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Chevrolet Corvette

1981 Chevrolet Corvette "last day" - produced in the final day of Corvette production in St. Louis.

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1981 Chevrolet Corvette "last day" - produced in the final day of Corvette production in St. Louis.

The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car first made by Chevrolet in 1953. It is made nowadays solely at a General Motors manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, U.S.A.. It was the archetypal all-American sports auto-mobile. The National Corvette Museum is also situated in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

1967 corvette stingray

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Comments

I have a '67 small block and next to driving it I love looking at it.  Beautiful big block, and in great condition...gorgeous!

i think that is a cool car

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The Corvette is widely regarded as America's Sports Car. For more than 50 years, Corvettes have combined very powerful engines and affordability, especially when compared with more prestigious marquees of similar performance. Older generations of the Corvette have been criticized for being crude and lacking in refinement by European sports car standards, and their on-limit handling is a divisive issue garnering both praise and reproach. Recent generations of the Corvette, however, are widely seen as being much improved in these areas.

Corvettes tend to emphasize simplicity over technical complexity. Where nearly all competing marquees rely on smaller displacement, more complex and faster-revving engines, the Corvette uses a simpler overhead valve (OHV) design coupled with a larger displacement to make up for the lower rev limit pushrods impose. The result is usually cheaper to manufacture and maintain. Another example of this philosophy is the continued use of transverse leaf springs in the suspension. This is judged as a lack of sophistication by some automotive purists, and has fuelled the aforementioned "lack of refinement" argument.

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Early history

While the style of a car may be just as important to some as to how well the car runs, automobile manufacturers did not begin to pay attention to car designs until the 1920s. It was not until 1927, when General Motors hired designer Harley Earl, that automotive styling and design became important to American automobile manufacturers. What Henry Ford did for automobile manufacturing principles, Harley Earl did for car design. Most of GM's flamboyant "dream car" designs of the 1950s are directly attributable to Earl, leading one journalist to comment that the designs were "the American psyche made visible." Harley Earl loved sports cars, and GIs returning after serving overseas in the years following World War II were bringing home MGs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, and the like.

 

In 1951, Nash Motors began selling a two-seat sports car, the Nash-Healey, that was made in partnership with the Italian designer Pinin Farina and British auto engineer Donald Healey. Earl convinced GM that they also needed to build a two-seat sports car. Earl and his Special Projects crew began working on the new car later that year, which was code named "Opel." The result was the 1953 Corvette, unveiled to the public at that year's Motorama car show. The original Corvette emblem incorporated an American flag into the design; this was later dropped, since associating the flag with a product was frowned upon.

Taking its name from the corvette, a small, manoeuvrable fighting frigate (the credit for the naming goes to Myron Scott), the first Corvettes were virtually hand built in Flint, Michigan in Chevrolet's Customer Delivery Center, now an academic building at Kettering University. The outer body was made out of a revolutionary new composite material called fibreglass, selected in part because of steel quotas left over from the war. Underneath that radical new body were standard Chevrolet components, including the "Blue Flame" inline six-cylinder truck engine, two-speed Power glide automatic transmission, and drum brakes from Chevrolet's regular car line.

Though the engine's output was increased somewhat, thanks to a triple-carburettor intake exclusive to the Corvette, performance of the car was decidedly lacklustre. Compared to the British and Italian sports cars of the day, the Corvette was underpowered, required a great deal of effort as well as clear roadway to bring to a stop, and even lacked a "proper" manual transmission. Up until that time, the Chevrolet division was GM's entry-level marquee, known for excellent but no-nonsense cars. Nowhere was that more evident than in the Corvette. A Paxton supercharger became available in 1954 as a dealer-installed option, greatly improving the Corvette's straight-line performance, but sales continued to decline.

Manufacturer General Motors
Production 1953–present
Class Sports car
Body style(s) 2-door coupé
2-door convertible

GM was seriously considering shelving the project, leaving the Corvette to be little more than a footnote in automotive history, and would have done so if not for two important events. The first was the introduction in 1955 of Chevrolet's first V8 engine (a 265 in³ {4.3 L}) since 1919, and the second was the influence of a Soviet émigré in GM's engineering department, Zora Arkus-Duntov. Arkus-Duntov simply took the new V8 and backed it with a three-speed manual transmission. That modification, probably the single most important in the car's history, helped turn the Corvette from a two-seat curiosity into a genuine performer. It also earned Arkus-Duntov the rather inaccurate nickname "Father of the Corvette."

