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American Muscle Comparison

by Keith Cornett on November 9, 2005

Finally someone put the three American muscle cars together for a little compare and contrast article and perhaps bragging rights as America’s best sports car. And while I admit that I am not the most impartial observer to this contest, I got to say Automobile Magazine’s review of the Z06 in comparison to the Dodge Viper and Ford GT is about the best I’ve read to date.

“The Corvette is just awesome. It is the lightest of our three cars by more than 300 pounds, and that shows on acceleration down the short straightaways and on braking into the tightest corners. Man, this thing is fast. And it sounds fast, too. “
The cruise starts in western Pennsylvania, but due to the remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the drivers are forced to head west to Michigan on the rain soaked highways of Ohio and Indiana:
“The Corvette leads the way. As if 505 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque in these conditions weren’t enough of a handful, we turn off all of the electronic aids. (OK, we’re a little bit crazy.) This is what we discover: The Corvette is sensational on these roads, whether we’re sliding around second-gear hairpins or blasting through fourth-gear sweepers. “
All three cars performed well on their 1200 mile journey and the reviewers themselves call them the best of the American auto industry. Although none was chosen as the best sports car, the Corvette Z06 appeared to garner the most favorable reviews of the three in this outstanding review of American Muscle. Read the entire article at Automobile Magazine and make sure you check out the video of the three cars at the track!

No Rebates for Corvette

by Keith Cornett on November 8, 2005

GM is following Chrysler and Ford by introducing new rebates designed to increase sales. The moves comes as GM reported a drop of nearly 20 percent in October sales. GM added $1000 rebates through Nov 13 on remaining 2005′s but the offer doesn’t extend to Corvette. The lack of rebates for Corvette is a good sign though as 2005 inventories are low enough as to not worry the GM bean-counters. No word yet if any rebates will be extended to 2006 models.

Michigan Fall Classic Auction Results

by Keith Cornett on November 1, 2005

RM Auctions posted the results of the Michigan International Fall Classic Car Auction held September 22nd-25th at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. Of the 23 Corvettes listed, only 10 were sold.

Year/ModelPriceBid Type
1956 Convertible$48,500Final Bid
1960 Convertible$53,000Final Bid
1960 Convertible (custom)$39,590SOLD
1964 Coupe$27,000Final Bid
1967 Coupe$37,500Final Bid
1968 Coupe$14,900Final Bid
1968 Convertible$18,511SOLD
1970 Convertible$28,355SOLD
1971 Coupe$17,644SOLD
1972 Coupe$17,900Final Bid
1974 Coupe$8,880SOLD
1975 Coupe (L82)$12,500Final Bid
1977 Coupe$12,840SOLD
1978 Coupe$5,564SOLD
1978 25th Anv Coupe$26,000Final Bid
1979 Coupe$5,750Final Bid
1979 Coupe$5,300Final Bid
1980 Coupe$8,560SOLD
1982 Coupe$13,750Final Bid
1994 Convertible$11,503SOLD
1995 Convertible$17,655SOLD
1999 Coupe$37,500Final Bid
2005 Coupe$39,000Final Bid
Click Here for Full Auction Results

My Thoughts on Dave Hill

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2005

Autoblog has a post entitled “What Dave Hill Meant to the Corvette.” I thought I’d post my two cents. Dave Hill was essential to the success of the C5 and C6 Corvettes. Nearly every major decision he made during the development of these two generations was made not only with the thought of how it would impact current and future Corvette owners, but also how it would conform to the history of this great car. Not an easy feat on either account. Corvette owners embraced him as one of their own. He attended the major Corvette shows and was always accessible to both Corvette enthusiasts and the Corvette media. On the forum sites you hear story after story about someone meeting Dave and they all say the same thing: He was always gracious and he cared about what I had to say about Corvettes. While I never had the opportunity to meet Dave, I can imagine that my experience would have been the same. In an industry that doesn’t always listen to consumers, Dave not only broke the mold, he shattered it. He will surely be missed.

