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Z06 Corvette Wins Car and Driver Shootout

by Keith Cornett on February 15, 2007

Car and Driver drives the 2007 Corvette Z06Car and Driver magazine had themselves a shootout down in Southern California comparing a 2007 Corvette Z06 vs. the 2007 Lotus Exige S and a 2007 Porsche 911 GT3. As the headline suggests, the Z06 was the clear winner not only on the track, but as the best daily driver of the three. Several of the tech editors had driven the 2006 Z06 last year and were a bit “unnerved by at-the-limit high-speed twitchiness” and tricky handling. The 2007 Corvette Z06 left the editors so surprised at how well it handled on the track this time compared to their previous test that they contacted Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter who told them that shock-damping rates has been dialed in to make the car less jumpy when pushing it to the limit. “Bottom line” says Juechter, “The car has gotten better”.

But the Corvette Z06 ain’t just any old Corvette. It has a 428-cubic-inch small-block LS7 V-8 engine with titanium connecting rods and inlet valves, a dry-sump lubrication system, and an induction manifold so large you could pass a basketball through the engine. Okay, not quite, but it’s pretty big. The Vette redlines at 7000 rpm, where it is making a noise like Godzilla’s jackhammer and thrusting the car and its occupants along with the vehemence of a Category Five hurricane.
Notable highs for the Car and Driver Z06 include the “Flexible and powerful engine, good comfort and convenience” as well as the “stellar track conduct”. Lows point out the same-ole-same-ole complaints of the subpar seats and interior as well as “that gold-chain rep”. However, their final verdict sums it all up: “You can’t buy this much performance anywhere else for the price”. Visit Car and Driver for the entire lowdown and make sure you see the extras: The video and audio galleries and the individual car’s test sheets are available for viewing.
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PRIMEDIA Selling Corvette Fever, Vette Magazines

by Keith Cornett on February 15, 2007

Corvette Fever MagazinePRIMEDIA, the company that publishes Corvette Fever and Vette Magazines, as well as other popular automotive titles including Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Automobile has announced that it is exploring the sale of their Enthusiasts Media division, which includes 70 magazines, 90 websites and 65 events. The Board of PRIMEDIA may also decide to the spin off the company and take it public if a sale doesn’t pan out. This move could eventually lead to the demise of one or both of the Corvette magazines. As a subscriber to Corvette Fever for the last 10 years, I’d definitely be sad to see it go. But there are just too many Corvette-themed magazines aimed at a very targeted enthusiast base to see how keeping both titles can remain profitable. Are there enough subscribers and advertisers to support all of them? Another factor is the rise of digital media. The impact of the internet has got to force the magazines to adapt better by offering more on their websites than I think any of them have to date. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
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Aston Martin to Battle Corvette at Sebring

by Keith Cornett on February 14, 2007

The View from Aston Martin at SebringLooks like the 12 Hours of Sebring will be a little more interesting now that an Aston Martin has entered the fray. However, this is not the same Aston Martin team that has battled Corvette for the GT1 class over the last couple of years. The new car is backed by Team Modena and one of the drivers was last year’s LMP2 winning driver Liz Halliday. Antonia Garcia and another driver yet to be named will also share driving duties for Team Modena’s DBR9. The last few 12 Hours of Sebring has seen Aston Martin challenge Corvette racing. The Prodrive-backed Aston Martin team won the GT1 class at Sebring in 2005, but lost last year as Corvette regained the podium for their 50th Anniversary race at Sebring. “I have never driven an Aston Martin before and I’m looking forward to it. The DBR9 is widely considered to be the best GT1car in the world right now and I think I’m the first woman to drive one,” Liz Halliday said. Depending on the Performance Sanctions that penalized Corvette last year, that statement could be true. Free the C6.R and it is a different story altogether. Team Modena plans to race their Aston Martin DBR9 at Sebring, the 24 Hours of LeMans and some other LeMans series races in Europe. There has been no announcement whether or not the team plans any more races on the American LeMans Racing schedule.
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Video: Special Edition Corvettes at the Chicago Auto Show

by Keith Cornett on February 13, 2007

MotorTrend has a nice video of the two special edition Corvettes that were introduced last week at the Chicago Auto Show. The video has an interview with Corvette Project Manager Harlan Charles who discusses the build and release dates as well as selected highlights of each Corvette. Harlan says that most of the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvettes will be built in March with release to dealers and the public in April and May. The Indy 500 Pace Car Replica will have a few early cars built for the race committee but those slated for consumers will be built during May and June and will only be available only after the race on Memorial Day weekend. TV
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Lutz Confirms 600 hp Corvette for Summer of 2009

