Dateline: 11.2.11 Hemmings Motor News old sister publication takes a look back at the first special-built Corvette race car, the SS Corvette (Be sure to check out the SS Corvette video at the bottom of this post!) Back in the early ‘80s there was a new trend in the car magazine biz – specialty publications.… Read More
Corvettes Unlimited of Vineland, New Jersey changed their venue for their annual car show from Wheaton Village, in Millville to the Michael Debbie Park in Buena Vista. To draw more attendees, the club opened up the show to classic and muscle cars, hence the new name for the show, “The Glass & Steel Show.” This post has SIX SLIDE SHOWS! Read More
By the time the ‘95 Corvette Indy Pace Car arrived, it was obvious that management let the designers have at it. These cars have to be seen in the daylight to be appreciated. The dark purple metallic paint on the upper portion looks like a lollipop. I don’t know the designer that came up with this design, but BRAVO! Since ‘95 Corvette Indy 500 Pace Cars have been, shall we say, brash, with the exception of the silver & black ‘08 Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car, which was a salute to the first 1978 Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car. Read More
Now this would never, ever, ever happen – but it’s fun to imagine. The basic idea would be this. Start with two Corvettes from each of the first three generations. Take the original designs and update the drivetrains, wheels, tires, and brakes, safety requirements, and interior materials and creature comforts. Aside from modern paint colors, wheels, and tires, they would look very much like their original counterparts. They need not be quasi race cars, loaded to the gills with hi-tech hardware. Just brand new, modernized, old-style Corvettes. Sound interesting? Let’s look at each component. Read More
Chevrolet has never gotten too much into billboard advertising for Corvettes. It’s understandable, as in the big world of General Motors, the Corvette is a very low-volume car. In 1953 when the Corvette came out and only 300 units were built, Chevrolet’s best seller was the four-door sedan that sold 332,497 units. Read More
Since you wouldn’t be here if you already weren’t familiar with the Baldwin Motion story, we don’t need to retell the entire story. Mr. Motion is now semi-retired and living the good life in warm, sunny Florida. With the Baldwin Motion brand back in action and in very good hands, thanks to his relationship with Howard Tanner, Redline Motorsports in Schenectady, and DeNooyer Chevrolet, Albany, New York. I thought the Baldwin Motion fans would enjoy hearing from the original Mr. Motion, Joel Rosen. So, one evening in early July 2011, Joel and I had an interesting conversation. Here goes… Read More
The special custom cars for GM’s top honchos has been for decades a low-key topic and were it not for several of these cars going to auction, we most likely wouldn’t know about them at all. But it seems that not all GM customs were for executives. Of course, we’ll never know for certain how many customs were built and for whom, but here’s one that went to the top Corvette salesman back in the mid-’60s. In the world of Chevrolet sales, Bob Wingate was known as “Mr Corvette” because he sold more Vettes than anyone else.
This is an amazing story of achievement, reward, loss, recovery, and a beauty of a restoration. I covered this car in my VETTE Magazine Illustrated Corvette Series No. 158, back in Winter of 2010. Enjoy! – Scott Read More
Yesterday we told you about Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen’s factory custom ‘64 Blue Fire Mist Corvette Coupe. Well, what a NICE husband Semon must have been! Here’s the ‘64 Corvette Bunkie got for his misses. (I know, what’a guy!) What’s not known is if Mrs. Knudsen said, “Semon, so where’s MY Corvette?” or if he just surprised her one day. I’ll vote that he surprised her one day. Read More
I don’t know if the GM Design Center still does customs, but back in the glory days, one of the perks of being an executive was that you could get a GM car built just for you. I don’t know if the executives actually “designed” their cars or if the GM Design Center guys just “had at it.” (Okay Mr. Knudsen, what color would you like?”) It’s an interesting and very overlooked part of GM’s history. What’s not overlooked is when these cars go on the auction block or are on display at shows.
The second piece of big news for ‘86 was that a Corvette would pace the Indy 500 for the second time. Retired general Chuck Yeager was enjoying celebrity status as a result of the book and movie, “The Right Stuff.” But Chevrolet was still smarting from the heavy criticism over the ‘78 Corvette Pace Car debacle and seemed to go in the opposite direction. Rather than producing a set number of pace car relicas, ALL ‘86 Corvette convertibles were designated as a “Pace Car Replica” and came with dealer or customer applied decals for the doors. Many said, “Why bother.” Read More
It was an interesting generation. Certainly in the Fall of ‘67 as the first Shark ‘68 Corvettes were arriving in Chevrolet showrooms, no imagined the shape would have a 15-year run, with a chassis designed in 1960! The comedian Gallagher used to have a routine about how Americans have, “S t y l e……” The Mako Shark-II defined THE basic “style” of America’s sports car.
What was your favorite C3 Corvette? Read More
Within the machinations of a big corporation, to get things done, it’s good to have an angel. Zora Arkus-Duntov had several angels. We’ve talked about Duntov’s relationship with Chevrolet honcho Ed Cole. But one angle that doesn’t get much attention was Simon “Bunkie” Knudsen.
Simon’s father was former GM president, William S. Knudsen. While this was helpful for the younger Kneudsen’s career, things weren’t handed to Bunkie – he had to work for what he accomplished. Like many teenage boys of his generation, Simon was interested in mechanical things. When he asked for a car, his Dad gave him one… in pieces for the young man to out back together. During his college years, Summer break meant a stint working at Gm… on the assembly line. Upon graduation, Knudsen got a job at Pontiac in 1939 and quickly rose up through the management ranks. By 1956 he was the general manager at Pontiac. Read More