The Gradual Refining Process of the C4 Corvette Is Underway
Dateline: 10.9.14 – Twenty-eight years ago today Chevrolet released the new 1987 Corvette to the buying public. A look back at the 1987 Corvette fills me with irony. Performance was back to ‘60s levels, fuel-injection was standard (yes, a Fuelie!), the car had a top speed of 150-MPH making it the fastest car in America in 1987, the Kim Baker’s Corvette was kicking butt in the SCCA Showroom Stock racing series, and it was one of Car and Driver’s Top Ten Cars of 1987. That’s not too shabby! Especially considering the Corvette’s dark disco days of the late ‘70s.
Yet today, 1987 Corvettes are some of the most unwanted used Corvettes on the market. Check out Keith Cornett’s VetteFinders.com and you’ll see many mid-‘80s Corvettes going for less than $10,000. Why is this? Simple – because since that time Corvettes have gotten so progressively better! It doesn’t mean that there’s anything “wrong” or “bad” with the ‘80s Corvettes (unless you can’t stand the square dash design) , it’s just that Chevrolet did such a fine job of honing and refining the car, the new Vettes are just more desirable.
I covered the 1987 Corvette in my Illustrated Corvette Series No. 71 monthly column in the May 2003 issue of VETTE Magazine. Here’s the story copy, the article layout is below.
Illustrated Corvette Series No. 71 – 1987 Corvette “Return to Greatness”
After having been kicked around for over 15 years as an overweight has-been, the ’87 Corvette reestablished itself as America’s performance car. You have to go back to the ’70-1/2 LT-1 and LS6 454 big-block to see performance figures like those of the ’87 Corvette. Although there was only a 5hp increase in power, testers reported that it felt more like 25hp. With 0-60 mph times of 6.3-seconds and a top speed of 152-mph, critics, the competition, and racers were beginning to notice. Continue reading
1992 Sting Ray III, Another Corvette Movie Star
It was a dystopian, 1984, Brave New World, grim, not too far into the future, cop verses bad guy film, with lots of fighting, guns, sweat, muscle, and cool cars. Not surprisingly, the film got so-so reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 64% rating and Siskel & Ebert gave it a Thumbs Down, but Ebert liked the satirical wit. But it was good movie fun. The film debuted No. 1 at the box office and eventually grossed $58,055,768 by the end of the North American run and $159,055,768 world-wide.
Considering that the Corvette was born as a razzle-dazzle show car in 1953, it makes perfect sense that Hollywood would have affection for Corvettes in films and TV. Continue reading
The Corvette Becomes a TV Star on Route 66!
Dateline: 10.7.14 - Fifty-Four years ago today, Route 66 made its TV debut. Beginning October 7, 1960 and once a week into early 1964,viewers followed the adventures of Tod Stiles (Martin Milner) and Buzz Murdock (George Maharis) as they tooled around America in a brand new 1960 Corvette, seeking… well, adventure. Even though Chevrolet wasn’t selling that many Corvettes (10,261 units in 1960) the Chevrolet PR guys couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make the Corvette a TV star.
The guys kicked around living as true vagabonds. There were usually pretty gals and a fight scene with Todd taking a sock to the jaw and Buzz coming to the rescue. Buzz was a tough guy from Hell’s Kitchen, so he, “didn’t take no guff!” The series ran for four years with Maharis leaving the show towards the end of the third season. For the remainder of the series, Tod Stiles co-driver was Lincoln Chase, played by Glenn Corbett.
Filmed in black & white, Route 66 is a time capsule of America from 1960 to early 1964, just as Beatle Mania and the British Invasion took America’s youth by storm. Continue reading
October 5, 1966, the Running Mako Shark-II Debuts at the Paris Auto Show
Forty-Nine years ago today, October 5, 1965, the automotive press got to see the first, running Mako Shark-II show car at the Paris Auto Show in France. The non-running full-size model of the Mako Shark-II had been shown in April ’65 at the New York Auto Show and was a knock-out. The response was so overwhelming, Chevrolet brass quickly decided to build a running prototype for the next phase of development.
As V.P. of Design, Bill Mitchell laid out what he wanted the next Corvette to be. See if you can follow this.
