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Corvette Wins 2 Strategic Vision Total Value Awards

by Keith Cornett on October 9, 2006

2006 CorvetteBoth the Corvette Coupe and Convertible won their classes in the annual Strategic Vision Total Value Awards. The awards are based on an index which factors economic issues against the total new vehicle ownership experience. The factors that make up the index include reliability, a solid warranty, strong anticipated resale value, durability and innovation. The Corvette Coupe won its class of “Small Specialty over $25,000″ with an index score of 798. The Mercedes-Benz CL Class Coupe was second with a score of 790 and the BMW 3-Series Coupe was third at 784. The average score for the class was 762. The Corvette Convertible won its class of “Convertibles of $30,000″ with an index score of 789. The BMW Z4 Roadster was second with a score of 778 and the Porsche Boxster came in third with a score of 775. The average index in the Convertibles over $30,000 was 755. GM was the top domestic corporation and won 4 Total Value Segments, three of which were won by Chevrolet products. Other GM winners included the Saturn Vue, winning the Small SUV segment and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 which won the Heavy Duty Pickup segment.

“GM’s new warranty will bring new prospective buyers to the brand, who otherwise might have felt the quality, durability and value was missing,” said Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision automotive research group. “If GM can communicate the right quality cues and value in current and future vehicles, then they will be poised for success in the near future.”
Source: Strategic Visions, Inc.
Image: CorvetteImages.com
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September 2006 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on October 5, 2006

GM’s September 2006 Sales Report has been released and Corvette sales still remain strong. Calendar Year-to-Date sales are up 20.9% with 27,903 Corvettes delivered in 2006 vs 23,080 in 2005. Year to Year monthly sales are up 23.9% with 3,056 Corvettes sold in September 2006 vs 2,372 Corvettes in September 2005. There were 26 selling days for the September 2006 period vs 25 selling days in September 2005. Source: GM
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Our friends at DigitalCorvettes.com landed themselves a big one last night, as the first photos of the Blue Devil/Stingray/Z07 Corvette have finally been posted. Head over to read an interview with photographer Chris Doane, who needed 15-20 minutes just to get in front of supercharged ‘Vette to take some photos.

Blue Devil Corvette 1966 Corvette
Source: DigitalCorvettes.com
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Corvette Number 002 Found?

by Keith Cornett on October 4, 2006

C1 Corvette Ken Amrick is reporting in the Fall 2006 issue of On Solid Ground that the body from Corvette #002 may have been located. On Solid Ground is the publication of the Solid Axle Corvette Club. Many modifications and oddities about the early Corvette body appear to be consistent with records showing that body No. 002 served as a test car for production Corvettes, including whether the then-developmental small-block V-8 would work in the two-seater. GM records show body No. 002 was assigned duty as an engineering test vehicle (and assigned No. 3951), and was used in various V-8 design tests, as well as cooling system, 12-volt power, Powerglide and exhaust development. The body that was recently found was removed when car No. 3951 received a new body in May 1955. There are some interesting characterists to the body believed to be that of #002. They include: • The body has a one-piece floor, thought only to exist among the first 12 Corvette bodies. • The fiberglass finish is extremely crude, especially in trunk and behind seats, per early cars. • The right-side inner fender has been reworked to fit a 12-volt battery. • The brake pedal arm and emergency brake have differences from any other Corvette. • Several sets of holes in the firewall indicate multiple placements of heater motor and hoses. • The normal exhaust holes were covered with factory-type materials, and there is evidence that extra exhaust holes were cut in rear fenders, as on 1956-’57 V-8 models. An early photograph known to be of body No. 002 shows two sets of exhaust holes, and they are in the same location on the body of the car in question. The earliest known Corvette still existing is No. 003, which has been restored to show condition and sold at the 2006 Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale for $1 million dollars. Corvette No. 001 is known to have been destroyed in a burn test by General Motors. I’m hoping that there will be more details about this historic find including how, where and when. Keep in mind as well that we are not talking about a complete Corvette, only the original body. We’ll try to post more details when they are released. Source: Old Cars Weekly
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Corvette To Display the Chevrolet Bow-Tie?

