Thursday, October 1, 2015

What's In Your Museum? Messner Legacy Found Throughout

The National Corvette Museum is home to many special vehicles - from mint classics, to one-of-a-kind prototypes, much-loved special editions, race cars and more. While the Museum now owns nearly 70 Corvettes (with all but one donated), a good portion of the display cars are also on loan from private individuals and General Motors. Cars are constantly shuffled and swapped, so no two visits to this Corvette mecca are the same.

In 2013 the Museum was gifted its largest donation to date - a collection of ten Corvettes, from the late Don Messner and his wife Marlene. The pristine set contains many collector and special editions, low mileage and stunning examples of America's Sports Car. The carefully assembled collection were Don's pride and joy, and were left to the Museum upon his passing with the hope that they would inspire others to do the same.

"He said he wanted to plant a seed," wife Marlene said. "He wanted others in similar situations with rare Corvettes to see the Museum as a place for them. Most of all, he wanted to inspire future generations to work hard to buy their own Corvettes some day so that they, too, could enjoy the lifestyle that goes with owning them."

In 2014 all ten came together for a special display in the Museum's Exhibit Hall, and today - you can see five of them on the floor throughout the Museum while the other five remain behind the scenes, awaiting the next opportunity to return to the spotlight. Each of the cars has a great story - so we hope you enjoy reading about those you can see on your next visit!

1965 Custom Built Race Corvette (currently on display in our lobby turntable)
This Corvette bears a paint color similar to Cyber Gray and is not a standard 1965 exterior color, but does it turn heads! The car features a complete wide body kit, roll cage, period correct exhaust, custom built big block by Lingenfelter, custom chassis, custom sheet metal intake, Recaro race seats with harnesses, aluminum radiator and 5-speed transmission.

1967 427 Convertible (currently on display in the Dealership)
The Marina Blue beauty was the 2nd most popular color for 1967 and features a stinger stripe on the hood. It is optioned with a 390hp V8 turbojet engine, positraction rear axle, whitewall tires, side dual exhaust, AM/FM radio, softray tinted glass, white convertible top, 4-speed close ratio manual transmission and white and bright blue vinyl interior. It was produced in St. Louis on June 1, 1967 and sold by Penske-McKean Chevrolet of Philadelphia for $3,995.95. Don purchased the car April, 2012 and joined the NCRS, replacing a few parts on the car that had deteriorated while keeping the car period correct.

1996 Grand Sport (currently on display in the Skydome)
This model of Corvette is listed as one of the "10 most valuable Corvettes" by CNN Money because it was "available for one year only, was almost as fast [as the high performance ZR-1], easier to work on and is actually worth a good bit more."

1996 Collectors Edition (currently on display in the Skydome)
This car was manufactured December 6, 1995 in Bowling Green with option RPO Z15 ("Collector Edition"), making it a Sebring Silver Corvette with special trim. The May 1996 edition of Motor Trend magazine touted the car "a keeper and is likely one of the best all-around Corvettes ever hatched out of the Bowling Green, KY plant."

2012 60th Anniversary 427 Convertible (currently on display in the Skydome)
The 2013 model marked Corvette's 60th year, and was the final year for the sixth generation of Corvette. This special package was offered for all models for 2013, and the 427 Convertible combined the convertible with Z06 elements, including its 505hp, 427ci LS7 engine with dry sump, but retained the convertible's steel frame structure.

Don's story is a special one that's we've put together as part of a new Heritage Series. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Car Part Art Exhibit Converts Function to Form

The car you are driving today will be a good source of many recyclable materials tomorrow. In fact, around 80 percent of a car can be recycled, and much of it takes place while your car is still in service through aftermarket recycling. The National Corvette Museum’s new exhibit, Car Part Art, teaches visitors not only about car recycling – but also demonstrates how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Over 70 works of art have come together to fill the Museum’s Exhibit Hall, from Corvette hood liners serving as a canvas, to old rotors painted or welded or backlit to create interesting sculptures. Works have been created by artists, young and old, including area elementary, middle and high school students, to seasoned professionals from Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Paducah, KY, and more.

Guest Curator Andee Rudloff, a professional artist, consultant and educator, worked with the Museum to bring the exhibition together. “We started in April, officially announcing the exhibit on Earth Day, and since then we’ve worked to secure scrap car parts for artists, cultivated relationships between the artists and the Corvette Museum, and shared our enthusiasm and excitement about this new exhibition.”

The excitement was evident at the exhibit’s grand opening reception on Friday, September 18 when more than 40 of the participating artists, joined by their family, friends and Museum guests, gathered to celebrate the art. “We decided to recognize some of the exceptional pieces with out-of-the-box awards,” Andee said. “We invited some people from the community with unique but relevant backgrounds to serve as judges, and they carefully selected their favorites in categories like “Best Illumination,” “Precision Award,” and “Most Unique Use of Car Parts.”