Another key factor in the Corvette's survival was Ford's introduction, in 1955, of the two-seat Thunderbird, which was billed as a "personal luxury car," not a sports car. Even so, the Ford-Chevrolet rivalry in those days demanded that GM not appear to back down from the challenge. The "T-Bird" was changed to a four-seat in 1958.

C1

The first generation Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year and ended in 1962. These cars are often referred to as the "solid-axle" models since the independent rear suspension did not debut until the 1963 Sting Ray. 300 hand-built polo white Corvettes were produced for the 1953 model year, making it the rarest and one of the most sought after of all Corvettes. The 1955 model saw the introduction of the 265 cu in (4.34 L) V8 engine offered as an option, however the first seven off the production line featured the standard "Blue Flame" Inline-6.

A new body shape was introduced with the 1956 Corvette and an optional fuel injection system was made available starting in the middle of the 1957 model year. It was one of the first mass-produced engines in history to reach 1 bhp (0.75 kW) per cubic inch and Chevrolet's advertising agency used a "one hp per cubic inch" slogan for advertising the 283 bhp (211 kW) 283 cu in (4.64 L) Small-Block engine. Other early options included power windows (1956), hydraulically operated power convertible top (1956), four speed manual transmission (late 1957), and heavy duty brakes and suspension (1957).

Chevrolet Corvette C1 - Built in 1958 - 4554 cc

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Chevrolet Corvette C1 - Built in 1958 - 4554 cc

The 1958 Corvette received another body freshening, with the most exterior chrome of any C1 generation model: quad headlights, hood louvers, twin trunk spars, and bumper exiting exhaust. The 1959-60 model years had few changes except a decreased amount of body chrome and increased engine horsepower.

For 1961, a complete redesign to the rear of the car was made with a preview of a design to come. It was a "boat tail" with four round tailight, a treatment continues to all following Corvettes. In 1962, the Chevrolet 283 cu in (4.64 L) small block was enlarged to 327 cu in (5.36 L) and produced a maximum of 340 bhp (250 kW) making it the fastest of the C1 generation. 1962 was the last year for the wrap around windshield, solid rear axle, and convertible-only body style. The trunk lid and exposed headlights

Oldest surviving unit

The oldest surviving production Corvette is serial number E53F001003. This historic, one-time GM "test mule" is the third 1953 Corvette to ever come off the Flint assembly line and is known as "double-o-three" to Corvette enthusiasts. It was sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction on January 21, 2006 in Scottsdale, AZ for US$1,000,000.

However, the oldest Corvette in existence is believed to be the EX-122, a pre-production prototype that was hand built and first shown to the public at the 1953 GM Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on January 17, 1953. That car can now be seen at the Atlantic City Showroom and Museum of Kerbeck Corvette.

Another noteworthy 1953 Corvette belonged to actor John Wayne. Vin #51 was delivered to Wayne on October 7, 1953. It is currently on display at the National Automobile Museum (formerly the Harrah's Collection) in Reno, Nevada.

C2

The second or mid-year generation, designed by Larry Shinoda, with major inspiration from a previous unproduced design called the "Q Corvette" by Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlmann, and under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell, started in 1963 and ended in 1967. 1963 would see the introduction of the new Corvette Sting Ray coupé with its distinctive split rear window and fake hood vents as well as an independent rear suspension. The split rear window was discontinued in 1964 due to safety concerns. Because they made the design too busy, the hood vents were also cut. Power for 1963 was at 365 hp (272 kW) hitting 375 hp (280 kW) in 1964.

Four-wheel disc brakes were introduced in 1965, as was a "big block" engine option (the 396 in³ (6.5 L) V8). Side exhaust pipes appeared on the 1965 Sting Ray and persisted through 1969. Chevrolet would up the ante in 1966 with the introduction of an even larger 427 in³ (7 L) version, creating what would be one of the most collectable Corvettes ever. 1967 saw a L88 version of the 427 introduced which was rated at 430 hp (321 kW), but unofficial estimates place the actual output at 550 hp (410 kW) or more. Only twenty such engines were placed in the 1967 Corvette, and the cars can fetch US$600,000 or more in auction today. From 1967 to 1969, the 1282 ft³/min Holley triple two-barrel carburettor, or Tri-Power, was available on the 427. The 1967 Corvette originally was going to be the first of the C3 generation; however, due to delays the C3 had to be put off until 1968. Other early options available on the C2 included an AM-FM radio (mid 1963), air conditioning (1963), a telescopic steering wheel (1965) and headrests, presumably to prevent whiplash (1966).

