Feast your eyes on the lines and shapes of this classic Bill Mitchell Shark Corvette
For shark Corvette fans, this is a MUST-SEE Corvette video. The video looks to have been shot inside a long, lighted roadway tunnel because the light reflections is what creates this artistic, dreamy video.
As you are watching, keep in mind that the shape of the car was worked out almost 50 years ago! And it still is dripping with sexitude. Continue reading
A Fond Farewell to a Delightful Venue.
Wheaton Village in Millville, New Jersey had been the home of Corvettes Unlimited of Vineland, NJ for well over a decade. Wheaton Village is a tribute to the old days when commercial glass products were part of the local economy. Today, it’s a beautiful tourist attraction with shops, historical artifacts, and a functioning glass blowing studio in the style of the old days of glass making. So, what a perfect place to have a fiberGLASS Corvette car show!
But things change, and for a variety of reasons, Corvettes Unlimited is having their “American Glass and Steel Show” at Michael Debbi Park in Richland, NJ on October 9 with a rain date of October 16. There will actually, be two separate shows. Obviously, the “glass” part is for Corvettes. The “steel” part will feature muscle cars, antique cars, custom cars, street rods and trucks. For more information about the show, CLICK HERE.
In the meantime, enjoy the above slide show. I first attended the Vettes at Glasstown Show in ‘09, where I bumped into my Corvette and artist friend, Jonathan Settrella. With the Corvettes at Carlisle show still fresh in my mind, the Glasstown show seemed down right “cozy.” Don’t get me wrong, the Carlisle experience is astonishing, but being there is a real marathon. While talking with Jonathan I said to him, “This is a very nice little show, really!” To which Jon replied, “Ah! This is nothing! We used to get three times as many cars here.”
But since I hadn’t attended any of the previous shows, what I saw was just right. I was able to take my time, look at all the cars, Continue reading
Show us your engines!
I would venture to say that the most common question Corvette owners get is, “What year is your Vette?” Everyone wants to know how new or how old your Corvette happens to be. The second or third most common question owners hear is “What’s under the hood?” Now, we’re getting down to business. Were it not for stout, high-performance engines, Corvettes would have been just another Detroit pretty face. Two aspects of Corvettes that simply CAN NOT be disconnected on are “looks” and “power.”
In October 2010 when I attended the Vettes at Glasstown Corvette Show I took LOTS of pictures of Vette engines. Since most everyone had their hoods up and were saying in Corvette body language, “Hey! Look at my engine!” why not take pictures? When looked at over the span of nearly 60 years, you can clearly see visual phases in under-the-hood appearance.
From ‘53 to ‘66 engines were amazingly simple and 95% of everything was easily accessible. As emissions controls crept in, things got a little busy and by the end of the C3 generation, all kinds of things seemed to be growing under the hood. The first of the C4 engines had a big, honk’n cover over the cross-fire injectors and by ‘85 Vettes were again full-blown, fuel injected machines. The L98 and the LT1 and LT5 engines all had unique-looking fuelie designs. The LT-5 engine that powered the C4 ZR1 was as visually stunning as the old 427/435 big-blocks.
With the arrival of the new LS-series in ‘97, the all-aluminum engines started wearing engine covers. Open the hood of a C5 or C6 Corvette and the biggest and first thing you see is the engine cover. The covers aren’t really needed, but they sure look cool and are now Continue reading
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Week continues with coverage of 1953 to 1962 C1 Corvettes!
Over the years, Corvettes have evolved into ultimate American supercar. Yea, there are a handful of high-end exotics that can walk away from a C6 ZR1, but with enough $$$, you can do nearly anything. But like Hobbits from the Lord of the Rings trilogy series, Corvettes turned out to be the most unlikeliest of heroes when you look at the earliest Corvettes. While the ‘53 – ‘54 Corvette was a fine-looking car compared to its contemporaries, good looks will only get you so far. Thankfully, the 265 Chevy small-block arrived just in time. If there had been no SBC engine, the Corvette never would have made it into the ‘60s.
The difference between a ‘53 Blue Flame Six and a ‘62 Fuel Injected Corvette with the racer kit options is astonishing. By ‘62, Fuelie Corvettes had a near strangle hold on SCCA A/Production racing. Established racers such as John Fitch and Dr. Dick Thompson helped carry the banner forward and start up racers including the great Dave MacDonald, and Dick Guldstrand Continue reading
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Week continues with coverage of 1963 to 1967 C3 Corvette Sting Rays – The Original American Idol!
Yesterday we showed you some of the C3 Shark Corvettes from the 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Show. We attended on friday and it was a good thing because I read on keith Cornett’s CorvetteBlogger.com that overcast skies on Saturday have vendors packing by noon time. Hurricanes seldom blow up the east coast the way that Irene did, what’a shame it had to be that weekend.
