What a great weekend for Corvettes. In Illinois, the 34th Annual Bloomington Gold Corvette show and Auction is now in full swing, and for racing fans, the 24 Hours of LeMans starts today. I’ll be tuning into the Speed Channel often throughout the day and into the night for updates on Team Corvette and their quest for the 5th win in 6 years.
Back in 1979 when word got out of a possible move of the General Motors Corvette plant from St. Louis to Bowling Green, workers thought it was a ploy during contract negotiations. But GM was serious about moving the home of the Corvette and after considering sites in Waco, Texas, Wichita, Kansas and Montgomery Alabama, the General settled on Bowling Green, Kentucky. Two years later, the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line. The date was June 1, 1981.
This month the Bowling Green Assembly Plant celebrates its 25th anniversary and the Bowling Green Daily News has put together a special online section detailing everything from the ups and downs of the plant to how the city has become an automotive mecca since the building of the Corvette Museum.
Along the way we learn about the four general managers who have guided the plant during the last 25 years and the challenges each of them faced as well as some of the stories from the 900 workers from St. Louis who made the move with Corvette.
Click here to read Celebrating 25 Years of Corvette in Bowling Green presented by The Daily News. The section is presented as printed in the newspaper, but all the pages are clickable to enlarge for reading.
Technorati Tags: Corvette | GM | Bowling Green
I received a call today from a guy who just bought his first Corvette. He was very excited to finally own the car of his dreams and he wanted some advice about getting involved in the Corvette hobby. I rambled off a couple ideas and then thought this might be something that can be expanded on. So if you have some ideas, please let me know. 1. Get insurance. More is better than less:
If you just bought a classic Corvette (1953-1982) check into insurance companies like Hagerty or Parish Heacock. Also check with your current insurance provider. I have my ’66 Corvette insured with State Farm for under $300 per year. You may need an appraisal to get the most accurate “stated value” policy. If buying a later model Corvette for pleasure and not as your primary vehicle, let your insurance company know. You might get a break on rates.2. Buy a custom-fit Corvette car cover to protect your investment, even if parking in the garage. 3. Join one of the Corvette message boards like CorvetteForum.com, DigitalCorvettes.com or the CorvetteActionCenter.com. You are going to have questions and the forum members will certainly have answers. 4. Subscribe to a Corvette Magazine (or two) like Corvette Fever, Corvette Enthusiast or Corvette Magazine. 5. Find a service shop in your area that specializes in Corvettes. If you bought a new Corvette from a dealership, get to know your dedicated service advisor and make sure he knows you. You’d be surprised at the higher level of service you can get. 6. Join a local Corvette club for shows and social cruises. There’s nothing like hooking up with a bunch of like-minded Corvette enthusiasts for a Sunday afternoon cruise. 7. Buy a Corvette service manual or factory assembly manual. If you want to maintain your Corvette properly, it’s best to follow the factory guidelines. 8. If you are restoring, customizing or maintaining your Corvette, get on the mailing lists of Corvette parts supplier catalogs like Ecklers, Mid-America, Corvette Central and Corvette America. Many carry the same items so then it comes down to knowledgeable sales reps, in-stock parts and servicing returns for you to find your favorite supplier. 9. Be courteous and mindful on the road. Yes, you have a Corvette, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an Ass to your fellow drivers. 10. Wave at other Corvette drivers when you see them on the road. This tradition dates back to 1953 and the Corvette wave applies to all generations of Corvettes.
Technorati Tags: Corvette | Insurance | Auto Parts
JD Power’s Annual Initial Quality Study measures new-vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership and once again Corvette scored very well in its class. For the Premium Sporty Car Category, Corvette tied for third with the Mercedes-Benz SL Class. Leading the category was the Lexus SC 430 and second place went to the Porsche 911.
The annual survey was redesigned for 2006 to capture problems experienced by owners in two categories: Quality of Design and Quality of Production. Chevrolet as an automaker had an average of 124 problems per 100 vehicles, which was also the industry average. Porsche had the best rating at 91 and Land Rover was the worst at 204 problems per 100 vehicles. In ranking the Big 3, Chrysler scored a 120 and Ford came in at 127.
