Corvette Report

History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters


Timeline Tales – 11-25-81: A pre-production C4 Corvette runs 1.01 g on skidpad at GM Milford Proving Ground!

When it comes to skid-pad figures, Corvettes have been in “exotic territory” since 1984!

Dateline: 11.29.17 (Photo GM Archives) – Thirty-five years ago the statistical benchmark for performance sports car handling was getting as close to, or over the magical “1 g” mark on the skid pad. So when news broke that a development Corvette had gone past the 1 g mark, the rumor mill kicked things up a few notches, because the only machines that were in the 1 g territory were racecars, and perhaps a few exotic streetcars.

When the new 1984 was finally released into the hands and lead feet of magazine road testers, the numbers weren’t over the magic 1 g level, but here’s what Car and Driver had to say, “The road holding on this new machine is so advanced that we recorded the highest skidpad lateral acceleration — 0.90 g — ever observed with a conventional automobile by this staff. That figure practically trivializes the previous high-water marks, in the 0.82-g range, generated by such exotics as the Porsche 928 and assorted Ferraris.” (Take THAT Germany and Italy!)

Today’s performance benchmark is 0-60 in the 2-second zone. So far only a few modern streetcars are capable of that head-swimming feat. Continue reading


NEW!!! Corvette Report’s “Vette of the Month” Contest

We are happy to announce the launch of Corvette Report’s “Vette of the Month” Photo Contest.
Here’s the deal.

Dateline: 11.25.17 – Send us your best photo of your Corvette and we will post it on our “Vette of the Month” photos page.

At the end of the month we will pick a winner, and announce it as a post here at Corvette Report.

The winner will get;

An “America’s Old Glory Sports Car” print of their year Corvette, signed and numbered by K. Scott Teeters.

PLUS! a feature story in Vette Vues Magazine.

After the story is published in Vette Vues, we will post it on CorvetteReport.com.

To enter, use the below Entry Form. Continue reading


The History of Mid-Engine Corvettes, 1960 to C8: Part 3

The 1964 AWD CERV II – Duntov’s planned Ford GT40-Killer and Le Mans Champion.Dateline: 11.23.17 – For decades the topic of a mid-engine Corvette was simply “pie in the sky.” It was a fanciful piece of Corvette lore going back to the early days when Zora Arkus-Duntov was driving the Corvette brand. Every so many years, the topic would resurface, so when I heard it again for the umpteenth time, just after the C7 arrived, I said, “Oh, sure…”  But, it’s going to happen, finally! The mid-engine C8 Corvette will make its grand debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a 2019 model.
In the interest of explaining how we got to where we are with the whole, long, mid-engine Corvette story, lets buckle into the Corvette Report Time Machine, set the dials (yes, we still use “dials” here at Corvette Report) and go back to 1963/1964 when that wiley, silver-haired Russian fox, Zora Arkus-Duntov tried once again, to build a “Corvette” to race at Le Mans.  Indulge me while I bench race a little here,
Continue reading


Corvette Timeline Tales: Corvette Racecars ROMP Daytona 200 GTO Class!

November 21, 1971: IMSA’s first Daytona 200 race and Corvettes ROMP the GTO class!

Dateline: 11.21.17We’re not sure how often this has happened, but “not often” is a safe bet. This was the inaugural season of IMSA’s GT Championship racing series. The cars were Grand Tour-style racecars that ran in the GTU and GTO classes. “GTU” class was for cars with engines under 2.5-liters and “GTO” class was for cars with engines over 2.5-liters. At the end of the 200-mile race, Don Yenko and Dave Heinz came in 1st overall and 1st in the GTO class, followed by SEVEN other Corvettes!
 
It was a banner season for Corvettes and Chevrolet in IMSA GTO racing in 1971 with Chevrolet winning the Constructor’s Championship for the year with 51 points and Shelby way back in 2nd place with 13 points.

Here’s how the cars crossed the finish line:

1st in GTO class and 1st overall is the Toye English #57 1969 Corvette L-88 driven by Dave Heinz and Don Yenko. Continue reading


ANNOUNCING! America’s Old Glory Baseball/Trucker Caps!!!

Show your Corvette passion,

your patriotic American pride,

and keep the sun out of your eyes!

We have every year “Old Glory Corvette” layouts from 1953 to today,

available on 12 different baseball/trucker cap color/trim patterns.

Whatever year Corvette you own or love, we have a baseball/trucker cap for you.

Prices start at just $18.95!

To start to order your America’s Old Glory Corvette baseball/trucker cap, Continue reading


Inside Bill Mitchell’s Secret Garage – 2 VIDEOS

A walk on “hallowed ground” of Corvette design.

Image: GM Archives

Dateline: 11.18.17 – My monthly column in VETTE Magazine, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” is now in its 21st year. I’m in the middle of a series I’m calling, “The Corvette’s Founding Fathers” that covers the careers of Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus Duntov, Larry Shinoda, and Peter Brock. Each of these men played a foundational roll in setting the pattern and personality of the Corvette. Without them, the Corvette might not have survived the 1950s.