The largest art piece, and perhaps the most eye-catching for a Corvette Museum visitor, is a 1960 Corvette inspired by art cars of greats like Britto, Warhol, Calder and Haring. “I chose a motif that was in concert with the car itself, addressing the contours, historical context, and luxurious nature of the ‘Vette,” said artist Christopher Hayes. The car was transported all the way from Colorado, courtesy of Intercity Lines, and certainly earned the “Biggest Impact” award.

Rounding out the exhibit are five pieces on loan from Michelin – all entries in their InTIREnational competition which challenges participants to create a piece of art with an international theme using up to four scrap tires donated by Michelin.

The exhibit was made possible with the help of sponsors Michelin, PPG Automotive Refinish, US Bank and Intercity Lines. Additionally, car parts were graciously donated by: Ace Auto Salvage of Nashville; A & S Auto Glass of Nashville; C&H Truck and Equipment; Corvette Central; Falloway Auto Parts; Final Finish of Morgantown, KY; Franklin Automotive Center; General Motors Bowling Green Assembly; Holley Performance Products; J.D. British Car Service; Midas; Parrish Auto Service; Barry & Jackie Passmore (Russell Springs, KY); Service Kind Collision Repair of Nashville; and Simpson County Tire and Auto.

The Car Part Art exhibit runs through January 8, 2016 at the National Corvette Museum and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite piece to receive the “People’s Choice Award” at the end of the exhibit period. Learn more at

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Condes Donate Anniversary Corvettes

When deciding to donate a car to the National Corvette Museum, each donor has their reasons. For some it is to make room in their garage for the latest model, others it is because they would like to take advantage of the tax write-off benefits. For Craig Conde it was a combination of reasons, making his donation an emotional one.

After disability retiring seven years ago and due to multiple surgeries and medical issues, it had become impossible for Craig to enjoy riding in his Corvettes. “I had stopped showing them about two years ago because I was not able to take care of them,” Craig recalled.  “I couldn’t bring myself to sell them, emotionally I couldn’t.”

Craig and wife Sharon, Lifetime Members of the Museum and members of the Corvette Legends of Texas Club in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, knew they needed to find a home for their prized 1978 25th Silver Anniversary Corvette, and their 2003 50th Anniversary Corvette.

After a trip to Wisconsin, Craig decided on a whim to make a detour and stop by the Corvette Museum to check out the restored Skydome after the sinkhole construction was complete. There he saw the special Anniversary and Special Edition Corvette display.

“I looked at the 25th and 50th that were on loan to the Museum, and I thought – this just isn’t right,” Craig said.  “The Museum has been open 21 years, and somebody should have already donated these cars to the Museum. So I felt this was something that needed to be fixed.”

The cars were picked up in McKinney, Texas while Craig and Sharon traveled in Sharon’s 2005 Daytona Sunset Orange Corvette Coupe to Bowling Green on September 11 to officially turn the keys to their babies over. With staff and visitors clapping and cheering, Sharon drove the 1978 in to the Museum, followed by Craig in the 2003.

“These are their children, and now we’re responsible for them,” Gary Cockriel, Museum Development Officer said during the ceremony. “They’ve asked for visitation rights from now on, of course,” he joked “but it’s just a great honor to help keep our museum and their museum going for future generations. That’s what we’re all about. People like this are what keeps this museum alive. They’re stepping up and doing it not only with their cars, but also a donation to help keep up the cars,” Cockriel added.

“We want to thank Johnnie Downs, the NCM staff and volunteers that came to our home on Labor Day and assisted in the appraisals and transportation of the cars to the NCM,” Craig said. “I look forwarded to continuing to support the Museum,” he added.

Thank you to Craig and Sharon for these wonderful additions to the Museum, and for your contribution to ensure your children are taken care of for years to come! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

National Corvette Museum Holds Ribbon Cutting for Skydome Post Sinkhole Construction

Milestone 1-Millionth Corvette Unveiled as Part of the Ceremony

It’s official! A year and a half after a large sinkhole formed in the Skydome of the National Corvette Museum, the 13 story iconic landmark is back, better than ever, with all eight “sinkhole Corvettes” returned to display. Though the Skydome re-opened to visitors on July 6, a ceremonial ribbon cutting (or rather, caution tape cutting) was held as part of the Museum’s 21st Anniversary Celebration.

What could have been a major road block for the Museum became more of a speed bump as the sinkhole is credited with the 67% increase in visitors for 2014. Instead of immediately filling the sinkhole and restoring the Corvettes, the Museum “made lemonade” and embraced the international news-making occurrence, putting nature’s handiwork on display for most of 2014.

