Chevrolet Marketing truly out-did themselves with the Dubai debut of the 2019 ZR1 Corvette!!!
Dateline: 12-26-17 Images: GM Archives & Wiki Commons – Dubai is arguably the most spectacular place on the planet. Just look at the below images of the Dubai skyline at night. It shows what can be done with almost unlimited capital. The city looks like something out of a Star Trek film!
So what a better place to debut the new C7 ZR1 Corvette. Tadge Juechter said a subtle, but VERY interesting thing, did you catch it? He said that his Corvette engineering team did everything they could possible do to the C7 platform when designing and developing the ZR1. Hmmm.
When a chief engineer says that, do you know what that means??? Continue reading
Dec 25 1909 – Corvette Timeline Tales: Happy Birthday to Corvette Godfather Zora Arkus-Duntov – 2 VIDEOS
December 25th, 1909 – Happy Birthday to Corvette Godfather Zora Arkus-Duntov
Dateline 12.25.17: (UPDATE! My monthly column in Vette Magazine, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” is in the middle of a six-part series titled, “Corvette’s Founding Fathers”. Part 4, “Corvette Godfather, Zora Arkus Duntov” will be available soon on Super Chevy .com, and will be in the June 2018 issue of Vette that will be out in March 2018.)
Zora used to joke that he had the “birthday-Christmas curse”, which means you won’t get double the number of gifts – which is funny coming from him because he was Jewish. The man had an awesome sense of humor! Regardless, Zora Arkus-Duntov’s part in the Corvette story is just as important as the original design of the car.
When Zora went to work for GM on May 1, 1953, no one inside GM knew anything about serious sports car racing. I Continue reading
The rumors were true! The new C7 ZR1 will be available as a coupe AND a convertible. TOP DOWN, OH, WOW!!!
Dateline: 12.24.17 – Images: GM Archives – Let’s briefly back up to 1990 in order to put the significance of the new C7 ZR1 convertible into perspective. When the first ZR-1 was released in 1990 there was no way that it could have been offered as a convertible. In order to even make the C4 a convertible, a large X-brace had to be added to the bottom of the C4’s chassis.
The C4 ZR1 had a nice run from 1990 to 1995. But when the C5 Z06 arrived, offering ZR-1-level performance at a fraction of the cost, the C4 ZR1’s star began to fade. What made the C5 Z06 such a track star was it’s strong structure. It was as it Corvette engineers discovered structural rigidity. Thanks to lessons learned in the C5-R Corvette Racing Team experience, the C6 Z06 took the concept of structural rigidity to a new level, and with an aluminum frame to boot!
Corvette performance fans were so jazzed over the C6 Z06 that no one was pinning for something more. So, when Chevrolet released the C6 ZR1, dripping with carbon fiber and the supercharged 638-horsepower LS9 engine, heads were spinning and Duntov sat up in his grave and said, “Vhat?!?!?” (There was no convertible version, but no one was asking for one.) The C6 ZR1 was everything that Corvette engineers could possibly do with the C6 platform.
When that happens, there’s only one thing left to do – start working on the next generation Corvette! Continue reading
Rare Corvette Engineering Prototype Goes ON THE BLOCK at Mecum Kissimmee 2018 Auction, January 5 – 14 – Lot 165
Car auctions are a lot of fun because you never know how much or how little any given car is going to sell for. The exception being rare Ferraris, Cobras, and anything owned by Steve McQueen – they always sell for A LOT! Corvettes are especially unpredictable. Several years ago the John Greenwood Sebring ’74 IMSA Corvette (the Batmobile) was a NO SALE. In 2016 the very first C7 2017 Grand Sport Corvette to roll off the assemble line sold for only $170,000. Many, including me, thought that the car would go for a lot more, as previous “first off the assembly line” Corvettes have sold for big bucks. A lot of it has to do with the mood of the economy. So, we never know and predictions are often way off.
Next month at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, January 5 – 14, a truly rare ZR-1 Corvette will hit the auction block. The Lot Number is, S165. When the ZR-1 finally came out as a 1990 Corvette is was a very big deal. This was truly an exotic Corvette with its Lotus DOHC all-aluminum engine and wide body. Tommy Morrison’s race-prepared, but stock, ZR-1 shattered speed endurance records, thus legitimately giving the ZR-1 the nickname, “King of the Hill.”
