Special Edition Corvettes
John and Patti Hutchinson, of Orlando, Florida, and owners of The Grand Sport Registry (www.GrandSportRegistry.com), are the winners of Corvette Report’s first “Vette of the Month” photo contest with their Grand Sport Twins!
Dateline: 12-31-17, Photos by John Hutchinson: I know that I’m preaching to the choir about the origin of what it now arguably the single most popular Corvette model ever offered by Chevrolet – the Grand Sport. The original Grand Sport concept was Zora Arkus-Duntov’s secret weapon to battle the Shelby Cobra, but GM’s adherence to the AMA Racing Ban forced Zora’s covert operation to a screeching halt. Only five cars were built, and unfortunately never given proper development. Sports car racing was progressing so fast that within two years, the Grand Sports were outdated and ten years later, nearly totally forgotten!
The five Grand Sports were bought and sold over and over. Gradually proper owners acquired the cars and took good care of them, such as Bill Tower’s Grand Sport #005 that wears the Jim Hall & Roger Penske blue and white livery.
Today, all five cars are accounted for and the Wintersteen L88-powered Grand Sport is one of the prize cars in the Simeone Collection in Philadelphia. Over the years different kit versions have been produced. But since as race cars, unlike the class-dominating Cobras, the Grand Sports didn’t win any championships, so they never got much attention outside the Corvette community. Continue reading
2016 Special Edition C7.R Z06 Corvette #001 Sells for $500,000 at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction!
The “First” 2016 C7.R Z06 Corvette #001 brings in the BIG BUCKS – Video
Dateline: 9.26.15 – Barrett-Jackson knows how to put on a show. The roster for the 3 day auction fest in Vegas was packed with beauties… and the girls were nice too. But seriously folks, the car and truck eye candy was a treat and #001 2016 Special Edition C7.R Z06 Corvette was saved for later on the last day. With “first and last” cars becoming highly collectible in the Corvette community and with so many models and special editions having been produced, we’ll no doubt see many more of these.
Ever since 1999 when the first all-out, factory-backed, long-term Corvette racing team unleashed the C5-R, adding the suffix “R” after the generation designates “racer.” So far we have the C5-R, C6.R, and the current C7.R. Continue reading
A colorful new addition to Scott Teeters’ collection of Corvette art prints!
Work continues on our new prints enterprise. In April 2012 we partnered with Fine Art America so that our Corvette art print customers could enjoy the many options afforded by FAA. Our latest offering, “Corvette Box of Candies” came as a happy result of working on our horizontal and vertical layouts of the Corvette Special Editions and Corvette Indy 500 Pace Cars layouts.
After I completed the graphics for the Special Editions and Pace Cars, it occurred to me that if I put them all on one layout, they’d look like a box of brightly colored, pretty, hard candies. You know those bright-colored, sweet, hard candies you often see in the display cases at Hallmark Card shops. Corvettes in the layout include all of the Special Edition Corvettes from the 1978 25 Anniversary Corvette to the 2011 Carbon Edition Z06, and Corvette Indy 500 Pace Cars from 1978 to 2008. So I ran the idea by the boss and she said, “Make it so, Dude!” So, the Dude, got’r done! Continue reading
Our New Partnership With FineArtAmerica.com
We are very happy to announce our new Corvette art prints enterprise with FineArtAmerica.com. But first, I must give credit, where credit is due. My lovely wife and business partner Karen, discovered FineArtAmerica.com about a month ago. Partnering with FineArtAmerica.com allows me the freedom to create Corvette art print layouts in any proportion. FineArtAmerica.com allows customers to order my Corvette prints in sizes to fit their budget needs! The optional matte and framing service allows customers the freedom to choosing their color matte and frame style to suit their decor needs.
By offering our Corvette prints through FineArtAmerica.com, customers can order prints as small as 8” x 2-5/8” up to 48” x 16” for our 1×3 proportion layouts and 8” x 8” up to 48” x 48” for our square proportion layouts. Every print can be produced on either archival matte paper, photo paper, watercolor paper, or canvas. Then, if you want, you can have your print custom matted and framed. There are dozens of matte colors and frame styles. You can design your framed print to match your home decor. The possibilities are staggering!
It’s time to do your patriotic Corvette duty and CAST YOUR VOTE!
Your local Corvette polling place is at the bottom of this post
The other day we were talking about the Ron Fellows Spring Mountain Special Edition 2012 Z06 Corvette. After posting the story I was doing some followup reading and found one post that called the car “boring.” Really? What part? Are we becoming a wee bit jaded with Special Edition Corvettes because they aren’t something other than a coordinated package of performance parts? Me thinks so.