“The success of the sinkhole saga could not have been possible without the help and support of several key players,” said Katie Frassinelli, Museum spokesperson, at the dedication event. Frassinelli stressed how fortunate the Museum was that no one was in the building when the collapse occurred while thanking the construction crew and insurance company for also embracing the new attraction. “They have entertained our crazy requests – from saving sinkhole boulders for our landscaping, to salvaging dirt and rock that we bottled for sale in the Corvette Store,” she said. Frassinelli also commented that much of the Museum’s positive outcome from the sinkhole collapse is a result of being able to release video footage of the collapse as it occurred, and later allowing visitors to stand mere feet from the sinkhole to get an up close view.

“There is one chapter left to our story,” Frassinelli said. “Late this fall we are excited to welcome a special exhibit called Corvette Cave-In: The Skydome Sinkhole Experience. Visitors will learn the particulars of sinkholes, karst landscapes, and caves as well as what happened, why it happened, details on the eight Corvettes and how they were recovered and restored, and how the building was structurally repaired. The tour ends as the cave they are visiting virtually collapses over their heads to reveal their location underneath the Museum.”

The ceremony concluded with the caution tape cutting before rolling into a seminar on the restoration of the 1992 “1-millionth” Corvette. After more than four months and 1,200 man-hours of painstaking craftsmanship by the GM team, the restoration of the milestone car is complete, and the Corvette was unveiled in the Skydome.

The 1-millionth Corvette was one of the eight cars that fell victim to the February 12, 2014 sinkhole. And Chevrolet quickly came forward and pledged to restore it. After being rescued from the sinkhole, the 1-millionth Corvette was moved from the Museum to the Design Center on GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Mich., for restoration.

“As the one and only 1-millionth Corvette, its preservation was important to us as the designers of the vehicle – and as Corvette enthusiasts,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. “The damage was significant in many ways; however we have one of the most highly skilled specialty shops and team of people in the industry, so they were fully prepared to take on the challenge.”

“Chevrolet is proud to have helped restore this extremely significant car in Corvette's long, storied history," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "When we disassembled it, we found that each employee involved in building it had signed a part of the car, which was fantastic and moving to see. It brought the history to life, and reinforced the importance of the project."

Despite extensive damage, GM’s team vowed to preserve and repair as many original components as possible – a decision that involved posterity as much as history, in order to preserve those signatures of the Bowling Green Assembly workers who built the car.

Only two signed components couldn’t be saved, so the team had the autographs scanned, reproduced as transfers and placed on the replacement parts.

One component with a single signature from Bowling Green Assembly employee Angela Lamb was too damaged to save or even accurately scan for her autograph. Lamb joined event attendees for the big reveal, signing her name on the replacement part. The 1-millionth Corvette is now historically accurate down to the last signature.

Among the parts replaced were the hood, front fascia and the lower panels between the front wheels and doors, as well as a number of ancillary supporting components under the hood. The replacements came from a vehicle of the same vintage and color, ensuring authenticity of the parts and materials involved with the restoration.

A few other components, such as the rear fascia and front exhaust system, would have probably been replaced in almost any other restoration project, but the team repaired them because they were also covered in signatures.

Additional highlights from the restoration:

  • The front sub-frame was damaged in the fall into the sinkhole and required straightening
  • The wheels were damaged, but reconditioned, with the original Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires
  • Rather than replace the scuffed and scratched pad on the instrument panel, its soft cover was carefully removed and replaced to preserve the employee-signed structure beneath it
  • The red leather seats, featuring one-off “1,000,000th Corvette” embroidery on the headrests were damaged but deemed irreplaceable, so they were restored, including a few replacement patches of carefully matched hide
  • The 5.7L LT1 engine, transmission and other drivetrain components were inspected and found to be damage-free

Surprisingly, the one component the team didn’t have to replace was the crushed windshield header. When the car first rolled into the shop, an overhead crane was used to raise it enough to make the car drivable, but the frame pulled up surprisingly close to the original position, encouraging the team to save it.

“The header restoration was a wonderful surprise for what everyone assumed would be the toughest aspect of the restoration,” said Bolognino. “With access to the original specifications, we got it spot-on – and even the new windshield glass dropped in perfectly.”

The final touch was replacing the unique “1,000,000th” windshield banner it wore when it rolled off the assembly line 23 years ago. The computer graphic file used for the original was still available, allowing creation of an identical banner.

The 1-millionth Corvette is the second sinkhole-damaged Corvette that Chevrolet has restored. The first, a 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype known as the Blue Devil, was only lightly damaged and was returned to its original condition last fall.

The National Corvette Museum’s new Maintenance and Preservation Department will restore the third car, a 1962 Corvette. The five additional Corvettes swallowed by the sinkhole will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars.

FAST FACT: The 1-Millionth Corvette rolled off the assembly line as a convertible with a white exterior and a red interior - just like the first Corvette produced in 1953.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

GM Foundation Donates $75,000 to 11 Area Organizations through Plant City Grants Program

The GM Foundation today donated $75,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations in the Bowling Green area, making this the fifth consecutive year the foundation’s Plant City Grants are being awarded in the home of the iconic Chevrolet Corvette.  In the last five years, GM Foundation donations in the region totaled $325,000, including Plant City Grants and a fully-funded Habitat for Humanity project in 2014.