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The 1965 introduction of the 425 hp 396 in³ big block was ultimately the harbinger of doom for the Rochester fuel injection system. The 396 in³ option cost $145 while the fuel injected 327 in³ engine cost $500. Few people could justify spending $355 more for 55 hp less. When less than a thousand fuel-injected cars were built in 1965, Chevrolet stopped the program.

In 2004, Sports Car International named the Sting Ray number five on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.

The design of this generation had several inspirations. The first was the contemporary Jaguar E-Type, one of which Mitchell owned and enjoyed driving frequently. Bill Mitchell also sponsored a car known as the "Mitchell Sting Ray" in 1959, because Chevrolet no longer participated in factory racing. This vehicle had the largest impact on the styling of this generation, although it had no top and didn't give away what the coupe would look like. The third inspiration was a mako shark that Mitchell had caught while deep-sea fishing.

In 1962 Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov came up with a lightweight version of the C2. Concerned about Ford and what they were doing with the Shelby Cobra, GM planned 100 Grand Sport Corvettes. The plans never came about and only five were built. They were driven by historic drivers such as Roger Penske, A. J. Foyt, Jim Hall, and Dick Guldstrand among others. The Grand Sports, however, had many issues; the aero package made for a very frightful driving experience to say the least. Delmo Johnson said it was "the only car I ever drove that would lift the front wheels off the ground in all four gears." Dick Thompson was the only driver to drive the Grand Sport to victory. He won a Sports Car Club of America race at Watkins Glen. Today there are only five left, cars 001-005 all held by private owners. They are among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built.

Chevrolet Corvette C2

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Chevrolet Corvette C2

C3

The third generation, patterned after Chevrolet's "Mako Shark" (designed by Larry Shinoda), started in 1968 and ended in 1982. This generation has the distinction of being introduced to the motoring public in an unorthodox — and unintended — fashion. 1968 marked the introduction of Mattel's now-famous Hot Wheels line of 1/64-scale die cast toy cars. General Motors had tried their best to keep the appearance of the upcoming car a secret, but the release of the Hot Wheels line several weeks before the Corvette's unveiling had a certain version of particular interest to Corvette fans: the "Custom Corvette", a GM-authorized model of the 1968 Corvette.

In 1969, GM enlarged their small block again to 350 in³ (5.7 L), and in 1970, the 427 big block was enlarged to 454 in³ (7.4 L). Power peaked in the 1970 and 1971 models, with the 1970 LT-1 small block putting out 370 hp (276 kW) and the 1971 454 big block having its last year of big power with 425 hp (317 kW). In 1972, GM moved to the SAE Net measurement for power (away from the previous SAE Gross standard), which resulted in lower values expressed in HP. Along with the move to unleaded fuel, emission controls, and catalytic converters, power continued to decline and bottomed out in 1975 — the base ZQ3 engine put out 165 hp (123 kW), and the optional L82 engine put out 205 hp (153 kW). Power remained fairly steady for the rest of the C3 generation, ending in 1982 with the 200 hp (149 kW) L83 engine.

Styling changed subtly over the generation. In 1973, the Corvette dropped the front chrome bumpers for a urethane-compound "5 mph" bumper but kept the rear chrome bumpers. In 1974, The rear chrome bumpers became urethane, too, making 1973 the last Corvette model year with any chrome bumpers. 1975 was the last year for the convertible, and 1978 saw the introduction of a glass bubble rear window. In 1980, the Corvette got an integrated aerodynamic redesign that resulted in a significant reduction in drag.

1975 Chevrolet Corvette convertible C3

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1975 Chevrolet Corvette convertible C3

C4

The highly anticipated fourth generation Corvette began production in March 1983 as a 1984 model. The 1983 model year was skipped, although 44 prototype 1983 models were completed. The 23rd 1983 prototype produced is displayed at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, adjacent to the Corvette production facility. The C4 was praised for its sleek styling and its groundbreaking aerodynamic design. The C4 coupe also incorporated a glass hatchback, like the 1982 Collector's Edition, for improved cargo access. It also had all new brakes with aluminium callipers. The Corvette C4 came standard with an electronic dashboard with digital liquid crystal displays for the speedometer and tachometer. The C4 was a complete and total redesign except for its engine, and the emphasis was on handling. The C4 Corvette was proclaimed the best handling production car ever when it was released. This handling came with the benefit of a solid, uncompromising ride. From 1984 through 1988, the Corvette used an unusual "4+3" transmission — a 4-speed manual coupled to an automatic overdrive on the top three gears. It was designed to help the Corvette meet U.S. fuel economy standards. The transmission was problematic and was eventually replaced by a much more modern ZF 6-speed manual gearbox in 1989. The new transmission was also the first to feature Computer Aided Gear Selection, which used a solenoid to lock out 2nd gear during certain driving conditions; this allowed the Corvette to maintain EPA fuel economy ratings high enough to avoid the "gas guzzler" tax.

