1954 Motorama Chevrolet Nomad (Corvette): The Original Corvette “Station Wagon”!
Dateline: 8.29.15 – Unlike the Pontiac, Buick, and Olds ’54 Motorama cars (Corvette wanna-be’s), Chevrolet designers did something totally unique and in retrospect, way ahead of its time. Using a 115-inch wheelbase Chevy station wagon chassis, Earl’s designers and stylists took the complete ’53 Corvette design and stretched it. From the front cowl and windshield forward, it was a production Corvette. Then the doors and back end were stretched to fit the nine-inch longer chassis. The rear fenders were straight off the ’53 Corvette. (scroll down for the video of the 1954 GM Motorama)
The ’54 Motorama Nomad was one of those designs that just looks right at first glance. Obviously not a sports car, the Nomad was a balanced blend of trim sports car styling with the full utility of a station wagon.
“Practicality” was a big sales feature in the ‘50s. Continue reading
The first wide-body Corvette race car went on the Mecom Monterey 2015 block!
Timeline: 8-15-15- Car auctions have never been more fun ever since they went LIVE online. Below is the video of the auction! Bidding stalled out at $300,000 and was a NO SALE!
It was anticipated that the car would fetch between $550,000 and $700,000, so stalling out at a measly $300,000 is incredible! According to the Mecum description of the car, $250,000 was put into the car’s restoration.
What’s mind-boggling is that earlier in the evening a 1969 L88 Roadster sold for $750,000 – CLICK HERE for details. So, if you’re itching to own a major piece of Corvette racing history, the Greenwood Sebring ’75 Corvette will no doubt be back on the block.
Here are the car’s details from the Mecum info page.
This is the worlds fastest racing Corvette and set a Top Speed Record of 236 MPH at Daytona in 1975!
In the history of endurance racing, some entries have notably stood out in sheer importance, and the car being made available here will satisfy the most discerning criteria. We are proud to present to you the 1974 Greenwood Corvette chassis number 002, the ‘Spirit of Sebring ’75,’ the first and most famous of only six Greenwood wide-body race machines ever built. Continue reading
1984 Vettes are at the bottom of the feeding chain, let’s see what “the first” C4 fetches!
by Drew Singer as republished from GMAuthority.com
Dateline 8-7-15 The introduction of the Corvette C4 was, in a way, similar to the advent of the current model. Both models ushered in new styling elements, new technology and represented a tidal shift in the model’s evolution.
The C4 eschewed the sumptuous curves and rolling fenders of the C3 for a fiberglass bodywork that was altogether more sculpted and chiseled. But this big step had to be taken properly. Continue reading
Beware of FAKE Corvettes at Auctions, Even Top Auction Outlets
by Steve Lehto as republished from Jalopnik.com
Dateline 8-7-15 From time to time, readers point out cases to me from other states on topics I have written about. And last week I got a doozy. The man who bought a fake “rare” Corvette and could not sue for fraud due to disclaimers made by the seller, Mecum Auctions.
In 2011, Isaac Pardo attended an auction in Illinois where he saw a very rare black 1967 Corvette. The car was offered with a certificate of authenticity. Pardo won the car by bidding $68,500. Before he even left the auction, someone pointed out to him that the car was really just a 1964 Corvette which had been reworked to look like a 1967. I am not a Corvette guy, so I can’t even begin to guess why any of that makes sense, but trust me: In the most general terms, some of this sounds like it might raise legal issues. Continue reading
BY SEAN SZYMKOWSKI as republished from GMAuthority.com
“Bunkie” Kundsen’s 1964 Vette Hits the Block!
Dateline: 7-29-15 The phrase “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to” rings so true with the story of this C2 Corvette. Once upon a time, GM brass had the pull to have a car handcrafted to their own desires. Here is an excellent example of that.
In 1963 Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen, general manager of the Chevrolet brand since 1961, ordered a special Corvette for his personal use. But, it wasn’t to be any C2 Corvette. Bunkie had signed off on many important Corvette variants during his tenure up to 1967, something important to understand regarding this 1964 C2 Corvette’s significance. Continue reading
Another famous Corvette race car makes THUNDER at RM Monterey!
Well I hope that you were able to catch some auction action, live from Monterey, California. High-end auctions, such as the RM and Mecum events draw some of the finest and most interesting cars in the world. For car lovers, these auctions are the proverbial box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.
Last year at the RM Monterey event there were five delightful Corvettes that went on the block – one stocker, a ‘60 Corvette with just 750 miles on the odometer and four Corvette race cars. For Corvette lovers, the star of last years show was the Greenwood Stars & Stripes 1969 427 ZL1 BF Goodrich racer that sold for $580,000.
This year the RM Monterey auction only had one Corvette and WOW, what’a beauty! Preauction estimates predicted that the car should sell for between $950,000 and $1,350,000! “Auctions” are arguably the ultimate expression of the economic free market. Sellers always have an idea as to how much they want for their cars, but when the gavel comes down, it’s the buyers that set the price. Granted, the economic downturn had depressed the prices of exotic cars over the last few years. Some would call it a price correction to rein in the wildly high prices of just a few years before the downturn.
