Dateline: 8.11.17 – Photos: GM Archives, Michael Beal, Illustrations: K. Scott Teeters – There’s an unwritten, unofficial “Law of the Jungle” that basically states, “If you are at the top of the food chain, you might not be there for long.” Such was the case for the C4 ZR-1 Corvette, for a little while. The C4 ZR-1 had a six-year production run with only 7,018 units produced. The ZR-1’s head-exploding price was the biggest limiting factor. The crummy economy in the early ‘90s didn’t help, and the much-rumored, all-new C5 no doubt was a drag on the ZR-1’s sales. And then there was also that pesky Dodge Viper. The 427 Cobra’s “Marley’s Ghost” was obvious, only this time disguised as a Dodge,
While armchair quarterbacking is easy and hindsight is 20/20, it is worth asking the question, why wasn’t such an awesome car more successful? “Timing” aside, the ZR-1’s aesthetics was a big factor. Stated simply: When viewed by itself, the C4 ZR-1s look like “regular” Corvettes. As an illustrator and stylist, I find it astonishing that Chevrolet would have done this, after all the engineering work that went into the ZR-1. The body panels from the doors all the way back to the rear bumper cover, are unique to the ZR-1 – made wider to cover the widest tires put under a factory-built Corvette body, to that point. This means that the panels had to be redesigned. But rather than make them visually unique, the Corvette stylists were commanded to imitate the basic design of the standard Corvette, with one exception Continue reading
Dateline: 7.6.17 (VIDEOS AT THE BOTTOM!) (This story was first published in the January 2016 issue of Vette Vues Magazine).
To understand the importance and uniqueness of George Haddad’s 1969 ZL-1 Corvette, we have to get into the “Vette Vues Time Machine” and go back to late 1968. The December 1968 issue of Hot Rod Magazine hit the newsstands like a thunder clap, with an obviously all-aluminum big-block 427 Corvette engine wearing bright yellow tube headers. It looked like Chevrolet finally had an ace trump card. The 427 ZL-1 was the ultimate “pie-in-the-sky” Corvette setup – big-block horsepower and torque – with the weight of an iron small-block! Duntov was a happy man because his dream of an all-aluminum engine for the Corvette went all the way back to the 1957 Q-Corvette concept that not only called for a fuel-injected all-aluminum small-block engine, but a trans-axle! (Sounds like a C5, doesn’t it?)
Duntov and his team tried casting SBC engines in aluminum, but there was a serious “strength of materials” issue that was never successfully worked out. The SBC was simply not strong enough when made in aluminum. A small batch of all-aluminum 377 engines were developed for the Grand Sport project that were powerful and light, but just wouldn’t hold together in competition. The prospect of an engine lighter than a regular SBC was deliciously tantalizing. So when the replacement for the 348/409/427 W-series (truck) engine, (the Mark IV) was being designed, an aluminum version was an obvious next step because the Mark IV was inherently a more stout structure.
The story of the production ZL-1 Corvettes is a long and complex one that we won’t try unraveling here, except to say that a batch of seven cars were built in early September 1969. The cars that “rolled off the St. Louis assembly line” were full-out RPO-L88 cars. The RPO-ZL-1 aluminum block was an option that was only available on an L88 engine. In other words, the ZL-1 was identical to the L88, except it had an aluminum block – making it 100-pounds lighter than the L88 Corvette, something that only racers would even notice. Continue reading
Dateline: 1.19.17 – C6 Z06 LS7 and C7 Z06 LT4 Engines Kick off NEW Corvette Art Print Series
The Corvette legend has many aspects. Most obvious is the car’s outstanding good looks. Generally it is good to look at the various styles of Corvettes from the perspective of their day – what did regular cars of the day look like. Only then is it obvious how far advanced Corvette styling has always been.