by Keith Cornett on February 13, 2007

Blue Devil/SS Corvette Slated for 2009With the latest pronouncement by GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz that the Blue Devil/SS/Sting Ray project is in the works, we’re wondering if we’re going to get a new confirmation at each and every car show from now until mid-2009. That’s when the limited-edition uber-Vette is expected as a 2010 model. At the Chicago Auto Show, Bob let fly the following statement “Call it horsepower wars. In summer 2009, Chevrolet will add a limited-edition Corvette producing about 600hp.” And according to Automotive News, Lutz said “There is a distinct appetite for something beyond the Z06 in performance, beyond the Z06 in exclusivity and beyond the Z06 in price.” The blue devil/SS Corvette project has been in the works for some time and its existence as a project was confirmed last year. Bob’s latest statement is Chevrolet’s shot across the bow of Dodge, who last month introduced a 600 horsepower Viper SRT10 at the Detroit Auto Show. GM would “not take that lying down” Lutz said. Still most interesting about this latest confirmation is the question of Corvette as a “brand”. Lutz apparently talked about how Corvette “has taken on the character of the a brand” and can support several models. The 600-650 hp supercharged Blue Devil/SS Corvette would be at the top of the horsepower food chain, followed by the 505 hp Z06 Corvette and then the regular production Coupe and Convertible Corvettes rated at 400 horsepower. Past quotes by GM people including GM’s head of performance cars Tom Wallace have mentioned that the new C7 Corvette could be coming our way as early as 2010. Does this mean that the Blue Devil/SS will be the C6’s swan song, or could we be expecting something brand new altogether…
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2007 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

by Keith Cornett on February 11, 2007

Last week the National Corvette Museum announced the 2007 inductees to the Corvette Hall of Fame. The newest inductees will be recognized as part of the 10th Annual Corvette Hall of Fame ceremony on August 31st. Being inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame is the highest honor given to those people for their contributions for preserving the past, present and future of Corvette. The three inductees of 2007 are world class Corvette racer, Doug Hooper, Corvette C4 consultant and specialist, Gordon Killebrew, and GM designer and stylist, Carl Renner.

Doug Hooper started racing in Corvettes in 1959, with a 1957 convertible. He won the Times Gran Prix in 1962 in a 1963 Split Window Coupe Z06 Corvette. He is an honorary director of the National Corvette Racing Association and ran Doug’s Corvette Service in North Hollywood, which became one of the premier Corvette repair shops on the west coast. Gordon Killebrew in well known in C4 circles. Gordon spent 25 years consulting and providing technical training and materials to Corvette dealer technicians. He was an integral part of the Corvette Action Center, a customer service program that handled technical service calls from Corvette owners world-wide. Gordon was the proof editor of the C4′s service and owner’s manuals, as well as edited bulletins and campaign recalls for the GM Tech Center. Carl Renner was part of “Project Opel”, the original Corvette Motorama project design team. As a senior designer in GM Motors styling department, he took an active part of the entire design process of the 1952 through 1957 Chevrolet models. A trusted member or Harley Earl’s special pojects crew on the “Ninth Floor”, he participated in shaping the first Opel – the future Corvette. The grille of the first Corvettes was based on some of his earlier designs.
There are currently 31 members of the Corvette Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include Harley Earl, Zora Arkus-Duntov, David Hill, Dave McLellan and John Lingenfelter.
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Corvette Generational Pricing Highlights of 2006

