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Corvette - An American Dream: 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wezel's Vettes

As Wezel says, "What's better than owning a Corvette? Two Corvettes, of course!"

He goes on to tell more about the gorgeous C4 pictured above...

"It is a 1996 LT-1 with Torch Red paint, sporting an A4 tranny, Bose, and performance-wise it is completely stock. It's still a great car. After I bought the C6 I couldn't think of a good reason to sell it. It hasn't turned over 70,000 miles yet.

"The C6 is a 2007 3LT, Black/Ebony and also completely stock with F55, Bose, A6, chrome wheels and both tops. The window tint is after-market."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm jealous. Not only does Wezel own TWO Vettes, they're both gorgeous and tricked out pretty nicely. Life is good in Horseshoe Bay.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ZR1 - Revisited

I had so many visitors when I ran the ZR1 article, I thought there might be a little more interest out there for more info on the current model.

If you'd like to Read All About It, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. A good friend of mine who advertises with me on this site has already done the lion's share of the work by putting together a great article on this beast.

You can read his information by clicking HERE. It's very detailed and probably contains everything you ever wanted to know about the 2009 ZR1.

It's a great site, not only for the ZR1, but also for a lot of other exotic automobiles.
Check it out. You'll be impressed, I'm sure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meguiar's Giveaway

You guys and gals have been coming here for quite some time, and I haven't given anything away yet. So, I've decided to offer something in return for your continued visits. It's a product I love. And I'm sure if you try it, you'll love it, too. If you've already got a favorite and don't want to change, you can give it to a friend as a Christmas gift.

The prize is a bottle of Meguiar's Gold Class Wax. All you need to do for a chance to win is click on the COMMENT thing below this post and enter a comment. Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you. After we have 100 entries, the entry period ends. Only the first 100 entries will be eligible to win. I will use the services of to select the winner in a random drawing.

After you click the COMMENT, if you don't have a Google ID, click the ANONYMOUS option at the bottom. Be sure to include our email address in your comment. Entries without email addresses will be deleted. I need to know how to contact you if you win. Good luck to all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Eariler ZR1

Let's take a look back to the 90s at the ZR1 that preceded the current one. Here's some info about that classic model.

Four years prior to its introduction, the Corvette team approached Lotus, then a GM subsidiary, in 1986 with a concept for developing an ultra-high performance vehicle based on the C4 Corvette. With input from GM's "Corvette Team" of engineers and designers, Lotus designed a new engine to replace the traditional pushrod L98 V-8 that powered the standard C4. The result was the LT5. This engine was an aluminum-block V-8 with the same bore centers as the L98, but with four overhead cams and 32 valves.

A unique air management system provided 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-1 375 hp when at wide open throttle. Since Chevrolet had no facility which could manufacture the new LT5, the engines was subcontracted to Mercury Marine, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, which normally specialized in high-performance marine engines.

Lotus also aided in the development of the ZR-1's standard "FX3" active suspension system, which would provide the basis for active suspension systems found (as optional equipment) on all Corvettes since.

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.

All corvette ZR-1's had a interesting feature — a power key — mounted underneath the radio. Using this key you could turn the power from "full" to "normal" which disabled the secondary intake ports and cut the maximum power to 200hp.

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 valve-train 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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gorgeous in Orange

Our Showcase Photo is changing again today. If you like orange, you're going to love the featured Vette this week. It was sent to me by my good friend David Howard. I'm going to rest my voice and let David tell you all about it.

I saw your post in the Corvette Forum and thought I would drop you a line and let you know I like your blog and enjoyed reading your comments. C-3’s as an era of Corvettes covers a lot of years and share at least three differing groups. The all metal bumper group (68-72); the one year only front urethane and rear metal bumper (73), and the urethane front and rear bumper years (74-82). All of them are C-3’s, some are more sought after than others, and there are now far more red ones than were ever built by GM.

I have a 1977 Corvette Orange original with 22K documented miles that I show locally. It was chosen for a Celebrity Choice Award at Corvettes at Carlisle this year and we were very proud to win this award. I am attaching a couple of pictures of it for your viewing and use if you wish. Much is known about this car through my research and this is one of two 1977’s that I currently own.

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but after reading that, I'm wanting to see the OTHER 77 that David owns. Maybe it's a work in progress, under restoration, or not ready to be shown yet. In any case, I hope he is listening and sends us some photos of it.

If you have a Corvette and would like to share your story with the world, email me the info about it, as much detail as you wish, and three or four photos (jpeg would be the best).

If it's ready for a show, that's great. And if it's currently undergoing restoration, that's great, too. Here's the address:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Conflicting advice...

I need to clarify something I said in an earlier post so that I don't lead anyone in the wrong direction. And I'm not talking here about credit repair or bio fuels.

Since writing the post about winterizing, I have found some contradictory comments on other sites. I may have to do some additional research regarding the dryer sheets. The opinions regarding their value seems to be mixed, and it appears the jury is still out on that subject.

Here's the conflict: Some users have no issue with them, and no rodent problems. Others tell me the mice seem to really like them. Perhaps it makes their fur nice and soft and fluffy. In those cases the mice built their nests under the hood, either next to, or right on top of, the dryer sheets.

So before taking my advice and putting dryer sheets in your engine compartment, get a second or third opinion from other Vette owners who have used them. Then make your own decision. The ball is in your court on this one.