by Keith Cornett on October 3, 2006

Z06 with a Bow-TieGM’s VP of Design Ed Welburn was on the weekly Autoline Detroit television show and discussed the increasing design synergy across Chevy models with a common design theme becoming obvious in the coming years. The host pointed out that the gold bow-tie emblem doesn’t appear prominently on the Corvette and Welburn responded by saying this is likely to change. “The gold bowtie will be there,” he said. “There is a strong signature grille that we are developing for all Chevys,” Welburn explained. “We will depart a bit in the grille area […] but that bowtie will be there on every Chevy.” Let me tell you two things that Chevrolet won’t do. There will not be an integration of a “common grille theme” on the Corvette, and second, the Chevrolet Bow-Tie will not be a predominant feature on the Corvette. Look at the photo. Because the Corvette depends on a massive flow of air, the design does not lend itself to having a traditional grille period. So yeah, you can bet your ass there won’t be a common grille theme on the Corvette. For 50 years Corvettes have had their own distinct logo. Everyone already knows that a Corvette is made by Chevrolet. The bow-tie is already integrated into the Corvette logo itself. As you can see at DigitalCorvettes.com, owners are already up in arms against the idea. As the photo illustration from CorvetteConti.com shows, it’s a pretty silly thought and should be dismissed by Tom Wallace immediately. Instead of logos and symbols, GM needs to transfer the attributes that made Corvette great (quality, performance and unique style) to the rest of the Chevrolet lineup. Source: Leftlane News Update
Here is a link to Autoline Detroit where the show can be viewed online.
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Corvette Racing Third and Fourth at Petit LeMans

by Keith Cornett on October 2, 2006

Corvette Racing was no match for this week’s Competition Adjustments which handed a 1-2 victory to the Aston Martins at Saturday’s Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta. The ALMS Sanctions Body penalized Corvette Racing’s #3 and #4 Corvettes 110 pounds and smaller engine restrictors. Armed with this week’s competition adjustments, Aston Martin was able to deny Corvette Racing the third win in the ALMS Triple Crown as well as move to second place and 7 points behind Corvette in the overall standings for the Manufacturers Cup. During the race, the #3 Corvette was hit twice. The first occurred when an LMP1 Prototype forced it off the road during a high speed pass, forcing the Corvette into the pits and losing a lap while clearing the grille. The second hit occurred when contact between the #3 Corvette and #007 Aston Martin resulted in spinning out the Corvette.

“It’s disappointing,” said O’Connell. “I had a really good car but then I got turned backwards by Turner and lost a lot of time that would have been better spent trying to catch the 009 car. After I was forced off the track in the Esses, we were really lucky not to have to buy a new Corvette. It was a big slide.” “Considering I was run into twice today, it’s amazing that we were still in the race,” O’Connell continued. “Corvette Racing builds about the strongest race car out there.” “It’s almost impossible to compete because the competition adjustments have gone too far, especially on a track like this,” Max Papis commented. “Corvette Racing never gives up, but at the end of the day the competition adjustments were a little too much.”
While Corvette Racing lost the battle at Road Atlanta, the season-long war will be decided in the series’ season finale in Monterey, Calif., on Oct. 21. Chevrolet and Corvette Racing have a seven-point lead in the manufacturer and team championships; Beretta and Gavin lead the drivers’ standings by 11 points. With 23 points on the line at Laguna Seca Raceway, the championships hang in the balance. Again, we make our call to the ALMS to Free the Corvette C6.R
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Help! My Corvette Needs New Shoes!

