Welcome to Quick Shifts! Quick Shifts is a content feature here at CorvetteBlogger featuring links to Corvette and automotive-related stories of interest. We are going highly human-focused this week to celebrate some of the people behind the greatness of our favorite car. The content that we have hand-selected for you this week includes the Legend of Mr. Corvette, retirements from Corvette Racing, Oliver Gavin Podcast, Youtuber reviews the C8 Corvette, a European drives the 2019 Corvette ZR1, a preview of Nissan’s 400Z, and the 2021 Suburban configurator shows the popular SUV available in Z71 trim.
Of course, the first article that we have for you this week comes courtesy of CigarAficionado.com. These first-time contributors to Quick Shifts have an outstanding feature on our guy, the #1 individual Corvette salesman… in the world, Mike Furman! It is an interesting read that, as noted by the author, starts off sounding like a Dos Equis commercial. Unsurprising to anyone who watched The Last Dance, the last person detailed/interviewed by Cigar Aficionado was Michael Jordan, pretty great company for Mr. Furman! Read all about The Legend of Mr. Corvette.
Deservedly, there has been quite a bit of press surrounding Corvette Racing Crew Chief, Dan Binks (no relation to Jar Jar) retirement. Dan was a special guest of the Torque Show on Facebook where they talked to him about his tenure with Corvette Racing, spanning all the way back to 2002, watch for yourself here. CorvetteBlogger would like to extend our congratulations to Dan with best wishes for the next chapter in his life, but did you know that the Jake team is losing another long-time member? His name is Ian Macbeth (no relation to the Scottish general) and he has been with the team at LeMans since the beginning. In an excellent piece on dailysportscar.com, Macbeth details his fairytale ride from motorsports fan to crewmember, highlighting some of his best, and toughest memories. It is truly fascinating to hear his descriptions of what it is actually like being trackside with responsibilities, what a rush! Thank you for your contributions, Ian!
The next spotlight transitions us from the pits to behind the wheel at Corvette Racing. Racer.com’s Marshall Pruett Podcast spoke to driver, Oliver Gavin (recorded in 2018) to find out “Who the Hell” he is with 50 questions that “offer a window into the interviewee’s character and personality using topics that range from the silly to serious and sometimes naughty.” Give it a listen here.
This week marked the first time that your author had heard of Scotty Kilmer, a YouTube personality with over three million subscribers, who is refreshingly old for the medium. Car site, Autoevolution brought his C8 drive to my attention and, apparently, it is so notable that Scotty, a Blue Oval man, enjoyed Chevrolet’s new mid-engine sports car, that some commenters proclaimed “So General Motors found dirt on scotty and black mailing him,” “Will someone check Scotty’s temperature? For a moment, I thought this was a scene from Scotty’s alter ego -parallel universe where he loves GM and DSG transmissions. LOL,” and “Must of gotten it for free to get a review this good from Scotty 😂” See what everyone is talking about by watching the review for yourself.
The ClassicCars.com Journal dropped an ode to the “might and muscle of US performance cars” this week. Apart from highlighting the all-powerful C7 ZR1 (which will always garner an automatic thumbs-up from us), the article brings an interesting point-of-view because it is written by Lars Madsen, a young Danish car enthusiast. Along with the foreign, forbidden fruit vantagepoint, this piece wins points for featuring pictures from our favorite recent Chevrolet photoshoot! Check it out here.
Next up is The Selvedge Yard with the story of the 1959 Stingray Racer Concept that one-upped Elvis Presley in his 1969 movie, Clambake. This movie was recently featured in our Trivia game: Corvettes in Movies and this story gives some great background information on the car and filming, which include how Clambake could have been one of the first steps that ultimately lead to The King of Rock and Roll’s untimely demise.
There was a real new-car preview this week! We weren’t lucky enough to get any full reveals but Nissan showed a sneak peek of the refreshed line-up of a dozen vehicles that they hope will pull them out of their recent funk. Among the back-lit silhouettes are a new Pathfinder, Armada, and, amazingly, a new Frontier mid-size truck. Also, of particular interest is a handsome new Z which will most likely be dubbed the 400Z and Car and Driver is expecting in the neighborhood of 400 HP and, possibly even a manual transmission; music to our ears! See everything over at C&D’s website!
This week’s blogging time machine will be making two Corvette-adjacent stops in the past before returning to a related story in the present, all aboard!
Our first stop is in an amazing alternate version of 1959. Motor Trend showed off some renderings from designer Abilemec Arellano who asks, “What if Cadillac engineers had invented the luxury SUV 40 years before the original Escalade debuted?” His chromed-out, be-winged 1959 Suburban is an absolute stunner that we can’t stop returning to look at (be sure to click through the gallery!). Someone call Gas Monkey Garage or The Count ASAP because we need to see one of these beauties at next year’s SEMA show, perhaps with a second-owner, ten-years on, Cadillac 500 ci, 550 lb-ft engine swap! Next, we are pulling into 1994 Station for a retro read from the Car and Driver archives. We talk about Lingenfelter Corvettes quite a bit around here, but did you know/do you remember that Ken’s Crew once worked their magic on the fan-favorite eighth-generation Suburban to the tune of 9.9 liters and 550 HP? Read C&D’s comprehensive review of the 6,289 lb beast that could sprint to 60 in a scant 4.6 seconds here.
Finally, we are setting our course for 2020 where some other full-size General Motors SUVs are making waves on automotive sites. First, is Tom Brady’s over-the-top custom 2017 Escalade which just hit the market for $300,000, as reported by Robb Report. The passenger compartment is beyond opulent; we can just see Tom “Terrific” and Bill Belichick watching bootleg video copies of opponent’s practices in this luxurious beast while Josh McDaniels waits outside for their drink orders. Once again, be sure to click through the pictures on this one!
This week also marked the first time that we’ve seen the 2021 Suburban in Z71 trim. NewTahoeYukon forum members spotted the unreleased trim level on Chevrolet’s new configurator for the twelfth-generation of the industry’s longest running nameplate. We have to say that it is a good looking rig, in a tough kind of way but what we really want to see is a return of the Heavy Duty variant, preferably with factory Callaway or Lingenfelter where they can make it party like it is 1994!
Previous Quick Shifts:
C8 Style with Brett Golliff, C3/C6 Buyers Guides, Jordan Taylor, GM Corporate Espionage, and more!
C8 Review, LS Swap, Business Case, British ZR-1 Sedan, 2010 Grand Sport Reveal, and more!
Future C8s, Banshee History, Four-Rotor C8 Project, Harley Earl WWII Manuals, Dream Cruise is On, and More!