Chief Engineer Hill to Retire

by Keith Cornett on October 27, 2005

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. announced today that David Hill, currently vehicle chief engineer (VCE) of the Chevrolet Corvette and vehicle line executive (VLE) of performance cars, will retire effective Jan. 1, 2006 after more than 41 years of dedicated service. Tom Wallace will replace Hill as vehicle line executive of performance cars and vehicle chief engineer of the Corvette. Additionally, he will assume responsibilities for compact rear-wheel-drive performance cars including Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Wallace currently is VLE of small and midsize trucks. Lori Queen, currently VLE of compact cars and the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, is appointed VLE of small and midsize trucks, replacing Tom Wallace. The North America compact car team will now report to Peter Mertens, vehicle line executive of global compact cars. Mertens is currently leading the Global Compact Car Development Team located in Germany. “Dave Hill has taken the Corvette to heights that few of us can imagine. In terms of performance, refinement and value, he has truly helped to make Corvette second to none. He is a true car guy who will take his rightful place among the legends of Corvette lore,” said Bob Lutz, General Motors vice chairman, global product development. “What do you do to replace a guy like Dave? You do your best to get another one. Tom Wallace also is a car guy and racer who will make a perfect choice to lead the Corvette and Performance team. Besides, Tom was Dave’s choice too. That should tell you all you need to know,” Lutz concluded. Hill has a rich history with GM since joining Cadillac Motor Car Division in 1964. He moved through various engineering positions and was named an executive in 1979. In 1982, he was named chief engineer of the Cadillac Allante. Following the introduction of the Northstar engine in 1992 in the two seat luxury roadster, Hill assumed chief engineer responsibilities for the Cadillac Deville and Concours. Hill was named chief engineer of the Chevrolet Corvette in 1993, only the third chief engineer for the sports car in the vehicle’s 53-year history. In 1995, Hill was named vehicle line executive of performance cars and led the development of the fifth-generation Corvette and the introduction of the Cadillac XLR. Last year, Hill launched the sixth-generation Corvette followed by the introduction of the new 505 bhp Corvette Z06 for 2006. Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. Wallace has been with GM since 1966 when he joined Buick Motor Division in Flint, Mich. He was named to an executive engineering position in 1980 while still with Buick and was later named to the GM Truck Group in 1995. Wallace holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI), and was a Sloan Fellow, earning a master’s in business administration from Stanford University. Wallace and his team were responsible for the development and launch of Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Chevrolet SSR. Additionally, he led the highly successful launch of the Saab 9-7X and the HUMMER H3. An avid performance car enthusiast, Wallace has enjoyed competing in both amateur and professional road racing, rally car and drag racing. He started racing with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) more than 30 years ago and has raced in a variety of Sedan and GT classes with race-prepped Oldsmobile, Buick and Chevrolet models. Queen received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI). She recently led the launches of some of GM’s most successful products currently in the market: Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, Saturn ION, the Pontiac Solstice and the soon to be released Saturn Sky. Queen has been with GM since 1974 and has held numerous Engineering positions, including vehicle chief and VLE assignments for both cars and trucks.

Corvette Values: 1982 CE Coupe

by Keith Cornett on October 25, 2005

Bryan B. from GA submitted this 1982 Collector’s Edition Coupe to Corvette Values: 1982 Collector Editions Coupe. VIN: 1G1AY0781C51094xx. Silver Beige with Silver Beige leather interior. 56K Original Miles. 350 ci 200 hp, Automatic. Power Steering/Brakes/Windows. Factory AC. Owner History and Owners Manual. Mechanicals, Exterior and interior rated as good. Tires excellent. This 1982 Corvette is a unique Collector Edition Corvette, built to give special recognition to the last model year of the third generation Corvette. All 1982 Corvettes were built at the new Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY. This was the first full production year for Corvettes at this facility. The VIN# 1G1AYO781C5109494 indicates this Corvette was built in March 1982. The VIN also indicates it is a bonified Collector Edition Corvette. A number of Collector Edition replicas have been known to surface with a value considerably less than an original Collector Edition. A special VIN with the sixth digit of “0″ was established to verify all of the original Collector Edition Corvettes. This Corvette has 56,524 original miles that can be termed average for a 1982 model Corvette. The overall condition of this Vette is considered “good” from an interior and exterior perspective. The special silver beige paint is in good condition and does not reflect the 56,000 miles shown. It is quite apparent that these were carefully driven miles based on the condition of the paint. The Collector Edition paint scheme included special decals on the door sides and hood to enhance the paint scheme. The ones on this Vette are in excellent condition. The Collector Edition included special wheels that resembled the 1967 Corvette optional bolt-on wheels. These, too, are in excellent condition and the tires appear to be new. The “curb appeal” of this Corvette can be termed excellent with its unique paint and special wheels. This model includes removable glass roof panels, a rear hatch that opens and all of the power options. Documentation is important in establishing the price of a Corvette. Documentation for this Corvette includes owner history and the original owners manual is available. The appraised value of this 1982 Collector Edition Corvette is $16,900. In addition, our price database of Collector Edition Corvettes shows a 1% appreciation factor when compared to the average price of one year ago. Submissions:
Send your submissions to info@CorvetteBlogger.com with “Corvette Values” in the subject line. We can’t answer them all, but if we find your Corvette interesting to both us and our visitors, we may use it. Feel free to submit a photo as well.