This weekend I made a trip to Walmart on a quest to acquire everything I needed for winterizing. The first thing I purchased was a box of moth balls. I don't buy moth balls that often, and I may have fallen out of loop over the years, but these were different than any moth balls I'd seen before. They weren't actually moth "balls." They were more what I would describe as moth "discs." The box contained several packets, each holding two of these discs wrapped in a transparent paper shell. These ran a little over $2.

In addition, right next to the moth discs, I found a small tub of desiccant. You simply remove the aluminum foil seal and set the container inside the cockpit of your Vette to prevent mold and mildew during the winter months. The cost was $2.32.

On my way toward the door I detoured into the pharmacy section where I found a package of three bars of Irish Spring. I'll unwrap these and place them inside the interior to make it smell nice and fresh when the winter snow has melted and dried. If I remember correctly, these ran about $3 for the package.

My largest expense was a flow charger (battery tender). This was acquired at Advance Auto Parts on highway 58 in Raymore, MO. Nice guys to deal with and very knowledgeable regarding Corvettes. I opted for the 3 amp version because the Advance Auto Parts dude told me the 1.5 amp wouldn't really do the job as well. This set me back about $40.

All I need to do now is wait until there's no chance of driving the Vette again this winter without getting it into the rain and snow, install all my goodies, hook up the tender, add ten pounds of pressure to the tires, stuff some steel wool into the exhaust tips, put the cover over it, and sit by the fire reading my Corvette magazines. Or this blog.

It's going to be a long wait for Spring.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Star Coupe

This is a gorgous example of a great Vette that's had some serious mods done to it.

I'm going to let Tim tell you about it because I'll probably get it all screwed up if I try. It's way to technical and performance-oriented for me. I just put the gas in mine and drive it. I'm a bit jealous, actually.

Here's Tim...

It's a medium Light Pewter 1999 Coupe with 32,000 miles on it. Fully loaded with a 6 speed manual tranny. Performance modification consist of full bolt ons and Dyknos at 350/350. Hurricane CAI. Volant Air Bridge/Coupler. MAF. Headers. Highflow CATs with X Pipe. Corsa Indy Pace car mufflers.

I'm obviously into lighting and have convered every interior bult to Red LEDs as well as adding a few: Door Reflectors. Updated to Aukto Dimming rearview mirror w/LEDs installed. Inner and Outer Door Hanldes. Side Cover LED bars.

Costmetic touches include Chrome Y2K wheels with insides painted matt black. Painted calipers. Painted hoodliner, FRC stripes. Painted cowl, wiper arm and custom battery cover. Semi-flush sequential tail lights. Radio Flyer exhaust plate lit with Red LEDs. Painted seat embroidery. Custom center console area leather pieces.

Wow! Tim has certainly spent some time working on this one. But it's obviously a labor of love. What a nice ride. Thanks again for sending the photos and the info.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tire pressure...

If you haven't driven your Vette since the temperature has dropped, you'll probably get a message on your DIC regarding your tire pressure.

I hadn't driven mine for two weeks and when I started her up this afternoon my tires were at 24 and 25 pounds. So, plug in the old compressor and air them up before taking her out on the road. At the prices we pay for those tires, we don't want them to wear unevenly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From an Island south of Detroit...

Here's a new photo for everyone to drool over. Especiall those lovers of the older, vintage models. We're looking at a beautiful 1965 Corvette sent to us by my friend up north, David Ware.

Since I've already posted an article containing most everything I know about the C2, I'll let you visit that post if you'd like. Just go to the September 22nd post or click HERE. I'll just save my breath today and let David tell you about this one.

The 65 features a numbers matching 327/365 engine, 4 speed trans, 3.55:1 rear axle ratio, power brakes, side mount exhaust, knock-off wheels, teak wheel, leather seats, and comfort & convenience group.

I purchased the Vette in August 1991 from a gentleman named Tom Everly who resided in Troy, MI about 20 miles North of Detroit. It was in decent shape at the time, although there was much room for improvement.

My main concern was that it was a numbers matching car and the color combination I wanted, which incidentally is the correct color for the car as evidenced by the trim tag. I was continually making improvements until I made the decision to address all the issues with the car by doing a comprehensive body off restoration which began in January, 1997 and was completed in October, 1999.

This comprehensive restoration resulted in a very reliable 35 year old Corvette. It's been mainly a trouble free pleasure for 9 years now, although I must admit it's not a daily driver as I have only driven it 7000 miles since restoration.

Last year I wanted to add something to the Vette that offered a slight change as I was becoming a little complacent with the same look for so many years. Adding the 67 big block hood add the pizzazz for which I was looking.

The Vette now enjoys a leisurely life on an island South of Detroit and only gets redlined once we hit the mainland.

So, there it is. As nice a '65 as you'd want to find just about anywhere. Thanks again to David for sending it to us. We'll be looking for you when we get up around Detroit.

Don't forget to wave!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Drove the Vette Today

It was nice here in Kansas City. I pulled the cover off the beautiful Cherry Berry, started up the always responsive engine, and backed out of the garage. The air was cool, the sun was shining down, and all was right with the world.

But winter is coming. We can't avoid it. And those of us who live in the less tropical regions are going to have to take some steps to make sure we protect our babies during the next three or four months of frigid temperatures. I'm planning on posting a list of things you need to do to get ready for the long, dark winter. Those sad days when we can't drive our favorite cars.

So. If any of you dear readers have experience in this winterizing gig, and you have any suggestions of techniques and products that have worked for you, please add them to the comments list below and I will include them in the upcoming post.

I almost forgot to tell you. There will be a new Corvette in the Showcase Photo coming up this week so come back and Read All About It!