One interesting factor for the Owens Corning Corvette, as compared to the Greenwood Corvette is the car’s pedigree. The Owens Corning Corvette is the winningest Corvette race car of all time with a staggering 22-straight wins! That’s like winning every race for over two years in today’s American Le Mans Series races. Could the Owens Corning record be broken? Sure, anything is possible. But it’s NOT likely.
When you watch the car auctions, there are two parts. First, the car is presented on stage with a detailed description of the car with images and sometimes video. Then the bidding action begins. Here’s how the auction action played out. Continue reading
A BIG weekend for Corvettes on the block!
It’s turning out to be a very interesting weekend for Corvettes at the high-end car auctions, with two big-time events going off at about the same time and area. I checked the RM Auctions website and saw that they have updated their home page and added a “VIEW AUCTION LIVE” link at the top of their homepage. So, they made it easy for us. Auction action starts at 6:60 PM Pacific time (9:30 Eastern Time). If you click the page link before the scheduled start time, all you’ll see is a black box where the streaming video will be. This won’t change until the event starts. After the feed begins, look for the button to Fill Screen, kick back, and enjoy!
If you’re mainly interested in the Owens-Corning 1968 L88 racer, the lot number is 141. The numbering begins with #101, a 1953 Hudson Hornet. So with 40 cars before the Owens-Corning car, it’ll be a few hours before the old war horse Corvette comes thundering upon the stage.
But if you love old cars and racing machines, the auction is a treat. Not only do you get to see the numbers ring up, but before the bidding begins, they describe the car, show photos and videos, as well as letting you get a good look at the car on the turntable. Most of the cars at the RM event are really special and have been lovingly restored and cared for. The marque almost doesn’t matter, they’re just wonderful machines. Continue reading
A stunning collection of photos of one of the toughest racing Corvettes ever!
RM Auctions is putting on 11 events for 2012 and the Monterey auction is just around the corner. Last year five Corvettes went on the block, four racers and one stocker, with all but one finding a new home. Of course, last year’s BIG star for Corvette fans was the Greenwood Stars and Stripes 427 ZL-1 #49 Corvette that went for $580,000.
This year there’s only one Corvette and WOW is it a beauty with a story. The Owens-Corning 1968 L88 Corvette was one of the fiercest Corvette racers ever. Raced by Jerry Thompson and Tony DeLorenzo, the car scored an astonishing 22 victories in a row! The team fielded two L88 Corvettes and at one point took 1st and 2nd in 14 of the 22 races won. In the March 2010 issue of Corvette Magazine, Jerry Thompson was quoted saying, “They worked. That doesn’t mean that they were easy to drive. The engines had so much torque and power that most guys were intimidated by them.”
When Corvette Repair performed the restoration on the car, Kevin Mackay and his team took the car back to its 1971 24 Hours of Daytona livery. The car has been beautifully photographed for the RM Auction catalog. RM Auction publishes a paper book/catalog for around $50, but they also publish a digital version through ZMags at no charge. Every car that’s up for auction is in the catalog with first class pictures and wonderfully written articles about each car. The catalog by itself is a delight, and you can’t beat the price.
To access the digital catalog, Continue reading
Subtitle: A Piece of Corvette racing history could be yours! How deep are YOUR pockets?
Sometimes you get a little “I wonder” thought. Yesterday I realized that the RM Auctions Monterey event would be coming up soon and wondered if there might be any interesting Corvettes going on the block. Last year there were five interesting Corvettes that were up for auction – four race cars and one one street Corvette. But the big splash was the auction of the John Greenwood Stars and Strips BF Goodrich 427 ZL-1-powered Corvette racer that went for $580,000. What’a show!
Usually, the cars are carefully pushed on the revolving stage, but for the Greenwood Corvette, the big ZL-1 was fired up off stage, sounding like an approaching thunder storm, and driven on stage. “Seven hundred horsepower, ladies and gentlemen!” said the auctioneer. And the crowd went wild! Yea, it was FUN.
So I checked in with the RM Auctions Monterey website to see if any Vettes were going on the block. But alas, I only found one (as of this date), but what’a beauty. Here’s your chance to buy one of the all-time great Corvette race cars, the ‘68 Owens-Corning Fiberglass L88 A/Production Corvette. This car won 22 consecutive races, qualified on the pole in most of its races, and scooped up the A/Production Championship two times!
The car is currently owned by John Thompson (no relation to race car driver, Jerry Thompson). In ‘07 Thompson sent the car to Corvette Repair for a restoration back to its Daytona ‘71 configuration. Kevin Mackay and his expert team completed the work in ‘08. In ‘09 the car won the NCRS American Heritage Award and was later one of the Chip’s Choice cars on display at the Corvettes at Carlisle Show. Continue reading
The once obscure L88s are now highly valued Corvettes!
It’s always an exciting thing when the heavy guns from the Corvette’s past go on the auction block. Auctions can be a quirky thing, be it a local farm auction or a high-level exotic cars auction. On one hand, the final sale price is a direct reflection of what the market place is willingness to pay. On the other hand, two people can get caught up in the adrenaline of the auction experience and drive up a final sale price. Either way, they’re always fun to watch to get a sense of the market value of Corvettes.