A ’57 Rots While Owner Dreams

by Keith Cornett on October 21, 2005

This sucks. A 1957 Corvette languishing in a woodpile, probably dragged there by someone who thought that: 1.) It will be worth a fortune some day or;
2.) One day I’m going to restore this car. Regarding the first point, Correct. The 1957 Corvette is one of the most sought-after C1′s. Our price guide shows the average ’57 selling for nearly $50,000. Appreciation factors are 15% over the last two years. However, I fail to see the logic of keeping a classic Corvette or any other automobile for that matter stored outdoors, open to the elements because someday you think you’ll be able to sell it for a bunch of cash. At least put it in a barn for god’s sake and cover it up with old tires and broken lawn chairs. “I’m going to restore this Corvette someday. ” Yeah, right. All you’re doing is letting it deteriorate to the point that it will take more money and time than you will ever have, so the Corvette just sits. Meanwhile, you are fairly well known around town as the idiot with a corvette in the woodpile. People are probably stopping by all the time making offers on her. You politely decline and take their phone number anyway while you dream of rumbling down the country roads in your restored ’57 Convertible. Do the Corvette world a favor. Next time someone drops by and makes a reasonable offer – take it. Stop thinking that it will be worth the $50,000 you think it is. If the Corvette is numbers-matching, you could possibly get up to $20,000 for it. If the original engine is gone, expect no more than $10,000. Leaving it rotting in the woodpile is just wrong. Oh, by the way. Just to the right of the 57 Convertible is a 65 Fuelie Coupe. Photos: CorvetteForum’s Duntov-097

LS7 Factory Tour

by Keith Cornett on October 20, 2005

Tony V. (aka Mr. Zippy on DigitalCorvettes.com) recently shared his thoughts with us after visiting GM’s Powertrain Performance Build Center in Wixon, Michigan. The center is where the Corvette Z06 LS7 V-8 engines are assembled. Tony was actually the first 2006 Z06 owner to visit the plant and during the tour he met the technician responsible for his engine assembly. One of the cool things we’ve learned about the LS7 is that one technician is responsible for the entire engine assembly. Following testing, a small plaque with the engine builder’s name is affixed to the LS7. According to Tony, you can find that plaque at the inboard side of the #8 cylinder head closest to the firewall. The plaque is under a hose that runs along side the head. Gently move the hose out of the way to view. A photo of Tony’s tag reads: Performance Build Center
Wixom, MI.
Assembled with Pride by
Dale Swenson During the build process, the technician has a number of sub assemblies ready to bolt on to the engine block. The heads already have valves, springs, etc. as received. The tech installs the head assembly to the block and a special computer controlled tool runs the bolts in and then torques each bolt. This is recorded on a file for quality control. The technician watches a display screen showing “green” when each bolt is correctly installed and torqued. Each engine is run on a test stand to check for leaks. After shipping from the PBC, each engine is “hot tested” at an outside facility to ensure the HP, Torque and again check for leaks. The assembly process has 10 stations. Each completed engine is subjected to a 20 minute loaded hot test. The block is deck plate bored & honed. Fully CNC ported cylinder heads, with titanium intake valves. These heads are a work of art! Here’s a quote from the PBC Site Manager: “We’re all very proud of the fact that the LS7 engine is the first engine in the history of the Performance Build Center. We understand how important the small block engine is to Corvette owners. We want Corvette owners to know we’re just getting started – we expect many more great things ahead.” On a related note, Motor Trend magazine editors Frank Markus and Todd Lassa visited the Performance Build Center and actually assembled an LS7 engine. Click here to view the video at Motor Trend.

Jeff Gordon’s Z06 TestDrive

by Keith Cornett on October 19, 2005

Get those TIVO’s and DVR’s ready. SPEED Channel will be putting four-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jeff Gordon behind the wheel of the new Corvette Z06 at Road Atlanta on Test Drive, SPEED Channel’s popular program featuring host Tommy Kendall. The show is set to air Saturday, October 22 at 6pm EST.

“I had never been to Road Atlanta and I got the opportunity to drive one of the best Corvettes they’ve ever brought out,” Gordon said on SPEED’s NASCAR This Morning. “The Z06 has a lot of power, handles fantastic and looks great. I had a blast.”

Footage was also shot at the famed Le Mans road course in France with Corvette factory driver Johnny O’Connell.

“This program brings together two great Chevrolet champions – Jeff Gordon and Corvette,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “There is no better example of the interaction between racing and production than the advanced technology that is shared by the championship-winning Corvette C6.R race car and the award-winning Corvette Z06, a 505-horsepower supercar that you can drive every day.”

Information about the Z06 TestDrive program can be found at SPEED Channel.

 

Corvette Racing Scores 1-2 Win

by Keith Cornett on October 16, 2005

The C6.R Corvettes roared through the final race of ALMS Racing Series at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and finished with a 1-2 victory to give Corvette Racing the GT1 Championship for the 2005 series. Drivers of the Number 4 Corvette Oliver Gavin and Oliver Beretta won the race for the win and GT1 Championship over teammates Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Conell driving the Number 3 Corvette. The 2005 ALMS season saw the Corvette Racing team sweeping the GT1 manufacturers championship, the drivers championship, the team championship and the pit crew championship, as well as victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Petit Le Mans. “It was one of the best races of the season, seeing five GT1 cars all on the same lap and battling it out through the Corkscrew,” said Gavin, who ran the fastest lap of the race en route to his 15th ALMS victory. “The Corvette C6.R has come out of the blocks flying, and today it was untouchable. I’ve been working for this for the last three years, and finally won the drivers championship. I’m very pleased.” Corvette Racing’s next event is the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Sebring, Fla., on March 18, 2006.