History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters

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Corvette History

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One amazing man defied GM to keep the Corvette alive in the 1990s!


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

Art on the Road: Cool as Corvette


The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray ‘Split-Window’ Coupe, which sold for $253,000 at the RM Sotheby’s sale in Fort Worth, Texas, in May
(Darin Schnabel ©2014 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

by Nicholas Forrest  as republished from blouinartinfo.com
Since the first Corvette rolled off the production line in 1953,
the all-American sports car has become one of the most iconic
automobiles of all time

Dateline November 2015: Testament to the allure of the Corvette is the $800,000 paid for the first production Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale, Arizona auction in January. The car was sent to auction by Chevrolet parent company General Motors, which has a history of auctioning the first production models of its most desirable cars to support different charities, in this case, United Way. Continue reading

The General’s Aerovette – Concept Corvette: A Piece of History


This mid-engine project started as XP-822. Eventually it was renamed the Aerovette, and was used to showcase GM’s newly-acquired rotary engine technology. Bill Mitchell’s design team gave the car a bold, aerodynamic shape, gullwing doors, and a window over the engine compartment to show off the then-installed experimental four-rotor engine. It was exhibited as the Four-Rotor Corvette with Sterling Silver paint and a silver leather interior. After GM abandoned its rotary engine program, Bill Mitchell gave the car new life by having the rotary engine replaced with a small-block V8. He then christened the car as the Aerovette. Images courtesy of GM Heritage Center.

by Randy Bolig as republished from Corvette Online
The Four-Rotor Corvette

Dateline November 2015: The concept car is an instrument used by automotive manufacturer’s to not only showcase ideas, but get the reaction of consumers about those ideas. These cars are never designed with a complete production likeness, but rather, to create a fervor about the possibilities. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Corvette Museum Heritage Series Features the Don Messner Collection


by Keith Cornett as republished from Corvette Blogger
Don Messner wanted to plant a seed, his widow says

Dateline November 2015: Like so many Corvette enthusiasts, Don was committed to America’s Sports Car – and the National Corvette Museum. That’s why he decided to leave his collection of 10 Corvettes, many collector and special editions, low mileage examples, to the Museum when he passed away in 2013. Continue reading

Truly Crazy Corvette Customs from Yesteryear


by John Gilbert as republished from SuperChevy.com
Retro Vette Madness

Dateline October 2015: The summer of 1969 is long over, but the traces of Corvette custom culture are as vivid in the pages of old issues of Hot Rod, archived online at the Hot Rod Club, than the nostalgia associated with Farah Fawcett’s titillating smile. And yes, Farah once owned her share of wildly customized Corvettes, including Farah’s Foxy Vette by Barris. Continue reading

“Purple People Eater” 1959 Corvette road racer to cross the block in Scottsdale


1959 Chevrolet Corvette, the Purple People Eater Mk III. Photos courtesy Barrett-Jackson.

by David Conwill as republished from blog.Hemmings.com

Dateline October 2015: When Nickey Chevrolet of Chicago decided to sponsor a road racing Corvette in 1958, it wanted to make sure its advertising dollars were getting their maximum return. Accordingly, the dealership decided that to make its car stand out in a sea of white, silver, and light-blue ‘Vettes, something special was required in the paint department. Likely inspired by Sheb Wooley’s hit novelty song, the distinctive metallic purple paint job would result in the car and its two successors bearing the nickname “Purple People Eater.” Next January, the last of these cars, the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Purple People Eater Mk. III, will cross the auction block in Scottsdale, Arizona. 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

Corvette Timeline Tales: 10.18.67 – United Artists premieres Elvis Presley’s new film, “Clambake” featuring Elvis, pretty girls, awful songs, and the 1959 Sting Ray Racer


by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues

The King of Rock & Roll drives the 1959 Sting Ray Racer

By 1967 Elvis Presley was totally bored with making movies. Elvis could have been a good actor, but his fans wanted to see him smile and sing. His “serious” movies from the early ‘60s, “Flaming Star” and “Wild In The Country” didn’t do well at the box office and there were no soundtrack records. So, Colonel Parker set up long-term, million dollars-per-picture contracts, plus soundtrack LP records, and publishing rights with movie studios. For a solid five to six years, no one in Hollywood was making more money than Elvis and the Colonel. Continue reading

