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Retired Ford Engineers Build Corvette-Based Speedster

by Keith Cornett on April 6, 2006

What do a bunch of Ford engineers do with their spare time now that they’ve retired? They build a Corvette-based custom roadster called the GDT Speedster. The group used the LT1 engine, drivetrain and suspension components from a 94 Corvette donor car because of its proven V8 reliability. The windshield came from a Jeep Cherokee and the door hinges from a Ford F-150. While the car is titled as a Corvette, more than 2000 were designed and fabricated from scratch. The Speedster took 5 years of work and now that it’s complete, the group plans to auction it and start a new project. The winner of the auction will receive in addition to the full blueprints and service manual, a 1:8 scale clay model. How cool is that!

Check out the GDT Speedster’s site for more photos and videos. HatTip: AutoBlog via The Detroit News
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Two racing icons will unite when Lance Armstrong , seven-time Tour de France winner, drives the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pace car to lead the field to the start of the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2006 . For a record 17th time, a Chevy will pace the race, and it’s the eighth time for a Corvette to be leading the pack. Neither Armstrong nor the Corvette is a stranger to elite endurance racing. Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles, and the Corvette Z06 pace car he’ll be driving is based on the C6.R Corvette racer that has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four out of the past five years. “We’re proud that this year’s Indianapolis 500 will showcase the new 505-horsepower Corvette Z06 and honored that it will be driven by another racing icon—Lance Armstrong,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet General Manager. “The 2006 Corvette Z06 is infused with technology from our own endurance racer—the four-time Le Mans winning C6.R Corvette race car—and having it play such a key role at this important event acknowledges the significance the vehicle has played in American culture for more than 50 years.” As the No. 1-ranked cyclist in the world in 1996, Armstrong competed as a member of the U.S. Cycling Team in the Summer Olympic Games. While seemingly at the top of his game, he was literally forced off his bike because of cancer. He formed the Lance Armstrong Foundation within months of his diagnosis to help others with their cancer struggles. Armstrong then staged an incredible comeback, winning his first Tour de France title in 1999. After seven consecutive victories, Armstrong retired following the 2005 race and continues to be a leader and activist on behalf of cancer survivors around the world. The Lance Armstrong Foundation has become among the most influential organizations of its kind and provides practical information and tools people need to battle cancer and live strong through education, advocacy, public health programs and research grants. The 2006 Corvette Z06 that will serve as the Indy 500 pace car is virtually identical to the models available today through local Chevrolet dealerships. Because the production Corvette is so racing-ready with 505 horsepower capable of 198 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, sophisticated aerodynamics, a suspension that can handle 1.01 Gs in cornering situations and large 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels that are a foot wide in the rear, the only changes made to prepare it for this year’s role were the addition of strobe lights and racing safety gear. With the Indianapolis 500 being such a classic American race during Memorial Day Weekend and with Chevy’s “An American Revolution” campaign, the Corvette Z06 pace car features an Americana red, white and blue theme. It displays an abstract U.S. flag pattern with “Victory Red” and “Cobalt Blue” ribbons flowing across the car on a base of “Arctic White” with white stars flanking each side. The 2006 Indy 500 logo is on each door, and the Chevy red racing Bowtie appears at the top of the hood. The race will be broadcast live on May 28 by ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The green flag drops at 1 p.m. EDT. Tickets are available for the 2006 Indianapolis 500. For information, log on to or call the IMS office at 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700.
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Indianapolis 500 Z06 Corvette Pace Car Photos

by Keith Cornett on April 4, 2006

The Indianapolis 500 Z06 Pace Car. These images were released recently from GM. Click the image to view larger photo.

Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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Barrett-Jackson Corvette Sales Top $6.5 Million

by Keith Cornett on April 3, 2006

83 Corvettes rolled across the auction block at the Barrett Jackson Palm Beach Spring Event last weekend bringing in a sales total just over $6.5 million dollars. A sales commission of 8% is factored into our totals as published at the Barrett-Jackson website. The highest selling Corvette was a 1967 Marina Blue 427/435 hp coupe with 33,780 documented miles. It sold for $259,200. Two other Corvettes also broke the $200k level. A Penant Blue 1954 Corvette sold for $237,600 and a 1958 Fuel Injected White/Silver convertible sold for $205.200. Complete Results:

