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Racing Fans – Buy Your Own Corvette C6.R Racecar

by Keith Cornett on November 10, 2006

Corvette C6.R - Number 001 GM’s first ever C6 Corvette race car, the Corvette C6.R (chassis number C6.R-001) is up for grabs if you got the cash. The Racing version of the Corvette is being sold by current owner Mike Hezemans of GLPK Carsport – a European Race Team. This Corvette was raced under the GM Corvette racing banner in 2005 winning the ALMS Championship (actually we don’t know if this is the #3 or #4 Corvette) and at the end of the racing season was sold to GLPK Carport where Hezemans raced the car for the 2006 season in Belgium’s BelCar Championship. So how much to own a piece of Corvette racing history? Roughly $760,000 USD. The car will be delivered in ready to race condition. For details, get a translator and visit Hezemans.nl Source: Winding Road
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SuperVette Test Mule Spied Again

by Keith Cornett on November 8, 2006

SuperVette Test MuleRick Conti has posted a picture of another supervette test mule that was spotted outside Detroit. The engineers at GM finally decided to cover the shoebox hood scoop and duct tape that was viewable on the previous photos with a black camo cover that covers the entire hood. The photographer was not a professional, but just an enthusiast that saw the Corvette and was able to snap a photo. His comments are below:

I took this photo a couple of days ago in Detroit –it was parked not too far from a group of guys I saw talking and doing some work on a laptop inside a Tahoe (with a “Manufacturers” plate on it!).
Another Corvette enthusiast without a camera also spotted a supervette test mule outside a shopping mall in Troy, Michigan. Here are his comments:
Last Sunday I saw the next (to be announce) Super Vette in Troy Michigan near the Somerset Collection (upscale mall). At first I just saw the rear quarter from a distance and I thought someone had trashed a Z06. Once he turned the corner I could see that it was the new Super Vette. It appeared to be a white Z06 with polished stock wheels, but… it had the typical black vinyl camo on the rear quarters, entire rear bumper, front fenders and the HOOD! The Hood has a bubble that appeared 6″ tall, but I know the 2″ raised C5 & C6hoods always appear much higher so realistically probably a 3-4″ raise. The entire hood was under drapped black camo. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures but I did immediately call my inside source to confirm its being driven on the street, which it has been for at least a week now….
Hopefully, this on-the-street testing will continue and more photos will be shared. And if anyone comes up with a photo they’d like to share, may I recommend CorvetteBlogger.com? I could make it worth your while!!! Source: CorvetteConti.com Related:
     Supercharged Blue Devil Corvette Spied Again
     First Pics of Blue Devil Corvette
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Corvette Wins AutoWeek Readers Choice Award

by Keith Cornett on November 7, 2006

2007 Z06 CorvetteIt seems fitting to post this story on the day America goes to the polls. Claiming to have one of most knowledgeable subscriber bases in the crowded automotive magazine category, and backing up that claim with a study by J.D.Power and Associates, AutoWeek Magazine’s readers know their cars and trucks. Since the average AutoWeek subscriber owns 6.6 cars, you know they’ve got a lot to say on the subject of ranking their favorite cars, trucks and SUV’s. So AutoWeek asked their subscribers as well as those that visited AutoWeek.com for their favorites. After 6 weeks of voting, the results have been tallied and no recount is expected nor needed. The people have spoken: The Best Sports Car – Chevrolet Corvette:

There is nothing more evocative of enthusiast lust than a sports car. It is central to our existence. Without it, there is no mantra, no focus. A sports car represents liberation but also membership in a fraternity of passion. A sports car is life, and for the majority of us, life begins with the Chevrolet Corvette.
Other cars and trucks winning their categories are: Best Exotic — Bugatti Veyron
Best Luxury Car — Audi A8L
Best Coupe/Convertible — BMW 6 Series
Best Sedan — BMW 3 Series
Best People Mover/SUV — Honda Odyssey
Best Truck — Ford F-Series
Best Economy Car — Audi A3
Best First New Car — Honda Civic Source: AutoWeek.com
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Supercharged Blue Devil Corvette Spied Again

by Keith Cornett on November 6, 2006

Just a few weeks after pictures of the Blue Devil/SS/Sting Ray were first taken, another test mule was spied just outside of Ann Arbor heading for EPA testing. The monster hood scoop most likely contains the supercharged 6.2 liter V8, with horsepower output expected in the 650 range. The engine will be hand assembled side by side with the 7.0 liter LS7 Z06 engine at the GM Performance Center with production expected in the 1500-2000 range.

Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule Blue Devil Test Mule
Source: AutoWeek.com
Photos by George Kachadoorian
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October 2006 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on November 6, 2006

GM’s October 2006 Sales Report has been released and Corvette sales dipped 3.7% in Year to Year monthly sales. 2,761 Corvettes were delivered in October 2006 vs 2,981 in October 2005. Calendar Year-to-Date sales are still stong but have also declined slighlty over last month with a 17.7% gain of 30,664 Corvettes delivered in 2006 vs 26,061 in 2005. Last month a total of 3,056 Corvettes were sold vs the 2,761 Corvettes moved in October 2006. There were 25 selling days for the October 2006 period vs 26 selling days in October 2005. Source: GM
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Long Island Z06 Corvette Catches Fire

by Keith Cornett on November 5, 2006

A motorist heading home from work has a Red Corvette pass him on the right shoulder of the highway and realizes it is on fire. So he follows him to a Goodyear Tire Store where the Z06 owner jumps out and watches the flames consuming the Corvette right in front of him. The Goodyear guys attempt to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the flames reappear. Then the fire department shows up and douses the Corvette with water to put out the fire for good. The Z06 owner said he was just driving when he heard something from underneath the car on the highway, but didn’t realize it was on fire until he exited the highway. He also mentioned that he just had a dealer-installed exhaust system added, which may have been the culprit.

Z06 Corvette on Fire Z06 Corvette on Fire Z06 Corvette on Fire
Source: M3Forum.com via MotorAuthority.com
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Consumers Digest Names Corvette Best Buy

by Keith Cornett on November 2, 2006

2007 CorvetteConsumers Digest Magazine reviewed 253 different automotive models of the 2007 model year and 32 received a Best Buy Rating. The Best Buys are based on behind-the-wheel testing, safety ratings, ownership costs, warranty, price, comfort, ergonomics, styling and amenities that reflect Consumer Digest’s assessment of which 2007 vehicles offer the most value for the money. The Corvette was named a Best Buy in the Sporty Category. Five others joined the Corvette in this category: Ford Mustang, Mazda6, MINI Cooper, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Rich Dzierwa, Consumers Digest editor, says that for the first time in years, the number of manufacturers represented reached 20. For the second year in a row, American nameplates (18) exceeded Japanese models (14). After receiving their first two Best Buys last year, Korean nameplates were recognized four times this year. Also for the first time in years, Honda’s Accord was not rated a Best Buy. Eight vehicles, however, have been CD Best Buys for 5 years running: Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Caravan, GMC Yukon, Honda Civic, Honda Odyssey, MINI Cooper, Toyota Avalon and Toyota Camry. Source: TheAutoChannel.com
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SEMA’s Outrageous C6 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on November 1, 2006

The SEMA Show that is currently going on in Las Vegas is the place to see cars and trucks that have been customized to the extreme. And the Outrageous C6 Corvette sponsored by Mid America Motorworks, Sony and Custom Shop fits right into the debauchery of automotive excess on the famed Las Vegas strip. “It takes something special to capture enthusiasts’ attention at automotive events,” said Mike Yager, founder and Chief Cheerleader of Mid America Motorworks. “The Outrageous C6 Corvette is everything we wanted, and more.” The Corvette features a Pro Charger supercharger, Corsa Exhaust, vertical-opening doors and a ton of body panel enhancement. It’s not all show, it will go with an estimated 650 horsepower. The custom leather interior features Ostrich leather and Alcantara synthetic suede. The synthetic fabric provides the look and feel of suede, without the maintenance. But the purveyors of Corvette excess didn’t stop there. Sony dropped in a 5600 watt sound system that damn near takes up the whole cargo area.

Outrageous C6 Corvette Outrageous C6 Corvette Outrageous C6 Corvette
Wargo contacted Mid America Motorworks with a request for a totally new and striking interior for his latest Corvette creation. “I wanted the inside of the car to look as dramatic as the exterior. Mid America Motorworks was my first choice because I know what they can do with interiors. And they certainly came through,” said Wargo. “The C6 Corvette is the perfect platform for performance and styling enhancements,” said Wargo. “When we were done, you still know it is a Corvette, but it is unlike any Corvette you have ever seen.” Can’t make it out to Vegas to see this special C6? Don’t worry, apparently it will be on tour of all the major Corvette Shows in 2007. Source: Gizmag.com
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DecodeThis: Your Online Corvette VIN Decoder

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2006

1972 CorvetteOne of the many questions I constantly get (and love!) is how to decode a Corvette’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN can contain some interesting information including Body Style, Engine Size and if the Corvette may be one of a select number of special edition Corvettes. Early Corvette VIN’s contained mostly just the body style numbers. Beginning in 1972, the engine option was coded into the VIN, and in 1978, the first special edition Corvette, the Pace Car Replica had its own digit in the VIN. An interesting website called Decodethis.com has put together a search engine for VIN’s that will decode your VIN if it appears in their database. Currently VIN’s for 1953-1974 Corvettes are available, with more coming soon. The site is also accessible from mobile phones and PDA’s, so if say you are at a show or auction, just tap the VIN into their search and voila! Instant results! The site also decodes Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, Chryslers and more. When making any classic car purchase, knowledge is power. In today’s muscle car climate where imitators are cloning Corvettes faster than you can say Dolly, the VIN is where to start the documentation process. Source: Decodethis.com via Autoblog.com
Photo: CorvetteImages.com
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Five Factors That Drive Corvette Values – Options