Monday, October 13, 2008


One of my astute readers pointed out a huge boo boo in my October 4th post. I obviously wasn't thinking at the time and credited the Sting Ray emblem to the C1 generation, and the Stingray nomenclature to the C2.
Anyone who knows their Corvette history knows that the Sting Ray was used on the C2, and the Stingray was on the C3. My apologies for misleading you readers, and my thanks to the reader for pointing out my error.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Big Red

In 1999, GM introduced another first. For the first time, the Corvette was available in three different body styles — the coupe with removable targa roof, the convertible, and the new for '99 hardtop model, which is the first fixed-roof Corvette in over thirty years.

The hardtop was the least expensive of the three models. It’s options list was somewhat restricted and designed to appeal to buyers interested in higher performance.
To add to that performance, the hardtop lightened the weight by 80 pounds compared to the Coupe. Driving performance was changed by giving it a 12% stiffer chassis than the Coupe. In the hardtop, the 6-speed manual tranny and the Z51 Performance Handling Package were standard. The Head Up Display was a new option in 1999 as well as the Twilight Sentinel and Power Telescopic Steering Wheel.

I’m going to turn the mic over to Oak now and let him tell you about his Vette.

The Vette is a ’99 Magnetic Red Convertible. It has a double din mod using a Jensen head unit with navigation and a back-up camera. B&B Route 66 exhaust, polished and ported throttle body. Signed by Chip Foose at a charity event for progeria.

Bowling Green turned out 33,270 of the 1999 model year Vettes. Only 11,161 of those were convertibles. And of those, only 1,164 were given the Magnetic Red exterior color. List price for the base model was $45,579.

Thanks for sharing, Oak. You certainly have a nice ride.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jacking up your Corvette

And I mean that literally.
I'm actually a bit upset today. Any among you dear readers who have been following along every day might remember a few weeks ago when I wrote a story about getting new Michelin tires for my Vette. I was pleased when I left the dealership.

But today, well, let's just say I'm a bit pissed off. (Sorry ladies, but I can't think of a better way to say it.) Here's the story...

It was a beautiful day. The sun was smiling down, the temperature was comfortable, and the chances for rain appeared to be nil. I decided it would a great day to cruise in the Vette. So I took my gorgeous car for a ride. After getting the engine up to operating temperature and punching it a few times, I drove it home and parked in the drive, as I always do. I went into the garage to get my "stuff" and returned to wipe down the wheels and spray a little Meguiar's detailer along the rocker panels to get rid of any road dust and water spots that may have gotten on it. That's when I saw it. WTF? Aarrrgh!!!

There it was, plain as the nose on your face. On the driver's side, right behind the door hinge area, and on the bottom of the rocker panel were two wide, deep, gouges. And I mean gouges. These were through the paint and invaded the fiberglass by a at least a 1/16 of an inch, and probably more like 3/32nds. These areas were quite near the jacking area. I knew immediately what had occurred.

Now, for any of you who have never raised a corvette with a jack or a lift, there's a secret to it. And if nothing more than an opportunity to talk about my frustration and to get it off my chest so I can get on with my life, I'm hoping the knowledge will prevent you from making an error and inflicting similar damage on your beautiful Vette.
A lot of owners (and shops that know what they're doing) use what are called "jacking pucks" when they put a Corvette on a lift or use a floor jack. In essence, these pucks are nothing more than extenders to put a little more space between the rocker panel and the jack. The photo at the right is an example. Obviously the service-dude at the dealership didn't use these. And the damage has been done.

So, that's my tale of woe. I know you're probably thinking "Good grief, Broadway. Quitcher bitchin'. It's not that big a deal." True. The damage isn't visible unless you're laying on the ground, but the fact that it's there still bugs me. A lot.

Have any of you ever had this happen? And does anyone know how to repair this type of damage? I'm open to suggestions.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sting Ray or Stingray?

Most Corvette enthusiasts are aware of this, but just in case there are some of you out there who aren't, I wanted to add a short post here regarding the nomenclature.

The C2 Corvettes, manufactured from 1953 to 1962, carried the Sting Ray emblem. When the model change took place in 1963 and the C3 was produced, the logo was changed to one word — Stingray — and the type font was changed from a Roman sans serif typeface to a script.

If any of you have photos of your Vette, be sure to e-mail them to me along with a description. I will add them to the collection you see running down the left sidebar. Eventually, your car could end up in the featured spot in the Showcase Photo at the top. And scroll down a little to read about that beautiful green Vette from Tallahassee.

Friday, October 3, 2008

1972 Big Block C3

In 1972, the changes in the appearance of the C3 were again minimal. However, the 1972 Corvette has a lot of unusual features related to it. This model was the last to have front and rear chrome bumpers, a bright "egg crate" grill, side fender grills and the removable rear window.

In addition, 1972 was the only year for the Corvette "Big Block" engines in the 1968 to 1972 range to have no horse power sticker on the air cleaner lid. Beginning in 1972 and continuing thereafter, horsepower would be measured as "net" rather than the less realistic "gross" ratings of earlier years. It was also the last year for the RPO-LT1 and RPO-ZR1. However, the ZR1 code was again used in 1990 and a new base engine carried the LT1 designation in 1992. And 1972 was the only year that Pewter Silver was offered as an exterior color.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. The base model price was $5,533, and production was 20,496. Serial Numbers ran from 1Z37K2S500001 through 1Z37K2S527004. The car above falls into a little rarer category because of its big block 454 engine. Those were only put into 3,913 Corvettes that year. In addition, the fact that it’s a 4-speed adds to the rarity, since only 1,638 were born with that transmission.