This is an aside, but I’ve been reading similar blather on the net about Corvettes in general. I call it “goofy sniping crap.” You know what I’m talking about, the endless complaining that the Corvette isn’t a Nissan or a Porsche, or a world car, or whatever. The car is either too big (it’s about the same size as a 911 Porsche), it’s too heavy (the Nissan GTR is almost 600 pounds MORE than a Z06), it’s too expensive for younger buyers (and the Porsche and Nissan is cheaper?), materials are low grade (they want cheap, expensive materials?), and on and on.
But the fact remains that; 1. We’re in a deep economic recession, and 2. Even the base model (costing sometimes less than $50,000 if you shop around) delivers more performance per dollar than any other “sports car” you can buy. PERIOD! Is the base Corvette the baddest boy on the block? No. But if that’s what you need to feel good, be prepared to pony up three times as much as a Corvette for a top level Porsche. No, modern Vettes are tight, well-engineered performance cars that can give an owner years of dependable automotive performance pleasure for as little as $50K. Sorry for the digression.
So what’s up with all the special edition Corvettes? They’re just that, “special.” perhaps the disconnect for some is how one defines “special.” Former Corvette engineer and race car driver gave a little bit of insight into what it takes for a major manufacturer like Chevrolet to build special editions. John was largely credited with coming up with the concept for the ‘96 Grand Sport. “Monday morning quarterbacking” is for many, a sport un-to-itself. “Well, it’s just this and that, and why didn’t they do this and such, and wouldn’t you think that they could have…” Heinricy revealed that clearing out the assembly line time and pulling all the parts needed to build 1,000 Grand Sports was a major pain in the butt. For a tuner shop, 1,000 of anything would be a big deal. But for a big manufacturer, small numbers of specialty cars is a big headache. Continue reading
A Look Back at the Last of the C5 Corvettes. Was this the “Best” C5?
For the last six months in my VETTE Magazine monthly column, I have been looking back at the end of each generation Corvette with the question, “Was this the best C_ Corvette?” (with the exception of last month where I covered the Greenwood No. 49 Corvette race car that sold at the RM Monterey Auction in August ‘11). The tern “best” is subjective because it depends on what an owner’s purpose for the car happens to be. It’s easy to make a case that the “Big Brake” ‘62 Corvette Fuelie racer kit and the ‘67 aluminum head 427/437 L89 Corvettes were the “best” of their respective generation cars based on stout performance. potential. Same with the LT5 optioned ‘96 Collector Edition Corvette with its fat ZR-1 wheels and tires. The ‘82 Collector Edition Corvette was a completely different animal. “Stout” it was not, but it was arguably the most refined of the C3 Corvettes with the liftback rear hatch adding functionality that should have been with the car from the beginning in ‘68.
The C5 2004 Commemorative Edition Z06 had what was arguably the most delicious collection of creature comforts, plus what was then the pinnacle of factory performance parts all included in a beautiful, distinctive package. Briefly, the ‘04 Commemorative Edition Z06 had the following unique features that, from a performance point of view, made it “the best C5: unique paint, stripes and graphics, special interior trim, the 1SB option package, the Z06 suspension, the ultra-stiff Z06 structure, the LS6 405-horsepower engine, AND the carbon fiber hood. When the customer took delivery of their 2004 Commemorative Edition Z06, they were driving home in a totally maxed out C5 Corvette. Continue reading
For the last three months I’ve been having fun with my VETTE Magazine monthly column, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” looking back at what I believe are the “best” of every generation Corvette. So far, we have looked at the ‘62 Fuelie Corvettes and the ‘67 427/435 L89 Big-Block. This month we’re looking at the last of the C3 Corvettes, the ‘82 Collector Edition Hatchback. While it wasn’t the stump-puller from the late ‘60s and early ‘70, the ‘82 Collector Edition was a very sweet machine. So, let’s get straight to it! – Scott
The ‘70s had been a challenging and strange time for America’s sports car. Performance had been on a decline since ‘70 but because of little to-no-competition, Corvettes sold like hot cakes, hitting an all-time high of 53,807 units in ‘79. Between increasing federal demands for emissions and safety improvements, there was little time for performance. In fact, what should have been a performance improvement through the use of lighter materials – aluminum differential, tube headers, etc – was offset by reduced horsepower due to more stringent emissions controls.