He wanted the following; “a narrow, slim, center section and coupe body, a tapered tail, an all-of-a-piece blending of the upper and lower portions of the body through the center (avoiding the look of a roof added to a body), and prominent wheels with their protective fenders distinctly separate from the main body, yet grafted organically to it.” Continue reading
Corvette Racing Legend, Dave MacDonald Inducted Into National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame
Dateline: 9-27-14 Auto racing legend Dave MacDonald was inducted into The National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame on August 28, 2014, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. MacDonald’s induction took place 50 years after the extremely talented young driver was tragically killed in his rookie race at the 1964 Indy 500 that also claimed the life of driver Eddie Sachs. After the race, an investigation determined that there was, “No driver error.”
MacDonald learned his driving skills in Southern California behind the wheel of several championship-winning first generation Corvettes. A gentle, quiet family man off the track, MacDonald was known as “The Master of Oversteer” and a fierce competitor. His driving skills were such that they attracted the attention of two other legends in auto racing of that time, Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and Carroll Shelby. MacDonald drove prototype test cars for Duntov and was eventually hired by Shelby to drive Cobras professionally.
His induction into The National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame was well deserved and more than a little overdue. Regardless, Dave MacDonald now has a prominent and permanent place in Corvette history.
I have written extensively about the life and times of Dave MacDonald and have had the pleasure of getting to know the MacDonald family. I have Dave MacDonald’s younger brother Doug to thank. Many years ago I created a piece of line art for VETTE Magazine as a column filler “spot art” illustration. Later I included the illustration as an art print on my IllustratedCorvetteSeries.com website and mistakenly titled the print, “Dave MacDonald’s 1961 Corvette Racer.”
NEW Corvette License Plate Art Prints – 2005 to 2014
Dateline: 9-25-14 – Our new Corvette License Plates Art Print Series is making progress. With 60 years of Corvettes and many model variations, plus four different print layouts, it’s a BIG project. Here’s where I am as of today.
I started out with one year for each generation Corvette, as shown on the slider at the top of the homepage. This week I have added the following year Coupe Corvettes: C6 – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Grand Sport Coupe, 2011 Grand Sport Coupe, 2012 Grand Sport Coupe, and 2013 Grand Sport Coupe.
Each year print is available in four layouts: a red-to-white, black-to-white, blue-to-white, and one print with all three layouts.
Plus, we have available the 1962 Corvette, the 1967 Corvette Coupe, the 1982 Corvette, the 1996 Corvette Coupe, and 2002 Corvette Coupe. And for owners and fans of the Special Edition Corvettes, we have all 16 Special Edition Corvettes from the 1978 25th Anniversary Corvette to the awesome 2014 60th Anniversary 427 Convertible.
Every 11” x 17” print is signed and numbered, then shrink wrapped on 12”x18” cardboard and shipped via USPS Priority Mail for fast delivery for just $29.95 + $6.95 S&H.
Specific number prints are available upon request. Continue reading
Corvette “License Plate” Art Prints
1953 to 2014
A LIMITED SERIES IS NOW AVAILABLE-SEE THE TABLE BELOW!!!!
We are very happy to announce a new and totally unique Corvette art print series, the Corvette License Plates Series.
This is our initial rollout of the series that will soon include every year Corvette License Plate Art Print from 1953 to today. Each year in the license plate Series will feature a side view illustration on one of three different colored backgrounds: red-to-white, black-to-white, and blue-to-white.
Each print is made on matte finished white card stock, signed and numbered by the artist in a series of 500. All of our prints are shrink wrapped on cardboard and mailed in a flat USPS Priority Mail mailer for speedy delivery.
Specific number prints are available upon request.
Plus, we’re offering a single print with all three of the colored license plate layouts on one print for an All-American red, white/black, and blue presentation.
To start the series, we have one year Corvette from each generation and will be adding other year license plates quickly. Continue reading
1954 Corvair Motorama Show Car 1/25 scale model benefits the “Chip Miller Charitable Foundation” at ’14 Corvettes At Carlisle
By guest columnist, Don Theune (Slide Show at bottom)
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Corvette, “Scale Visions” has created two of the 1954 Motorama show cars – the Corvette-based “Corvair” and “Nomad.” One of which (1954 Corvette Corvair) shall be donated to raise funds & awareness for the “Chip Miller Charitable Foundation.” Scale Visions has been donating significant works of Automotive Art to the Corvettes at Carlisle charitable auctions since it began in 1996, and as help raise tens of $1,000′s for the various causes
The Corvette-based Corvair, Nomad & Corvette Hard Top were concept cars built by Chevrolet and introduced at the 1954 General Motors Motorama in New York City. The experimental concept 1954 Corvette Corvair (the name combined Corvette & BelAir into “Corvair”) Nomad, and Hard Top, unfortunately never made it into production.