Bill provided me with some statistics on his car.
Obviously, it has the big block hood. Fortunately, it’s not just for show. There is a 454 cubic inch behemoth engine underneath it. Right behind that is a 4-speed transmission. It’s equipped with power brakes and power steering, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and the deluxe interior. And to top it off, there are only 51,280 documented miles on it.

In 2008 this beauty scored 96% on its first time out and was awarded Top Flight in Kissimmee, Florida. Like I said, it don’t get much better than that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A bit more about detailing

I neglected to mention something in yesterday's post.

But it's something I thought might keep someone from making an avoidable error. It's regarding your wheels. This won't apply to all of you, but if you have polished aluminum wheels, it will.

Those wheels have a clear coat on them, just like your paint. Treat them the same way you would treat your fenders or your hood, or any other painted part. Don't use a metal polish on them. It's too abrasive and can dull the finish.

And by the way, I just looked at that Slideshow thingy on the left sidebar. They have a great price on a Meguiar's Wash and Wax Kit. You can save about $15 on it over buying the products individually. Check it out. I think once you try Meguiar's products you'll be sold on them like I am.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From Our Northern Neighbors

Many Corvette enthusiasts consider the 1957 Corvette the most aesthetically pleasing body style of the pre-1963 Corvettes, while others believe it was the best styling of all time. But this Vette had a lot more to offer than style and beauty.

In May 1957, the true performance version of the 283 made its debut. Sporting an advanced fuel injection system, the new "fuelie" 283 produced 283 bhp. Its 1 horsepower per cubic inch output was a record in 1957, and it was played up by the advertising and media. At the same time, Chevrolet introduced its new four speed manual transmission, and the Corvette was on its way to stardom.

When equipped with the 283 fuel injected engine, 4.11:1 rear axle, and the new four-speed Borg-Warner T-10 transmission, the Corvette could accelerate from 0-60 in less than six seconds, and do the quarter mile in the low 14 second range at over 100 mph. After winning a few major races in 1957, sales for the year jumped to a total of 6,339 units, up from 3,467 for 1956. (But there were only 487 painted Arctic Blue like the one above.)

It was an amazing automobile in its day, and it continues to be one of the most sought after classics. The photo above is an example of that beautiful vintage Corvette. It’s owned by my friends Bob and Kathy Willis, of Picton, Ontario, Canada. But you've listened patiently to me long enough. I’ll let Bob tell you a little more about it.

Our car is a 1957 Corvette painted in the 57 colors of Arctic Blue with Inca Silver Coves. The interior is Beige.

The engine is a 283 with dual four barrel carbs. It has a four speed transmission, and I have added 3.08 gears to the rear to keep the R's down on the highway. The Wonderbar Radio has been up-dated to AM/FM Stereo with extra jacks for an MP3 Player.

We have driven the car from Canada to Orlando Fl. in 2000 and many other road trips over the years.

And there you have it. What a gorgeous example of a classic Vette. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks so much Bob and Kathy for sharing your beautiful car with us. The next time I'm in Picton, I want you take a picture of me sitting in it. You won’t have to tell me to smile!

Monday, September 29, 2008

And the Winner is...


We had a total of 13 entries. I went to and requested a random sequence, made the decision before pushing the button to pick the top number in the list.

The numbers were as follows:

5, 7, 3, 6, 1, 10, 4, 2, 11, 9, 8, 13, 12

The number one position is owned by Fairymomma. So, if you're out there, Fairymomma, shoot me an e-mail with a mailing address so I can mail your Gift Card for $25! Here's the e-mail address: If I don't hear from you by the end of October, I'll have to award the prize to the person in the second position.

Thanks to everyone for your comments and for playing the game. We'll do it again in October. So keep coming back to check what's going on.

Giveaway Entries Have Closed

Our First Ever Giveaway is over. The entries have closed. If you entered, you could be the winner of the $25 WalMart Gift Card . We will announce the winner later today, so come back and see if it's YOU!

We will have another Giveaway coming up in October, so check back often to Read All About It! The number of visitors we have is going to determine the value of the prize, so spread the word and send your friends the site address.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


That's my 2001 coupe you see to the left. But we're not going to talk about it today. Today's post is going to be a bunch of reminders. Just so no one misses out in the future.

First of all, don't forget to enter the Giveaway. If you scroll down to the post with the piggy picture on it, you can leave your comment by clicking the COMMENT link on the bottom. Then type out your comment. It doesn't matter what it is. Just tell me what you think of the site, any suggestions for improving it, things you'd like to see, etc. That's all there is to it, and you'll be entered. But remember, the window of opportunity closes at 9:00 p.m. CDT tomorrow night. That's the 28th of September.

Secondly, I've added a SUBSCRIBE option for any of you who want a reminder that something new has been added. All you need to do is enter your e-mail address.

Thirdly, don't forget to cast your vote for your preferred transmission. That also ends tomorrow night. The larger the sample, the more accurate the result.

Fourthly (is there such a word?) you may notice a Blogrush graphic on the left sidebar. I put that on the site, hoping there might be some other sites that come up that may have something else you'd be interested in reading about. So take a look at it and see if there's anything of interest.

Lastly, if you have a Corvette, send me a photo (jpeg preferably) and some info about it. I'll put it in the Showcase Photo position when your turn comes up so you can impress your friends and everyone else on the worldwide web with your beautiful ride.