“General Motors is committed to supporting the communities that our employees call home,” said GM Foundation Vice President Lori Wingerter. “This year, the GM Foundation plans to provide $2 million in funding to hundreds of organizations across the country that provide critical resources that families and neighborhoods rely on every day.”

The grants were announced and presented at the Boys & Girls Club of Bowling Green, where 24 GM employees spent their day volunteering to clean and organize the facility, room by room. In fact, a total of 80 GM employees from sites across the U.S. converged in Bowling Green this week to provide ride and drive opportunities and community service work as part of GM’s Outreach Program. In addition to the Boys & Girls Club, service projects included work at St. Vincent DePaul, New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding, the International Center of KY and KY Legal Aid.

The 2015 Bowling Green grant funds will support the following organizations and community programs: 

Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. – The grant will be used for emergency assistance, resources and programs for regional domestic violence and homeless shelter residents.

Boys & Girls Club of Bowling Green – The donation will support reading programs to help ensure all Club members are on track to graduate from high school and are ready for college, trade school, the military or employment.

·         The Friends of the Lost River, Inc.Funds will be used to purchase a compact dump trailer to improve efficiency and sustainability, as well as tandem kayaks, allowing two people to travel in one kayak. These tandem kayaks will make the cave’s kayaking program safer for minors and those with impairments.
·         Public Theatre of Kentucky Funds will be used for the Sunburst Youth Theatre educational programming, including day camps where children ages 7-12 build their own props, do scenic painting, sound, lighting, costuming and acting, monologue workshops for 13-18 year-olds and other productions.
·         United Way of Southern Kentucky – Funding will be used to provide help in the areas of education, income and health & safety net for Warren County residents. It is clear that these issues are fundamentally connected; when one area is impacted, others may be impacted indirectly.

·         Family Enrichment Center – The grant will be used to provide more full-time childcare services to children whose families put them at risk.

·         African American Museum – Funds will be used to purchase electronic equipment and software that will enable audio/video, interactive and multimedia displays, along with other display essentials including stanchions, fiberboard display panels, mannequins, pedestals, stands and easels.

·         Bowling Green Alliance for Mentally Ill – The grant will be used to train two PTSD dogs and two veterans through the PETS-4-VETS (Providing Effective Therapy through Service Dogs) program, providing recovery support for veterans and their families.

·         CASA – Funds will be used to train 20 new volunteers, enabling them to serve 20 new families including approximately 30 or more dependent, neglected, abused and sexually abused children.

·         Center for Courageous Kids – The grant will support the Summer Camp Program for Critically Ill Children. The program is a traditional overnight camping experience held during 9, one-week sessions, where children meet other children living with the same condition and learn self-care skills while engaging in activities such as horseback riding, swimming, bowling, theatre, woodshop, boating, fishing and archery.

·         Recovery Kentucky Foundation, Inc. – Funds will be used to support their computer labs in western Kentucky recovery centers. These computers, printers and IT support services help residents complete their GED as well as develop skills related to job applications, resume writing and information technology.

“Through the GM Foundation Plant City Grants, these vital community organizations will be able to fund critical programs that help so many local families,” said Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Assistant Plant Manager Nora Roper. “We couldn’t be happier to support these local organizations.”

Friday, August 21, 2015

Macy's Awards Education Grant to Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum has received a $1,000 grant from Macy's to support youth Engineering with Minecraft Camps.

Across the country, support from Macy's and Bloomingdale’s giving programs helped sponsor free admission to museums and exhibits, special musical performances, art exhibits, and art and theatre workshops for children.

"In the past year we have hosted five Hooked on Science Engineering with Minecraft Camps, and all five of them have sold out with long wait lists," said Museum Education Coordinator Kellie Steen. "Through this support from Macy's we have already scheduled three more camps for September 21, 2015, January 18, 2016 and February 15, 2016 when many of the area school children are out for holidays. We are thrilled with this new partnership to bring more kids out to the Museum for educational opportunities."

Bowling Green's Macy's has continued to partner with the Museum by offering a Corvette Store presence within their Greenwood Mall location. Additionally, the Museum loans Corvettes to the store for display as a way to cross promote the brands. Labor Day Weekend, as part of the Museum’s 21st Anniversary Celebration, Macy’s will be display two additional Museum-owned Corvettes, a 1959 and a 1966.

“Macy’s prides itself on offering products from iconic American brands, and Corvette is THE American Sports Car. It was only natural for our Bowling Green store to form a meaningful and on-going partnership with the National Corvette Museum,” said Terry Busing, VP Store Manager at Macy’s. “We are excited that our grant will help bring additional Minecraft camps to the Museum.”