When Dave McLellan inherited the Corvette from Zora Arkus-Duntov in ‘75, it was not a pretty picture. Poor quality was rooted in the seriously outdated 1920s St. Louis plant. Rumors of a new assembly plant began in ‘73. Another challenge was the Corvette’s very old chassis and drivetrain. Designed in ‘61, most components were not shared with any other GM car. John DeLorean tried to address this issue with his plan to build Corvettes on the Camaro/Firebird chassis pan. While this might have made GM’s bean counters happy, it would have been a bad move. McLellan was charged with the responsibility of tighter government controls, keeping the Corvette fresh, improving existing hardware, transitioning the car’s assembly plant, and designing and implementing the new C4. A real peach of a job, right? Continue reading
Vette Videos: 1992 ZR-1 Corvette Video hosted by Corvette Engineer John Heinricy and Four-Time Indy 500 Winner, Rick Mears
Nearly 20 years ago, this was THE hot Vette setup!
Take a test drive in a 1992 ZR-1 Corvette with Corvette engineer, John Heinricy and Indy 500 winner Rick Mears. This is an EXCELLENT. I wish these guys had done more of this. The engineering and race car driver perspective is first class. Enjoy. – Scott
Corvette Timeline Tales: August 2004 – Motor Trend Magazine Splashes the Beautiful 2004 Commemorative Edition Corvette
A Corvette Beauty and a Beast
It seems that in the last few years, the Corvette market is so hungry for cool new special editions that Chevrolet launches their latest special Vettes sooner and sooner. But it wasn’t long ago when that wasn’t the standard. Car companies traditionally previewed their new cars to the press in the Summer so that by the time Fall came around, the magazines would hit the news stands just before the new cars arrive in dealer’s showrooms. That allowed for some salivation time for fans.
When the September issue of Motor Trend arrived in early August ‘03, Corvette fans had a tasty treat! Could MT have made a bigger splash for the new 2004 Commemorative Edition Corvette? Yes, but no much more so. The driver’s side front fender was cropped slightly to better fill the cover and the Saleen S7 and Mosler MT900S got postage stamp-sized pictures in the lower left. For Corvette fans, this was a “gotta have and save issue.” I sure did!
The three-page spread spelled it all out. The ‘04 Commemorative Edition was a salute to the back-to-back class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A “Le Mans win” is like nothing else in the world of sports car racing. Someone once remarked, “You can win Daytona and only a few will remember. Win at Le Mans, and everyone remembers!” The Commemorative Edition was an option on all three Corvette models; the Coupe, Convertible, and the Z06. The package consisted of unique paint and stripes, special emblems, and embroidery on the seat backs. Price for the coupe and convertible option was $3,700 and $4,335 for the Z06.
Why $635 extra for the Z06, you wonder? Since the Z06 was the performance version of the C5, packing the 405-horsepower LS6 engine, Corvette planners thought it was only right to help the Z06 along a little by replaced the 31.3-pound stock fiberglass hood with a 20.5-pound carbon fiber hood. Was a 10.6-pound weight saving worth $635? Well… when you consider that the Z06 package put the C5 closer to a race car in terms of suspension enhancements, plus an extra 55-horsepower over the base LS1 engine… ah it depended on how deep you pocket were. The Z06 option was already $7,850 over the base coupe, plus the $4,335 for the Commemorative Edition option. So a buyer was looking at a $12,185 OVER the price of a base ‘04 Coupe for the Commemorative Edition Z06.
And in an almost typical Chevrolet understated way, the only visual difference on the Z06’s carbon fiber hood was the space between the red and white stripe where the carbon fiber is covered in clear. Yes, subtle, but there it was for Corvette lovers to hunt for. Today, carbon fiber is its own “look” and typically flaunted. Continue reading
WANNA take a RIDE in a SMOKIN HOT 2012 Centennial Edition Z06 Corvette???
Looking at pictures of hot Vettes is great, but there’s nothing better than seeing them in action, or better yet, behind the wheel! The new Z07 performance package for Z06 and ZR1 Corvettes helps the cars squeeze more performance without any additional horsepower. BRAVO Corvette team!
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then this video must be worth a million. Enjoy and pass this on to your Corvette pals!
The Centennial Edition (code ZLC) will be available on all 2012 Corvettes and is arguably the juiciest special edition Corvette offer to date. Even though the basic package is the same, between the six Corvette variants (base Coupe, base Convertible. Grand Sport Coupe, Grand Sport Convertible, Z06, and ZR1), plus the variables of trim and options, there will be lots unique Centennial Edition Corvettes. “Collectibility” will be out the window, but there will be plenty of VERY nice ‘12 Corvettes. For the full rundown on the 2012 Centennial Edition option, CLICK HERE.