Equally important within the Corvette mystique is what’s under the hood. Many Corvette engines have become automotive heroes and legends. I am launching a new Corvette art prints series called, “Corvette Engine Blueprint Series.” Continue reading
Dateline: 1.7.17 – 3D Printing Makes Working LS3 Corvette Model Engine
Most of us are at least lightly familiar with 3D Printing. It’s an amazing leap that has its roots in ink jet printing. Back in 1990 I bought the first HP ink jet printer as an alternative to a cheap $150 dot matrix or an expensive $2,500 laser printer. The HP Ink-Jet Printer cost me $950 and was promoted as a “deal.” But we never dreamed that the basic mechanics of the back-and-forth spraying of ink would one day lead to the spraying of a sub-strait material to build 3D “things”! Here’s the video…
All of the parts of this kinetically functioning LS3 model engine were 3D printed and the parts all go together just like the real thing. Continue reading
by Patrick Rall as republished from Torque News, Photos Torques News Staff
Lingenfelter Stage 2 Safely Adds 100hp, 100tq to the Corvette Z06
Dateline February 2, 2016: The folks at Lingenfelter have just announced their Stage 2 package for the C7 Corvette Z06, which lifts the output by 100 horsepower and 100lb-ft of torque in a very reliable way – adding improved internal engine components rather than just jamming in a bunch more boost. Continue reading
by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Views
January 4, 1963 – GM President and Chief Operating Officer, Jack Gordon gives Chevrolet General Manager, Bunkie Knudsen approval to proceed with an all-new big-block engine to replace the W-Series 409/427 engine
Dateline January 2016: When you think of “big-block” Chevy engines, the Mark IV, aka “Porcupine,” Rat Motor” usually first comes to mind. But the first Chevrolet “big-block” was the W-Series engine that was in production from 1958 to 1965 – only eight model years! Continue reading
by Patrick Rall as republished from Torque News
New LT4 crate motor package injects C7 Corvette Z06 power
Dateline 12.9.15: If you are shopping for a very special person in your life who is rebuilding a classic Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Chevelle or El Camino and you want the most bang for your buck, the new LT4 crate motor package injects C7 Corvette Z06 power into any old school GM muscle 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
article and images by Sebastian Blanco as republished from autobloggreen
The Genovation GXE all-electric Corvette has broken cover. At the Battery Show 2015 in Novi, MI, this week, the converted C6 Z06 Corvette that we first heard about back in August was tucked into a booth along the back wall. Don’t let the demure location fool you. This is a muscle-y electric vehicle, ready to roar into the limited-run, expensive EV game.
The Genovation GXE Corvette can go from 0-60 miles per hour in three seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph. The powertrain was designed and built in the US, and offers over 700 horsepower and over 600 pound-feet or torque. With a near 50/50 weight distribution, this is “a real driver’s car,” Genovation CEO Andrew Saul told AutoblogGreen. Continue reading
The Illustrated Corvette Designer Series No. 212
Words and Art By Scott Teeters as Written for Vette Magazine, republished from SuperChevy.com
1982 was a serious year of challenges facing Dave McLellan and his design team with several interesting “firsts.” 1982 was the first year since the ’53-’54 Corvettes that a manual transmission was not available. However, it was the first year that a four-speed automatic with Fourth gear as an overdrive. 1982 was also the first year since 1965 that a fuel-injection system was used and the first time ever that a Corvette had an electronic fuel-injection system. Continue reading
This titanium car is driven by a Corvette ZR1-sourced supercharged V8 engine.
by Alex Davies as republished from Wired.
THERE’S NO BETTER time of year for tiny, high-end automakers to meet potential US customers than the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance, the automotive equivalent of the Westminster dog show.
One of the more eye-grabbing chunks of metal in Monterey, California this weekend is the Vulcano Titanium. Italian boutique firm Icona showed off a version of the car at the Shanghai auto show in 2013 with a hybrid powertrain. Continue reading
Minutes after the C7 made its debut, fans asked, “Where’s the Z06?”