View and register for upcoming camps on our website at

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Museum Gifted 35th Anniversary Corvette

Rick and Deb Seymour with the 1988 35th Anniversary Corvette
It was 1988. The Seymours were in their early 30s and already owners of a 1985 Corvette. After seeing the new 35th Anniversary Edition on the cover of Vette Vues magazine they started to think about upgrading their Corvette to a newer model. “At first, our dealer didn’t think he was going to be able to get one of the special limited editions,” recalls Rick. But then the phone call came that they did indeed score one. “It was May 28 and we decided to go to the dealership to see it,” says Rick. “We walked into the showroom, and that was it.” The Seymours told the dealer they wanted it, to rope it off and they would be back for the car. “Our car payment was more than our house payment,” laughs Deb.

It doesn’t take long to understand why the Seymours get emotional when talking about the car. It was driven just a little here and there (racking up only 380 miles), and it was pampered, never being washed with a hose, except for when the wheels and tires needed cleaning. It is all original except for the battery, and gloves even kept body oil from making their way onto the steering wheel. “You might consider it a little nutty,” Rick chuckles. We reassured Rick that, while few in number, we do have a couple of cars with the plastic still covering the interior. But overall, this car is unlike most. It is a true Museum quality show piece in the same condition it was in when it rolled off the line. A well preserved example of those 2,050 35th Anniversary Corvettes made for 1988. The quality of the car’s condition would not go unnoticed.

When Bloomington Gold moved to the Seymour’s hometown of Champaign, IL they knew it was time to get the car certified. “We shipped the car in an enclosed trailer, and turned the trip into a wonderful celebration,” remembers Deb. “Lots of friends and family came to see the car get certified.” The car earned Bloomington Gold, Survivor and Benchmark Certifications before being returned home to Garden City, ID.

It was a 2006 trip to Bowling Green that convinced Lifetime Museum Members Rick and Deb that their baby should eventually return “home” to Kentucky. The couple participated in a R8C Corvette Delivery, picking up their new 2006 Z06 at the Museum and touring the GM plant, even getting to start up a car fresh off the assembly line. “That trip convinced us that this is our car’s home,” said Deb.

The couple had put the 1988 in their will for the Museum, but after reading that the Museum was seeking a 35th Anniversary Corvette for display, decided that now might be the time to go ahead and donate it.  “After it was certified, all it did was sit on a rack, covered,” explains Deb. “We decided we might as well donate it while we are still alive so we can come see it, and others can see it.”
The car was again loaded onto a transporter and shipped to Bowling Green, arriving at the Museum at the end of July. “This is a big part of our lives,” says Deb. “The opportunity to share it with so many people is just the best thing that could happen to us.”

Thank you to Richard and Debra for entrusting your beautiful piece of history to the Museum. The Corvette is now featured in the Skydome as part of an Anniversary and Special Edition display and is sure to be enjoyed by many visitors for years to come.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ike Dodrill Donates Late Brother Jim's Corvette

Sandra, James and Jim Dodrill at the Lone Star Corvette Classic
It was April 22, 1989 - 100 years after the Oklahoma Territory Land Run and many in the Sooner State were commemorating the occasion with various deals and specials. One such promotion was at the Chevrolet dealership in Oklahoma City, which advertised all cars on sale for only $89 over invoice. Jim Dodrill saw this as the perfect opportunity to score a much lusted after Corvette. Luckily, the lot had three to choose from, and it was a brand new 1989 Medium Blue Metallic Corvette that he brought home.

Younger brother, Ike (Lifetime Museum Member), fondly remembers the day Jim came home with the car, and the memories that were made over the next 20 years. “We took many trips in that car… to Bloomington Gold, it’s been driven in the Caravan, and several times to the Lone Star Corvette Club event at the Texas Motor Speedway.”

Sadly, Jim suffered a massive heart attack in 2009 and unexpectedly passed away. Over time, Jim’s widow, Sandra, and son, James, decided the car might make a good vehicle for James to drive. It wasn’t running at the time so Ike stepped in to fix it, and before long James was driving the Vette. As with most cars over 20 years old the Corvette started to have issues. James reverted to driving an old truck until it hit 200,000 miles and was ready to be retired for something more reliable. Sandra thought trading in both the Corvette and truck for something newer would be best – prompting Ike to issue a proposition. “I asked if I could buy the car, get it running and then donate it to the Museum in memory of Jim. The car had 28,000 miles on it,” Ike said.  “They discussed it and decided it was the best thing to do.”

Ike Dodrill donates his late brother's Corvette
Ike rebuilt the headlight motors, alternator, replaced the fuel pump/sender unit, fuel injectors, cleaned the throttle body, replaced the top, changed out plugs, wires, ignition system, coil cap, and gave it a basic tune up, a new battery and new tires. “I essentially tried to make it as reliable of a car as we could with the hope that the Museum would be able to use it for any kind of parades, track events, VIP events, anything like that,” Ike said. “My hope is that you guys will have some wonderful times with the car, too.”