Scale Visions has been creating the “Perfect gift, for the person who has everything!” (Exact Model Replicas of Your Corvette) for more than 23 years. They have been an institution at Corvettes at Carlisle for many of those years. The “works of Automotive Art” are so realistic and life like, it is hard to discern the difference between photos of the original 1/1 Corvette and its 1/25 scale counterpart.
In May 2013 Don Theune was a guest on my radio program, Far Out Radio. Enjoy the program. – Scott
John Loeper’s 1954 Corvette Hot Rod – Subtitle: Dad’s advice was, “Buy American! It will last a lifetime!”
by K.Scott Teeters (as originally published in Vette Vues magazine)
Sometimes, the things our fathers tell us when we’re young, really stick. John Loeper was just 16 years old in 1959 when he discovered a car that he just had to have.
John worked all summer, mowing lawns, doing odd jobs and such, to scrape up the $800 for a ‘54 Corvette that was previously owned, many times over.
In fact, John was the 13th owner and as fate would have it, the last owner of the car.
Loeper grew up in the beautiful, ocean side resort town of Ocean City, New Jersey and was a teenager in the ‘50s. I can’t think of a cooler place and time to be as a teenager.
John explains the car culture this way. “Back in ‘58 there really weren’t that many Corvettes on the road. Chevy had only made a little over 13,000 Corvettes by the end of ‘57 and they had a reputation as a rich kid’s car. Continue reading
The 2014 C7 Corvette Arrives… FINALLY!
After what was without a doubt the longest, most tortuous buildup for a new generation Corvette ever, Chevrolet finally unleashed the 2014 C7 Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13, 2013. It was exhausting and I thought that Tadge Juechter, Tom Peters, and Ed Welburn would never stop talking. Finally, in a “TA-DA!” style, the red C7 came up and over a ramp, making it look like the car leapt on stage. It turned out that the spy photos and computer generated illustrations were close… but not quite on the mark. No, what we saw was better. But, I expected this, as the same thing happened before the C6 arrived – only we weren’t all on the torture rack for months on end.
This was the fifth new generation Corvette arrival I have seen, and it’s never easy. The ‘68 C3 wasn’t “Mako Shark” enough for many. The ‘84 C4 seemed too straight-lined and slab-like. The ‘97 C5 was called “too round” by some. The ‘05 C6 seemed like a crisped up C5 and was deemed a “C5.5” by a few. When it comes to Corvettes, you just can’t make everyone happy. However, each new generation, except for the C3, dished up stacks of impressive mechanical improvements, each taking the new generation to a new and higher level of performance. Continue reading
Scott talks with CorvetteBlogger.com and VetteFinders.com owner, Keith Cornett about how to create your own online magazine in the world of blogging.
Our guest is Keith Cornett, a modern Corvette guy. He has a deep appreciation for the car’s long and rich past and even owns his Dad’s tuxedo black 1966 Corvette 327 small-block Roadster. And he knows his way around modern Corvettes too and has blended his passion for Corvettes with his passion for the internet and the blogosphere.
Keith is the owner of one of the most successful Corvette blogs in the Corvette community. CorvetteBlogger.com is updated several times a day with varied, interesting, feature-filled posts that are always fun to check out. You never know what you’ll find when you go to CorvetteBlogger.com – videos, slide shows from car shows, interviews, sales stats for Corvettes, Chevrolet press releases, auction results, quirky Corvette items, unusual Corvettes on eBay, Vettes in the news, personality features, and on and on. Continue reading
Corvette restoration master, Kevin Mackay talks about his FAVORITE restored Corvettes
To Listen to FREE Archived Kevin Mackay, CLICK HERE.
Hello Corvette Fans! Our guest on Far Out Radio is early generation Corvette restoration expert, Kevin Mackay. Kevin is the owner of CORVETTE REPAIR, in Valley Stream, New York (on Long Island), as well as an early model judge with NCRS – that’s the National Corvette Restoration Society.
Kevin and his team of specialists have had the honor of having brought back to life some of the most valuable, important Corvettes that ever existed – as well as the creation of some of the most unique automotive display pieces.
We talk to Kevin about his amazing career and creations – and to help this program come alive, Kevin and Scott discuss many of the Great Corvette restoration projects listed on the post over at FarOutRadio.com Click Here to link to the post. Continue reading