I think that's it for now. I hope you're enjoying the articles on here. And if not, there's always that comment button.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, So Sweet!

That's Tim Traurig's sweet 2002 Vette you see up there in the Showcase Photo. I hope you're not wearing a light colored shirt because that drool is going to be very visible.

Tim's Corvette is a model year 2002. I'm going to let him tell you about it. Take it away, Tim.

Hi, my name is Tim from Valencia, California. This is a 2002 A4 Pewter VERT with 18,000 miles on it. All stock other than a Blackwing Air Intake and pewter painted fuelrail covers, radiator shroud, wiper fluid reservoir and radiator fluid reservoir.

Also some SS letter inserts on the front and rear bumpers. Oh yeah... a black louvered license plate frame. I'm 48 years young and waited 25 years to get my first Vette (this is it) four months ago.

In model year 2002, GM produced 35,767 Corvettes. Only 12,710 were convertibles. And of those, only 1,072 were Pewter. So from a rarity standpoint, this is a great color to own. Plus it's a convertible and just so darned pretty. And with only 18,000 miles, it doesn't get much better than that.

So thanks again to Tim for sharing his gorgeous Vette with the rest of us.

If you'd like to share photos and information about your Corvette, please send the information to this site. My e-mail address is We'd love to see your pictures.

And if you'd like to ask Tim a question or make a comment about his Corvette, simply click that COMMENT link at the bottom of this post.

And you can always bookmark this site so you can come back and see what's next. Or simply subscribe and you'll automatically receive an e-mail whenever something new is added to this stie. Can it get any easier?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Win a 2009 Corvette

Want to win a brand new Corvette? Here’s your chance. The following information was found at the Corvette Museum web site. Their address is listed at the end of this article. Please check there to make certain this information is still accurate.

The National Corvette Museum is holding a Corvette raffle fundraiser featuring a 2009 Cyber Gray Corvette. It’s limited to only 500 tickets available at $250 each. The winner will be drawn on Thursday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m. C.T.

The Corvette is a 2009 Cyber Gray Coupe featuring an automatic transmission, two-tone seats with ebony and titanium detail, polished wheels, glass top, performance axle, NPP exhaust and the 3LT packaging that includes Head-Up-Display, heated driver and passenger seats, Bose system featuring a six-disc changer and mp3 playback, memory package with two driver settings and more. The winner will also receive the exciting R8C Museum Delivery Program option benefits when picking up their new Corvette.

The program is a memorable experience for new Corvette owners and offers a VIP tour of the Museum and Corvette Assembly Plant, one-year individual membership to the Museum, hands-on training by a delivery team member, program decal and plaque. R8C participants are also entitled to exclusive merchandise opportunities featuring the embroidered program logo and their car's imagery.

“Our raffle fundraisers offer a chance to make someone a Corvette owner and truly benefit the Museum in many ways,” states NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode. “It is the hard work of our ambassadors, members and supporters who make these fundraisers such a success. We look forward to welcoming another raffle winner to the Museum to take delivery.” The National Corvette Museum is the “gateway to all things Corvette” and a member-driven, non-profit foundation.

For more details on how to enter the raffle for this new Corvette, visit the Corvette Museum web site at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


If you’re looking for a 1983 Corvette, there’s one in Kentucky. But you can only get it white because, well, that's the only one left.
Quality and production problems delayed introduction of the new C4 generation so model year 1983 was passed over.
Why, you're asking, did they only make one. Well, they didn't. They actually assembled forty-four of them. Some were used to sort out production details. Others were assigned to engineering evaluation and used for crash testing. And a few were part of a press introduction at Riverside Raceway in California in December 1982. But none were ever sold to the public.

In October of 1982, the new Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, closed and began retooling for the 1984 Corvette. Production on that model year was started. In January of 1983 the news media received their first view of the 1984 Corvette. And the first production 1984 Corvettes were sold to the public in February. In March of 1983, the 1984 Corvette officially went on sale in the United States, except for California. The began selling in California in April. By October of 1983, the plant was in full production.

Of the forty-four 1983 Corvettes produced, forty-three of them were destroyed. The one remaining car, number 23 (shown above), was retired to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where it remains on display. It is still owned by General Motors.
Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Museum

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

C5 Ignition Issues

That's my car to the left. Ain't it purty? It's a 2001, Magnetic Red Coupe. And it always starts right up and runs great. Except for one time when it didn't.

It's a bit of a shock when you put your key into the ignition of your Corvette, turn it, and nothing happens. It's happened to me. And I'm guessing it may have happened to some of you.

Sometimes it's the battery. And that's a pretty easy fix. Other times, it's something else. In my case, it was the key. My 2001 Magnetic Red II Coupe has an ignition key with a "pellet" embedded into it. It's my understanding that this pellet has a computer code in it that the car's computer system can read. If it's the right code, the computer says yes, and the starter engages. If not, you get nothing but a readout on your DIC (Driver's Information Center) that gives you a message. In my case it said, "CHARGING SYSTEM FAILURE."

I turned the key to the off position, removed it, and tried it again. It started right up. But a couple days later, it happened again. It only happened occasionally, but it was a real PITA, not knowing if you should turn off the engine when you're miles from home. It could always happen again, you think, and maybe it won't start this time.

So off I went to my buddies at Corvette Forum to find the answer. (Because they always have the answer.) One member told me about the pellet and suggested I clean it with rubbing alcohol. If you look at the picture to the right, the pellet is that little black rectangle with the silver line running through it.

