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80 Corvettes At No Reserve

by Keith Cornett on March 30, 2006

Barrett Jackson’s 4th Annual Palm Beach Collector Car Auction begins today and once again the high profile event has attracted 80+ highly collectable Corvettes to be sold at no reserve. Included in the list of Corvettes is an NCRS Top Flight-winning white 1954 Corvette convertible with matching numbers and a 235 ci Blue Flame 6-cylinder engine. Click here to see the entire listing of Corvettes for Sale. The auction will be televised on SPEED with taped coverage beginning at 6pm today and tomorrow and live coverage happening most of Saturday, April 1st. Check back after the auction for an update on the selling prices.
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Another 2006 Corvette Recall

by Keith Cornett on March 29, 2006

GM will begin notifying 2006 Corvette owners about an issue with the engine flywheel. The recall covers Corvettes with the VIN Breakpoints of 65115878 – 65121102 where the engine and manual transmission may have a condition in which the flywheel may have been incorrectly machined, resulting in insufficient clearance for clutch cover self adjustment, reducing clutch life. Dealers are to inspect and, if necessary, replace the engine flywheel. The following is the Service Bulletin:

GM Parts Bulletins & Information – To Chevrolet Dealers GMP06-060 – Customer Satisfaction Program #06523 Engine Flywheel/Clutch Interference DESCRIPTION: CUSTOMER SATISFACTION PROGRAM #06523 – MARCH 27, 2006 THIS RECALL IS IN EFFECT UNTIL March 31, 2007 - Certain 2006 Chevrolet Corvette model vehicles equipped with 6.0L V8 (RPO LS2 – VIN U) or 7.0L V8 (RPO LS7 – VIN E) engine and manual transmission may have a condition in which the flywheel may have been incorrectly machined, resulting in insufficient clearance for clutch cover self adjustment, reducing clutch life. - This program will expire on March 31, 2007. - Dealers are to inspect and, if necessary, replace the engine flywheel. - Refer to Customer Satisfaction Program #06523 for further information EFFECTIVE DATE:
Initial owner mailing is scheduled to begin: 4-3-06 GENERAL INFORMATION:
Parts required to complete this program are to be obtained from General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO). Normal orders should be placed on a DRO = Daily Replenishment Order. In an emergency situation, parts should be ordered on a CSO = Customer Special Order. Part Number Description Quantity/Vehicle: 12571611 Flywheel, Eng 1 IMPORTANT:
Due to the small number of vehicles involved and due to limited initial parts availability, Dealers are encouraged not to order program parts for use as shelf stock. Parts should only be ordered when inspection determines that it is necessary to replace the flywheel. CONDITION
Certain 2006 Chevrolet Corvette model vehicles equipped with 6.0L V8 (RPO LS2 – VIN U) or 7.0L V8 (RPO LS7 – VIN E) engine and manual transmission may have a condition in which the flywheel may have been incorrectly machined, resulting in insufficient clearance for clutch cover self adjustment, reducing clutch life. This program will expire on March 31, 2007. CORRECTION
Dealers are to inspect and, if necessary, replace the engine flywheel. VEHICLES INVOLVED
Involved are certain 2006 Chevrolet Corvette model vehicles equipped with 6.0L V8 (RPO LS2 – VIN U) or 7.0L V8 (RPO LS7 – VIN E) engine and manual transmission and built within these VIN breakpoints: 2006 Chevrolet Corvette 65115878 65121102 Important: Dealers are to confirm vehicle eligibility prior to beginning repairs by using the GM Vehicle Inquiry System (GMVIS). Not all vehicles within the above breakpoints may be involved. For dealers with involved vehicles, a listing with involved vehicles containing the complete vehicle identification number, customer name, and address information has been prepared and will be provided through the applicable system listed below. Dealers will not have a report available if they have no involved vehicles currently assigned.

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Top 100 Corvette Shops

by Keith Cornett on March 28, 2006

Corvette Fever magazine is out with their annual 100 Corvette Shops You Can Trust list for 2006. The list is compiled from reader’s submissions and includes both full-blown restoration shops to those you can visit for routine maintenance. Corvette Fever has made the list available on their website so you don’t have to be a subscriber or try to track down a back issue to view. Only one of my shops made the list, Classic Corvettes of Tampa, Florida. Lenny restored the engine and suspension in my ’66 Convertible. My other favorite shop, VanSteel Corvettes in Clearwater should be on the list as they know Corvette brakes and suspension better than anyone. A good Corvette shop near you can not only help with your Corvette’s maintenance and restoration issues, but can be utilized as a resource for buying and selling Corvettes. They often know of Corvettes that are for sale but may not be actively on the market and they may be able to do a once-over of a Corvette you may be buying. Check out the list at CorvetteFever.com. If your favorite shop isn’t listed, let CF know…
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Originality vs Over-Restored