by Keith Cornett on February 9, 2007

Today we conclude our annual Corvette pricing series by taking a look at the Corvette generational pricing highlights of 2006. The years have been good to Corvette and their owners. Every model from 1953-1982 shows yearly appreciation. The newest models are those depreciating, as they should. Yet performance models like the Z06 or special editions like the 1996 Collector Editions and Grand Sports are either holding their own or showing modest appreciation. How many other cars can you point to that offer the same type of investment quality for a fair amount depending on the model and year? The following are highlights from the 2007 Corvette Price Guide: 1953-1962:
1961 Corvette RoadsterGood price performance for these early models with half of them showing double digit appreciation. Last year, in total, these models were the appreciation leaders. This year they share top honors with the mid-year Corvettes. The entry level Corvette for the series continues to be the 1961 model with an average resale price of $41,400 showing an 8% appreciation factor. This is the first year one of the entry models crossed the $40,000 threshold. 1963-1967:
1964 Corvette CoupeThe appreciation range for the mid-years was +2 to +13% with seven of the ten in the series showing double digit appreciation. On average, the mid-years showed the same appreciation factor as the early models during the 2006 calendar year. Their numbers were just short of the 10% mark. At the top of the list, from an average price perspective was the 1967 Roadster at an average price of $52,500. Once again the 1964 Coupe was the entry level Corvette breaking the $30,000 threshold at $31,500. The Roadster continues to command $1,500-$4,500 more than a comparable equipped Coupe with the exception of the 1963 models where the Coupe commands an additional $6,000. In the high price category, all but the 1964 models sold over the $100,000 mark. Of course, these models were an array of Corvettes that had low mileage originals, or were restored, equipped with high performance motors, special options, certification and or/documentation. They were definitely not your typical street driven Corvette. 1968-1982:
1978 T-Top CorvetteThis generation showed a wide range of average prices from a low of $8,600 to almost $26,000. The entry level Corvette a 1978 T-Top reflected a 4% appreciation factor. This “low” price can be attributed to all of the interest in the 1978 T-Top’s companion models, the Silver Anniversary and the Pace Car. These two models represented almost 50% of the 1978 production line. The price leader in the series was the 1970 Roadster, no change from one year ago, at a new average price of $25,900 showing a 9% appreciation factor. When we look at the 1968-1971 models, appreciation levels are comparable to the 1953-1967 models shown in our appreciation chart. The appreciation factor for this series ranged from +2% to +17%. The special editions in the series, The Silver Anniversary, Pace Car and Collector Edition, were all in the +4% to +6% appreciation range. The Pace Car was the price leader at $20,900, followed by the Collector Edition at $18,800 and the Silver Anniversary at $13,500. The price spread between the T-Top and Roadster ranged from $4,400 to $8,800. The latter being the 1975 Roadster at $18,500 compared to the T-Top at $9,700. This time, we see the “last” mystic applied to the Roadster model until the Roadster was reintroduced in 1986. 1984-1996:
1987 Corvette CoupeThis series showed good appreciation results with most of the models moving toward the appreciation classification. The appreciation factor ranged from -4% to +8% for this series. None of the Corvettes reflected double digit appreciation, however 23 of the 38 models showed positive results, seven had no change and eight showed depreciation results. One a comparative basis going back two years, 26 of the 38 Corvettes in this series showed depreciation results; one year ago the number had dropped to 20. The trend is definitely going in the right direction. The high price leader in average price was the 1996 Grand Sport Roadster at $43,400. It is considered rare with the production of only 190 units built. It also showed an 8% appreciation factor this year. It partner, the Coupe, also did well at $33,600 for a +6% appreciation. The ZR-1s in the group showed modest appreciation in the +1 to +3% range with the exception being the 1995 model showing -4% at $41,200. The 1990 ZR-1 continues to sell in the mid-twenties at $26,300. On average the Roadster continues to command $4,000 more than the Coupe. The entry level prices are below the $10,000 with average prices starting at $8,200 for the 1984 Coupe escalating slightly each year to the 1987 Coupe at $9,900. 1997-2004:
2003 Z06 CorvetteThe C5 models continue to head in the right direction as only one showed double digit depreciation in 2006, the previously mentioned 1999 Hardtop. Eleven of the models show depreciation levels at -5% or below compared to -9% one year ago. On the plus side of the ledger, three have reached the plus plateau, the 1998 Coupe at +3% at $20,500, the 1998 Pace Car at +2% at $28,000, and the 2002 Z06 at +2% at $32,500. And the 2003 Z06 was not change at $36,000. Roadster prices compared to the Coupes again had a $3,000 price spread. It is interesting to note the price gap closes in the resale market compared to an average difference of approximately $8,000 between the Roadster and Coupe when purchased new. Another interesting comparison is the Roadster to the Z06. The Z06 has the resale pricing edge at $500-$1,000. Evidently more horsepower outweighs “dropping the top”, however this was the average price spread when purchasing these Corvettes new. You may get tired of hearing this, but the C5 is an outstanding buy in today’s resale market. 2005-2007:
2006 Corvette ConvertibleThere is not much new to add here. Double depreciation for the new Roadster and Coupe after the drive off the showroom floor is normal. The Z06 prices are holding, settling down to the list price rather than the “pent up over sticker” prices given to be an early owner of these power machines. Our database showed the 2006 Z06 at a modest -1% depreciation factor. Should the Corvette Super Sport 650HP model be announced as a production vehicle, the impact on the sixth generation Z06 will be interesting to see! The 2007 Corvette Price Guide contains data from the sales of over 5,800 Corvettes from last year to give us the High, Low, and Average prices of all Corvette model years and body styles. The guide also contains appreciation and depreciation figures for One, Two and Five years, as well as pricing for options including motors, wheels and A/C. Available now for $20 through the online store. Shipping is now free.
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Depreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Declines of 2006

by Keith Cornett on February 8, 2007

The depreciation chart starts with the 2006 C6 generation – certainly no surprise. The double digit depreciation is the norm for a new Corvette that has been on the street for more than two years. The same holds true for the last of the C5 models, 2004 Corvettes. Evidently there is not a “last model” mystic for the C5 generation yet.