Beginning in 1985, the L98 engine with tuned-port fuel injection was installed in most Corvettes, replacing the throttle body injected power plant. For the 1992 model year, the 300 horsepower LT1 engine was introduced, which significantly improved the performance of the base C4 cars. Also introduced in 1992 was Acceleration Slip Regulation, or traction control, which utilized the Corvette's brakes, spark retard and throttle close-down to prevent excessive wheel-spin of the rear tires, and possible loss of control. The traction control device could be switched off if desired. In 1996, the final year of C4 production, the 330 horsepower LT4 small block V8 was installed in all manual transmission-equipped cars; all 1996 Corvettes with automatic transmissions utilized the LT1.

A 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport at an autocross.

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A 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport at an autocross.

B2K Callaway Twin-Turbo

In 1987, the factory B2K option appeared at dealers. The option's price was almost equal to the base price of the corvette.

The Callaway Corvette was a Regular Production Option (RPO B2K), the only time in Chevrolet's history a specialist manufacturer was entrusted with a technically advanced high performance RPO. The B2K option was eventually replaced by the ZR1 option, though they coexisted from 1990-1991. The early B2K's produced 345 hp and 450 ft·lbf of torque. The later B2K's produced 450 hp and 613 ft·lbf of torque.

A derivative of the Twin Turbo Corvette, the 880 hp Callaway SledgeHammer, recorded a speed of 254.76 mph on Ohio's Transportation Research Center track, still the fastest street driveable car in the world, although it did not achieve this speed in street-legal trim.

ZR-1 (aka King of the Hill)

In 1986, the Corvette team approached Lotus, then a GM subsidiary, with the idea of developing an ultra-high performance vehicle based on the C4 generation Corvette. With input from GM, Lotus designed a new engine to fit in place of the L98 V8 that was powering the standard C4. The result was what GM dubbed the LT5, an aluminum-block V8 with the same bore centers as the L98, but with four overhead camshafts and 32 valves. Lotus also designed a unique air management system for the engine to provide a wider power band by shutting off 8 of the 16 intake runners and fuel injectors when the engine was at part-throttle, while still giving the ZR-1 a stellar 375 hp when at wide open throttle.

In addition to the engine, Lotus aided the development of the ZR-1's standard "FX3" active suspension system, helping to ensure that the vehicle had real capability on the race track.

Since the engine required precise hand assembly, and because neither the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky nor any of GM's normal engine production facilties could handle the workload, Mercury Marine corporation of Oklahoma was contracted to assemble the engines. Completed LT5's were shipped to the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, where the ZR-1s were being assembled.

The vehicle went on sale in 1990 and was distinguishable from other Corvette coupes by its wider tail section, 11 inch wide rear wheels, and its new convex rear fascia with four square shaped taillights.

The ZR-1 displayed stunning ability both in terms of acceleration and handling capabilities, but it carried an astonishingly high price tag: MSRP for the ZR-1 in 1990 was $58,995 (almost twice the cost of the base model), and ballooned to $66,278 by 1995; it was reported that some dealers successfully marked units as high as $100,000. Even at its base MSRP, the ZR-1 was competing in the same price bracket as cars like Porsche's 964-generation 911, making it a hard sell for Chevrolet dealers.

In 1991, all Corvettes received updates to body work, interior, and wheels. The convex rear fascia that set the 1990 ZR-1 apart from the base model was now included on L98 Corvettes, making the styling of the expensive ZR-1 even closer to that of the base cars. The most obvious difference remaining between the base and ZR-1 models besides the wider rear wheels was the location of the CHMSL (center high mounted stop lamp), which was integrated into the new rear fascia used on the base model, but remained at the top of the rear-hatch on the ZR-1's.

Further changes were made in 1992: ZR-1 badges were displayed on both front fenders and traction control was added as a standard feature. In 1993, Lotus redesigned the cylinder heads and valvetrain of the LT5, resulting in a horsepower increase from 375 to 405. In addition, a new exhaust gas recirculation system improved emissions control. Production of the ZR-1 ended in 1995, after 6,939 cars had been built.