So I followed the suggestions I received. And, I'm happy to say, I haven't had the problem since. So, if you've experienced a similar situation, try the rubbing alcohol cure. It just might do the trick for you, too.

If you'd like a great web address for a listing of the error codes from your DIC, try this one:

Monday, September 22, 2008

The 2nd Generation

A lot was going on in 1963. Probably the most disturbing and memorable event for anyone old enough to have been around at the time was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22nd. Two days later the alleged assasin, Lee Harvey Oswold was shot on live national television by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

But life went on. (Heads up, panda, here comes some of that girly girl stuff you wanted.) Fur boots and towering hairdos were the thing for the ladies of the day. Beatlemania infected the younger population after the release of "I Want To Hold Your Hand/I Saw Her Standing There" and "Meet the Beatles". The Lava Lamp was developed by Craven Walker and found its way to millions of homes in the 1960s.

Americans enjoyed Hollywod films including The Birds, Mutiny on the Bounty, and The Great Escape. Popular television programs included The Virginian, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Lassie.

This was the year State Mutual Life Insurance invented the Smiley Face found on anything and everything around the world including T Shirts. It's popularity was at it's peak in the 1960's

And General Motors completely redesigned both the body and chassis of the Corvette. A coupe was available for the first time since the car’s introduction in 1953. A center split on the coupe roof flowed through the rear glass creating the famous "Split Window". The solid rear axel was replaced for the first time. Chevrolet produced 10,549 Corvettes for model year 1963 at a base unit cost of $4,257. Serial Numbers: 30837S100001 through 30837S121513.

The sides of the front fenders, behind the wheel openings, were decorated with two long, horizontal "wind split" indenta­tions or louvers that were designed to look like brake cooling ducts, although they were not functional. The rear deck treatment resembled that of the previous year's model but the rest of the car appeared totally new.

The twin side-by-side headlights were hidden in an electrically-operated panel which was more than a styling gimmick, because it added to the car's basic aerodynamic design. However, the recessed hood louvers were not actually functional. The interior had circular gauges with black faces, and there was storage space under the seats of early models.

The ’63 was available in seven exterior colors: Tuxedo Black, Ermine White, Riverside Red, Silver Blue, Daytona Blue, Saddle Tan, and Sebring Silver. Interior colors included: Black, White, Silver, Silver Blue, Daytona blue, Red, Tan, and Ermine White. All were available with a Black, White, or Beige soft top. This was the first year a beige soft top had been available since 1957).

The car pictured above is an example of a 1963 Split Window Coupe. The photos were sent by my friend Pat Sheean. He also sent some information about the car that I wanted to share with you. Here it is in Pat's words...

I have a good friend who is a MOPAR guy and he found this car languishing in an elderly woman's garage.

After a couple of year's work and blood, sweat and $$$, it's looking pretty good. It is NOT an NCRS car, but I love driving it to cruise-ins and shows where we always seem to draw a crowd.

327 - 375 HP (cam and carb upgrade), 4 speed - Cragar SS's - new paint and refurbished interior. I live in Fort Wayne, IN and drive the car only about 7 -8 months of the year.

And there you have it. A gorgeous example of a car that was available in only one model year. The following year GM removed the split in the rear window because owners complained that it made it difficult to see the traffic behind them. And a legend was born.

If you like this article, please leave your comments by clicking the link below. And don't forget to enter our Giveaway by going to the September 21st post entitled Corvette - An American Dream Giveaway. Here's hoping you win.

And thanks go out to Pat (and all our friends in Indiana) for sharing this beautiful vintage example with us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Corvette - An American Dream Giveaway

Since our traffic is increasing I wanted to continue to encourage you to visit. In an effort to do that, we’re having our first Giveaway. And since I’m not rich, I’ve decided to start out with a $25 Gift Card from everyone’s favorite store — WalMart! They have a pretty good selection of Meguiar’s Car Products and Microfiber Towels for you detailers out there. Plus, since reading panda’s comment regarding girlie girl stuff, I figured she could find some of that at WalMart, too.

So here’s how it works: All you have to do is click on the “COMMENT” link at the bottom of this post. Just make a comment about the site. It doesn’t matter what it is. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like. Any suggestions about making the site more interesting are welcome. Just be sure to leave an e-mail address where we can reach you if you’re the winner. And that’s it!

This Giveaway will run from the time this is posted until 9:00 PM CDT on Sunday, September 28th, 2008. The winner will be determined by a randomly generated number from And you will not be disqualified if you enter more than once. Let me repeat that. You will not be disqualified if you enter more than once.

I won’t be replying to any of your comments because I don’t want my comment to be in the list and perhaps end up in the winning position. If you have questions, e-mail me at the address shown at the top of this page and I will respond.

Good luck. Now click on that link and get yourself entered for that $25 Gift Card!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sweet Yesterday

The year was 1961. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

John F. Kennedy was inaugurated President of the United States. There was trouble in Cuba, and he advised Americans to build bomb shelters. And he asked Congress for $531 million to put a man on the moon. Construction began on the Berlin Wall and Pampers were introduced. IBM released the Selectric typewriter (yes, I remember those) and the last episode of I Love Lucy aired. The average price of a new home was $17,500, and regular gasoline could be purchased for 31 cents per gallon. My how things have changed.

But some things don't. Some things are classics when they're created. Others achieve that status in time. The C1 Corvette (1953 - 1962) falls into the former category. General Motors produced 10,939 Corvettes in the 1961 model year at a base price of $3,934. The car pictured above is one of those vintage Vettes. (If you can't see all of it, maximize your window, because you want to see all of it.)

