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
Master model builder Don Theune shares his touching encounter with Corvette maestro, Zora Arkus-Duntov
When you are a kid and your birthday is on Christmas you tend to not get double gifts. But Duntov made up for any toy deficiency as a child after he took over the Corvette program. Arguably, no one had more fun playing with Corvettes inside Chevrolet than Duntov.
Not only did he design and develop the go-fast parts we all came to know and love, but he usually did his own track testing. What’a lucky guy! Here’s our Happy Birthday tribute to Zora Arkus-Duntov and a big THANKS to Don Theune. Continue reading
How does 450-horsepower for the base C7 sound to you?
I have been taking a blogging break so I could get some new art print layouts completed in time for the holidays.
Unless you’ve been under your car the last week of so, you could NOT have noticed LOTS of breaking news about the C7.
THIS JUST OUT!!! The C7 will be powered by a 450-horsepower LT1 engine.
This will be the third iteration of the LT1. MIGHTY SHWEET! Here are the details… Continue reading
If this is the C7 Corvette, is it revving you up, or stalling you out?
Be sure to take our informal survey at the end of this post.
We’re now about 3-1/2 months from FINALLY knowing what the next generation C7 Corvette will look like and what kinds of mechanical improvements Chevrolet has in store. I have no doubt that the new C7 will run like a bear, but don’t expect anything revolutionary, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the C6 platform is already pretty stout. I’m hoping that the base C7 uses the all-aluminum chassis design of the C6 Z06.
What’s got a lot of Corvette fans holding their breath is the car’s styling. In November ‘11 Jalopnik.com set the Corvette world on fire with their computer generated illustrations that were NOT well received by the Corvette community. GM cried “FOUL! That’s NOT the Corvette!” and Jalopnik said, “Yes, it is, STUFF IT!” Even before the Jalopnik flap there was a lot of jib-jab from GM people that the the next Vette would be a “world car” and designed for a “younger generation.” We also heard that the new Corvette would not be “your grandfather’s Vette.” (OUCH!)
What it comes down to is this. GM will do what it wants to do and we can love it or leave it. It’s no secret that Corvette sales have been dismal the last few years, but it’s not because the car is dismal! Quite the contrary. The Corvette product planners have done a spectacular job of availing to customers a truly “boutique” Corvette. 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
Subtitle: Omega Tool Corp Does Damage Control, ON US!
I was about to tell you all about a really awesome piece of Corvette racing history that’s going on the auction block, when I received an interesting email from the law firm of Schafer and Warner, PLL demanding that we remove the wrongfully and illegally posted image of a screen shot from a bootlegged video that was posted online that sure looks like the nose of the C7 Corvette. I discovered the images from my Google Alerts, which is setup to inform me of Corvette related stories in the news. The only image in the post showed the front bumper cover of what was speculated to be the nose of the C7 Corvette. The image was linked back to the source of the story, as per my Google Alert, and we included a text link to the source.
In followup emails from Google Alerts on Monday, Tuesday, and early Wednesday, it was obvious that the Corvette hungry community was all over this story like flies on stink. So I’m sure the legal eagles have been working hard to scour the net, racking up copious hours of billing time.
Well, I got on it right away, YES, SIR! Least we be the cause of any damages the the Omega Tool Corp might suffer as a result of their own problem. No, the only “suffering” they’ll incur is the butt chewing they probably already received from their big boss, plus the bill they’ll be getting from their attorneys for fix their screw up. It’s funny, because when I first read the story, I said out loud, “D’OGH! Someone’s in a HEAP OF TROUBLE!” The picture that came to my mind’s eye was that of sheriff Buford T. Justice, the cartoony character wonderfully played by Jackie Gleason in the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies. (next I’ll get a letter about the Gleason image) If you were able to see the illegal images in question, you might have wondered, “Is this REALLY the nose of the C7?” Now you know for sure, IT IS THE C7! Otherwise there wouldn’t be this Continue reading
Good for the Chevy Volt, ah, not so good for GM’s halo Corvette
When the Chevy Volt concept car came out at the North American International Auto Show in 2007 it was a genuine attention grabber. Even a died-in-wool Corvette fan like me said, “Hey, pretty cool!” Between the big diameter wheels, the chopped and channeled look, and the promise of 50-plus mpg, it looked like Detroit was serious about taking the lead away from the Toyota Prius.
But when the production Volt came out, enthusiasts said, “Ahh… Excuse us, but what happened?” Of course, fans of the Prius “larva school of styling” cheered, but were not electrified buy the Volt. And why would they? At over $40,000, the car cost $12,00 to $10,000 more than the Prius. It looks like a Malibu variant. The Malibu is a nice car, but it’s just a “nice” car. Even the Motor Trend Car of the year didn’t help the Volt. But by October 2011, the Volt was getting many buyers charged up with sales, as only 3,895 Volts had been shipped. GM had projected 10,000 Volts for ‘11.
So the big “WHOO-WHOO” news for Volt lovers (and GM) is that by the end of May ‘12, Chevy had sold 7,057 cars. I’m certain that the major reason for the bump in Volt sales was the price reduction to just under $32,000. But for some reason, the media has chosen to compare the Volt’s sales with the Corvette’s sales – and it doesn’t look good for the Corvette. What’a dopy comparison! First of all, greeny Volt fans most likely wouldn’t be caught dead in a Corvette, and visa-versa. While Corvette sales are up somewhat from ‘11, they’re still WAY off the ‘07’s total of 40,561 Corvettes. Sorry guys, but it’s apples and oranges here. Continue reading
Corvette paces the 2012 Indy 500 for the 11th time!
Every so often, a real bombshell goes off. Earlier this week, less than three weeks before the 2012 Indy 500 race, Chevrolet announced that a 2013 60th Anniversary ZR1 Corvette would pace the 96th Indy 500 race. This will the the 11th time a Corvette paces the Greatest Spectacle in Motorsports and the 23rd time a Chevrolet automobile has paced the Indy 500. No other manufacturer has paced Indy more times. And, if that’s not enough, 2012 marks the return of Chevrolet as an engine supplier for IZOD IndyCar Series.
C6 Corvettes have paced the Indy 500 in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, but this is the first time the 638-horsepower ZR1 will do the job. The ZR1 is also the most powerful car to ever pace the Indy 500. And just like most of the previous Corvette Indy pace cars, the Corvete needed no performance enhancements – just the addition of various safety requirements.
Arguably, the only bummer part of the story is for Corvette collectors. There was no announcement of an optional Pace Car Special. The livery on the ZR1 Pace Car consists of the production 60th Anniversary decoration, with the addition of the 2012 Indy 500 logo, “Official Pace Car”, Indy 500 logo, “CORVETTE” across the top of the windshield, and the safety strobe light bar on top of the B-pillar. The ZR1’s astonishing hardware aside, this is the tamest-looking Corvette Indy 500 pace car we’ve seen since 1986. But, we’re NOT complaining. Continue reading
The second time was the charm as the Corvette Daytona prototype STOMPS the competition in Hotlanta!
Congrats, Kudos, and Three Cheers to the Corvette Daytona prototype team’s first win! When the flag came down it was the electric blue Spirit of Daytona Corvette prototype to took the checkered flag at the Porsche 250 race at the Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama. Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia drove the car 103 laps with a best time of 1:22.245.
The next race will be the Grand Am Rolex Series Grand Prix in Miami on April 27-29. For more info about the team’s first big win, CLICK HERE.
And for AutoWeek’s coverage of the race, CLICK HERE.
NOW Feast your eyes on this beauty!