Source: JD Power & Associates
Image Credit: CorvetteImages.com
Technorati Tags: Corvette | JD Power | Chevrolet
At the 19th Annual Mecum Spring Classic Auction held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Belvidere, Illinois over Memorial Day weekend, 48 Corvettes ranging from a 1954 Polo White Convertible to a 2004 Black Z06 crossed the auction block. Of the 48 Corvettes, 30 were sold for $1,122,714 in total Corvette sales. The highest selling price went to a 1967 Sunfire Yellow Convertible (pictured) with a 427/435 engine which sold for $147,000 while the lowest price paid was $7,500 for a 1976 T-Top Corvette. A black ’67 Corvette had the highest bid overall but was a no-sale at $200,000. Corvette Auction Results:
|Lot #||Year||Description||Sales Price||Status|
|S21||1954||Corvette Polo White||$60,000||Bid|
|F532||1967||Corvette L-89 Silver||$115,500||Sold|
|S59||1967||Corvette Marina Blue||$83,000||Bid|
|T89||1979||Corvette Dark Blue||$8,500||Sold|
|F149||1979||Corvette L-82 Red||$20,475||Sold|
|F11||1990||Corvette ZR-1 Black||$24,000||Bid|
|U525||1990||Corvette ZR-1 Red||$24,500||Bid|
|U10||2004||Corvette Z06 Black||$39,000||Bid|
Technorati Tags: Corvette | Auction
AutoWeek, which last month broke the news that the Blue Devil program is a go in an interview with Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace, reports today that the Corvette Blue Devil project is now being referred to internally as the Sting Ray. Production of the $100,000 Supercharged 7.0-liter 600-hp V8 Sting Ray may start sooner rather than later with units available as soon as 2007, although it’s our guess that it would be a 2008 model available during the summer/fall of ’07.
Bits and pieces of the Sting Ray project have been leaked over the past few months with rumors swirling around a Kappa platform project, as well as a special edition Corvette being built for 2007. However, this is the first report that puts them all together as a Corvette project.
AutoWeek says that the Blue Devil name was used to get the attention of GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner, who graduated from Duke. That name also allowed the PR guys to “smile slyly” as they claimed there were no plans for a Blue Devil Corvette.
Source: Autoweek via Left Lane News
Technorati Tags: Corvette | Sting Ray | Blue Devil
In this latest podcast from GM’s Fastlane Blog, Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan talks about Corvette Racing’s preparations for the most prestigious racing event in the world, the 24 Hours of LeMans. Doug discusses what Team Corvette needs to do in getting ready for this endurance race that taxes not only the cars, but the drivers and crew as well.
Competition in the GT Class will be intense this year with four Aston Martins, a Saleen, Ferrari and a European C5 Corvette team. According to Fehan, the GT class tends to be the focus of most of the fans because thatâ€™s where the classic battles take place. Despite the competition, Fehan is optimistic that the Corvette Racing team will extend its record to five 1-2 finishes in the most recent six years at LeMans.
Visit the GM Fast Lane Blog or Download the MP3.
Photo: Richard Prince
Technorati Tags: Corvette | Racing | LeMans | Podcast
Normally I shy away from stories like these, but sometimes they are just too unbelievable not to post. So here it is as posted by KESQ in Palm Springs: HAYWARD, Calif. A motorist who sped through a Hayward cemetery in an apparent road-rage pursuit of another car is dead after crashing into a mausoleum. Hayward police say the driver of a classic 1967 Corvette was killed when he skidded out of control and totaled his car this morning at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. The identity of the 52-year-old man was not immediately released. Police say he was chasing a Mercedes-Benz convertible through the cemetery after an apparent argument on a nearby street. Mourners watching a nearby burial witnessed the crash. Police say a pair of crypts inside the mausoleum were jarred open, but the caskets inside were not damaged. The Mercedes driver is being sought as a witness but is not thought to have caused the crash. Source: KESQ NewsChannel 3