When asked what Jim would think about the car’s new home Ike can’t help but smile. “I think he’s up there smiling right now, looking down on us. I think he’s very pleased. I am. I think this is a wonderful thing that we can do for the Museum and I hope that more and more people are able to do the same thing.”

Thank you, Ike, for your generosity and dedication to seeing Jim’s legacy live on. We are sure there are many more memories to be made with the car.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Museum Gifted Two Corvettes

William (Bill) Engel, Jr. a.k.a. “Sweat Hog” of Albany, NY; Ridgewood, NJ and now Summit, NY has owned three Corvettes, equally spaced 20 years apart and each with its own memories. The first was a 1967, bought May 24, 1971 as the third owner. “At the time of purchase the engine was dismantled and there was a swallowed valve which had put a hole in the #7 cylinder,” Bill recalled. “I rebuilt the engine and put a sleeve in the #7 cylinder. The car was functional and on the road by 1972,” he added.

Bill joined the Tri Vettes Ltd. Corvette Club of East Greenbush, NY and while in the club he raced the car on closed course tracks and in road rallies. He was one of the members that was instrumental in winning the North East NCCC Championships in 1974. Today, the car is still road worthy and about 85% original.

In 1986 Bill purchased Corvette number two… a 1987 Coupe that he picked up from McGuire Chevrolet in North Bergen, NJ on New Year’s Eve. It was his daily driver for about ten years.
Finally, to complete his collection spanning 40 years, Bill purchased a 2007 Atomic Orange Corvette. The car had to be shipped from a dealer in Illinois to Hawthorne Chevrolet in New Jersey as it was the last one of this color.

Sadly, Bill was diagnosed last December with inoperable liver cancer. Like most Corvette owners, he didn’t want to sell his cars, and didn’t want anything changed on the 1967.  “I had been a member of the Museum for awhile and had been reading articles in the magazine about recent car donations,” Bill said.  “Donating my 1967 and 1987 was a good way to ensure the cars would be cared for.”

Thanks to Bill for his generosity and passion, ensuring the history of Corvette is passed down to future generations and enthusiasts to come!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GM Corvette Assembly Plant Announces New Plant Manager

Kai Spande
General Motors announced today the new Plant Manager for their Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Kai Spande, Director of European Powertrain Test Facilities, Engineering Operations and Quality will take the helm, reporting to Arvin Jones, Manufacturing Manager, North American Manufacturing, General Motors. Kai replaces Jeffrey Lamarche who was promoted to the position of Plant Manager Flint Assembly and Stamping. The organizational change is effective September 1st.

Kai has been instrumental in accelerating the implementation of GMS in the European Laps and PPO operations, and in leading a 250M Euro upgrade of the Powertrain test facilities in Turino, Italy, Ruesselsheim, Germany, and at the Dudenhoffe Proving Grounds in Germany, according to an email from GM. He has also been a key contributor and valued member of the European Powertrain Engineering staff. Kai's replacement will be named at a later date.

Congratulations and welcome to Kai! We look forward to having you be a part of Team Corvette and the Bowling Green community!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Chevrolet Releases 2015 Corvette Final Model Counts

While the last Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Bowling Green, KY just over a week ago (Wednesday, June 17 to be exact), Chevrolet has already shared with us their final model year counts for the 2015 Corvette. Corvette sales were down 8% from 2014 (37,288 vs 34,240), but model year 2015 was shorter than 2014 which would account for the dip.

The Museum delivered 1,049 of the 2015 model year cars, the 2nd highest number of Corvettes delivered when compared to Chevrolet Dealerships, and as Harlan Charles, Chevrolet Corvette Product Manager said, "If you were your own country, you would be 3rd after the US and Canada."

Let's take a look at some of the stats:

Stingray Coupes were the most popular model with 60.6%, followed by Z06 Coupes at 20.4%, Stingray Convertibles at 14.1% and Z06 Convertibles at 4.9%.

The 2LT Package was the most popular for the Stingray with 42% of the models having it, but Z06 buyers preferred the 3LT, boasting 69% with that option.

The Z51 Performance Package was another popular option with 53% of buyers opting for it while the Z07 option was added to only 39% of the Z06s.

At the April 2014 Bash at the National Corvette Museum, Chevrolet revealed two new appearance packages: Atlantic and Pacific. If you went with either package - you now have a pretty rare Corvette as only 17 Corvettes are optioned with Atlantic, and 97 with Pacific.

Automatics once again took the top spot with 68% of Corvette buyers selecting a paddle shift transmission. The Z06 for the first time gave buyers the chance to option the performance Corvette with an automatic, and 48% of buyers did so. 90% of Corvette buyers also added Performance Exhaust.

