Corvette C8 SUV Hints At Future Corvette Brand Possibilities
Rumors General Motors wants to take the Corvette nameplate and turn it into a full-fledged brand aren't new. It seems to pop up when Chevy is about to make a drastic change to the car, such as launching a new model, and the launch of the C8 Corvette was no different. One day after Chevy unveiled the vehicle, a new report hit the internet citing anonymous GM insiders that the company is considering turning the Corvette into a brand that could grow to include a sedan, a Corvette-based Cadillac offering, and an SUV or crossover.
What's pictured above is a rendering of what a possible Corvette SUV could look like, taking many of the new design cues that debuted on the 2020 Corvette. The hood is long and low, much like it is on the car, and the headlights flow well into the front wheel arches, mimicking the body line of the car down the side. Even the lower front fascia looks nearly identical to that of the car even though it's much taller to accommodate the SUV's larger size.There are few similarities between the real-world car and the SUV rendering beyond the front-end styling. The additional two doors elongate the roof, which looks eerily similar to that of the Lamborghini Urus. However, the sloped roof does give the Corvette SUV an athletic appearance. The rear design line over the wheels is reminiscent to the one on the car, too.
The new report that GM is considering a Corvette brand came hot on the heels of Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman and industry curmudgeon, suggesting the automaker move the Corvette further upmarket. He suggested Chevy could get much more out of a $100,000 Corvette than Cadillac could, adding that a Porsche Cayenne fighter with the Corvette name and uncompromised performance and interior luxury would sell, especially if the production number was kept at 20,000 to 30,000 globally.
Purists would balk at even the idea of a Corvette SUV. However, the move could lead to high profitability and a secure future, something even Porsche was willing to do. If it becomes real, don't expect a sub-$60,000 price tag.
by Anthony Alaniz // July 26, 2019 // Motor 1.com
Jay Leno's 2006 Z06 E85 Corvette
Jay Leno hates Ethanol...here's why
There have been a lot of old-car fires lately. I went through the ’70s, the ’80s and most of the ’90s without ever having read much about car fires. Suddenly, they are happening all over the place. Here’s one reason: The ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10 percent in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine … and ka-bloooooie!!!
As someone who collects old cars, and keeps them up religiously, I am now replacing fuel-pressure regulators every 12 to 18 months. New cars are equipped with fuel lines that are resistant to ethanol damage, but with older cars, the worst can happen—you’re going down the road, and suddenly your car is on fire.
There’s more. I find that gasoline, which used to last about a year and a half or two years, is pretty much done after a month or so these days. If I run a car from the teens or ’20s and fill it up with modern fuel, then it sits for more than two months, I often can’t get it to start.
Ethanol will absorb water from ambient air. In a modern vehicle, with a sealed fuel system, ethanol fuel has a harder time picking up water from the air. But in a vintage car, the water content of fuel can rise, causing corrosion and inhibiting combustion.
It gets worse. Ethanol is a solvent that can loosen the sludge, varnish and dirt that accumulate in a fuel tank. That mixture can clog fuel lines and block carburetor jets.
Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. But when Congress first passed RFS as part of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, our demand for energy was increasing. Today, it’s the opposite. Total demand for fuel has decreased thanks to more-efficient vehicles, more hybrids and increased environmental awareness. The EPA is set to release the 2015 standard in June. Meanwhile, some legislators are pushing to reform or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard entirely.
I just don’t see the need for ethanol. I understand the theory—these giant agri-business companies can process corn, add the resulting blend to gasoline and we’ll be using and importing less gasoline. But they say this diversion of the corn supply is negatively affecting food prices, and the ethanol-spiked gas we’re forced to buy is really awful.
Early model Corvette owners, keep a fire extinguisher handy!
by Jay Leno // March 4, 2015 // Autoweek
The first Sting Ray...the 1963 split rear window coupe
The second generation (C2) Corvette, which introduced Sting Ray to the model, continued with fiberglass body panels, and overall, was smaller than the first generation. The C2 was later referred to as mid-years. The car was designed by Larry Shinoda with major inspiration from a previous concept design called the "Q Corvette," which was created by Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlmann under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell.Earlier, Mitchell had 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 did not give away what the final version of the C2 would look like. The third inspiration was a Mako Shark Mitchell had caught while deep-sea fishing.
