QUICK SHIFTS: C8 at Watkins Glen, Special Editions, 8,500 RPM LS7, Van Halen Tribute, and More!


QUICK SHIFTS: C8 at Watkins Glen, Special Editions, 8,500 RPM LS7, Van Halen Tribute, and More!

Photo Credit: Chevrolet

After a couple of weeks off, the internet has finally produced enough Corvette content for us to bring back Quick Shifts! Quick Shifts is a content feature here at CorvetteBlogger featuring links to Corvette and automotive-related stories of interest. In this edition, a great C8 review, special edition ‘Vettes, an 8,500 RPM LS7, Eddie Van Halen Tributes, Shelby GT350 send-offs, and more!


After a disappointing showing from a pre-production C8 at their Performance Car of the Year test last year, Road&Track decided to take a production-spec 2020 Corvette to Watkins Glen this week for a second opinion. It might seem like there is a new C8 review every week (which is alright with us!) but we urge you not to allow this one to get lost in the shuffle! R&T’s Editor in Chief, Travis Okulski carried out this test himself and it is spectacular! Along with the iconic venue and inspiring words, Travis brought along one of, if not THE best automotive photographer in the business, DW “Puppy Knuckles” Burnett. See all of it for yourself on Roadandtrack.com and be prepared, if you didn’t want a C8 before, you will after taking in all that this test has to offer!

2020 Corvette Tested by Road and Track

Photo Credit: DW Burnett


Motor Trend channeled our founder and posted a gallery of Corvette Special Editions since the last running of this column. Any collection of special ‘Vettes is fun to click through. The 22 examples that they chose are some of the best; which one is your favorite? Did the list jog your memory on a forgotten special edition? Is there one that you think should have been included? After clicking through MT’s list, continue the discussion in the comment section.

Corvette Special Editions

Photo Credit: CorvetteImages.com


For third gear, we would like to highlight an insane third-generation Camaro build from North Carolina-based tuners, Detroit Speed. If you haven’t seen this ’87 Camaro yet, the highlight of the project is their destroked LS7 that makes about 700 horsepower at the crank and revs to an almost unbelievable 8,500 RPM! YouTube personality, ThatDudeinBlue got to take this “DSE-Z” for a spin at the beginning of the month and his video is worth a watch for the exhaust sounds alone! See (and hear!) it all for yourself here and, in case you can’t get enough of this incredibly cool Camaro, be sure to click through Detroit Speed’s 437-picture album of the ground-up build process.


Last week, the world lost one of the all-time great guitarists in Edward Van Halen. Eddie died last week, at the age of 65 after a long battle with mouth and throat cancer. Unbeknownst to many fans of his music, Eddie was an avid “car guy.” Both Road & Track and Car and Driver posted nice pieces emphasizing Van Halen’s love of all things automotive after news of his death broke.

We would like to pay our respects to this legend of Rock with a throwback story from the Van Halen News Desk. It highlights a pair of single-cab Chevy trucks that were upfitted with contemporary Corvette parts (including a 5.7L LT1) and custom paint modeled after Eddie’s signature “Frankenstein” guitar headstock. One of the trucks (with a slightly toned-down livery) went to the man himself while its twin was part of a Sport Truck magazine giveaway. Read all about the trucks here. RIP, Eddie!

Eddie Van Hauler

Photo Credit: Van Halen News Desk


The Corvette also said goodbye to a worthy adversary this week as Ford announced that they would discontinue the Shelby GT350 and GT350R after 2020. Read Car and Driver’s final drive of the exciting flat-plane crank Shelbys that elevated the humble Mustang to new heights.

Also in serpent-themed car news; it is hard to imagine that three model years have passed since FCA pulled the plug on the Viper but, surprisingly, two leftover examples found new homes in the third quarter on 2020!

Jay Leno also featured his 1996 GTS on this week’s edition of “Garage” and even though it is gone, followers of America’s sports car owe the big snake a debt of gratitude. It isn’t likely that the modern crop of super-Vettes would have been greenlit by GM brass without the emergence of the Viper. The V10 snake gave the Corvette team a target and they developed some of the biggest “guns” ever produced by the US car industry to shoot at it.


Speaking of the progress that can be gained through competition, Chevy announced this week that the Silverado is, once again, the one-ton towing king. A two-wheel-drive, single-cab, dualie 3500HD Duramax is rated to tow a record 36,000 pounds for 2021. That is so much weight that you’ll need a CDL to tow it legally!

Also good news for GM’s “largest” products is that the stunning new 2021 Escalade was named a finalist for Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year award on Friday. Examples of the all-in effort finally reached dealerships this week, and Cadillac also admitted that their customers have expressed a lot of interest in a high-performance, “V” version of their flagship SUV, will they oblige? We hope so! An Escalade V Blackwing would check all of the boxes without sullying the sacred Corvette badge.

Chevy Silvardo

Photo Credit: MotorTrend


Like a transmission without a lockout feature, our friends at Car and Driver made reverse almost too easy for us to find, once again. From their endless archive, C&D takes us 15 years into the past when the thing about the newly released Corvette generation that took the most getting used to was the absence of flip-up headlights. In 2005, just as now, the magazine archetype that new Corvettes don’t earn their Crossed-Flags until they prove their merit against a twice-as-expensive 911 was in full swing. See how the LS2-powered C6 was judged against its contemporary German rival by following this link.

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 vs. Porsche 911 Carrera

Photo Credit: Aaron Kiley

Thank you for reading, Corvette Nation! Now, get out there and enjoy your cars before the cold creeps in!

Previous Quick Shifts:
Corvette Racing at Le Mans, C8 Reviews, New Nissan Z-Car, Super Comparo, Edmunds C8, and More!
Base C8 Review, C8 Luggage Test, C3 Love, EV News, Continuations, Corvette’s First Rivalry
C8 vs Porsche Cayman, Spending $80K, MB Revealed, C8.R in iRacing, Autoblog Review, and More!



  1. After owning three generations of ZO6 Corvettes, I bought my first Viper, a 2014 TA and it’s an amazing piece of engineering to say the least. It has so much mechanical grip that you could never fully reach the limits of the car! The Corvette will always have the advantage of performance bang for the buck, something the Viper couldn’t really match because of it’s substantially higher price. The Viper also had a much lower sales volume, which made finding one a little more difficult. Jay has both cars as well, so he knows how great they are.

  2. Robert, that’s a top-three all-time car for me! Did you get the orange, black, or white?


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