Grand Sport

Chevrolet released the Grand Sport version in 1996 to mark the end of the C4 design. The "Grand Sport" moniker was a nod to the original Grand Sport model produced in 1963. A total of 1,000 Grand Sports were produced with distinctive Vehicle Identification Numbers. There were 810 coupes and 190 convertibles produced. The 1996 Grand Sport was equipped with the LT4 engine, which produced 330 horsepower (246 kW) and 340 foot-pounds(461 N·m) of torque. The Grand Sport came only in Admiral Blue with a white center stripe, distinctive black five spoke wheels, and two red hash marks on the hood above the driver's side front wheel. However, all LT4-powered corvettes have the Grand Sport emblem on the engine's throttle body.

Corvette Racing

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C5

Production of the C5 Corvette began in 1997 and ended with the 2004 model year. The C5 was a radical change from the long-running C4. The car now had a hydroformed box frame, the transmission was moved to the rear of the car to form an integrated rear-mounted transaxle assembly and was connected to the engine via a torque tube. Gone were most of the squeaks and rattles of the C4. The new C5 was judged by the enthusiast automotive press as improved in nearly every area over the previous Corvette design.

Also introduced with the C5 was GM's new LS1 small block. This third-generation small block was a completely new design, including a distributorless ignition and a new cylinder firing order, rated at 345 horsepower and 350 ft·lbf torque.

For its first year, the C5 was available only as a coupe, even though the new platform was designed from the ground up to be a convertible. The convertible returned to the lineup in 1998.

The Corvette's 50th Anniversary was celebrated June 20-21, 2003, in Nashville, Tennessee. The venue provided a bonanza of flawlessly restored Corvettes, a chronological display set up by the National Corvette Museum with every model year of the Corvette along with engineering and restoration seminars. The anniversary also brought some Chevrolet Concept Vehicles into focus including the approved-for-production Chevrolet SSR. Also on hand were several Corvette race cars, including the Corvette SS built by Zora Arkus-Duntov and the C5-R that won its class at Le Mans. Among the many displays were examples of the 2003 50th Anniversary Edition as well as a few 2004 "Commemorative Edition" Corvettes.

Recently, the factory has expanded to build the Cadillac XLR roadster, which shares its platform with the sixth-generation Corvette. Bowling Green is also home to the Corvette Museum, which celebrates this American automotive icon by displaying in chronological order the various regular production models as well as some unique one-off versions created by Chevrolet. The building in Flint in which the first cars were assembled was spun off with GM's Delphi Electronics division and later donated to GMI/Kettering University in the late 1990s. The building has since been remodeled and is now the C.S. Mott Engineering and Science Center, housing the Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry programs. In the garage housing the school's Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) club is a plaque commemorating it as the place where the first Corvette was built.

2003 50th Anniversary Corvette Convertible C5

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2003 50th Anniversary Corvette Convertible C5

C5 Z06

A successor to the FRC C5 made its debut in 2001 as the Z06, a nod to the high performance Z06 version of the C2 Corvette of the 1960s. The Z06 models replace the FRC hardtop (1999-2000) models as the highest performance C5 Corvette. Instead of a heavier double-overhead cam engine like the ZR-1, the Z06 used an LS6, a high-output version of the standard LS1 Corvette engine producing 385 hp (287 kW). Although the Z06's total power output was less than that of the last ZR-1's, the Z06 was lighter and therefore quicker than the ZR-1. Despite these specifications, the ZR-1 still had a higher top speed, thus maintaining its "King of the Hill" status.

As with the ZR-1, Chevrolet found that added power output did the Z06 little good without platform modifications to bring the rest of the car up to par. A hardtop body, upgraded suspension, larger wheels and tires, a new six-speed manual transmission, along with improved gearing and functional brake cooling ducts, all became part of the total package. The Z06 is 38 lb (17.3 kg) lighter than the previous hardtop C5 thanks to a titanium exhaust (from the catalytic converter back), thinner glass, lighter wheels, and a lighter battery. From 2002 onward, the Z06 produced 405 hp (302 kW) thanks to minor engine modifications including a more aggressive camshaft profile, lightweight sodium filled exhaust valves, stiffer valve springs, and deletion of the precats. The 2002 Z06 also received revised rear shock valving and steel links to replace plastic ones of the 2001 model. An Electron blue color replaced Speedway white. The HUD became standard, and the previous forged wheels were replaced by lighter spun cast ones. The fender Z06 badges bear "405 hp" on them. The 2003 models received special silver 50th anniversary badges and revised headliner. Later 2003 models received a more durable steel shift fork instead of aluminum.