And here’s the official Chevrolet 2012 Centennial Corvette video… Continue reading
A Historic Look Back at the Wheels that Vettes Ride On!
After much anticipation, the all-new C5 Corvette was released as a 1997 model. The new design was truly a “modern” Corvette. However, many of the basic components can be traced all the way back to the ‘57 “Q-Corvette” proposal. Yes, forty years before, Zora Arkus-Duntov was thinking about advanced hardware that included and all-aluminum, fuel-injected engine, an aluminum-case transaxle, inboard-mounted rear drum brakes to reduce unsprung mass, a lightweight pan chassis similar to the 356 Porsche, and four-wheel independent suspension. Fast forward forty years and you have the C5 Corvette. Lightweight alloy wheels eliminated the need for the inboard-mounted rear brakes and the new hydroformed frame rails replaced the pan body structure. Other than those details, body styling, and a lot of computerized components, the new C5 Corvette was the realization of the ‘57 Q-Corvette proposal.
As tire and wheel size grew to handle increased horsepower, it was now essential that the wheels be as light as possible for a production car. Additional unsprung mass from larger wheels and tires is the kiss of death for improved handling. The new C5 was riding on 17” x 8.5” front wheels and 18” x 9.5” rear wheels. In comparison, the ‘96 C4 Corvette Continue reading
DNA of a Supercar – Chevy shows off their Z06 & ZR1 all-aluminum frame.
Click the images to see the REALLY BIG version.
The August 2011 issue of Motor Trend Magazine arrived in my mailbox today with a special treat from Chevrolet. Starting on page 35, there’s a 6-page, fold-out, tear-out, double-sided ad for the 2012 Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition Corvette. You are first greeted with a passenger side front 3/4 view of the latest Special Edition Corvette at speed on a lonely road.
The flip side shows Corvette fans a view of the Z06 that we don’t get to see very often… Continue reading
Will there be a 2013 60th Anniversary Corvette? The odds are, YES!
Be sure to CAST YOUR VOTE at the bottom of this post. Let us know what you think
Plus, there’s a slide show of past Anniversary Edition Corvettes!
Now that it’s “official” that the C7 Corvette will be a 2014 model, that means that the final C6 will be a 2013, which opens up the very real possibility of at least one definite special edition Corvette and possibly another. (What might that be? Stay tuned!)
Beginning with the ‘07 Ron Fellows Z06 Special, Chevrolet has been on a roll, offering six Special Edition Corvettes between 2007 and 2011. “Anniversary” Corvettes started in 1978 with the Silver Anniversary paint option to commemorate the Corvette’s 25th year. To date we have seen four unique anniversary specials:
1. 1978 Silver Anniversary paint option, for $399.
2. 1988 35th Anniversary package, for $4,795.
3. 1993 40th Anniversary package, for $1,455.
4. 2003 50th Anniversary package, for $5,000.
It’s highly unlikely that Chevrolet is going to let two coinciding Corvette milestones go without some kind of celebration. So what would a 60th Anniversary Corvette look like and how would it be equipped? Obviously, we won’t know until Chevrolet wants us to know. But in the mean time, I thought it would be fun to do some speculation. Continue reading
“Build To Standard, Rather Than A Cost”
“Specialty cars” have been with us for almost 100 years. As long as there have been those with deep pockets, there have been craftsmen who said, “I can build you a special machine – for a price.” By the end of the ‘60s, a few small shops and car dealerships began offering personalized performance cars. Names such as Shelby, Dana, Nickey, and Baldwin-Motion became legends. Although the performance party was over after ‘70, the passion never went away.
In the mid-’70s, Reeves Callaway was a young foreign car enthusiast fascinated with turbocharging. Turbos had been used on the ‘60 Corvair and Olds Jetfire V8, but it was the 1,000-HP ‘73 917/30 Porsche racer that captured the imaginations of speed freaks everywhere. Continue reading
It all goes back to one man’s passion for racing. Zora Arkus-Duntov was the only executive at GM that ever raced a car at Le Mans, let alone have class wins in ‘54 and ’55. Duntov took his passion and experience and poured it into Chevrolet’s little beauty queen, the Corvette, taking the car to legendary status.
Duntov had the kind of expertise that only comes from seat of the parts experience of putting it all on the line in a four-wheel drift. With each new development in the Corvette, he always had racing on his mind. Bill Mitchell called this quality, “having gasoline in your veins.” No sooner had Duntov stuffed the new 265 small-block into the ‘55 Vette, he started secretly working on his first Le Mans intended racer, the Corvette SS. Continue reading