While the 1965 Mako Shark II show car was a total game-changer for Corvette styling, back then no one was saying, “Gee, don’t you think the Sting Ray is looking a little tired?” NEVER HAPPENED. I’ve often wondered what the Corvette would look like today had the shark styling had not happened and the Sting Ray design was allowed to develop and mature, the same way the 911 Porsche did over the years. Today’s 911 Porsche still has the basic look from when the car first arrived as a 1965 model.
While Chevrolet stylist Larry Shinoda is generally credited for designing the Sting Ray, Larry’s work began where the Q-Corvette ended. In 1957 Ed Cole, the lead designer on the small-block Chevy engine was no the general manager of Chevrolet and wanted to leave his mark on future Chevrolets by reengineering the entire line up of Chevy cars with transaxles so that the interiors could all be opened up with the elimination of the big transmission hump. The larger project was called the “Q-Chevrolets” and the “Q-Corvette” was just one can in the line. The Q-Chevrolets were supposed to be introduced by 1960, but after the numbers were crunched, the entire project was canceled.
Bill Mitchell took the opportunity to make the Corvette his own. He liked the look of the Pininfarina and Boano body designs on the Italian Abarth cars. The strong horizontal crease and fender humps were borrowed from the Italian cars. The structure of the Q-Corvette had a hoop/roll bar behind the driver’s seat. This allowed the car to have lift-out roof panels and the absence of an a-pillar for the windshield. Stylists Bob Veryzer and Pete Brock worked under Mitchell’s direction, with the help of Continue reading
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Week continues with coverage of 1968 to 1982 C3 Shark Corvettes!
Bill Mitchell’s Mako Shark II Corvette show car is arguably THE most important Corvette concept car ever! This car literally changed everything the Corvette had ever been in terms of styling. The design was so fresh, new, original, dynamic, and dripping with sex, it just HAD TO BE the next Corvette. Oh, how I wish I could have been in the GM styling review yard in March 1965 when Mitchell and his team rolled the nonfunctioning Make Shark II out for review to GM’s upper management. Too bad it wasn’t filmed. Management was so blown away they wanted it as the next production Corvette in ‘67!
After some name swapping, the ‘61 Shark show car was renamed Mako Shark I and the new design was named Mako Shark II. new die-cast badges were quickly made, and the new Mako Shark II was shipped off to the 9th International Automobile Show in New York City for its public debut. Believe it or not, the non-running, full-size show model cost GM nearly $3 Million! The crowd also got to see Chevrolet’s all-new 386 big-block engine under the tilt-forward nose of the Mako Shark. Next stop was the New York World’s Fair to the GM pavilion. What a heady time for Corvette lovers.
Meanwhile, back at Chevrolet, the hard work had already begun. It was a case of exuberance vs reality. Management wanted the new Shark as the ‘67 Corvette, after all, it was just a new body and interior, so how hard could that be, right? it turned out to be more challenging than the suits realized and soon the release date was pushed back to 1968. Even with an extra year, it was still a rushed design, as it was soon discovered Continue reading
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Week continues with coverage of 1984 to 1996 C5 Corvettes!
From 1984 to 1996 the C4 Corvettes arguably made more progress in terms of performance than any other generation Corvette. The ‘84 model arrived with the 205-horsepower “Cross-Fire Injection” engine and was quickly replaced with a real “fuelie,” the 230-horsepower L98 Bosch Tuned Port Injection engine. By ‘90 the 375-horsepower LT-5 engine arrived in the new ZR-1 and was bumped up to 405-horsepower by ‘93. The L98 received incremental improvements and hit 250-horsepower by ‘91 and was replaced with the 300-horsepower LT1 in ‘92. So, we saw some impressive power gains during the rein of the C4s.
And there were several interesting special edition C4s as well. There was the ‘86 Pace Car Special, the ‘88 35th Anniversary Edition, the ‘90 to ‘95 ZR-1 option (the single most expensive optional package in Corvette history!), the ‘93 40th Anniversary Edition, the ‘95 Pace Car, the ‘96 Collector Edition, and the ‘96 Grand Sport. That’s tremendous progress and consistent special editions that kept the C4s fresh and interesting.
Corvettes so heavily dominated the SCCA Showroom Stock racing series they were kicked out! So, the Corvette Challenge “Corvettes only” race series was created. Morrison Motorsports blasted a 50-year speed record with a mildly-modified ZR-1 and Callaway build their 898-horsepower, 254.76-MPH Sledgehammer. Tuners such as Callaway, Greenwood, and Guldstrand offered Continue reading