GM claimed that 405 hp versions of the Z06 could make the 0-60 run in 3.9 seconds and through the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds. It proved to be a well rounded track vehicle as well, with the ability to do more than simply accelerate. Thanks in part to its upgraded suspension system, the Z06 is capable of holding its own against contemporary versions of the Dodge Viper, Ford Mustang Cobra R, and even the Porsche 911 around a road track, although fans will debate over which has the highest overall capability. Despite its performance, the Z06's image was somewhat marred by long-term test reports issued by major magazines, who noted several instances of poor interior construction causing noise and other issues, including problematic door handles that would sometimes break off. There are also many reports of clutch issues (sticking clutch) and the 2001 model's LS6 engine was known to consume oil during spirited driving. Corvette enthusiasts largely excused the faults, noting the Z06's status as a performance bargain.

The 2004 Z06 Commemorative Edition came with a carbon fiber hood which saved some weight and also received polished aluminum wheels. In addition it was equipped with a Nürburgring-tested suspension tuning to improve handling, along with an exclusive Le Mans blue color.

C5-R

The C5-R racer was built by Pratt and Miller for GM Racing. It was based on the C5 road car but had a longer wheelbase, a wider track, an enlarged 7000 cc V8, and different bodywork with exposed headlamps. It took part in the American Le Mans Series in the GTS Class and competed in four 24 Hours of Le Mans races.

2001 The car's remarkable 2001 racing season produced eight victories in ten races, including an overall win in the 24 Hours of Daytona and a 1-2 finish in the GTS class at Le Mans.

2002 In 2002 the C5-R repeated its 1-2 victory in the GTS class at Le Mans and also dominated the GTS class in the American Le Mans Series. A new transaxle unit replaced the previous year's separate transmission and differential. Corvette faced stiff competition from the new Prodrive Ferrari 550, which led many laps at Le Mans, but the Ferraris suffered problems late in the race, resulting in another Corvette GTS class victory.

2003 In 2003, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest placed additional restrictions on all 24 Hours of Le Mans competitors, reducing power by 10% in an attempt to slow the cars. At the 2003 season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring, the C5-Rs remained in winning form, with one of them finishing first in class and eighth overall. Also in 2003 a special red, white, and blue color scheme was introduced to celebrate the Corvette's 50th anniversary. At Le Mans the Prodrive Ferraris spoiled the anniversary and GM's effort for a three-peat in the GTS class.

2004 The C5-R was again victorious in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. One of the Prodrive Ferraris led most of the race. About halfway into the event, both Prodrive cars suffered mechanical problems, causing them to pit and lose laps. The Corvettes went on to finish 1-2 in their class.

2005 In the FIA GT series, the new Corvette Europe team won races at Imola, Italy and Zhuhai, China, and finished on the podium on several occasions. In the ALMS, the Pacific Coast Motorsports team scored several podium finishes behind the new factory C6-R cars.

2006 The C5-R returns to Le Mans ( France ) for the first time as a non-factory entry, run by Le Mans regular Luc Alphand. It finished 3rd in the GT1 class behind the C6R and Prodrive Aston Martin.

C6

The sixth generation Corvette has not changed as much as the previous generation Corvette did relative to its predecessor. The design engineers tried to improve, not reinvent.

The new C6 gets an overhaul of the suspension geometry, all new bodywork with exposed headlamps (for the first time since 1962), a larger passenger compartment, a larger 6.0 L engine, and a higher level of refinement. Overall, it is 5.1 in (13 cm) shorter than the C5, but its wheelbase has increased by 1.2 in (3 cm). It is also one in (2.5 cm) narrower, making for a smaller, sportier Corvette. The reduced dimensions came in response to criticism that the C5 Corvette looked too wide—the new body is supposed to give the impression of a much sleeker, faster car. Chevrolet hopes the new design will attract buyers of comparable European sports cars like the Porsche 911, but some purists dislike the new styling. The new 6.0 L LS2 V8 produces 400 hp (298 kW) at 6000 rpm and 400 ft·lbf (542 N·m) of torque at 4400 rpm. Its redline is increased to 6500 rpm like the C5 Z06.