Introducing a new name, "Sting Ray", the 1963 model was the first year for a Corvette coupé and it featured a distinctive tapering rear deck (a feature that later reappeared on the 1971 "Boattail" Buick Riviera) with, for 1963 only, a split rear window. The Sting Ray featured hidden headlamps, non-functional hood vents, and an independent rear suspension.
Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov never liked the split rear window because it blocked rear vision, but Mitchell thought it to be a key part of the entire design. Maximum power for 1963 was 360 bhp (270 kW) and was raised to 375 bhp (280 kW) in 1964. Options included electronic ignition, the breakerless magnetic pulse-triggered Delcotronic first offered on some 1963 Pontiac models.
On 1964 models the decorative hood vents were eliminated and Duntov, the Corvette's chief engineer, got his way with the split rear window changed to a full width window.
Corvette Pace Cars
The opportunity to serve as the official pace car for the Indy 500—“the greatest spectacle in racing”—is marketing gold. It’s a rolling advertisement, driven on the pace lap by a big celebrity or a famous racing driver, leading a pre-race procession of thundering Indy racers around the Brickyard. The whole thing is a lofty endorsement of the car’s worthiness to be on the track alongside real competitors, and the winning driver even receives the car as a prize.
But are pace cars all that special just because marketing departments say they are? What about valuable? Do collectors buy in to the notion that these mechanically ordinary vehicles have a significant historical cachet?
Corvette is the last word in pace cars
Even though it never served as the Indy pace car until 1978, the model with the most pace laps under its belt is America’s sports car—the Corvette. To date, the Corvette has paced the 500 more than any other model as a whole, and makes up half of Chevrolet’s total of 28.
The Corvette’s debut year as pace car in 1978 not only started the tradition of Corvettes pacing the 500, it also established a tradition of pace car collecting. The 1978 model introduced the Corvette’s new fastback rear as well as a new interior, but all the attention was on the pace car replica. What had originally been planned as a small batch for public consumption quickly ballooned into a run of one car for just about every Chevrolet dealer in the country and a grand total of 6502. An article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Few Want to Drive This Car, but Many Are Eager to Buy It” fanned the flames by touting the pace car’s potential as a valuable collectors’ item, so plenty of examples were snatched up for well over the original MSRP to be put away as instant collectibles.
Chevrolet sold an official pace car replica version for many of the fourteen years that Corvette paced the Indy 500, but certainly not all of them.
Pace cars are just the tip of the marketing iceberg
In addition to the pace cars themselves, manufacturers have also touted track cars (used by race officials and VIPs for the event) and festival cars (used in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade) that are often similar to the actual pace car. Pace cars frequently sell well and they all become collectible eventually if not right away. And when those festival or track cars aren’t given out to execs or VIPs, they can be highly valued by collectors as well.
In the world of pace car replicas, there have been DeSotos, Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds and even Fieros, and the tradition has been for the cars to be festooned with graphics, decals and loud paint until they’re about as subtle as a forest fire.
Collectible or not?
Corvette pace cars have varied but have gotten roughly similar treatment from collectors. When the Corvette convertible returned for 1986 and paced the 500, Chevrolet didn’t introduce a separate pace car replica but instead sold all 7315 1986 Corvette convertibles with Pace Car decals. In 1995 another Corvette Convertible paced the 500, but a separate model was produced again this time and was built in much smaller numbers, with a total of 527. The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette pace car is among one of the more famous ones due in large part to its almost retina-searing combination of purple and yellow, and 1,163 were built. The only other years when a significant official run of pace car replicas were sold to the public were 2007 and 2008, with 500 built for each year.
