Chevrolet presented the very “First Retailable Unit Built” Corvette ZR1 for auction at Barrett-Jackson on Saturday, January 19, 2008, with all proceeds from the auction to benefit the United Way. The VIN was publicly declared to be number “001” in a unique series within the U.S. DOT standard 17-digit VIN format. The car presented on the block (as an illustration) was 1G1YY26EX850022EX.
Call me an auction junkie, but on one of the few Saturdays that I wasn’t covering a collector car sale, I went to Princeton, Minnesota, for a truck and heavy equipment auction. Along with trucks, tractors, front-end loaders, construction equipment, and other hardcore guy stuff, Wayne Pike Auction Company also sells consigned cars and light trucks. Once in awhile something more interesting than a rusty ’89 Taurus with 204,000 miles turns up. Just when it looked like a ’68 Mustang Read More
Although Chevrolet introduced the Corvette to great acclaim at the 1953 Motorama, few realized it would, in time, become America’s iconic sports car.
The sporting transformation didn’t come until 1956, a year after Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov inserted a 265-ci V8 into the previously sluggish 6-cylinder-powered fiberglass two-seater.
For 1956, Arkus-Duntov improved the car’s handling and braking system. He and veteran driver John Fitch took honors in the flying mile at Daytona Speedweek, and Ray Crawford and Max Goldman finished Read More
The 1963 Corvette was a dramatic, exciting breakthrough in American automobile design, engineering and specifications. Its four-wheel independent suspension was as good as any European exotic, and it should have ruled the road courses of the time—and would have, except for Carroll Shelby’s Cobra.
But the Cobra was gone in five years, while the Corvette that GM styling chief Bill Mitchell and engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov unleashed was still around mechanically in 1983.
The ’63 Corvette evolved from a Read More
The L88 Corvette burst onto the scene with victories at Daytona and Sebring in 1966 and continued at the Le Mans Trials in April 1967, where, in near-stock trim, an L88 clocked 171.5 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. That same car led the GT class in the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans for 11 1/2 hours before throwing a (stock Chevy) rod. Jerry Thompson and Tony DeLorenzo dominated SCCA A Production in 1969, with eleven victories in as many Read More
The Corvette is an American icon. It is the only true American sports car that has lasted from the ’50s when the sports car market emigrated from Europe to this country, and numerous manufacturers on this side of the pond dabbled in making fun two-seaters. The styling of Corvettes had always been pleasing and powerful, much like in the glory days of the 1967 L88 cars with 430 horsepower (in reality more like 500-plus) that came as convertible Read More
Nineteen eighty-three was the model year without a Corvette. The C4, which debuted as a 1984 model, was the first all-new Corvette since 1963, and like the first-year C3 in 1968, there were problems aplenty. The digital dash was failure-prone, the ride was punishing, and the carried-over-from 1982 twin throttle-body “Cross-fire” injection was inferior to the better multi-port electronic systems that had been around for years. Especially harsh critics opined that in hindsight, Chevy might have done well to skip Read More
The Corvette was introduced at the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York and it was a sensation. Its two-seater body was wrapped around the conventional perimeter frame chassis with independent front suspension and live rear axle. The body itself was a revelation, constructed from a revolutionary material called fiberglass that was only beginning to establish its reputation for light weight, strength, and efficient low-volume manufacturing.
It was powered by Chevy’s proven overhead valve inline 6-cylinder engine. Read More
In the Corvette world, three models have dominated the collector market: the 1957 with fuel injection, the 1963 Split-Window Sting Ray with fuel injection, and the 1967 Sting Ray with the top horsepower 427 engines. Other years may have offered better performance, superior features, or better styling, but this threesome tops the value list.
Demand for the 1967 427 Sting Ray has resulted in this model hitting the sweet spot of performance and style. That’s ironic, since this Corvette almost Read More