Lot # Year Description Sales Price
78.1 1963 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 CONVERTIBLE $43,200.00
426 1963 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/350 CONVERTIBLE $39,960.00
679 1963 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/340 SPLIT WINDOW $72,360.00
351 1964 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 COUPE $55,080.00
752 1964 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 COUPE $48,600.00
118.1 1965 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 COUPE $42,120.00
377 1965 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/350 COUPE $68,040.00
87 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/350 CONVERTIBLE $44,820.00
362 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 CONVERTIBLE $43,200.00
373.1 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327 CONVERTIBLE $57,240.00
379 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/390 CONVERTIBLE $83,160.00
396 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/425 CONVERTIBLE $108,000.00
406 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/350 CONVERTIBLE $56,160.00
629 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 CONVERTIBLE $50,760.00
630.1 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427 COUPE $64,800.00
655 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/450 COUPE $156,600.00
707 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/425 CONVERTIBLE $163,080.00
714 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/450 CONVERTIBLE $140,400.00
382 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/300 CONVERTIBLE $75,600.00
642.1 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/435 CONVERTIBLE $99,360.00
653 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/400 CONVERTIBLE $189,000.00
659.1 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/435 COUPE $259,200.00
663 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/400 COUPE $151,200.00
687 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/435 COUPE $154,440.00
690 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/400 CONVERTIBLE $132,840.00
704.1 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/390 CONVERTIBLE $124,200.00
711 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/400 CONVERTIBLE $191,160.00
717 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/435 CONVERTIBLE $113,400.00
745 1967 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/390 COUPE $48,600.00
672 1968 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/390 COUPE $52,380.00
330.1 1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE COUPE $20,520.00
421 1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/390 COUPE $41,040.00
769 1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/390 CONVERTIBL $47,520.00
107 1971 CHEVROLET CORVETTE COUPE $39,420.00
132 1973 CHEVROLET CORVETTE COUPE $21,600.00
324 1978 CHEVROLET CORVETTE COUPE $32,400.00
613.1 1982 CHEVROLET CORVETTE COUPE $22,680.00
425 1990 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR-1 $43,200.00
615.1 1990 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR-1 COUPE $30,240.00
756 1990 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR-1 COUPE $27,000.00
125 1991 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR-1 COUPE $32,400.00
Total Sales:$6,554,520.00
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Atomic Orange Color Unveiled

by Keith Cornett on April 2, 2006 has posted the first photos of the new and only color change for 2007 – 83U Atomic Orange. The color replaces Daytona Sunset Metallic which ended its run on April 1st. These photos first the web on Friday afternoon and due to the close proximity to April Fool’s Day had a lot of folks asking if this was a joke. The color is reminiscent of the Corvette Orange of the mid-seventies. I would have preferred to see GM go in a different direction so we’ll see what the marketplace decides. Credit:
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Corvette Racing Glory Ignored By GM

by Keith Cornett on March 31, 2006’s Peter DeLorenzo rips GM a new one for not doing ANYTHING to reward, promote or even mention the historic win by Corvette Racing’s #4 Corvette in last week’s 12 Hours of Sebring, America’s most prestigious sports car race. Not only was the win historic, but this race was Corvette’s 50th year of racing, another milestone that must have slipped the minds of GM’s spinsters.

Today, thanks to the True Believers who remain actively engaged in the corporation, the Corvette is a glittering example of what GM can do when it unleashes its best and brightest on a machine that embodies everything that a modern, high-performance sports car should be. And when you factor in the active and passive safety features, the real-world fuel efficiency numbers and the unmatched value that become a seamless part of its final equation, there is no question that the Corvette is one of the finest cars in the world – at any price. Which is why it remains a shock to me that GM and Chevrolet marketers have squandered every opportunity presented to them to use the Corvette as a demonstrative showcase vehicle for the company’s capabilities. It’s as if they’re almost ashamed of the car, or maybe it’s just that they can’t bring themselves to admit that they have one of the world’s great cars sitting right under their noses – and they don’t have the faintest of clues as to what to do with it.
I think Peter sums up the answer to his initial question correctly of why GM treats the Corvette brand like the red-headed stepchild. Because at the end of the day, the Corvette “sells itself” and GM is not going to “spend a dime on something that’s a sell-out anyway”… Read the entire rant at
Photo Credit: Richard Prince
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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 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, 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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