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Corvette - An American Dream: 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008

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.