The C4 version of the Corvette ZR-1 was nicknamed “The King of the Hill” for good reason. At a time when the standard Corvette’s horsepower was 245, the 1990 Corvette ZR-1 was powered by the new 375-horsepower LT-5 V8 which featured a 32-valve dual overhead cam. Looking back today, Corvette’s return to the world stage of sports car performance can be directly attributed to this special edition.
When we published the final production numbers for the 2009 Corvettes, we said thirty years from now Corvette collectors would be seeking out the GT1 ALMS Championship and the Competition Sport Editions due to their low production numbers. Actually, it only took one year as this 2009 Arctic White Competition Sport Coupe sold for more than its original MSRP and became the top seller on Day 1 of the 2010 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction.
RM Auctions held their Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale event last weekend which featured 36 Corvettes. Auction results show 23 of the 36 Corvettes were sold for a sales success rate of 64% and total sales topped $1,186,700. Many of the Corvettes came from the estate of collector John O’Quinn and those were sold without reserve.
Mecum’s Collector Car Auction made its annual pilgrimage to Central Florida’s Kissimmee auction last weekend. Florida’s temperate January weather makes this auction a favorite and by most accounts, the auction was a huge success. Record attendance was on-hand to watch 147 Corvettes cross the auction block over four days and everyone must have been buying as Mecum achieved a sales success rate of 81% to total $6.7 million in Corvette sales.
One of more interesting time periods for Corvette came midway through the C4 production run when you could order a twin-turbo for your Corvette. In 1991, the B2K twin-turbo RPO was the only non-GM performance option that could be ordered on a Corvette. This limited edition 1991 Series 1 Corvette Callaway Speedster is #8 of 10 made and used to be part of the Otis Chandler collection before being acquired by Chevrolet dealer and Corvette collector Bob McDorman.
In 1965, as in previous years, General Motors and Chevrolet were touring the country showing off their latest products to the masses at car shows and the company-sponsored motoramas.
Marketing was concerned that the Corvette, in its third year of the fabled midyear body style, might be looking a bit aged and so they set out to create a display that became a mechanical marvel.
Selecting a 1965 Corvette Coupe from the assembly line, the car was shipped to a specialty display making company where it was fully disassembled and then operated on to create the one-of-a-kind Corvette display we see in the video.
Mounting the body to elevator arms, the coupe would rise off its chassis, exposing the car’s running gear. The frame was painted in bright yellow while the engine, transmission and other mechanical parts were finished in red. Cutouts were created to display the inner workings of the car. A series of motors would operate moving components of the car allowing visitors to see exactly how the 375 horsepower fuel injected 327ci was powered.
After its life on the show circuit, whereabouts of the car were unknown. It was found in South Africa in the mid ’90′s and returned to the United States where is was purchased a short time later by Al Wiseman.
This 1965 Corvette is unique in many regards, especially considering the fact that it contained the last of the fuel injected engines. With only 4 miles showing on the odometer, it truly is a time capsule.
Back at the auction, bidding was steady and deliberate and finally the last bid of $640,000 was called. With the addition of the 10% buyers commission, total price of the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Cutaway Autorama Display was $704,000. The buyer of this unique Corvette was Detroit’s Showdown Muscle Cars.
RM Auctions was in the Tampa Bay area this weekend to auction off the collection of antique and classic cars belonging to noted automotive collector Al Wiseman. Included in the auction was this very significant 1955 Corvette Roadster that belonged to Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette’s first Chief Engineer.
A week shy of the 40th anniversary of his death, NASA astronaut Gus Grissom’s beloved 1967 427 Corvette Convertible sold at the Russo and Steele auction in Scottsdale, Arizona for $275,000. Preceeding the sale of the Corvette was a multimedia presentation about Grissom, the first astronaut to fly into space twice and one of the first to die in the US Space Program. The Corvette was listed with no reserve and was sold on Saturday night to a local Arizona resident. A 10% buyer’s commission is included in the sales total.