Corvette Timeline Tales – 10.18.62 – Chevrolet cancels the four-seater Sting Ray project


by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues

62-Thankfully, Chevrolet cancels the 4-seater Corvette “Thunderbird Fighter

In the 1950s and 1960s, unlike some of the small, low-volume European carmakers, Detroit was all about “how many cars did we sell.” From 1955 to 1957 the Corvette and Thunderbird were obvious competitors with the T-Bird vastly outselling the Corvette in 1957, 21,380 units to the Corvette’s 6,339 units – over three-to-one! Then Ford shocked everyone by walking away from the 2-seater sports car platform to a 4-seater, almost mid-size coupe and convertible. Sales shot up to 37,892 in 1958 and by 1961, Ford sold 73,053 Thunderbirds, compared to Chevy’s 10,939 Corvettes. Cole wanted Chevrolet to have a piece of the action, so he suggested (ordered) that a 4-seater ’63 Sting Ray Coupe be built as an R&D project. Continue reading

01 – Corvette announces Dale Earnhardt/Dale Earnhardt Jr to co-drive the Number 3 GM Goodwrench Corvette C5-R at Daytona


by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues

“The Intimidator” and “The Intimidator Jr.” selected to drive for the Corvette Racing Team

Dateline October 2015: Dale Earnhardt was 49-years-old and arguably at the top of his game when it was announced that “The Intimidator” and his son, Dale Jr. would co-drive the Number 3 C5-R Corvette at the 2001 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race on February 3 and 4, 2001. Continue reading

Corvette Timeline Tales: 10.15.54: The Zora Arkus-Duntov letter that saved the failing Corvette!


Words and Art by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues.

Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Godfather of the Corvette, proves that the pen is mightier than the sword!

Dateline October 2015: By the end of the production run of the 1954 Corvette, it was obvious – the car was a flop. Only 300 cars were built in 1953 with many given away for promotions. (John Wayne, General Curtis LeMay, ABC News commentator Alex Drier, and movie star Dinah Shore got 1953 Corvettes) For 1954 Chevrolet dropped the price of the Corvette $724, down to $2,774, a 30.1-percent reduction, but it only helped a little, as only 3,640 Corvettes were sold. The same year, Chevrolet sold 248,750 240 Bel Air four-door sedans! When an executive told Duntov that the Corvette was finished, Duntov put pen to paper and proved the pen to be mightier than the sword, or the calculator. Continue reading

1955 Chevrolet Corvette Ready to Race Now at Just 95,000


republished from WindingRoad.com

Location: Bellflower, CA

Chassis # VE555001196

This particular chassis has no racing history. We restored it from a basket case to commemorate the famous EX87/5951 Corvette which set the 150+ mph speed record at Daytona Beach in January 1956. It is presented as closely as possible to the paint scheme and configuration of that milestone car in Corvette History. Continue reading

9-27-52 – General Motors officially begins using the name “Corvette” for its new sports car

Three and one half months before the 1953 GM Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria, GM officially begins to use the word “Corvette” for its new 2-seater sports car. – Videos

Timeline: 9.27.15 – Last month we told you about Chevrolet PR-man Myron “Scotty” Scott’s induction into the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Scott was the man responsible for coming up with the name “Corvette” for Harley Earl’s “American sports car” show car concept. The working name for the two-seater had been “Opel.” How uninspiring! (Hey Man! Did you see the new Op?”) Over 300 names were rejected before Myron Scott found the word, “Corvette” in the dictionary. I wonder if a copy of that list is still around.

“By the books” the American flag, in its entirety, is not supposed to be used for anything but the American flag, and thus cannot be used as part of a logo or trademark. This “rule of the flag” is pretty much ignored these days, but back in 1952, GM’s lawyers nixed Harley Earl’s first Corvette logo design because Earl wanted to use the American flag. (How cool would that have been?!) Continue reading

Corvette Timeline Tales: 9-26-91 – Callaway Engineering completes its 500th Twin-Turbo Corvette conversion

Callaway Engineering completes its 500th Twin-Turbo Corvette conversion – Videos


Dateline: 9-26-15: Callaway Cars did something that no other outside vendor had ever done before or since for the Corvette line. From 1987 to 1991 Chevrolet offered, on the official Corvette order form, RPO B2K – Callaway Twin Turbo (not GM installed). RPO B2K started as a $19,995 option on top of the ’87 Corvette’s base price of $27,999, making it the most expensive option ever offered on a Corvette – a record that stood until the arrival of the $27,016, 1990 RPO ZR-1 option. The twin-turbocharged L98 engine was initially rated at 345-horsepower, up from the stock L98’s 240-horsepower. By 1991 the Callaway twin-turbo was rated at 403-horsepower.

The first Callaway Twin Turbo Corvettes sported twin NACA ducts on the hood and unique lightweight wheels. Later versions had full body kits designed by Paul Deutschman Continue reading

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