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
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
We just love “firsts & lasts” of any important performance car. Why? Because there are only ever two – the first and the last ones to roll off the assembly line.
Dateline: 7.22.17 – The First C1 and C2 Corvettes are not known, however, the Last C1, a black 1962 model sold for $150,000 at the 2014 Mecum Seattle Auction. We covered the Last Sting Ray, HERE. But today, we honor the “Last C5 Corvette”, which if you are looking to add an important Corvette to your stable of Vettes, just happens to be For Sale at BuyAVette.net! More about where you can pick up this piece of unique Corvette history for only, $1,000,000. (Karen, call the Credit Union!)
But for now, lets step into the CorvetteReport.com Time Machine and dial it back 13 years to 2004. To celebrate the success of the C5-R Corvettes winning Le Mans in ’01, ’02 and ‘03, Chevrolet dished up the 2004 Commemorative Edition option. This was an intense option to put into the production schedule because it was an open option on all three models of 2004 Corvettes – coupes, convertibles, and Z06s. On top of that, plant managers knew that as soon as the Last C5 was rolling through its journey of assembly, the production line was disassembled.
“Special Edition” Corvettes are always a tedious enterprise because all of the unique parts of a package have to be on hand. For Limited Edition Corvettes, at least it is known ahead of time that X-number of parts will be needed. However, with “open production” Special Edition Corvettes, the marketplace determines how much resources will be needed. From a sourcing and production position, it is a difficult task. Continue reading
by K. Scott Teeters as written for Vette magazine and republished from Super Chevy
The pathway to the C5 Z06
Dateline 4.7.16: It is interesting how “time” changes perspective. Corvettes have always been performance sports cars. The first Mustangs were not “performance” cars; they were “sporty” cars that were later made into performance cars. From 1956 to 1980, Corvette buyers that wanted more grunt always had optional performance engines to choose from but there was never a separate performance model until the arrival of the ZR-1 in 1990. Continue reading
photo courtesy of GM Media
by Daniel Strohl as republished from Hemmings Blog
Russ Mclean Strives to keep Corvette Alive!
Dateline 11.18.15: Though an icon of American performance, the Chevrolet Corvette hasn’t always had a secure place in the General’s lineup. Most Corvette historians and enthusiasts already know that it faced cancellation multiple times early in existence, but the story of another potential death knell is just now becoming public more than 20 years after it happened, and the man best positioned to tell that story – the man who defied GM’s order to let the Corvette die – will tell that story this weekend. Continue reading
10.19.95 – General Motors “knights” Dave Hill to be the new Corvette Vehicle Line Executive, aka, Chief Engineer – Video
Dave Hill and his team inject the Corvette with Cadillac quality
by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Dateline: October 2015 – So much has happened in the last 20 years it’s easy to forget that during the early to mid ‘90s, GM was having financial troubles and went through some serious restructuring. At one point the Corvette’s existence was on the line. Fortunately, cool heads prevailed and once again, the Corvette escaped the chopping block. Continue reading
as republished from Lingenfelter.com
Standard production intercooled turbo package, driven by John Lingenfelter to 226 MPH in 2000
Dateline October 2015: Lingenfelter Performance built this car in the spring of 2000 for an upcoming article in Motor Trend Magazine that was to be featured in the March 2000 issue.
The 1999 C5 was a 350 CID LS1 Lingenfelter 650 Horsepower twin turbo, six speed Corvette with our standard production twin turbochargers and twin air to air charge coolers. The car ran HRE forged three piece aluminum wheels, Michelin tires and was lowered to reduce drag at high speed. To insure the car would stay firmly planted on the pavement at speeds over 200 MPH we had 300 lbs of ballast in the rear of the car. Continue reading
Words and Art by K. Scott Teeters as written for Vette Magazine and republished from SuperChevy.com
Illustrated Designer Series No. 221: The First LS-Series Muscle Motor
There are many factors that go into the halo of a Corvette. Most obvious, of course, is the car’s extraordinary good looks. Regardless of the generation, compared to its peers of the day, there was nothing else on the road like a Corvette. A “Vette” has always stood out. “Performance” comes next. Continue reading
Dick Guldstrand’s Third “Package” Specialty Corvette
Dateline September 2015. Mr Corvette, the famous Dick Guldstrand recently passed in September of 2015. We look back at the life and times of this Corvette legend. In 2003 Dick produced his version of a 50th Anniversary Corvette. Dick’s nickname was of course, “Guldie” and since the Corvette’s 50th anniversary would be its “golden” anniversary, Dick’s 50th Anniversary Corvette was bright gold with blue accents. And of course a “special” Corvette should be the toughest available version, which in 2003 was the Z06. And to top it all off, the Z06’s LS6 was opened up to the magical “426 CID.” As it should be!
This was Dick’s third specialty “package” Corvette. The GS80 came out in 1986 that was more or less a Showroom Stock-prepared black beauty with very trendy lace wheels. The 1994 GS90 was a full-out re-body of the awesome ZR-1. The Guldstrand 50th Anniversary 427 retained all of the Z06’s body parts except for the hood and rear bumper cover that had a subtle lip spoiler. Continue reading
Corvette Timeline Tales: NCM inducts James Jeffords, Myron E. Scott, & John A. Cafaro to the Hall of Fame
August 30, 2002 – National Corvette Museum, inducts James Jeffords, Myron E. Scott, and John A. Cafaro into the Hall of Fame.
Dateline: 8.30.15 – The Corvette has lasted longer than Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Zora Arkus-Duntov, and Bill Mitchell ever imagined back in the 1950s, thanks to the continuing passion of men and women that understand the soul of the Corvette. The National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony has become a much-anticipated annual event in the Corvette community, as a “Thank You” to those that have carried the flame forward.