Engineering prototypes and mule Corvettes are typically stripped of their good parts and then sent to the crusher; a terrible fate. But sometimes, a few are saved. According to Mecum, the ZR-1 that will be auctioned off next month is one-of-two “known” C4 ZR-1 prototypes; 25 prototypes were build in July 1987. Continue reading
Barrett-Jackson 2018 Scottsdale Auction will auction off one-of-six Fiberfab Centurion (1959 Stingray Racer), fully-functional, period-correct kit cars – NO RESERVE!
Dateline: 12.15.18 (Images: Barrett-Jackson.com) – Back in the 1960s the built-it-yourself “kit car” craze exploded with all kinds of interesting poser cars that used contemporary chassis, engine, drive train, and suspensions. Fiberglass was the carbon fiber of the day, so all kit cars had fiberglass bodies. Ads for kit cars were always in the back of Hot Rod, Car Craft, Road & Track, and most car magazines, and were a lot of fun to daydream about. And they had cool names, such as; Aztec, the Jamaican, Valkyrie, Vagabond, Banshee, and for Corvette lovers, the Centurion.
The Fiberfab Company had a whole series of sports car style bodies that looked very close to Ford GT40s and Ferrari Daytonas. The trouble with kit cars was that most were never completed, stalling out when it came to the electrical wiring part of the project. The body that the customer got typically required a lot of finish work, so most kit cars turned out not so good and many were never finished. Continue reading
Timeline Tales – 11-25-81: A pre-production C4 Corvette runs 1.01 g on skidpad at GM Milford Proving Ground!
When it comes to skid-pad figures, Corvettes have been in “exotic territory” since 1984!
Dateline: 11.29.17 (Photo GM Archives) – Thirty-five years ago the statistical benchmark for performance sports car handling was getting as close to, or over the magical “1 g” mark on the skid pad. So when news broke that a development Corvette had gone past the 1 g mark, the rumor mill kicked things up a few notches, because the only machines that were in the 1 g territory were racecars, and perhaps a few exotic streetcars.
When the new 1984 was finally released into the hands and lead feet of magazine road testers, the numbers weren’t over the magic 1 g level, but here’s what Car and Driver had to say, “The road holding on this new machine is so advanced that we recorded the highest skidpad lateral acceleration — 0.90 g — ever observed with a conventional automobile by this staff. That figure practically trivializes the previous high-water marks, in the 0.82-g range, generated by such exotics as the Porsche 928 and assorted Ferraris.” (Take THAT Germany and Italy!)
Today’s performance benchmark is 0-60 in the 2-second zone. So far only a few modern streetcars are capable of that head-swimming feat. Continue reading
We are happy to announce the launch of Corvette Report’s “Vette of the Month” Photo Contest.
Here’s the deal.
Dateline: 11.25.17 – Send us your best photo of your Corvette and we will post it on our “Vette of the Month” photos page.
At the end of the month we will pick a winner, and announce it as a post here at Corvette Report.
The winner will get;
An “America’s Old Glory Sports Car” print of their year Corvette, signed and numbered by K. Scott Teeters.
To enter, use the below Entry Form. Continue reading
The 1964 AWD CERV II – Duntov’s planned Ford GT40-Killer and Le Mans Champion.Dateline: 11.23.17 – For decades the topic of a mid-engine Corvette was simply “pie in the sky.” It was a fanciful piece of Corvette lore going back to the early days when Zora Arkus-Duntov was driving the Corvette brand. Every so many years, the topic would resurface, so when I heard it again for the umpteenth time, just after the C7 arrived, I said, “Oh, sure…” But, it’s going to happen, finally! The mid-engine C8 Corvette will make its grand debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a 2019 model.
In the interest of explaining how we got to where we are with the whole, long, mid-engine Corvette story, lets buckle into the Corvette Report Time Machine, set the dials (yes, we still use “dials” here at Corvette Report) and go back to 1963/1964 when that wiley, silver-haired Russian fox, Zora Arkus-Duntov tried once again, to build a “Corvette” to race at Le Mans. Indulge me while I bench race a little here, Continue reading
Dateline: 11.21.17 – We’re not sure how often this has happened, but “not often” is a safe bet. This was the inaugural season of IMSA’s GT Championship racing series. The cars were Grand Tour-style racecars that ran in the GTU and GTO classes. “GTU” class was for cars with engines under 2.5-liters and “GTO” class was for cars with engines over 2.5-liters. At the end of the 200-mile race, Don Yenko and Dave Heinz came in 1st overall and 1st in the GTO class, followed by SEVEN other Corvettes!