I’m now working on installment number three, covering Bill Mitchell that will appear in the May 2018 issue of VETTE Magazine and will be out in March 2018. While researching Mitchell Continue reading


Corvette “Timeline Tales” Nov. 16, 1956: One magnesium-bodied XP-64 (Corvette SS) would be built for the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring race

The 1957 Corvette SS Racer’s exotic body turned out to be the hot ticket to failure!

Image: GM Archives

Dateline: 11.16.17 (VIDEO BELOW!) – This was such a heady time! Corvettes were starting to do well in racing and the Fuelie was about to go into production. Chevy general manager Ed Cole gave Duntov the green light to move forward with the XP-64/Corvette SS racer. The XP-64 was a purpose-built, tube-frame racer that was to be the template for Duntov’s 1957 Le Mans assault team of Corvette SS racecars.

Image: K. Scott Teeters – The Corvette SS Racer is owned by the Indy 500 Museum. This photo was taken at Bill Tower’s 2016 “60 Years of Corvette Racing” seminar at the 2016 12 Hours of Sebring event.

“Lightweight” was sports car exotica in those days and the only thing lighter than fiberglass or aluminum was magnesium, so the XP-64 was to have an exotic magnesium body.   Continue reading


THE KING IS BACK!!! The New 2019 ZR1 Corvette: The Facts

Chevrolet just released “The Ultimate Front-Engine Corvette”!

Dateline: 11.15.17 (All images GM Archives, except where noted) The wait is FINALLY over! If you recall, the C7 ZR1 was supposed to make its debut last January at the Detroit Auto Show, but was a no-show. Since then, there was a steady stream of reports, rumors, and spy photos of heavily camouflaged ZR1 engineering mule cars. Lots of tease, no solid details.

The December 2017 issue Car and Driver is first off the line to splash the new ZR1 and I’m sure the rest of the automotive print publications will be dedicating their covers to what is now being called, “The Ultimate Front Engine Corvette!” (Note the reference to “front-engine” as a primmer for the mid-engine C8.) But yes, the new King will get boat loads of ink.

If you recall, Car and Driver splashed the C7 ZR1 on its April 2017 issue with the cover story, “25 Cars Worth Waiting For”. After that, it certainly seemed like, “any day now” the ZR1 would arrive. Then the LONG wait began. I recently said to my Corvette friend, Mike Wahl, Continue reading


ANNOUNCING! America’s Old Glory Mugs!!!

Show your Corvette passion
with a heap’n help’n of
patriotic American pride!

We have every year “Old Glory Corvette” layouts from 1953 to today,

available on three mug styles: Coffee Mugs, Travel Mugs, and Beer Steins

Whatever year Corvette you own or love, we have a mug for you.

Prices start at just $18.70!

To start to order your America’s Old Glory Corvette mug,
CLICK HERE.
Continue reading


Z06 History, Pt 3 – 2006-2013

Chevy’s Steroid-Injected “Bad Boy” Vette

Dateline: 11-9-17 (All photos GM Archives) Kudos to the Corvette product planners and engineers for expanding on the Z06 “performance model” concept. “Suspension” has always been key to the Corvette’s success. From 1957 to 2000 Chevrolet offered many variations of suspension options for Corvette buyers. The early offerings up to 1975 were for serious track cars and included, the 1957 to 1959 RPO 684 Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension, the 1960 to 1962 RPO 687 Heavy Duty Brakes and Special Steering option, the 1963 RPO Z06 Special Performance Equipment package, the 1967 to 1969 L88 engine and J56 Special Heavy Duty Brakes package, the 1970 to 1972 RPO ZR1 and ZR2 packages, and the 1973 to 1975 RPO Z07 Off Road Suspension and Brake Package. Up to this point, all of the before-mentioned special option packages were considered, “Off Road”, that’s code for; RACING.
For spirited street use, from 1974 to 1982 customers could option RPO FE7, the Gymkhana Suspension that gave customers stiffer front sway bar and stiffer springs for just $7.00! The term “gymkhana” means, “A day event comprising of races and other competitions between horse riders or car drivers.” A more modern term today would be, “Autocross.”
Continue reading


ANNOUNCING! America’s Old Glory Corvette Tees & Sweats

Show your Corvette passion
with a heap’n help’n of
patriotic American pride!

We have every year “Old Glory Corvette” layouts from 1953 to today,

available on tees, sweats and more!

Whatever year Corvette you own or love, we have a shirt for you.
Sizes Small to 2XL.

Prices start at just $13.95!

To start to order your America’s Old Glory Corvette shirt,
CLICK HERE.
Continue reading


The History of Mid-Engine Corvettes, 1960 to C8: Part 2

The 1962 Monza GT – Corvair-based, Mid-Engine Sports Car – Think Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder and you’re close!