by Keith Cornett on October 25, 2006

This is the third of our five-part series where we take an in depth look at the factors that drive Corvette values. Last week, we looked at the Quantity and Condition Factors. Today, our attention turns to Options. The options list on a model year can change the value of a Corvette considerably. As we discuss the Options Factor and how it relates to Corvette values, we must understand that this factor is very much affected by the Quantity factor. Everybody loves having options and some have more than others. But in the world of Classic Corvettes, he who has the rare options, wins. Why? Back then, a Corvette with more options cost more to build. Buying a Corvette in the 1960’s wasn’t like buying a Corvette today. Today, you can order a package that has a preselected amount of performance or convenience options. Many buyers couldn’t afford a loaded Corvette, and Chevrolet wasn’t building loaded Corvettes unless they were ordered that way. Some options were very expensive for the time and could significantly raise the price. For example, in 1967, the air conditioning option (RPO C60) cost an additional $412.90. Throw in a big block engine (RPO L71), heavy duty brakes(RPO J56), close-ratio transmission (RPO M20 or M21), a radio (RPO U69) and side-exhaust (RPO N14) and the price just went from a base of $4,388 to $6,000 – an increase of over 35%. Perhaps the main option that determines the value of a Corvette is the Engine option. Starting in 1957, Corvettes were optioned with a number of engines that are generally categorized as small blocks, big blocks and fuel injected. Currently, a 1967 with a 427 ci 435 hp engine can bring well over $100,000 while a small block 327 ci 300 hp model might be priced in the $40-$50,000 range. 1974 was the last year of the big block and in 1975, the number of options dropped to just two. Starting in 1984 with the introduction of the C4 generation, Corvettes came with just one engine. In 1996, the final year of the C4, a one year limited option was a choice between the LT1 (350 ci 300hp) and the LT4 (350 ci 330hp). It could be ordered in any of the 1996 Corvettes, so long as they had the 6-Speed manual transmission. Other important options are transmissions (auto or manual) and comforts such as Air Conditioning, Power Steering, Tilt/Tele Steering Wheel Columns and appearance options like Wheels or Side Exhaust. Because Corvettes were base priced without any real options, a buyer might have added just a couple which resulted in low penetration of many of the options we take for granted today. Going back to 1967 model year, Air Conditioning was ordered on just 16.5% of Corvettes built. Just 25% had Power Steering and only 10.5% opted for the Tilt Tele Steering Column. Sometimes a Corvette may have some extra value because of an option not included. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, Corvettes were sold with an option that removed an option. Confused? Many cars destined for the race track didn’t need radios or heaters so options called the Radio Delete or Heater Delete were selected and the car was built without the radio or heater and the buyer received a credit. Exterior and Interior colors are also classified as an option and a Corvette with a rare color combination can add value to its price. Since 1954, Chevrolet has offered a variety of factory available exterior and interior colors. Because there are records that tell us how many Corvettes were manufactured with a given paint scheme, we can determine the rarity of the color. Having a popular color can also boost value. Red has always been a popular color for Corvettes, so much so that the phrase appears in song (Little Red Corvette) and as a title of book documenting the building of the C5 Corvette (All Corvettes Are Red). Some options are desired due to the inherent design of the model year as opposed to what was put on car. Consider the 1963 Corvette Coupe with its “Split Window” design. When built, Corvette’s Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov hated the design and argued about the limited visibility the split plane caused. As a result, the 1964 Coupe’s rear window was changed to just one single glass panel. Today, the 1963 Split Window is sought after for that option. Another type of Option is the Special Edition Corvettes. For the most part these are Corvettes that have an added package of options bundled together. The first special editions to be offered appeared in 1963 in the form of the Z06 which contained a 360 hp fuel injected engine, heavy duty brakes and the famous 36 gallon fuel tank. Perhaps the most famous and heavily collected special edition was the 1978 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica. Chevrolet marked the occasion by building just over 6,500 Pace Cars, one for each Chevy dealer plus some extras. Public demand for these special corvettes was huge and many were purchased and then immediately placed in storage. It is not uncommon to see a 1978 Pace Car Corvette for sale with mileage in just the hundreds or low thousands. Chevrolet also marked milestones as special editions, again the first being the 25th Anniversary model produced in 1978. While all Corvettes were considered 25th Anniversary models, Chevrolet put together a special package of options, colors and special emblems. Anniversary models also include the 1988 Corvette (35th Anniversary) that was White, the 40th Anniversary Model which was a dark red called Ruby Red, and the 50th Anniversary Corvette in 2003 that was also Red (Anniversary Red). Other Special Editions included a package to commemorate the end of the three separate generations. In 1982 and 1996, Chevrolet produced a “Collector’s Edition”, again essentially a standard Corvette except for special paint and badges, and in 2004, a Commemorative Edition that was LeMans Blue and contained the first Carbon Fiber hood available on a production Corvette. A great source of learning about options that came on each Corvette Model is The Corvette Black Book by Michael Antonick. In the Black Book as it is commonly referred to, Michael breaks out the each of the available options with its RPO (Regular Production Option) code, the original option price and the quantity produced.

Big Block Motor Knock-off Wheel Option 1978 Indy Pace Car Replica
Stay tuned for our next installment in our Five Factors series: Originality The Five Factors that Drive Corvette Values:
Part One: Quantity
Part Two: Condition
Part Three: Options