The C6 retains its relatively good fuel economy, in part by upshifting to higher gears as soon as possible and in part due to its relatively low drag coefficient and low weight. Equipped with an automatic transmission, the C6 achieves 18/26 mpg (city/highway), and the manual transmission version is slightly better at 18/28. However, some prospective Corvette buyers are surprised to find that the C6's manual transmission is fitted with Computer Aided Gear Selection (CAGS), which has been included in all manual transmission Corvettes since 1989. CAGS requires the driver to shift from 1st directly to 4th when operating at lower RPMs by using a solenoid to block out 2nd gear. While this boosts the EPA's derived fuel economy, thus allowing the buyer to avoid paying the "gas guzzler" tax, it is an open secret that more than a few C6 owners with manual transmissions simply have a $20 aftermarket part (CAGS eliminator) fitted to their vehicle to re-enable a normal 1-2-3-4-5-6 sequence at any engine speed.

 

C6 Z06

The new Z06 arrived as a 2006 model in the third quarter of 2005. It has a 7.0 L (7,008 cc/427.6 in³) version of the small block engine codenamed LS7. Officially certified output is 505 hp (376 kW). Dave Hill, the chief engineer for the C6 Corvette, says that it is a much further departure from the standard Corvettes and more like the C6-R that GM is building for the American Le Mans Series. Its performance is similar to the Ford GT and the Dodge Viper SRT-10. Official performance figures indicate that the Z06 can reach 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds from a standing start in first gear. In the summer of 2005, GM and Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen brought the new Z06 to the Nürburgring in Germany. Magnussen drove the Z06 to a time of 7:42.99; few production cars have posted faster times. Car and Driver tested the Z06 in their December 2005 issue, recording a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.4 seconds, a 0-100 mph time of 7.8 seconds and a standing quarter mile of 11.7 seconds.

In addition to the larger engine, the C6 Z06 has a dry sump oiling system, ensuring proper engine lubrication during periods of high (lateral) acceleration and allowing the engine to be mounted low inside the chassis. Connecting rods made out of titanium further lighten the reciprocating mass of the engine while being stronger than the steel rods they replace. Altogether, the Z06 model not only produces more power, it revs higher than any other Chevrolet LS-motor.

In a radical departure from anything Chevrolet has ever done before, the primary structural element of the C6 Z06 is aluminum instead of steel as on the non-Z06 cars. The hydroformed aluminum frame remains dimensionally identical to its steel brethren but is significantly lighter. The front fenders are made of carbon fiber to reduce weight, while wider rear fenders allow for the wider tires necessary to deal with the engine's increased power. The Z06 officially weighs 3132 lb (1421 kg), giving it a power to weight ratio of 6.2 lb/hp (3.8 kg/kW). The C6 Corvette Z06 is the first 500+ hp production car to avoid the US government Gas Guzzler tax.

On October 31, 2005, the application of magnesium AE44 alloy in the engine cradle (the world's first magnesium chassis component) was bestowed an Honorable Mention in the Automotive News PACE™ (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contributions to Excellence) Awards competition. This is the first award granted to the C6 Z06 Corvette. The suppliers receiving the award were Norsk Hydro Magnesium and Meridian Technologies, Inc.

Taken as a whole, the C6 Z06 is more similar to its race-going variant, the C6-R, than the C5 Z06 was to the C5-R. The number of production automobiles from all marques across the globe featuring more than 500 hp (370 kW) is small indeed. With an official list price of US$70,000 per unit, it will likely be the only such vehicle in existence with a price tag under US$85,000. Despite this low pricing, dealers in the United States have marked the Z06 up to anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000, due to strong sales and low inventories.

The Z06 was the official pace car for both the 2006 Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 race. The special Pace Car edition Z06 was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January.

2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

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2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

 

Blue Devil

Chevrolet has long worked on developing an ultra-high performance version of the Corvette. Since the Z06 competes with the Dodge Viper and many European sportscars, the Blue Devil will probably be as fast, or faster than, most supercars available today. It was dubbed Blue Devil by the engineers in an attempt to greenlight production because the mascot of GM CEO Rick Wagoner's alma mater, Duke University is the Blue Devil. The car is rumored to be set for production in mid/late 2007 as a 2007 or 2008 model year car. It reportedly features a supercharged version of the LS7 engine producing 600 hp (447 kW). Pricing is expected to be in excess of US$100,000. It is however not known if it will even be a concept car, let alone a production car. With the current Z06 model turning in 0-60 mph times in the mid 3 second range, one can only speculate as to how quick this car could be with another 100+ hp.

