Get excited, Corvette fans! Quick Shifts is back for your enjoyment!
Quick Shifts is a content feature here at CorvetteBlogger featuring links to Corvette and automotive-related stories of interest. This resurrected edition of QS contains some smoking-hot Mid-Year action, new C8 reviews (spoiler: it’s still amazing), a 6-second C7, the CT5-V Blackwing & ’23 Camaro ZL1, the 2022 Silverado bows, and restoring classic cars with EV powerplants.
We are going to kick things off with some outstanding content focused on the version of America’s Sports Car from 1963-67, starting with a trip to Road&Track.com, where Daniel Pund looks at the way the ’63 Sting Ray still looms large within General Motors and how it inspired the current Corvette. Get your desktop ready, the C8, split-window side-by-side shots in that link are 100% background material!
Next, we will kick it over to the official site of Vettes of Atlanta Magazine. The article that caught our collective eye over there is all about a Silver Blue 1964 Corvette that was purchased By Rod Davis and two of his sons to lift the spirits of a third brother, Bob, that was obsessed with America’s Sports Car while he was battling leukemia at the age of 18. The car has touched three generations of the Davis family now, and its whole story is told by Bill, the brother who currently holds the keys.
Before shifting into a more modern second gear, we want to take you back to the early days of this summer, when GMA’s Brett Hatfield realized a life-long dream of owning a Nassau Blue 1965 Corvette Convertible. His trek back to his native Kansas from the Pacific coast was chronicled in four entertaining segments. We hope you enjoy reading about the adventure as much as we did! Find part I here, this is part II, here’s part III, and part IV.
After the longest lull of its career, the C8 is back to inspiring other publications to create original content! The first clip comes courtesy of Andy Reid (not the coach) and the Classic Cars Journal. Andy asks the question that has been haunting carmakers since 7/18/19; why spend more when you can buy the best, the C8 Corvette? If anyone figures that out, I’m sure the fine folks at Porsche, Ferrari, or even Ford would love to make you a handsome offer for your services!
We also want to point you in the direction of a pair of new C8 reviews just to remind you what a media darling the mid-engine Corvette is. In late 2019, you would have been forgiven for believing that all of the C8’s positive press boiled down to novelty, hype, and conformity, but after two years (an eternity in the modern vehicle marketplace), that position gets harder to defend with each new glowing evaluation. If you aren’t embarrassed by people gushing over a four-wheeled object, check out what Autoblog and (the notoriously tough on GM/Chevrolet/Corvette) Jalopnik have to say about the current Plastic Fantastic.
The Marketing teacher in me absolutely loves this next piece from Motor Trend. It is all about eBay Motors Powers HOT ROD Drag Week Presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive (three brands in one title(!!!), it’s like Ricky Bobby is in charge of Drag Week, and it is as excellent as what he does in the morning!). Anyway, the lead picture is what drew me in to begin with. Dave Schroeder’s Unlimited contending and Blue, White, and Red GS liveried “C7 Corvette” runs mid-6s. See it in all of its glory here.
Dave Schroeder runs his best pass of 6.46 at 209mph. The overall winner of HOT ROD Drag Week 2021! pic.twitter.com/iYNNfeBur5— HOT ROD Magazine (@hotrodmagazine) September 17, 2021
Since the last running of this column, a lot has happened in the automotive world outside of our Corvette focus. The unquestionable star of this long-ish period of time was the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. Even though the “final internal combustion V-Series car” didn’t receive LT5 power, a beefed-up, 668-horse LT4 and a manual transmission have rocketed it all the way up to first place on my “most-desired current vehicle list.” With the C8Z breaking cover in 38 days, it shouldn’t get too comfortable there, but the want has still reached an almost unbearable level! First tests for the swansong V arrived this week (see C&D’s excellent review here), and if you have the means, you should absolutely try to get your hands on one of these masterpieces! (Bonus read: MT did a nice writeup about the unfortunate discontinuation of the LT5 on Thursday. RIP friend, we hardly got to know you!).
I’ve habitually lamented the way GM doesn’t seem to give half of a brown Crayola about their Pony Car in these pages, but it is a topic worth lamenting! Dodge and Ford pump out new special editions and performance enhancements for the Challenger and Mustang on an annual basis, while the Camaro’s last mechanical upgrade came as a part of the 2018 model-year. That impressive amount of neglect is a main road on the map from 2010-14 segment sales leader to a laughably distant last place, but it seems like the Blackwing is here to help its two-door chassis-mate out. According to German spy shots and Motor Trend, reinforcements are on the way for the top-tier, ZL1 models for MY 2023. The picture doesn’t reveal much, but Cadillac’s newest monster hides several features that seem like no-brainer updates for the ZL1. Expect to see revised aero, a horsepower bump of 18 or more ponies, and a Carbon Ceramic Brake RPO join the Camaro order guide next year. This is bad news for the Shelby GT500 but wonderful for those of us who still favor the era when the Corvette followed the front engine, RWD, manual transmission formula. Our perfect replacement is almost here!
The current-gen Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins have been mercilessly ridiculed about their sub-par interior materials/design by journalists in a way we haven’t seen since the C6 days. Well, a mid-cycle refresh is here to fix all of that! Because of their continuing Camaro coverage above, we will let MT show you the new face, and, more importantly, guts, of the ’22 Silverado. One of the most thrilling part of the rejuvenation is the introduction of the ZR2 trim-level that inches GM’s cash cow ever closer to true Raptor territory, even if it still isn’t quite there yet (at least it has a V8!).
When the half-ton gets an update, you can bet that the big-dogs aren’t far behind. According to TheFastLaneTruck, 2023 will see a Duramax that comes from the factory with an LS7-matching 505 horsepower, and an almost unimaginable, industry-leading 1,085 lb-ft of torque! It is going to be one heck of a rig!
Speaking of crazy torque numbers; last week, Elon Musk took to Twitter to reveal that the new ultimate performance “Plaid” version of the Tesla Model S (the same one that ruined the Z06 lap attempt) set a new Nürburgring record for production electric cars with a mark of 7:35.579. So, Tesla’s best is still more than 9-seconds shy of the time set by the 2009 Corvette ZR1, but the time is extremely impressive for a four-door luxury vehicle running on bulky “alternative” power! And while I harbor a distaste for the silent and less-than-engaging driving experience offered by plug-in performance vehicles, seeing an American car topple a record that was held by Porsche warms my heart with national pride!
Here to back me up on the “personality gap” between the all-time great internal combustion vehicles and the emission-free cars of the future is Top Gear’s Chris Harris. Read his excellent piece on the arrival of the EV resto-mod trend right here. To conclude this edition of QS, we’ve got one more on-topic piece from across the pond. EVO’s Richard Meaden has some thoughtful insights on the one-size-fits-all electric future that will seemingly be forced upon us in less than a decade’s time.
2019 Corvette ZR1 Mania, Data Dive with Hagerty, Best Fast and Furious Cars, Porsche Breaks ‘Ring Record, and More!
Long-Term C8 Corvette, C6/C7 Values, Escalade V Testing with C8 Mules, Comparison Tests, and More!
C8 Reviews, 1960 Corvette at Le Mans, Porsche Takes a Page from the C4 Corvette, and More!