Year Model % Change Average Price
2006 Coupe -15% $43,500
2006 Roadster -14% $51,500
2005 Roadster -13% $48,000
1999 Hardtop -12% $19,000
2005 Coupe -11% $39,500
2000 Roadster -8% $25,800
2000 Hardtop -8% $20,800
2001 Roadster -7% $28,000
2003 Roadster -7% $35,500
2003 50th Roadster -6% $38,000
2004 Coupe -6% $34,000
2004 Roadster -6% $38,500
1999 Corvette HardtopThe early hardtops, 1999 and 2000 made the list with their special body style without any performance enhancements, as well as no removable top options. This ties in with the fact that no Z06’s made the depreciation list this year. Adding performance to the hardtop made a big difference from a resale perspective.
2003 50th Anniversary RoadsterThe 2003 Anniversary Roadster made the depreciation chart this year showing a -6% factor in average resale price. As one may recall, the 2003 Anniversary model was available in a Coupe and a Roadster at an add-on price of $5,000 for the Anniversary package that included the preferred equipment group and F-55 Magnetic Selection Ride Control. Had these two options been ordered on a non-anniversary model, the price tag would have been $2,895, making the true cost of the Anniversary package $2,105. The production for the Anniversary Roadster was 7,547 units and the Coupe at 4,085. The 2003 Anniversary Coupe is showing a 5% depreciation in average price. The difference can be related to the Coupe being the rarer of the two models with less production numbers. Bottom Line: Compared to one year ago, the C5 Corvettes show a lesser degree of depreciation. These models are a truly outstanding buy in today’s resale market considering their performance, handling and comfort/convenience features. Tomorrow, we’ll conclude our annual Corvette pricing series by taking a look at the Corvette generational pricing highlights of 2006. The 2007 Corvette Price Guide contains data from the sales of over 5,800 Corvettes from last year to give us the High, Low, and Average prices of all Corvette model years and body styles. The guide also contains appreciation and depreciation figures for One, Two and Five years, as well as pricing for options including motors, wheels and A/C. Available now for $20 through the online store. Shipping is now free.
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While temperatures hovered in the single digits outside the Chicago Auto Show, inside things were heating up over at the Chevrolet display as the two new special edition Corvettes were unveiled to members of the media. Corvette Racing’s Ron Fellows was on hand to introduce his signature ALMS GT1 Championship Corvette Z06. Fellows, who owns a silver Z06, becomes the first individual in Corvette’s 54 year history to have his name on a special edition Corvette. 399 of the Artic White Corvettes are planned. Sharing the stage with the RFALMSGT1C Corvette Z06 was the Corvette that will be pacing the Indianapolis 500 on May 27th this year. It’s the first time since 1998 and only the 5th time that a replica will be produced for the public. You better get in line fast if you want one. Only 500 are planned.

Ron Fellows with his ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvette 2007 Ron Fellow ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvette 2007 Ron Fellow ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 Corvette
2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
The Chicago Auto Show also has webcams set up throughout the venue and you can pan and zoom in on the different displays. Here is the camera that is closest to the Chevrolet display.
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Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2006

by Keith Cornett on February 7, 2007

Corvette continues with another great year that ended on December 31, 2006. The new models continued to impress the consumers with media recognition and numerous awards. In the Corvette resale arena, once again our concept of “Vette-N-Vestments” continued to move up the model years with positive results in average price. As shown in our 2007 Corvette Price Guide, positive results convey through the third generation Corvettes, 1953-1982. The fourth generation Corvettes, 1984-1996, there are 30 of the 38 models showing no change or positive results in resale value appreciation. The good news continues with the fifth generation Corvettes, 1997-2004 with three models showing positive results and two reflecting no change compared to none in this classification one year ago.