There have also been reports that Chevrolet has been testing a supercharged C6 Z06, quite possibly being the rumored Blue Devil. It is supposedly using the supercharger that will be used on future Cadillac XLRs.

In early May 2006, GM's Performance Cars chief Tom Wallace announced that there is a "Blue Devil" on the way with somewhere close to 600 BHP, and may include driving school lessons as part of the price. Later on in June 2006, it was said that the "Blue Devil's" production name would be Sting Ray, bringing back the name of the C2 and C3 Corvettes.

On June 28, 2006 images were posted by a user on the Digital Corvettes discussion forums that showed what he called the "LS9," the engine that may theoretically power the "Blue Devil." In that version, the engine is a supercharged 6.2L V8 that appears to be based off the L92 V8 from the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon Denali.

But in an interesting change of events, it was published on July 6, 2006 that General Motors had placed a copyright on the term "LSX." It is unknown if it is to copyright the term most fans use to describe the current series of aluminum engines, used as "LSx." Or it has been thought to denote that it is the "LS10" but instead uses Roman Numerals.

C6-R

The C6-R was unveiled for its first race at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race of the American Le Mans Series. It came in second and third, just behind the new Aston Martin DB9 racecar. It was put on display a week later at the New York International Auto Show next to the Z06.

Later, in the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans, it made up for Sebring by placing first and second in the GT1 car class after a lengthy duel with the Aston Martin team's DBR9 racers by finishing 5th and 6th overall, a considerably high finish for a GT class car.

Corvette C6R went on to win its class at every race it entered in the 2005 ALMS season. It defeated the Aston Martins again at Road Atlanta and at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin took home the drivers championships.

At the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans the C6R once again posted a win when the #64 C6R won the GT1 class.

Z06-R

Entered in the FIA-GT series as a GT3 class car, the Z06-R is a modified production Z06. The 6 cars were constructed by Callaway Competition in Leingarten, Germany. Changes were necessary to make the car endurance-race ready. These include a stripped interior, full rollcage, center-locking wheels, as well as carbon fiber doors, fenders, rear deck spoiler, and front splitter. The engine and drivetrares redline, 200 higher than stock and 10 extra hp. The massive power output of the 7.0 L engine, coupled with the production car's proven roadholding, calls into question whether or not the FIA will place restrictions on the car. The Z06-R is not road legal.

Oldest surviving unit

The oldest surviving production Corvette is serial number E53F001003. This historic, one-time GM "test mule" is the third 1953 Corvette to ever come off the Flint assembly line and is known as "double-o-three" to Corvette enthusiasts. The original owner of the car was actor John Wayne. It was sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction on January 21, 2006 in Scottsdale, AZ, for US$1,000,000.

Awards

The Corvette was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1984 and 1998. It has also been on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list eleven times: the C4 from 1985 through 1989 and the C5 in 1998, 1999, and 2002 through 2005. The new C6 was also named to that list and was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award for 2005. The C6 Z06 was named "Most Coveted Vehicle" in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year contest.

Automobile Magazine called the Sting Ray the "coolest car in history", and Sports Car International placed it at number 5 on their list of the Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.

The 1999 Corvette Convertible, along with the Mercedes-Benz S500, were named Best Engineered Car of the 20th Century by the Society of Automotive Engineers publication Automotive Engineering International.

Corvette as marque

With the move toward rebadging Daewoo cars as budget-priced Chevrolets in Europe, Corvette became a marque in its own right in 2005. The brand is sold separately from Korean-built Chevrolets, usually by dealers with the premium Cadillac range. Corvette is also marketed as a separate marquee in Japan. The rumor that Corvette would become its own brand has been circulating since the late 1980s.

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1968 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

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1968 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

 

 

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I would love to have a 1965 mini!! :). I mean, how couldn't you love those cars. ....but when I'm old enough, your damn right I'm getting a mini!!! =D
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Triumph Herald Restored
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MG T - If they all were hardtops it would be a more all-weather car, huh?.....I would want a hardtop made for one if I owned it. :)
hello here is one of my morris minor restored to 95%
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magnificent muscle car - AMC Javelin

Had my cherokee 4.0 auto classic xj for over 4 years ,ultra reliable,its all black..looks good and is good...I will never part with it...hell it wants for nothing..xj rules ..UK jeep man.
i think these cars are great to work on - Chevrolet Chevelle
wow the cars here in this page are absolutely wonderful i love the updated versions of the mgs from the nineties as well as the ones from the sixties and seventies too

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