This car is one of only 7,013 originally, and still, equipped with a 4-speed Borg Warner T-10 transmission. But it gets better. It has its original 270hp motor, and only 2,827 Vettes were produced with that power plant. The color is Honduras Maroon, and that paint graced the fiberglas of only 1,645 of them. This color was only available in 1960 and 1961, so it's unusual to see one with so few in that color. And 47 years later, there probably aren't very many of them with this build sheet left, either. So, to say it's rare is a bit of an understatement.

The exterior styling was face-lifted for 1961. It was the first Corvette without heavy "teeth" in the grill area. The rear was completely restyled with four taillights, now a Corvette Trademark. The transmission tunnel was reduced in width to give the interior a 20% increase in interior space.

And it was the only model year that had this cool little emblem on the front fenders.

This beautiful Corvette is owned by my friend Frank Dreano of Winter Garden, Florida. Frank was kind enough to send me some photos when I asked. He also told me a little about it. I'm going to let him tell you so I don't get anything incorrect. So here's the story . . .

I bought this car just over a year ago from a NASCAR wind tunnel engineer in South Carolina. The color is Honduras Maroon (an original '61 color) with Ermine White coves and a black interior with correct olive/black Tuxedo carpet.

The car has the original 270HP solid lifter, dual four barrel, 283 cubic inch motor with the original Borg Warner T-10 4-speed. It's taken a year to get EVERYthing working correctly on this car including the original Wonderbar radio, the parking brake flashing warning light and the original windshield washer system.

The only modifications I have made are to add an electronic ignition/distributor with a vacuum advance, front disk brakes and custom heat isolators under the carbs to help with digestion of modern gasoline mixtures.

The biggest problem with the car was finding the correct 4 bbls (it had 1956 Carter WCFB carbs when I bought it). I did find the correct 270 HP Carter carbs on eBay in July of 2008 and this completed the mechanicals on the car.

I restored the entire interior including all gauges, a new windshield, a new dashpad, new carpet, metal door panel inserts, new kick panels and completely restored seats. The car is driven about 2,000 miles annually.

And there you have it. A legendary sports car that's been well cared for and kept as close as possible to the way it was originally built. It doesn't get much better than that. So if you ever decide to take that long overdue road trip in your own Corvette, and the highway leads you to Winter Garden, Florida, tell Frank hello for me. And thanks for sharing the love.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I know what you're thinking. "What's up with this guy? Yesterday we had a picture of a big wave, and today it's a sailing ship." Well, I just liked the photos.

What I'm going to talk about today doesn't have anything to do with GPS, surfing, ships, or sailing. It's all about what's here, what it does, and how to find what you're looking for.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm HTML challenged. I'm in uncharted waters. Figuring out how to arrange everything on this page remains a continual learning experience. It reminds me of when I was trying to figure out how to disengage the Active Handling and Traction Control on my Vette so I could spin the tires. The gurus at Corvette Forum came to my rescue, again, on that issue. However, I'm on my own with this adventure. Hopefully, I'll make it through the storm and into the calm water before long.

So let's weigh anchor and set sail. Just so you know, I've rearranged a few items, and added a couple more. I wanted to explain that so you wouldn't think you had wandered into the wrong site. First of all, I've moved the Classic Car of the Day to the very bottom. Not because it isn't something interesting to see every day, but because, if it's something you look forward to, you're going to have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see it. (Heh Heh.)

There were two reasons for that move: It looked better, and I thought you might find some things along the way you might miss otherwise. Things like all those great-looking Corvettes along the left sidebar. Those beauties belong to the Corvette Forum gang — individually, not as a group. And there will probably be more of them to come. So keep your eyes open for that as you scroll down.

Secondly, I've added a Followers gadget. It's just to the left of where this post starts. If you want to be included among the Corvette Lovers Group, just click on it and follow the instructions. It's pretty simple, and it's free. Free is good.

The other thing I added was a Feed thingy. I'm not sure how it works exactly, but it's my understanding that if you click on it, a drop down menu pops open and you can click on "Yahoo" or "Google" or one of several other feeds that automatically alert you when something is added to this site. I could be totally out in left field about that, (who's on first?) but that's the way I understood it. If you're brave, click it and see what happens. If your computer explodes, let me know so I don't click it.

You'll also see some ads on here for Corvette related items and services. I told them they could put a few of them on here when they explained that they pay me something when viewers click on them. I'm not counting much on that, but it was free and I thought, what the heck. It might help someone find something they want or need. So if you see something that looks interesting feel free to click it and see if takes you anywhere. Also try that Google Search thing at the very top left and let me know if it takes you to someplace that isn't related to Corvettes. It's not supposed to.

I also removed that Coupon graphic. The reason I put it on here in the first place was because it would give you the gas prices at all the service stations in your area, by zip code. If any of you were using it and you want it back, let me know. I'll paste it back on here for you.
Finally, I would love to hear your comments, questions, suggestions, stories, things about your Corvette, or your dream to own one. And I'll preface the following with an apology to each of you for not explaining it sooner. At the bottom of each daily post you will see a line of type that begins "Posted by" and ends with "Comments." If you click on the "Comments" link it will allow you to reply. You need to have a Google account (again free) to log in. If you don't have a Google account, not to worry. You can set one up right there on that page, and you're good to go. I get a little short of breath when I have to do all the talking. I know you're out there. I can hear you breathing. But I don't know what you're thinking unless you speak up. So take a turn.