Year Model % Change Average Price
1968 T-Top 17% $19,500
1973 T-Top 16% $13,900
1954 Roadster 15% $50,600
1971 T-Top 15% $19,500
1971 Roadster 15% $23,500
1963 Roadster 13% $36,000
1970 T-Top 13% $21,300
1958 Roadster 12% $46,200
1962 Roadster 12% $45,000
1965 Coupe 12% $38,300
1965 Roadster 12% $40,200
1966 Roadster 12% $44,000
Once again we have identified the top Corvettes from an average price appreciation perspective. We had previously called this our “Top Ten” Chart, however, it has now been increased to TWELVE based on five models showing an appreciation of 12%. Of interest is the generation spread on the “Top 12 Appreciation Chart”. The chart covers three generations of Corvettes with the results rather evenly spread among them. Most likely the reason for new arrivals on the chart is that the Corvette enthusiast, both new and old, have realized they can be the proud owner of a Corvette regardless of price, year or body style. It is quite apparent that pre-1984 models continue to appreciate. Many of today’s buyers do not have the funds to step up to the 1953-1967 models so they are “investing” in the 1968-1982 models with many of these showing appreciation levels comparable to the S&P Stock Market Index. Should there be a market correction in the near future, these owners will still know they have the satisfaction of driving their investment. 1968 T-Top CorvetteHeading the top of the average appreciation chart is the 1968 Corvette T-Top at 17% average appreciation over a year ago. The 1968 T-Top has made our “Top Ten” list for the past three years. The two year appreciation factor for this model was 31% and the five year growth was at 63% – certainly better than the market in almost any regard. Adding to the interest in the 1968 T-Top is the long list of optional motors available, including the very collectable L- 88, 427/430 of which only 80 units were built. Close behind is the L-89 with the aluminum heads for the 427/435 motor. Only 624 of these were built. One may wonder why the 1969 model did not make the top appreciation list this year since it is virtually the same body style as the 1968 models along with the same motor options. Historically, buyers initially stayed away from the 1968 model year in part due to the numerous engineering changes/modifications that were incorporated into the 1969 model year. That is changing. In recent years we had noted a run-up in 1969 model year prices and these prices stabilized this year, so no record appreciation growth for the 1969 models in 2006. 1973 T-Top CorvetteThe number two appreciation spot was somewhat of a surprise showing the 1973 T-Top at 16%. Evidently the new front bumper treatment that makes the 1973 model unique coupled with its traditional rear chrome bumpers and new front end had not been a problem for consumers in the recent resale market. This model still remains priced at $5,000 below its T-Top predecessors.
1954 Corvette RoadsterHolding down third position was one of the early models, a 1954 Roadster, always a classic. For a number of years, the appreciation factor of this model was at a minimum. Our 2004 and 2005 Price Guides showed the average price for the 1954 Roadster to be in the mid to upper thirties. One year ago it made the top ten list showing a 12% appreciation factor at $43,900. This year it has broken the $50,000 threshold at $50,600. With the 1953 “look-alike” selling at an average price of over $100,000, the 1954 model, available in a number of rare colors, has whet the appetite of first generation enthusiasts. 1971 T-Top CorvetteThe appreciation chart continues with the 1971 T-Top and Roadster along with the 1970 T-Top. Again the collectability and appreciation factor of the early models of the third generation Corvette is being realized by the consumer, consequently the average resale price is being driven to record levels. The word on the street is, “if it has a chrome bumper, buy it!”
1958 Corvette RoadsterAnother perennial contender on the appreciation chart is the 1958 Corvette with its unique, one year only, louvered hood and dual chrome strip on the trunk lid. When introduced, the media had mixed emotions on the new body style. It was a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ affair. Today it seems the Corvette enthusiast is more interested in ‘love’.
1962 Corvette RoadsterThe 1962 Corvette, last of the solid axle Corvettes, reappears on the appreciation chart. The last year mystic of its generation was instrumental in its appearance on the list again this year. Evidently the same desire shown the 1967 model in the mid-year generation is bringing buyers to the 1962 model, last of its generation. Speaking of mid-years, the appreciation chart closes out with three of these classics represented. These models have been under-priced when compared to the 1967 models. They too, offer several high performance motors and rare options to entice buyers in the resale market. Tomorrow, we’ll post our list of Corvettes with the highest depreciation. The 2007 Corvette Price Guide contains data from the sales of over 5,800 Corvettes from last year to give us the High, Low, and Average prices of all Corvette model years and body styles. The guide also contains appreciation and depreciation figures for One, Two and Five years, as well as pricing for options including motors, wheels and A/C. Available now for $20 through the online store. Shipping is now free.
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