By the early 1960s the Fuelie Corvette, equipped with Duntov’s “Racer Kit” suspension and brake packages, established itself as a solid, dependable platform for a B/Production or A/Production SCCA racer. Several cars had killer reputations on the track, including; the Nickey Chevrolet-sponsored 1959 “Purple People Eater” driven by Jim Jeffords, Dave MacDonald’s “Don Steves Chevrolet” C1 Corvettes, C1s raced by Dick Thompson and Dick Guldstrand, as well as Grady Davis’ 1961 B/Production and 1962 A/Production “Gulf Oil” Corvettes, and others. Setup right, these cars could be unbeatable.
Yet, despite their track success, the European sports car community did not accept the early Corvettes. Why? Because Corvettes were big and heavy, compared to European sports cars. Traditionalists considered Corvettes to be crude, with more in common with a Chevy Bel Air than anything from Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, Aston Martin and other low-volume European exotics. Corvettes were “mass produced” while European sports cars were “hand-crafted.” This perception did not go unnoticed inside Chevrolet, and some were thinking of a “Plan B” for the Corvette.

The Monza GT and the Monza SS roadster were never intended to be replacements for the Corvette. After all, the basic platform was the rear-engine Corvair. Now before you go, “Puke! Puke!” lets go back to 1957 for a brief look at where the Corvair came from, Chevrolet General Manager, Ed Cole’s aggressive and innovative, “Q-Chevrolet” line of cars. Continue reading


Z06 History Pt. 2 – The C5 Z06 Arrives!

Chevy’s New “Performance” Model C5 Corvette, the Z06!

Dateline: 10.19.17 – (All images, GM Archives) The arrival of the C5 Z06 was a delicious surprise for Corvette fans at the end of 2000 as the new 2001 models were being announced. It had been 38 years since the first and only RPO Z06 quietly arrived as an expensive Off Road suspension option, designed strictly for racing. Ordering a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray with the Z06 option for street use was pointless because there was no horsepower advantage, as the Z06 option required the same 360-horsepower L84 317 engine that was available on any Sting Ray. There were no special badges or trim to make a Z06-equipped Corvette look unique. No, all the good stuff was in the suspension and brakes. And since only 199 Z06 Corvettes were built in 1963, unless you were into road racing, you didn’t even know about the Z06. Then add in a 38 year gap between 1963 and 2001, and its no wonder that hardly anyone knew what a Z06 was!

For years there’d been a clamoring for a “cheap Vette”, you know, a strippo model void of all the thrills and creature comforts. The “logic” being that if Chevy would just take out all the goodies, the car would be lighter, leaner, and therefore, meaner and cost a bunch less. After the successful launch of the C5 Corvette, Corvette Chief Engineer, Dave Hill and his team seriously considered such a Corvette.
The problem was that removing the frills didn’t add up to much an any weight advantage and the price hardly dropped at all. To really make the car cost less, smaller wheels and tires, and a lesser engine were needed. The end result was a Corvette that no one would have wanted. Continue reading


NEW!!! “America’s “Old Glory” Sports Car” Corvette Prints Series

Scott Teeters’ New Corvette Art Prints Series for 2017!

Dateline: 9.1.17 – In November 2015 I helped out with Jan Hyde’s John Greenwood Tribute Event at Daytona International Speedway. Jan is the owner of Registry of Corvette Race Cars. My part of the effort was the creation of a promotional flyer, a two-sided poster featuring Greenwood’s Stars and Stripes BF Goodrich Corvette and his Spirit of Daytona ’76 Corvette on the high banks of Daytona, and a hand-out sticker featuring a profile view of Greenwood’s Sebring ’75 Corvette in front of an American flag. (see the end of this post)

The graphic layout for the sticker stuck with me and I kept looking at it thinking there might be something there as a new prints series that would appeal to Corvette owners and fans of all generation Corvettes.
 
After numerous prototype layouts I settled in on “America’s “Old Glory” Sports Car”. The first one was kind of easy, but once layout completed, I knew I had a ton of work ahead of me. What started out as a fairly simple idea turned into my Project for 2017! And now, it is ready to present. Continue reading


1963 Grand Sport Corvette #005 Bench Racing With Corvette Engineer Bill Tower – VIDEO

Retired Corvette R&D engineer Bill Tower shares some of his insights into the background of the 1963 Grand Sport Program


 Keith Cornett, owner and editor of www.CorvetteBlogger.com has posted a real treat for Corvette race car fans on his YouTube channel. Keith and a group of Corvette friends spent some time at the Plant City, Florida home and personal car museum of retired Corvette engineer, Bill Tower. The star of the day was Bill’s 1963 Grand Sport #005 Corvette Coupe.

Bill is a living encyclopedia of Chevrolet and Corvette R&D experience and can keep an audience enthralled with insider stories about the early days of secret performance Corvette design and development. After attending General Motors Institute (GMI) in the early 1960s, Bill was hired by Chevrolet and landed a peach of a job (abet a LOT of work!) as a Development Engineer in the Corvette Design Group.
Tower worked with, and, or knew all of the key people within the world of Corvette R&D. Needless to say, Bill has stacks of stories, insights, and understandings Continue reading
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