And that's about all I have to say about that. Here's wishing each of you a great Wednesday! If the weather's nice, pull the cover off that beauty in the garage, climb into that classy leather seat, turn the key and hear that sound you love. Then drive it around a little before the gas prices start going up and the snow starts coming down. And don't forget your seat belt.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Head Up Display

There is some ambiguity on what this system is called. Some call it "Head Up Display," and others refer to it as "Heads Up Display." For simplicity, I'll use Head Up Display in this post.

My first experience with this technology was in 1969 as a Flight Simulator Technician for the United States Air Force. At that time, the Phantom II (Phantom F4-E) jet had a similar system. Now, 40 years later, I have one of these devices in the Vette.

I won't go into the technology of how it works, because the more important aspect of this writing is in telling you what it does. In a nutshell, it transfers information and projects it onto your windshield so you can see it easily without having to glance down at the instrument panel. It may appear to be a frivolous gizmo, but at the high speeds these vehicles can achieve, keeping your eyes on the road is critical.

If you look at the photo above, you can see the speed indicated at 55mph. In addition, the engine rpm is displayed similar to the way it looks on the instrument panel. The oil pressure is illustrated as vertical bars. The more bars, the higher the pressure. It's fairly simple and easy to read with a quick change in focus.

The controls for this option are located on the left side of the dash. You can control the amount of information displayed, including speed, oil pressure, rpm, etc., as well as the brightness and the vertical position. I will warn you that polarized sunglasses make it difficult to see the display. The Z06 model has an additional "G-Force" indicator. I'm not certain how much value that adds, since it probably isn't going to show much unless you're in a situation where you should be looking at and concentrating on other things.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to tell you a little of what I learned about tires recently. I actually learned this on one of my favorite websites related to Corvettes (other than this one, of course).

Before buying my Corvette I spent a lot of time on a website called the Corvette Forum. If you have an interest in Vettes, this site is fabulous. You can find someone on there who can answer any question you can come up with. The address is It's free, and it's one of the most valuable resources related to Corvettes that I've found.

One of the things I learned was that all C5 Corvettes came from the factory wearing Goodyear Eagle F1 Run Flat tires. Now, if you're not familiar with run flat tires, here is a little info. These tires are designed to maintain their profile even with zero air pressure. They have a stiff sidewall with a steel reinforcement that helps maintain the shape. Goodyear rates them as capable of being driven 200 miles at speeds below 50 mph — with no pressure. Hence the name. And it's actually a good thing they developed them because C5 Corvettes have no jack and no spare, and no place to store either one.

These are actually excellent tires. However, as they age, the rubber becomes harder, more brittle, and more likely to fail. In addition, the older they get, the noisier they become on the highway. Most Corvette owners who are running these tires will tell you they are very noisy and hard-riding. That's the price you have to pay if you want to run the Goodyears. There is an additional price of about $400 each that you'll have to pay if you want to buy them.

Three of my tires were original. The left rear had been replaced. How do I know? By the date code that's stamped on them. But we'll get back to that in a little bit. With only 23,000 miles of use, my Goodyears still had about half the original tread left. So, from a tread standpoint, the tires were fine. However, I learned something else from the experts at Corvette Forum. From an age perspective, at eight years old they were overdue to be replaced. The DOT recommends replacing tires at six years, regardless of tread. So, it was time.

With the decision made to replace the tires, the next question was what tires to buy. Back to the Corvette Forum I went to pick the brains of the experts. There seemed to be a majority of Vette owners that preferred the Michelin Pilot Sports over the Goodyear Eagles. To make a long story shorter, I ended up with Michelin Pilot Sport Run Flat tires. I'm very happy with them so far. They are much quieter than the Goodyears and the ride is softer. I can actually hear the deep sound of my Corsa exhaust. Plus, the set of four ran about $500 less than the Goodyears.

Bottom line: Four new tires, mounting, balancing, alignment of all four wheels totaled $1,112. Plus I have a $60 rebate coming from Michelin.

Now, I mentioned earlier that my left rear tire had been replaced. No one told me this, but after learning how to tell the age of a tire, it was a fairly easy deduction. If you look at the sidewall of your tires you will see a lot of writing. What you're looking for are the letters "DOT" It will be in type that's about a quarter inch in height. When you find the DOT letters you will find several letters and numbers following them. The last four numbers in that string will provide the info you need to determine the age of your tires. But it's in code, sort of. The first two numbers are the week of the year, and the last two numbers are the year.

Let me explain it using my tires as an example. Three of my tires had 3200 stamped on them. The left rear had 1202. That means three of the tires were manufactured the 32nd week of 2000. This would be accurate for original equipment because my car was assembled on August 28th of 2000. However, the left rear tire was manufactured the 12th week of 2002, which means that tire wasn't even existing when my car was built. Here's a website with a nice photo to show you what I'm talking about.

Finally, when I purchased my Michelins I was armed with this information and instructed the dealer not to bring me any tires that had been sitting around for a year or more. I was pleased when they arrived and I checked the date code. They were a week old, and they all had the same date code on them.

And that's pretty much all I can tell you about tires. Other than the fact that I took my car to McCarthy Chevrolet in Olathe, Kansas. They've been in business a long time, and they've learned how particular Vette owners are. They did a great job.

That's it for today. Tomorrow we'll talk about the heads up display. If you're not familiar with it, it's something you might want to hear about. And if I feel talkative, we'll go back in time a little and cover "the wave," which is something you have to know if own a Corvette, or if you plan on owning on in the future.