Black wheels took the cake for both Stingray and Z06 models with 36% of Stingrays optioned with Painted Black ZF1/Z51 wheels, and 54% with Black Z06 wheels (note: the Stingray offered a wider selection of wheels than the Z06). Red calipers were also popular, with 54% of Corvettes having them.

Black was also popular inside the car with 45% of Corvettes having Black Leather Interior. 82% of the convertibles had a black top. GT seats were also popular being used in 86% of the cars.

And finally, the exterior colors. Arctic White took top honors with 18.9% or 6,461 of the cars followed by Torch Red (16.4% or 5,625 cars); Shark Gray (15% / 5,130); Black (15% / 5,128); Laguna Blue (8.8% / 3,015); Crystal Red (6.4% / 2,191); Velocity Yellow (6% / 2,065); Blade Silver (5.2% / 1,791); Night Race Blue and Daytona Sunrise Orange (each with 4.1% or 1,417 cars per color). Of course if you add together the two "reds" you get 23% which would then make red the most popular.

To download the complete list of final counts for the 2015 model year, click here.

To see the specs and details for 2015 Corvettes click here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sinkhole-Swallowed 1 Millionth Corvette Restoration Underway

Milestone damaged when earth opened beneath National Corvette Museum

Craftspeople and technicians at the General Motors Design Center are painstakingly restoring the historic 1 millionth Chevrolet Corvette damaged nearly 16 months ago when a sinkhole opened beneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

The restoration crew is part of GM’s Mechanical Assembly group at the Design Center, which typically spends its time building prototype and concept vehicles. The white 1992 Corvette is a challenge because rather than build an all-new vehicle from the ground up, the workers are trying to preserve the original appearance of a production vehicle.

It is the second of three sinkhole-damaged Corvettes that Chevrolet has pledged to restore. The first, a 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype known as the Blue Devil, was only lightly damaged and was returned to its original condition last fall. The National Corvette Museum will oversee the restoration of the third car, a 1962 Corvette.

Five other Corvettes swallowed by the sinkhole will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars. They will become part of a future sinkhole-themed display at the museum.

Sinkhole summary

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 5:44 a.m., National Corvette Museum personnel were notified by their security company about the burglar alarm going off in the Skydome area of the museum. Upon arrival at the museum, a sinkhole measuring about 45-by-60 feet wide and 30-foot deep was discovered.

Security camera footage showing the Skydome floor’s collapse has been viewed more than 8.5 million times on YouTube.

Eight historic Corvettes – two on loan from GM and six owned by the museum – were swallowed that day:

  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder (on loan)
  • 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” prototype (on loan)
  • 1962 Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car
  • 1992 1 millionth Corvette
  • 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette
  • 2001 “Mallett Hammer” Z06
  • 2009 1.5 millionth Corvette

On March 3, 2014, the 2009 Blue Devil was the first car recovered and despite significant damage was started and driven out of the Skydome. The 1.5 millionth Corvette and Mallet Corvette were the last cars pulled from the sinkhole, on April 3 and April 9, respectively – after workers were initially unable to find them amid the collapsed earth.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chevrolet Corvette Plant Gets $439 Million in Upgrades

New, environment-friendly paint shop drives efficient production, retains 150 jobs
North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones
Torch Red, Shark Gray Metallic and Laguna Blue Tintcoat, three popular palate choices on the 2015 Corvette, kept the marketers who make up names working late. Now they can dream about more painstakingly precise pigments, thanks to a new paint shop that is among $439 million being invested at the only plant in the world that builds Chevrolet’s iconic sports car.
General Motors announced the moves today that include retaining 150 jobs and building the 450,000 square-foot paint shop that is almost half the size of the entire current production facility. The investment builds on approximately $135 million GM has invested in the plant over the last four years for the new Corvette Stingray and Performance Build Center. The announcement was followed by a groundbreaking event for the new paint shop.
 “The Corvette is one of Kentucky’s most-cherished icons,” said. Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen. “Such a significant expansion of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will help the company remain competitive in the region and around the world.”
Construction of the new paint shop, which includes substantial technology upgrades, is planned to begin this summer and take approximately two years to complete. Corvette production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.
Along with new tooling and robots, the paint shop’s state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements include:
  • Dry Scrubber Booth Technology with Limestone Handling System designed to eliminate sludge water and waste
  • Light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting for process decks for improved visual inspection as well as energy savings
  • State-of-the-art FANUC robots with Versa-bell 3 electrostatic applicators for an extremely smooth finish and maximum transfer efficiency, saving 25 percent of the paint material used, which also benefits the environment
  • Longer, high-efficiency baking ovens for exceptional paint finish and lower energy use.
“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”
Said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada: “This new paint shop will mirror the efficiencies and technologies of the new body shop, installed with the launch of the Stingray. Hardworking UAW members have proudly built vehicles in Bowling Green for more than 30 years, and we are pleased to be a part of such a significant facility upgrade.”
Corvette production began in 1981 in Bowling Green following assembly in Flint, Mich., and St. Louis. Each has been an exclusive home of the Corvette, contributing to its distinction as the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. More than 1.6 million have been produced in 62 years.
Since the launch of the all-new 2014 Stingray, the Corvette has won more awards than any other car in the industry, including the 2014 American Car of the YearCar & Driver’s 10 Best and Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year.
Building on that recognition, Corvette sales reached an eight-year high in 2014 with almost 38,000 cars sold globally. The plant welcomed a record 56,000 tourists last year.
The new Performance Build Center opened last year and in March began hosting customers in the Build Your Own Engine program. More information about Bowling Green Assembly is available at
The investments in Bowling Green are part of the $5.4 billion that GM said April 30 it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