by Keith Cornett on March 27, 2006

Last week at VetteFinders.com, our Corvette classifieds and appraisals website, we received an order to appraise the value of a 1965 Corvette coupe. Usually, this is a fairly easy process and the owner of the car provided very complete answers to the questionnaire that we require which allows us to place an approximate value on such a car. First, here are some details of this 65 Coupe: 1965 Coupe, VIN 194375S123XXX. Blue with Blue interior (not original colors), Body off restored in 2005. 396 ci 425 hp, 4-Speed transmission. Power Steering, Brakes, Windows. Factory Side Exhaust, Knock-Offs. Telescopic Steering Column. Also the following RPO’s: A01, A31, F40, G81,J 50, K66, L78, M20, N14, N32, N36, P48, T01, U69. Car is in “Excellent, Show Condition” and has won the following awards: Second Flight NCRS, Bloomington Silver. No owner history was available including any original ordering and delivery documents. This coupe was loaded with desirable options. Among them are power steering, brakes and windows, as well as a telescopic steering column and teak steering wheel. It is equipped with the F-40 special front and rear suspension, knock off wheels and side mounted exhaust. These three options are classified as “rare” with less than five percent of the 1965 models built with these options. Sounds like a great coupe, right? Catch the last line of the description? “No Owner History Available”. And that’s a serious issue we have when it comes to correctly appraising a classic Corvette. Corvettes are a hot commodity these days. Most Mid-Year Corvettes have yearly double digit appreciations and buyers are paying premiums for big block motors and rare options. If you’ve watched the Barrett-Jackson auction over the last couple of years you understand what I am saying. Unfortunately, in a hot market, one of the first casualties is Originality. I’m not talking numbers matching originality. I’m not talking NCRS originality. I’m talking about how THAT particular Corvette was equipped when it rolled down the assembly line and was delivered from the Chevrolet dealership to the first owner. It was only in 1967 that Chevrolet started including build sheets on top of the gas tanks that showed how that Corvette was equipped when it was assembled. If you are buying a pre-67 Corvette, the most important documentation you can have is the window sticker or sales documentation which included the options for that particular car. Many owners were smart and held on to these documents and passed them on to the new owner when the Corvette was sold. There is a joke about the 1967 L88 Corvettes. Chevrolet only produced 16 of them, but there are at least 20 in existence. Some restorers were able to recreate the magic of the L88 and even without having the documentation to prove it was originally an L88, there are people ready to buy into the lie and pay the bucks to acquire such a “rare” corvette. If there were 100 L88 Corvettes available in the marketplace, what does that do the values and uniqueness of the original 16? When doing a frame-off restoration, it is easy is it to add options that originally were not on the Corvette when it was assembled. Options that would add “rare” to the description. And when the restoration is complete, the owner goes out and gets the Corvette certified through the NCRS and Bloomington so that when it hits the auction block, he gets his premium. As our appraiser started working on the substantiation for our 1965 Coupe, he first believed he had a $100,000+ car. But the more he researched and reviewed the photos, not everything was as it appeared. So we had a conversation with the owner. He claimed he had spent over $100,000 in the restoration of the Coupe and wanted us to provide an appraisal for that amount for his insurance. I told him our concerns over the lack of documentation and how that plays a role in valuations, but he didn’t care. He had just received Second Flight status from NCRS and a Silver award at Bloomington and was preparing the car for Top Flight and Gold and eventually a Duntov award. We don’t know if options were added during the restoration, but without the documented history of the Corvette, we could never justify the number he felt he needed, so we refunded his appraisal order and suggested he look elsewhere. Over-restoring a Corvette seems to be acceptable in a hot market, but at some point the classic car market will cool as it did in the late 80’s and those that buy these cars will be left hanging in the wind as the marketplace corrects itself and the speculators move on to the next great money-making idea. This experience has me thinking about the future of Classic Corvettes. What will happen to market values and the hobby overall when anyone with enough money can build a Corvette with whatever options he feels is profitable? What would be the point of sharing the documented history of a car if in the end it doesn’t matter? All of us involved with Corvettes have a vested interest in trying to preserve what constitutes Originality not only from a Numbers-Matching issue, but from preserving the Corvette as it passes from owner to owner.
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Corvette Story of the Day

by Keith Cornett on March 25, 2006

I came across this post on a blog today about Corvettes:

