[VIDEO] Jeff Gordon and Former Chevrolet GM Jim Perkins Discuss the C7 Corvette Stingray


[VIDEO] Jeff Gordon and Former Chevrolet GM Jim Perkins Discuss the C7 Corvette Stingray

We told you a few weeks ago about a commercial promoting the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation raffle of his personal 2014 Laguna Blue Corvette Stingray convertible.

Now we’ve found out that former Chevrolet general manager Jim Perkins (1989-97) was on the set when the commercial was being filmed.

It’s a great chance to hear a conversation between two of the Corvette’s biggest supporters.

In fact, Perkins – who’s been involved with Corvette since the beginning – played a key role in keeping the Corvette alive during the dark days of the early 1990s so that we were able to have a great C5 generation beginning in 1997, which set the stage for the even better C6 in 2005 and C7 in 2014.

“I just can’t imagine that you would pick a finer car” for the raffle than the gorgeous Stingray convertible that will be given away in September, Perkins says to Gordon.

(Each raffle ticket is $100, with just 7,500 tickets to be sold. The raffle will end on Sept. 29, 2014 or whenever all the tickets are sold, whichever occurs first. Gordon will personally hand over the keys to the winner. All federal taxes for the Corvette will be paid as well, and proceeds benefit pediatric cancer research and access to treatment. How’s that for a winning combination? )

It’s worth your time to listen to these two icons of the racing world talk about their passion for the Corvette.

The amazing thing about the Stingray, Perkins tells Gordon, “is that if you were talking to most American manufacturers, or maybe worldwide manufacturers of automobiles, they would call this car revolutionary not only in form, the design, but also the function.”

Perkins notes that form and function, not always compatible in the art world, work hand in hand with the new Stingray.

When asked by Gordon what he would pick as his one favorite thing about the C7, Perkins pointed quickly to the powertrain, noting that the new LT1 with 455 horsepower (460 if you add performance exhaust) is a great engine that is really just an evolution of the original pushrod engine in 1955.

[VIDEO] Jeff Gordon and Former Chevrolet GM Jim Perkins Discuss the C7 Corvette Stingray

Gordon notes that ordinarily when he goes into a corner, he expects a street car to roll. But not in the new Stingray. “I was so amazed” with the damping, shocks, and the way the car remains level, he said.

Perkins points out the new car’s aluminum frame that is considerably lighter than the steel frame in the C6 – while at the same time 57 percent stronger.

He notes that the C5 with which he was intimately involved was the first to have hydroformed frame rails to add to the stiffness of the car, but the C7 takes it a step beyond that by being even stronger and even lighter.

In racing, when a driver goes over a bump, he wants the car to recover. This new Stingray does just that, Gordon says.

“What you get for what you pay is going to blow away the competition,” Gordon says, adding that in a blind test, people would think the C7 is one of the highest priced sports cars in the world.

“I love what they’ve done with this car,” he says, calling the Stingray an “amazing car.”

Perkins concludes that the new C7 represents the best of America. He’s heard it said that any company that can build the Stingray can build the best of anything, but Perkins notes that the Corvette is so great because of the passion of the people who create the car, everyone from the engineers to the assembly line workers, who become “Superman” once they’re assigned to the Corvette team.

While Gordon praises Perkins for his role in keeping the C5 alive, which ultimately led to two more generations, Perkins deflects the praise onto the “customers that buy them, the people that are loyal to them” and all the very committed guys and gals who worked with him on the C5.


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