It was a banner season for Corvettes and Chevrolet in IMSA GTO racing in 1971 with Chevrolet winning the Constructor’s Championship for the year with 51 points and Shelby way back in 2nd place with 13 points.
Here’s how the cars crossed the finish line:
1st in GTO class and 1st overall is the Toye English #57 1969 Corvette L-88 driven by Dave Heinz and Don Yenko. Continue reading
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Whatever year Corvette you own or love, we have a baseball/trucker cap for you.
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To start to order your America’s Old Glory Corvette baseball/trucker cap, Continue reading
A walk on “hallowed ground” of Corvette design.
Dateline: 11.18.17 – My monthly column in VETTE Magazine, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” is now in its 21st year. I’m in the middle of a series I’m calling, “The Corvette’s Founding Fathers” that covers the careers of Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus Duntov, Larry Shinoda, and Peter Brock. Each of these men played a foundational roll in setting the pattern and personality of the Corvette. Without them, the Corvette might not have survived the 1950s.
I’m now working on installment number three, covering Bill Mitchell that will appear in the May 2018 issue of VETTE Magazine and will be out in March 2018. While researching Mitchell Continue reading
Corvette “Timeline Tales” Nov. 16, 1956: One magnesium-bodied XP-64 (Corvette SS) would be built for the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring race
The 1957 Corvette SS Racer’s exotic body turned out to be the hot ticket to failure!
Dateline: 11.16.17 (VIDEO BELOW!) – This was such a heady time! Corvettes were starting to do well in racing and the Fuelie was about to go into production. Chevy general manager Ed Cole gave Duntov the green light to move forward with the XP-64/Corvette SS racer. The XP-64 was a purpose-built, tube-frame racer that was to be the template for Duntov’s 1957 Le Mans assault team of Corvette SS racecars.
“Lightweight” was sports car exotica in those days and the only thing lighter than fiberglass or aluminum was magnesium, so the XP-64 was to have an exotic magnesium body. Continue reading
Chevrolet just released “The Ultimate Front-Engine Corvette”!
Dateline: 11.15.17 (All images GM Archives, except where noted) The wait is FINALLY over! If you recall, the C7 ZR1 was supposed to make its debut last January at the Detroit Auto Show, but was a no-show. Since then, there was a steady stream of reports, rumors, and spy photos of heavily camouflaged ZR1 engineering mule cars. Lots of tease, no solid details.
The December 2017 issue Car and Driver is first off the line to splash the new ZR1 and I’m sure the rest of the automotive print publications will be dedicating their covers to what is now being called, “The Ultimate Front Engine Corvette!” (Note the reference to “front-engine” as a primmer for the mid-engine C8.) But yes, the new King will get boat loads of ink.
If you recall, Car and Driver splashed the C7 ZR1 on its April 2017 issue with the cover story, “25 Cars Worth Waiting For”. After that, it certainly seemed like, “any day now” the ZR1 would arrive. Then the LONG wait began. I recently said to my Corvette friend, Mike Wahl, Continue reading
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Chevy’s Steroid-Injected “Bad Boy” Vette
Dateline: 11-9-17 (All photos GM Archives) Kudos to the Corvette product planners and engineers for expanding on the Z06 “performance model” concept. “Suspension” has always been key to the Corvette’s success. From 1957 to 2000 Chevrolet offered many variations of suspension options for Corvette buyers. The early offerings up to 1975 were for serious track cars and included, the 1957 to 1959 RPO 684 Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension, the 1960 to 1962 RPO 687 Heavy Duty Brakes and Special Steering option, the 1963 RPO Z06 Special Performance Equipment package, the 1967 to 1969 L88 engine and J56 Special Heavy Duty Brakes package, the 1970 to 1972 RPO ZR1 and ZR2 packages, and the 1973 to 1975 RPO Z07 Off Road Suspension and Brake Package. Up to this point, all of the before-mentioned special option packages were considered, “Off Road”, that’s code for; RACING.
For spirited street use, from 1974 to 1982 customers could option RPO FE7, the Gymkhana Suspension that gave customers stiffer front sway bar and stiffer springs for just $7.00! The term “gymkhana” means, “A day event comprising of races and other competitions between horse riders or car drivers.” A more modern term today would be, “Autocross.” Continue reading