Corvette Timeline Tales: Happy 65th Birthday to America’s Only True Sports Car, the Corvette! – VIDEOS
On this date in 1953, GM officials never imagined their little fiberglass concept car would one day become a world-class sports car and GM’s technological flagship automobile!
Dateline: 1.17.18 – Story by Mike Waal, Images GM Archives – On this date in Corvette History, Harley Earl‘s prototype Corvette (EX-122) was introduced to the public at the GM Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in Manhattan, NYC, on January 17, 1953.
I was born and raised in Manhattan. My Dad was working for Cadillac at their show room dealership on 57th Street and Broadway, in Manhattan. Dad had access to all the car shows. While I didn’t attend this event with him, I was about to turn 6, some time between this date and 1955 I attended my first car show with my Dad. What a thrill!
My Mom got me dressed in a suit with a white shirt and tie, and put me on the subway train to meet my Dad, who was waiting for me. This is how I saw, in person, my first Corvette!
Here’s a fun Promotional film for the 1953 Corvette. Continue reading
A genuine Corvette supercar, a Baldwin-Motion Phase-III GT Corvette has a new home!
Dateline: 1.12.18, Image – Mecum Auction – One of the 10 Baldwin-Motion Phase-III GT Corvettes went “On The Block” today at the 2018 Mecum Kissimmee Auction. This was the only Phase-III GT Corvette built with the Shelby Mustang-style B-pillar scoops. The car was also featured many times in Marty Schorr’s “Hi-Performance CARS Magazine”, as well as “Corvette Fever” and “Chevy Rumble”.
Back in the day, this was a SUPER expensive custom car. In 1969 a fully-loaded 427/435 Corvette cost just over $6,000 – as much as a Cadillac! A Phase-III-GT could easily cost over $12,000! Continue reading
Corvette Timeline Tales: January 10, 1999 – Two C5-R Corvette race cars start testing for the 1999 24 Hours of Daytona – 2 VIDEOS
The Chevrolet-backed Corvette Racing Team starts its 20th racing season this month and has consistently raced longer than any other team in IMSA history. But it all started today in 1999!
Dateline: 1.10.18, Images: AutoWeek & illustration by K. Scott Teeters – Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to get focused on important stuff – such as the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship racing season! Yes, The 2018 24 Hours of Daytona event is coming up January 26-29, just 2-1/2 weeks from today.
But 19 years ago today, when the new Corvette Racing Team, with their two new Pratt & Miller-built C5-R Corvettes made their debut, no one knew the new enterprise would be so successful. Corvette racing fans were thrilled and let out a collective, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!”
GM’s standoffish attitude towards Corvette racing had been perplexing since the bad old days of the 1957 AMA Racing Ban that stopped the 1957 Corvette SS Racer and the Duntov’s 1963 Grand Sports dead in their tracks. Or as Zora used to say, “Came to a screeching halt!” Yes, the 1980s Showroom Stock and Corvette Challenge cars were cool, but Continue reading
2019 ZR1, exotic cars in Naples, and SpaceX Rocket Launch Sightings in Florida!
Dateline 1-9-18, Image, GM Archives, Space.com & SpaceFlight Now – Sometimes you just have a Lucky Day. Sunday, January 7, 2018 turned out to one of my lucky days – times three!
We were driving south on Florida I-75 (along the west, Gulf side of the state) around 1pm on a bright, sunny, warm day to visit my daughter and son-in-law. Somewhere around the Bonita Springs area, I saw heading north a BRIGHT YELLOW 2019 ZR1 Coupe! If you were a Corvette fan or someone that’s into high performance sports cars, the car was screaming, “LOOK AT ME!!!” Of course for those that aren’t into cars, it was “just” a little yellow car. (silly people!)
I said to my 90-year old Mom, “Look! There’s a 2019 ZR1!” To which she replied, “Oh, that’s nice. Where?” (She’s NOT into cars.) A short time later, I saw something low and exotic with squinty headlight eyes in my rear-view mirror. It was a McLarren P2. I said to Mom, “Look at the little car coming up on the right.” She said, “What’s THAT?” I answered, “A McLarren P2.” And she said, “Oh, I like the color!” “Moms” can be so much fun!
When we got to Nikki and Dave’s, I told Dave (a car guy) that we’d seen a 2019 ZR1. Dave was all smiles and said, Continue reading
Several very interesting and unique Corvettes will be ON THE BLOCK at the Mecum Kissimmee and Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auctions over the next few weeks.
Dateline: 1.5.18, Images: Vette Vues, GM Archives, Mecum Auctions and Barrett-Jackson Auctions – “Auctions”, be they car or even farm auctions, are a lot of fun because it is the best example of “The Marketplace”. Things sell based on what people are willing to pay and not what sellers think something is worth. If a vehicle has a Reserve that isn’t met, that means that the Seller’s notion of the car’s value isn’t in alignment with the Market. If a vehicle has No Reserve, the Market will determine the vehicle’s value.
Bidding Wars and Feeding Frenzies can wildly drive prices up, making an auction a lot of fun to watch. On the other hand, excellent vehicles are often “Well Bought” at very good prices for a variety of reasons; rough condition, poor presentation, high production numbers, and cars that are just plane weird!
Two major car auctions are upon us with some very interesting and unique Corvettes that may or may not find new owners. The Mecum Kissimmee Auction starts today, January 5, 2018 and runs to January 14, 2018. The Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction starts January 13, 2018 and runs to January 21, 2018
Of interest to Corvette and Chevy fans are the following cars;
January 12, 2018 – Mecum Kissimmee, 1969 Baldwin-Motion Phase-III GT Corvette. Lot F139
A unique piece of Corvette history, the 1965 Fuel Injected Corvette Sting Ray Coupe Cut-Away car, could be YOURS! – VIDEO below!
Dateline: 1.1.18, Images from Barrett-Jackson – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I love cut-away cars, they’re just so cool! The concept has been around at least since the 1930S and possible before that. Kevin Mackay, owner of Corvette Repair on Long Island, New York has made himself quite a reputation for his independently-produced cut-away Corvettes. We have covered most of Kevin’s cut-away Corvettes here on CorvetteReport.com.
But it is unusual when a factory cut-away hits the auction block, meaning that a private citizen will get a chance to own a unique piece of Corvette history. The 1965 Fuel Injected Corvette Sting Ray Coupe Cut-Away car will go on the block at the 2018 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, January 13-21, 2018. The Lot number is, Continue reading
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
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