Keith Cornett at www.CorvetteBlogger.com does an excellent job of covering Corvette auction action. Well, it seems that there’s an interesting trend developing in the Corvette world over L88 Corvettes. L88s with the appropriate petegree are getting just just north of $600,000! That’s VERY impressive, considering that new, the cars cost in the neighborhood of $6,500 back in the day.
The L88 option was Mr. Duntov’s gift to his beloved Corvette racers. Just because GM didn’t want to go racing didn’t mean that Duntov couldn’t design and develop parts for independent racers to use. The L88 package was the ultimate racer kit for its day. On paper and in person, the L88 didn’t look all that spectacular. The only visual clue as to what lurked under the car’s body was the special cold-air-induction hood that was essentially a dome on top of the big-block hood’s dome. That was the ONLY visual clue. On paper the L88 was grossly underrated at just 430-horsepower. The real power number was never “officially” published, but it was estimated to be in the high 500horsepower range. Continue reading
Here’s the latest installment from the Illustrated Corvette Series VETTE Magazine Column
It was early last July that Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair sent me a link to the RM Auctions online version of their Monterey Auction Catalog. Kevin and I have had many conversations about early Corvette race cars, so he knows that I’m a big fan. Any time a Greenwood Corvette goes on the block it’s big news, so I posted a story about the auction right away. For the next 6 weeks or so, the car magazine and Corvette blogs were on fire in anticipation of the auction. RM Auctions broadcasts their auctions online, so I stayed up and watched the coverage and sale of the Greenwood ZL-1. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun. Here’s the post of the auction coverage.
Since the car has so much historical importance, I decided to cover the car in my VETTE Magazine monthly column, “The Illustrated Corvette Series.” The January 2012 issue of VETTE just came out, so I’m sharing the story and art with you below. Enjoy! – Scott
Illustrated Corvette Series No. 175: #49 Greenwood ‘69 427 ZL-1 Racer
“Stars and Stripes On The Block!”
Expectations were high when it was announced that the No. 49 Greenwood BF Goodrich “Stars and Stripes” Corvette was going on the block at the 2011 RM Auction Monterey event. Some estimated that the car would sell for $750,000 to $950,000. In ‘09 the Gulf One ‘63 Z06 Corvette racer went for an astonishing $1.113 Million! So there was quite a buzz in the Corvette community.
John and Burt Greenwood knew all about Duntov’s “racer kits” and like many others, took maximum advantage of the special hardware. The Greenwood boys had another advantage. Sr. Greenwood had been a WW II fighter pilot and worked at the GM Tech Center. Their Dad would sometimes take young John and Burt to work on Saturdays, to let the lads see the experimentals and prototypes. It was better than an invitation to Elvis’ house! Continue reading
Greenwood Stars and Stripes ‘69 Corvette Racer & Four Other Corvettes Go On the Block at RM Auctions Monterey Event 8.19.2011
Hot Vette Race Car Auction Action in Monterey!
It’s the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week in Monterey, California. On Friday, August 19, 2011 five Corvettes will be going on the block at the RM Auctions Monterey event.. Of the five cars, four are race cars, with the most prominent being the John Greenwood 1969 427 ZL-1 BF Goodrich “Stars and Stripes” race car. The other race cars include a ‘59 Fuelie, a ‘61 Fuelie, and a ‘73 SCCA/IMSA Coupe. The lone stocker is a black ‘60 Corvette.
If it happens that you will not be attending the event, fret not! You can watch the auction action LIVE! If you go to the RM Auctions homepage, HERE. Look for the “VIEW LIVE AUCTION” link with the green button with the triangle in the middle. The auctioning fun begins at 6:30 Pacific time and will run for four to five hours. Of the five Corvettes that will be going on the block, the Greenwood car will probably get the highest bids. Pre-auction expectations are that the car will go off for between $750,000 to $950,000! With the current economy, it will be interesting to see how high the numbers go.
Here’s a review of the five Corvettes…
The Greenwood car is Lot #144. For full details, CLICK HERE.
Could digital magazines, like the RM Auctions Monterey’s 562-page event catalog, be the salvation of the magazine business?
I got a really neat email from Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair this morning with an interesting link. I’m sure that most of you have heard that the John Greenwood 1969 ZL-1 Corvette race car is going on the block at the RM Auctions Monterey event, August 13 and 14. It’ll be interesting to watch this one because they are expecting between $750,000 and $950,000 for the car. So, we’ll see how hungry the market is for a beautifully restored piece of Corvette racing history. Kevin is also closely following this because he did the restoration work on the car.
So, if you go HERE, you can see what Kevin sent me. (The link to the left will open a new window) Kevin knows I’m a big fan of the early Corvette race cars and especially the Greenwood cars. So, enjoy the images, they’re beautifully photographed, But that’s not what this post is about.
When you go to the page, look in the middle of the page towards the bottom. See the gray forward and backwards arrows? In the middle it says, “110-11/562.” That means you’re looking at pages 110 and 111, of a 562-page document. What you have is the entire 562-page catalog of the cars that are up for auction August 19 and 20. Continue reading