The collectibility of these series-produced pace cars is significant. The 1978s may not have been the gold mine that some thought they would be when they came out, but a condition #2 (excellent) car is worth $38,600 in the Hagerty Price Guide, well over the $19,800 for a base car. For a 1995 pace car, the number is $25,700 compared to $20,700 for a base convertible, and for a 1998 it’s $33,000 compared to $22,500.
by Andrew Newton // May 10, 2018 // Hagerty Insurance
The 1983 Corvette
The Chevrolet C4 Corvette was poised to be a major milestone in Corvette history. It was to be all new from the ground up and encompass the latest cutting edge technologies to make the car a world beater in a changing globe. But, like all automotive manufacturers, safety and fuel economy regulations took hold of development procedures. Designers and engineers were challenged equally to create appealing products while satisfying newfound regulations. And through development of the C4 Corvette, it became apparent the vehicle would not be ready for its launch in late 1982.
So, the Corvette development team made the hard decision to forfeit the entire 1983 model year to focus on fixing problems and shortcomings found in initial test cars. This also meant the Corvette would not celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Each 1983 C4 Corvette assembled at the Bowling Green factory would be crushed and disposed of locally, with upper management bringing in a crusher on site. However, when the time came to crush each 1983 Corvette, a pair of cowboy boots saved one car’s life.
Ralph Montileone, Quality manager at the Bowling Green plant in 1983, was responsible for ensuring each car was destroyed and disposed of. However, the day the crusher arrived, it began to storm. Montileone recalls looking down at his feet to see his brand new cowboy boots. With mud and puddles awash outside, he decided dirtying his new kicks was not an option; he would move the final 1983 Corvette to the crusher the next day.
But, the crusher departed without Montileone’s knowledge. When he returned the next day, the only 1983 Corvette sat there with no way to dispose of it. So, he pulled it around to the back of the assembly plant and it sat. And it would continue to sit for years.
It wasn’t until Paul Schnoes, who was transferred to the Bowling Green assembly as manager in 1984, inquired about the peculiar Corvette. He simply asked what a Corvette was doing covered in the back of the factory, and when he received the answer, he realized it was truly something special.
The 1983 C4 Corvette would finally go on display for visitors of the plant after the Bowling Green assembly requested official ownership of it from General Motors. Now, it resides at its permanent home at the National Corvette Museum all thanks to a spiffy new pair of boots.
(Courtesy of Hagerty Insurance)
Porsche 928 vs. C4 Corvette
The 928 has often been referred to as a German Corvette. Its front-engine, water-cooled V-8 design probably lent itself to superficial comparisons but in fact, the basic architecture is where similarities end. The German penchant for complication brought things like a rear transaxle/torque tube and belt-driven overhead cams. All of this caused maintenance headaches that the Corvette eschewed with a bullet proof, pushrod small-block Chevy V-8 and a tried-and-tested independent rear suspension with a transverse leaf spring. C4. Porsche 928s have started appreciating while C4s are still bargain-priced used cars that offer unbeatable bang for the buck. At the end of the day, it’s a choice between sophistication and a bit of avant-garde design, versus reliability and the somewhat dodgy build-quality of a C4 Corvette.
(Courtesy of Hagerty Insurance)
Know your Corvette
A 72-year old Texas man and his dog died of heat exhaustion when they became trapped in his 2007 Corvette. A loose battery cable prevented him from opening the door and he was unaware of the manual release lever. Watch this video and know your Corvette.It could save your life.
The construction of Route 66, completed in 1938, created many new business opportunities including "motor hotels". Designed for motorists, the name was soon shortened to "motels". For a time, the intersection of Route 66 and Route 71 in Carthage, Missouri saw a stream of cross-country traffic and became known as the "Crossroads of America". In 1939 The Boots Court Motel opened for business at the crossroads and had notable guests such as Gene Autry, Mickey Mantle and Clark Gable. Today the motel has five rooms open to the public. While there are no televisions, each room has a radio tuned to 1940s music.
Help stop crime...drive a stick!
Watch this amazing story about a couple of Corvette theives who didn't plan ahead.