by Keith Cornett on September 28, 2006

My 1966 Corvette threw a shoe last week and I need your help. And I am willing to pay for some advice. Think you can help? Please read on… I was on a cruise a couple of weeks ago and did my normal “south county” route that takes me on some nice two lane roads away from the City of Tampa and through southern Hillsborough County. On my last few drives I’ve noticed a bit of shimmy between 45-60 mph. Over and under that speed the car drives very nice. About halfway through my cruise, the shimmy was much more pronounced and I was feeling it slightly now even above the 60 mph. I had written it off to the thought that I needed an alignment, something the Corvette hasn’t had in years. As I was nearing home, traveling about 60 mph on the local toll road, I heard a loud pop and I felt that backend really wanting to sway side to side. I slowed to 30 mph and since the Corvette was drivable at that speed, I limped on home. After I got home, I crawled under the back of the Corvette and immediately saw the problem. My tread on the right rear tire had separated and some the belts were showing. I could see one or two of the belts actually broken, but the tire was still holding air. I’ve had these same tires on my ’66 for years now. When you only drive a car a couple times a month, it’s not so much the mileage, but the age of the rubber. And while I’ve been wanting to upgrade my wheels from the standard hubcaps to some reproduction knock-off wheels, finances won’t allow me to do that right now, so I’ll skip the KO’s for now and just go with a new set of tires.

1966 Corvette Tire 1966 Corvette
Currently, I have a set of Dunlop G/T Qualifiers. They have been great tires and I like the look of the white lettering more than a white wall. I am probably going to move to a set of BF Goodrich Radial T/A’s. However, I am open to some suggestions. My current tires are 215/70R/15′s and I am wanting to stay with that size because they are a bit beefier and as such, put more rubber on the road. Also, at that size there is no clearance issues with the fiberglass. So here is the deal. First, sign up for the email newsletter. Then comment here on what kind of tire (make and model) you would recommend. If I like your suggestion, I will send you a free Corvette Price Guide – a $15 dollar value. I am really open to some suggestions and would love some recommendations.
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Corvette Wins Motorist Choice Award

by Keith Cornett on September 27, 2006

The 2006 Chevrolet CorvetteWe must be coming to the end of the year as I am sensing another round of the obligatory “Car of the Year” awards getting ready to be announced. And while I am not sure half these awards are worth the pixels used to promote them, if a Corvette is selected, than it is my duty as an American to report it! First up! The Motorist Choice Award from IntelliChoice.com and AutoPacific. This is a new award created from the surveys of both organizations that created “a new measurement that speaks to both the hearts and minds of car buyers.” Really, the survey boils downs to owner satisfaction with their vehicle combined with an analysis of the vehicle’s cost of ownership and value. Both items that the Corvette has excelled at in recent years. The Corvette was listed as winning the Sports Car category, but get this. There were 29 winning models by segment and class, 12 classes for cars, 7 classes for SUV’s, 8 truck classes and 1 van class. Here’s what each organization said about the Chevrolet Corvette:

AutoPacific Take on Corvette’s Win – The Chevrolet Corvette wins the first Motorist’s Choice Award® for Sports Cars. It also won top honors among Sports Cars in AutoPacific’s 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award®. Corvette’s strong image and vehicle reputation are reinforced by great Fun to Drive attributes like power, acceleration and handling. IntelliChoice Analysis – The Corvette, with plenty of horsepower on tap, is a true American “Triple Crown” winner. Not only a Motorist’s Choice and Vehicle Satisfaction winner, but also a repeat 2006 “Best Overall Value of the Year” winner. 5 year ownership costs are equally amazing at just $45,510, well over $6000 below it’s nearest competitor. The Chevrolet Corvette, as much fun to drive as it is to own!
Yep, the Corvette rocks! But if you’re really interested in automotive awards than make sure you stay tuned as we are surveying the automotive landscape in anticipation of the 2nd Annual CorvetteBlogger.com Car of the Year award to be announced in December. Sources: IntelliChoice.com and AutoPacific
Image: CorvetteImages.com
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Corvette Racing Running for the ALMS Triple Crown