One time I tried to race a Corvette. It was pretty cool. Alex and I were on our way back to high school at the end of lunch, and we were stopped at a stoplight next to one of the newer-model Corvette’s (so we knew it was a pretty new car). I put my car in neutral and started revving the engine and looking over at the guy in the Corvette, then the light changed to green, we both gunned it, and it turns out Corvettes really are a lot faster than Integras.
Posted at: thekingant.livejournal.com
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Featured Corvettes at VetteFinders.com

by Keith Cornett on March 24, 2006

Once a month we send out our Featured Corvettes newsletter featuring 18 of the hundreds of Corvettes available at VetteFinders.com. Here are the highlighted ads from our March newsletter, one from each generation.

1961 Convertible
$48,000
1965 Convertible
$52,000
1969 Convertible
$20,000
 
1991 ZR-1 Coupe
$24,500
2000 Convertible
$29,700
2005 Coupe
$44,000
Interested in receiving the Featured Corvettes newsletter? Click here to subscribe.
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The following was posted on CorvetteForum.com by a member using the screen name “Flyzlow” on March 22, 2006. It’s a story about a young boy fighing Leukemia and how a Corvette club rallied to support him.

A few weeks ago my corvette club sent me an email about a 12 year old boy who is dying of leukemia. He lives in Chicago but his wish was to visit his grandparents in Phoenix. His grandparents had told him about Corvettes and he was excited to see one. One of the grandmother’s friends is a member of Sun Country Corvettes here in Phx. and upon hearing of the visit offered to get a group together to do a drive by to their house Friday afternoon after his Chemotherapy. Having battled health problems and chemo myself the past two years I told my wife we were definetely going to take part and drive both of our Vettes for this worthy cause. We met at a Quick trip and found 26 Corvettes and about six Phoenix Police cars there to provide an escort for us all the way to ‘Tylers’ grandparents home. I was never so proud to be part of a group like this. We left at 6:00 pm and drove through red lights and stop signs right to his front door. [Thankyou and God bless you Phoenix Police Dept!] Tyler and his family came outside to see a double line of Vettes all the way down his street and about 35-40 members applauding him and chanting his name, Tyler! Tyler! Soon the neighbors were standing in their yards in awe of the cars and the excitement. He was introduced and a loud unanimous vote was taken to make him an honorary member of our Club. He was given a Corvette hat, a club shirt, a certificate and an assortment of corvette scale model cars. The final moment was for him to walk through the lines of cars and choose any and all that he wanted a ride in. He stated that he liked the old ones but he singled out a silver C6 convertible owned by two of our new members who live a block from me and met our club at a car show at the dealership the day they bought their car just a few months ago. Tyler drove off to the cheers of the crowd and then repeated it time after time in other club members cars. I don’t think anyone there wasn’t affected by the many emotions that this act of kindness brought up in all of us. To my wife and I it was the most worthy reason to ever fire up our cars and spend the gas for a cruise for something far more meaningful than a club dinner or car show or whatever. I think now of some of the posts about Vette owners failing to wave, which exhaust, wheels, mats, radar detector etc. etc. and realize that all of us who made that drive regardless of what year vette or how much it cost, how many mods, or how fast in the quarter just got the biggest bang for our buck that we could ever have gotten from any amount spent on our cars simply by sharing our love for them with a twelve year old who will never drive one or own one but for one afternoon tasted the passion that we enjoy and maybe take for granted. I have been thinking all weekend long about how we can use our cars, our clubs and ourselves in ways that can be as positive and impactful as this was. I want to thank Connie and Jack for organizing this and all of you who participated. Again, thanks Phx. P.D. God Bless You Tyler!!
Thanks, Flyzlow for relating this humbling story and to the members of the Sun Country Corvette Club of Phoenix who demonstrated class and compassion on behalf of all Corvette owners. Source: CorvetteForum.com
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AAA Names Z06 Corvette the Cool Car of the Year

by Keith Cornett on March 21, 2006

AAA picks its top cars for 2006 and names the Z06 Corvette the “Cool Car of the Year”. Digging deep into the AAA website, a very favorable review of the Z06 is available. Interestingly, the items we usually see downgraded in other Corvette reviews were favorable, including the interior refinements. Funny quotes do abound though with my favorite being, “Driven easily, the Corvette’s fuel economy can be surprisingly good. However when the engine’s power is frequently tapped, fuel economy can be quite poor. ” That is good to know. Next time I’m behind the wheel of a 505hp monster, I’ll try to remember that. And finally, let’s make sure the disclaimer is present: “Due to the abundant (some would say excessive) power, the ZO6 should be considered by skilled drivers only.” Enough said… Click here to read the AAA Top Cars List
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Corvette Racing Wins Sebring 12 Hour Race