James “Jim” Jeffords was two-time SCCA B-production champion and pioneered the successful use of Duntov’s first “racer kit” the RPO 684 that helped him be unbeatable in 1958 and 1959 driving the Nickey Chevrolet “Purple People Eater” 1958 Corvette.. Jeffords also drove Jerry Earl’s 1956 SR-2, as well as some of the top sports cars of the day including a Scarab, a Maserrati Birdcage, and Jaguar. Continue reading
Wil Cooksey shares his life story and career in GM and building Corvettes.
Dateline: 8.29.15 – Yesterday we told you about the 2015 Corvettes at Carlisle show and that Wil Cooksey is one of the special guests for the event. Actually, ever since Wil put on that stunning, explosive burnout display back in 2007, he’s become an almost permanent fixture of the Corvettes at Carlisle show.
On April 5, 2013 I had the pleasure of interviewing Wil Cooksey on my Far Out Radio program. The YouTube version of the program is below.
Pratt & Miller Builds One Hell-of-a Corvette Race Car!
Dateline: 8.15.15 / Story by Jan Hyde, www. RegistryofCorvetteRaceCars.com VIDEO at the bottom of this post!
A story about the # 4 Pratt & Miller C5R-006 that we Corvette race car enthusiasts hope might inspire more collectors to share the rewards by taking their cars for an outing at the track. Expert Corvette Race Car specialists Nigel Dobbie (UK), Jonny Bens (BEL), Marwin Moonen (NE) and Wayne Ellwood (CN) contributed to this story. Nigel Dobbie is the author of Corvette Racing The GT1 years published in 2010 by www.silverwoodbooks.uk .”This car was put through the wringer!” in the words of Dan Binks, Pratt & Miller?s esteemed Crew Chief.
# 4 Racing in the ALMS 2002/2003 with the Corvette Racing Team
During the 2003 season, C5R-006 in the hands of Andy Pilgrim and Kelley Collins won the GTS class in the ALMS race at Road Atlanta on June 29.
Pratt & Miller completed chassis 006 (and sister car 005) in November 2001. It debuted at Sears Point on May 19, 2002 where Pilgrim and Collins finished second in class and won at Mosport later in the year. (Chassis 005 & 006 missed Le Mans because the team needed extra time to prep, ship overseas and test, drawing older Chassis 003 and 004 back into service). Continue reading
Mary Carol Plott’s Corvette Personal Passion Story
by Scott Teeters as republished from Vette Vues – You can enjoy Part 1 of the story (John Meyerhoff’’s story), HERE.
Dateline: 8.11.15 – Last month we told you about Lake Placid, Florida Corvette couple John Meyerhoff and Mary Carol Plott and their stable of driver Corvettes. Before the C7 Corvette came out, John had one of each generation Corvette! Between John and Mary Carol they have nine Corvettes (five are John’s and four are Mary Carol’s), but not all nine are in Florida. John also has a place in upstate New York.
When it comes to performance cars and Corvettes, what is usually the case is that when a couple gets together, at first, it’s the guy that’s the “car guy.” Yes, there are exceptions, but “generally speaking” performance cars are a guy-thing. For most gals, it takes a while to warm up to machines. But that’s not Mary Carol. The car bug got a hold of her back in 1965 and never let go. Continue reading
The Illustrated Corvette Designer Series, No. 213
words and art by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Magazine and republished from SuperChevy.com
Dateline 8-7-15 To understand the Z06, we need to go back to the beginning—1953. The Corvette started out as a show car and quickly turned into a tough guy by 1957 with the 283 fuelie option. From 1957 to 1974, the last year for the 454, there was always a serious “performance” option. From 1975 to 1980 the only performance option was the “just OK” L82. Hey, it was better than nothing. Performance didn’t start to come back until 1985 with the fuel-injected L98. The big splash happened in 1990 when the awesome ZR-1 arrived with its all-aluminum, 375hp LT5 DOHC engine that surpassed the old “big-block” glory days. The LT1 replaced the L98 in 1992 and topped out in 1996 with the 330hp LT4. But it was the arrival of the LS1 that took performance to new heights. Continue reading
1963 C2 Z06, 2001 C5 Z06, 2006 C6 Z06 & 2015 C7 Z06
As a salute the success and rave reviews of the new C7 Z06, my new prints show the original, 1963 Z06, the C5 2001 Z06, the C6 2006 Z06, and the C7 2015 Z06, available in three unique graphic treatments – Brushed Metal, Diazo Blueprint Paper, and Kraft Paper!
The Z06 has worked out to be one of the most interesting stories in Corvette lore. What started out as an obscure “for racers only” RPO option that hardly anyone knew about, has become GM’s flagship performance car. This is nothing less than astonishing. Heck, even General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra just got herself a black-on-black Z06 convertible. I was joking with Doug MacDonald (Dave MacDonald’s brother), “You think the workers might have been a little nervous bolting together The Queen Mary’s Z06? NO PRESSURE, guys! HA!” Kidding aside, it’s good to see that she has good taste!
Up to the end of April 2015 Chevrolet reported 8,206 Z06s sold. That number already beats out the C6 Z06’s best sales year from 2007 when Chevrolet sold 7,760 Z06s. With a total-to-date (as of the end of April 2015) of 31,377 Corvettes built, 2,618 were Z06 models, that’s 26.18% of the 2015 production so far. The plant has a full two more months of figures to announce, as production of the 2015 Corvettes ends on June 22, 2015. (Check out the 2015 Z06 TV Commercial, click the “Continue reading” link below)