exhaust
N36- Telescopic Steering Wheel
N40- Power Steering
QB1- 7.75×15 4 PLY Redline Tires
U15- Speed Warning Indicator
U69- AM/FM Radio The 1967 Yenko Corvette (lot #1326) is scheduled to cross the auction block on Saturday, January 20th. This Corvette is truly a collector car and a fantastic piece of Corvette history.
Sources:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
National Corvette Museum – Hall of Fame Related:
Barrett-Jackson Preview: A Pair of 1963 Corvette SWC Tankers Technorati Tags:
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GM Accepts Dodge Viper Challenge

by Keith Cornett on January 12, 2007

“Maximum” Bob Lutz, GM’s Vice Chairman said on Thursday that those involved with Corvette won’t let the new 600 hp Dodge Viper SRT10 keep its crown as the most powerful US sports car very long. Lutz was in a meeting with industry analysts and was asked about Chevrolet’s plans to produce the Corvette Blue Devil/SS. Lutz acknowledged that “a recent competitor” has surpassed the 505 hp Z06 Corvette. “As you all know, it is not our policy to discuss future product programs. However … ,” he said to laughter from the audience, “it is very important for Corvette to be the most powerful, most capable, best handling sports car in the United States.” Chevrolet’s General Manager Ed Peper was also asked recently about how Corvette will respond to the Dodge Viper 600 hp Challenge. His cryptic reply? “We’re looking at some things going forward. I can’t talk about them right now, though.” So the real question is will the Blue Devil/SS Corvette meet the Dodge Viper’s 600 hp or are we going to see the bar raised higher? Bob Gritzinger, senior editor for news at AutoWeek magazine had this to say: “We all know the new Corvette is out there. The car is in development and it’s been speculated that it will have about 650 horsepower. … It’s supposed to be here in 2009.”
Source:
Detroit Free Press Related:
Podcast: Z06 Corvette, Blue Devil/Stingray/SS and the C7 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Racing Waits for Aston Martin Decision

by Keith Cornett on January 11, 2007

Corvette Racing at Laguna SecaAs we have recently reported, Corvette Racing may be leaving the American LeMans Series (ALMS). We learned today of another factor that may cause the GTI Championship team to leave the American racing circuit in favor of a European series. Corvette Driver Oliver Gavin said that Aston Martin may be leaving the ALMS, and the loss of their British rivals may ultimately be the deciding factor for Corvette to leave the series as well. Should Aston Martin leave the ALMS, Corvette would be left without any series competition. Aston Martin and Corvette racing have battled in recent years and this last year the British team really gave Corvette Racing a run for the GT1 Championship. The championship came down to the last race of the season at Laguna Seca. Aston Martin won the race but the second place finish by the two “Ollies” gave Corvette racing enough points for the GT1 Championship. Other factors that were leaning on Corvette Racing leaving the ALMS was last year’s performance-balancing sanctions that made the race for the Championship must closer than it should have been. Lastly, fielding the legendary racing team in the European circuit could ultimately introduce the Corvette to new buyers. Here are some of Oliver Gavin’s quotes from the Autosport show:

“I’m not entirely sure where we are going to be racing,” Gavin said on the central stage at the Autosport show. “With the Corvettes, they’re still deciding on whether it should be in Europe or in the ALMS again. “We’re waiting to see what Aston Martin are doing in terms of their program – we’re hoping they’re going to come back and race us in the ALMS.” “I had a very interesting season last year – frustrating at times, but ultimately it was successful for us, winning the championship and also beating them (Aston Martin) at Le Mans, which was a fantastic achievement for everybody involved in Corvette Racing.” “I think there’s certainly a marketing benefit of just turning up and running the car,” Gavin explained. “But we do need competition, we do want to race against someone, and it was great last year, having the competition from Aston Martin, so we’re just hoping they’ll find the money to come back.”
I would hate to see Corvette Racing leave the ALMS, but what is the worst of the two scenarios? Winning without competition or losing because of performance sanctions? Winning is always fun, but without a serious competitor, the races would be boring. Losing in the ALMS because of performance sanctions would hurt the image of Corvette Racing evan more. Most casual fans would only know that Corvette lost, not that they had been penalized with sanctions that didn’t allow them to win. Should Corvette Racing make the jump to a European series, we could still count on seeing them here in the states for Sebring and perhaps Le Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta, but that would be it. I think we may be seeing the end of the GT1 class in the ALMS as we know it.
Source:
Autosport.com Via An American Classic
Image Credit: Richard Prince Related:
Oliver Gavin Reflects on the 2006 ALMS Season Technorati Tags:
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2006 European Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on January 11, 2007

The Corvette brand continues to be well accepted in GM’s European Market. Sales totaled 1,257 Corvettes for 2006, which was on par with 2005 Sales. These numbers are significant to GM as prior to the C6 model, yearly Corvette sales were in 300-400 range. Part of the GM strategy for introducing the Corvette to European buyers has been the building of a number of specialized dealerships for Cadillac/Corvette/Hummer. In 2006, Cadillac saw 22% growth in sales while Hummer H2 and H3 Sales tripled to 1,848.
Source:
GM Europe via AutoSpectator.com Related:
December 2006 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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