by Keith Cornett on March 19, 2006

Corvette Racing celebrated Corvette’s 50th anniversary in international road racing with a victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen ran like clockwork throughout the 12-hour endurance race, finishing first in the GT1 class and third overall with a one-lap margin of victory over their rivals in the No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9. Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Max Papis finished fourth in the GT1 division and seventh overall in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R following a hard-fought battle with the No. 007 Aston Martin in the closing laps. “It was a brilliant victory because this is the 50th year of racing for Corvette, a heritage that began here in Sebring with a win in 1956,” said Gavin, who notched this third Sebring title. “We’re absolutely delighted.” The Sebring victory extended the No. 4 Corvette C6.R’s winning streak in the world’s great endurance races. The Gavin/Beretta/ Magnussen trio won the GT1 class in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. GT1 co-champions Gavin and Beretta have now won every race in their last six starts, a streak that began in Portland in July 2005. “Each time I win a race with Corvette Racing, I always think, wow that was a good one!” said Beretta, who set the ALMS record for most career victories with his 25th win. “It looks like every time we go to a race that we need to win, it is another fantastic victory. “The car ran super fast, and we didn’t have any problems at all,” Beretta reported. “We just refueled and put on new tires, and we got the trophy as a team.” The No. 3 Corvette C6.R had to overcome a stop-and-go penalty following the first pit stop and a gearbox problem at the midpoint of the race. Repairs to the gearbox dropped the Fellows/O’Connell/Papis trio to fifth in class, 13 laps behind the leaders. The team battled back as Fellows, O’Connell and Papis all did extended stints behind the wheel. With 15 minutes to go, Papis trailed Tomas Enge in the No. 007 Aston Martin DBR9 by 1.9 seconds in a fight for the final spot on the podium. He cut Enge’s advantage to .24-seconds in the final laps, but could not pull off a pass. “We had an advantage in the middle and end of the stint, thanks to the Michelin tires that were holding up better than the other guys’ tires,” Papis explained. “The Aston Martin definitely had a top speed advantage on the straights. I tried to pressure Enge into making a mistake, but he didn’t make one. It was a fair battle, and they finished ahead of us.” The No. 4 Corvette C6.R took the lead at 1:03 into the race when the No. 3 Corvette was called to the pits for a pit lane speed violation, and never relinquished the lead in the remaining 11 hours. During a safety car period at the 5-hour mark, the Corvette gained a one-lap advantage that sealed the victory. “We said all along that it was going to be a close race between Corvette and Aston Martin, and all of the things that were done to balance the cars were done for the fans,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Tonight we put on a hell of a show, and I’m really pleased with the outcome. We had two great teams and great competition. The last 10 laps for third place was some of the most exciting racing we’ve seen in the ALMS.” Corvette chief engineer Tom Wallace agreed: “The last 10 laps with Max and the Aston Martin were just sensational,” he said. “The guys drove their hearts out and this team is unbelievable. The only thing that could have been better would be to get in the car and drive!” Corvette Racing’s next event is the inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston on Friday night, May 12. The second round of the 10-race ALMS will be televised tape delay on CBS on Saturday, May 13 at 1 p.m. EDT. Source: CorvetteRacing.com
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Project 79 – Back From The Paint Shop

by Keith Cornett on March 15, 2006

VetteFinders.com’s on-again, off-again restoration of a 1979 Corvette is, well, back on again. For those readers not familiar with this project car, let me give you a brief introduction and bring you up to speed. Way back in 2002, we came across a driver quality 1979 Corvette that had seen better days, but was far from being a basket case. We purchased the coupe for a measly $2,750 and drove it home. A few months later, we had the crazy idea of doing a frame-off and Project 79 was born. During the last couple of years, we had the frame powder coated and then reassembled the Corvette. Thanks again to Van Steel Corvette for providing us with restored braking and suspension parts. The original L48 engine was rebuilt and a stronger cam and headers were added for additional performance. Today, the Corvette was picked up from Color Concepts of Clearwater and trailered to the garage where final assembly will take place. The Corvette was painted in the 2003-04 color ‘Medium Spiral Gray Metallic’ and as you can see, the sun really brings the metallic qualities to life.

Over the next month the Corvette will receive a new interior and all the trim parts on the exterior will be added. Exhaust and an alignment are also planned. For a photographic tour of the restoration, visit the Project 79 site at VetteFinders.com.
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