by Keith Cornett on September 26, 2006

The #3 Corvette C6.ROn Saturday, September 30th, Corvette Racing with be attempting road racing’s version of the Triple Crown. The first two jewels of the crown was the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Next is the Petit Le Mans, a 10 hour/1,000 mile road race at Road Atlanta. Corvette Racing has only pulled this off twice before despite their dominance in the GT1 Class, in 2002 and 2004. But with the two Ollies – Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta along with Jan Magnussen have a streak of 4 endurances races since their win at the 2005 Le Mans. Gavin and his teammates have learned the discipline of endurance racing. “Once the race starts, you have to drive hard but be aware it is a long race and a lot can happen,” he noted. “It’s not going to be won in the first stint; it usually comes down to the last two or three hours. That’s when things happen – cars break, it’s difficult to see, mistakes are made. The track often gets slippery as the race goes on, and you’ve got to be on your game when it gets dark.” It’s going to be busy in the cockpit because of the short length of the race track,” explained Johnny O’Connell, a resident of nearby Flowery Branch, Ga. “Because the lap times are so much quicker than at Sebring and Le Mans, the odds of getting caught out by a pace car and going down a lap are much greater. Every driver is aware of the risks of falling behind your rivals at Road Atlanta because of that pace car situation.” Petit Le Mans, the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series, is scheduled to start at 11:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Sept. 30. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT and 3 to 10 p.m. EDT. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA live timing and scoring. Photo: Richard Prince
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The Last Corvette to be Sold at Barrett-Jackson

by Keith Cornett on September 25, 2006

The Last Corvette This announcement is really no big news since the Last Corvette’s restoration was completed in January of this year. As anyone that knows anything about this car knows that the final stop is Scottsdale, Arizona. But for those that don’t know what the Last Corvette is, let me do a quick recap. The Last Corvette is a 1967 Corvette Coupe with a 427-390 hp engine and a 4-Speed transmission. The VIN, #22940 was the last Corvette produced of the 1967 model year production run and therefore the last of the 1963-1967 “Midyear” Corvettes produced at the St. Louis Corvette Assembly Plant on July 12, 1967. The Corvette has been on Pro Team’s radar since the mid 90′s, but it wasn’t until 2005 that a deal was reached to purchase the unrestored car for 10x’s the VIN: $229,240.00 Is the last of the 1967 Corvettes that big of a deal? Some say yes. Terry Michaelis of Pro Team Corvettes, who owns the Last Corvette is fond of saying “Sure they made Corvettes after 1967, but who cares” when promoting this Corvette. And according to Craig Jackson, President of the Barrett-Jackson Auction, “Being the absolute final car of a world-famous model makes this one of the most collectible cars in the world.” Well okay. I’ve never subscribed much to the theory that the end of a model run is worth more because it was the last. I can understand being first, but not last. Comparing apples to apples, is a 67 Coupe with a 427/390 worth more than a 1967 L88 or L89? And something else is bothering me about this Corvette. The whole process seems to me to be a slick marketing event put together by some very smart people for only one reason…to make money. A lot of money. I guess if you are putting $229,420 into a Corvette that needs a frame-off restoration, you need a plan to make that money back. I don’t hold that against Pro Team or anyone else associated with this Corvette. It will sure be interesting to see what this Corvette can do when compared to some real highly collectible Corvettes that should be available this year at Scottsdale. In defense of the Last Corvette’s publicity-hungry run-up to the auction at Barrett-Jackson, Pro Team has teamed up with two charities. The Ronald McDonald House and the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation will both benefit from the sale of the Last Corvette from matched donations, and in the case of the Ronald McDonald House, a Name the Final Bid contest. And finally, not to appear totally negative about the marketing machine that is the Last Corvette, there is one element to this unprecedented sales campaign that I am really interested in. Premiering on December 7, 2006 is a six part documentary which chronicles the Corvette’s history and restoration. That series will air on SPEED and is titled American Muscle Car: The Last Stingray. This is will be a real joy to watch as the production quality should be extremely high and the companies that donated time and service are the tops of the Corvette industry including Naber’s Motors in Texas where the frame-off restoration was completed. More information about the Last Corvette can be found at TheLastCorvette.com
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