Well, Z06s are on the road now and they’re “OMG!!!” machines.
Words and Art by Scott Teeters as republished from Vette Magazine, online at SuperChevy.com
Beginning in 1963, there were only two Corvette models: the coupe and convertible. The big-blocks came along in 1965 and by 1969 buyers had seven engine options over the base 327/300, including the ZL1. Fast-forward to 2010 and buyers had six models to choose from, with the stout 430hp LS3 for the coupe, convertible, and Grand Sport coupe and convertible; the 505hp LS7 for the Z06; and the 638hp LS9 for the ZR1. That’s a tough act to follow, but so far, the C7 is showing us it’s got plenty of mojo. Continue reading
Roger Judski’s SUPER RARE 1969 ZL-1 Corvette
Dateline: 10.11.14 – Twenty-three years ago today, October 11, 1991, at of all places, The Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Roger Judski, owner of Judski’s Corvette Center in Maitland, Florida became the owner of what is arguably the rarest of all high performance Corvettes, a 1969 ZL-1 Corvette. When this car was announced to the world in the fall of 1968 as an option on the ’69 Corvette, it became an instant legend for numerous reasons. Judski paid what was then considered a stunningly HUGE amount of money for the ZL-1, $300,000! Roger had been trying to buy the ZL-1 for 12 years. Continue reading
Thanks to Kevin Mackay and his team at Corvette Repair, once piece of lost Corvette history has been found, refurbished, and ready for the show circuit.
Be sure to catch the below slide show!
The entire Q-Chevrolet project quickly fizzled due to cost concerns but several great ideas came out of the project. The unique Peter Brock and Bob Veryzer-designed body eventually was developed into the 1963 Sting Ray. The all-aluminum engine proposal started the ball rolling with aluminum parts gradually seeded into various Corvette engines. While aluminum water pumps, intake manifolds, and bell housings were relatively easy to develop, heads and the block were another story. By the early ‘60s, Duntov began experimenting with aluminum heads, but they proved to be unreliable. The small-block Chevy engine was already a lightweight, but the thought of an even lighter version of the engine was indeed tantalizing.
Corvettes have been powered by all-aluminum engines since the arrival of the LS1 in the all-new C5 1997 Corvette. Of course, today nearly all engines are made with the lightweight metal. These days, the move is on to integrate even lighter magnesium, carbon fiber, and plastic parts wherever possible. But back in 1957, only the exotic cows of the most expensive European sports cars had all-aluminum engines.So in 1957 when new general manager Ed Cole proposed his Q-Chevrolet line of trans-axle cars, including the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov jumped on the chance. No one inside GM was more tuned into the advantage of an all-aluminum engine than Duntov. The proposal Duntov outlined for his vision of the Q-Corvette included the mandatory trans-axle and an all-aluminum, fuel-injected small-block Chevy engine. The Rochester Fuelie had just arrived and the small-block Chevy engine was only in its third year of production. No one in Detroit was making all-aluminum engines, so this was a very outrageous proposal. Continue reading
Subtitle: A Blueprint salute to the power of the Corvette!
Note: Be sure to check out the below slide show of Corvette engines!
If the Corvette used a regular passenger car engine, do you think there’s be much excitement? Of course not! In 59 years of building Corvettes, Chevrolet has only once used a standard production car engine in the Corvette and that was in 1980. Unfortunately for Californians, because of very tight standards, Chevrolet did not certify its 350 engines for sale in that state. So for that year, the only engine available for California Corvettes was the lowly 305 passenger car engine. Fortunately, that was a one-time occurrence.
Aside from that one incident, Corvette engines, even the base engines, have always be a cut above the regular car engines. At the top of the feeding chain, many Corvette engines achieved legendary status. And even though Corvette engines didn’t become truly “exotic” until the introduction of the LS1 in 1997, where it matters them most – who wins the races – small and big-block Corvette engines delivered the goods, regardless of their basic simple design. The slide show is below… Continue reading