From Moonshine to Finish Line: Corvette Museum Showcases History of NASCAR with New Exhibit

Well before modified race cars plastered with sponsor logos took to oval tracks across the country, small, fast stock cars could be seen speeding around the Appalachian region carrying bootleg whiskey, attempting to evade police. Drivers would modify their cars to make them quick and nimble, maximizing speed as well as space to carry their precious cargo. The sport of “runnin’ shine” eventually evolved and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was officially founded in 1948 by Bill France, Sr. Today the sport is second to the NFL among professional sports franchises when it comes to television ratings in the United States.

The National Corvette Museum’s Exhibit Hall is hosting a special exhibit to pay homage to the sport, from its early roots of moonshine running, to today’s multi-billion dollar industry. The exhibit includes 14 cars from a 1940s Moonshine runner, to recent race winners. The line-up includes: #3 - Dale Earnhardt Wheaties Chevrolet 1997 Monte Carlo; #3 - Junior Johnson 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS; #6 - Mark Martin 1994 Valvoline Ford; #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS; #16 - Greg Biffle 2013 3M (1,000th NASCAR win for Ford); #17 - Darrell Waltrip Tide 1987 Monte Carlo; #24 - Jeff Gordon DuPont Fire & Flames Design, 2005 Monte Carlo; #27 - 1953 Corvette NASCAR; #43 - Richard Petty 1986/87 Pontiac Aero; #48 - Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Power of Pride Design 2003 Monte Carlo; #72 - Benny Parsons 1973 Chevelle, Winston Cup Winner; #88 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2008 Impala SS; and #97 - Kurt Busch 2004 Nextel Championship Winning Taurus.

The special exhibit opened Friday, May 15 and runs through Sunday, September 13. It is included with regular Museum admission. To learn more about each car and see photos, visit

2007 Ron Fellows Edition Z06 Donated to Museum

Volunteers are the lifeblood of most nonprofit organizations and the same is true at the National Corvette Museum. Many of you not only volunteer your time during our Museum events, but you also work the Corvette Store at car shows across the country, plan Corvette Club group visits to volunteer, and even visit us multiple times throughout the year – just to help out around the Museum.  Randy Pierce and Charla Heintz and two such people who come to Bowling Green, simply to help out where they can around the Museum.

“I got to know Randy and Charla when they started volunteering at the Museum,” said Betty Hardison, Library & Archives Coordinator. “That was probably 10-15 years ago. There’s no telling how many hours they spend here. They come at least 6-8 times a year for a week at a time just to volunteer.” 

Betty shared that you’ll often find them in the Corvette Store working, but that Randy also picks up oversized items across the country, typically things people have donated, and delivers them to the Museum.  “He picked up several pallets of little model Corvettes in Pennsylvania; about 2,600 automotive magazines in New York… he goes anywhere for us,” Betty added.

Gary Cockriel, Development Officer for the Museum, reiterated Randy and Charla’s commitment. “I don’t think we’ve ever called on them, and they not help us do something. Ever.” Gary shared that while Randy and Charla will volunteer for the Museum, they also are Lifetime Members, have loaned cars for display, are in the Duntov Society, participated in R8C Museum Deliveries and an Xperience, have Walk of Fame bricks, and more.

Randy came to Betty in January when he and Charla were volunteering at the Museum and told her he had a surprise. “He said he was going to be donating their 2007 Ron Fellows Edition Z06 Corvette to the Museum during the April Bash event, but he wanted to surprise everyone.”  Betty said that with the car being a Special Edition, they didn’t drive it much to keep the miles low.

“I figured because this one is such a unique car, it’s a numbered car… we might as well donate it now and get some fun out of it being down there,” Randy said.  “It’s probably the only one of that edition to be donated to the Museum, and we will get more pleasure out of it being down at the Museum.”
The 2007 Ron Fellows Special Edition Z06 was created to honor the famed American LeMans Series GT1 racer, and was the first signed limited edition in Corvette history. It was Arctic White with Monterey Red front fender stripes, and had a unique interior and exterior trim. Only 399 were built, including 300 for the U.S., 33 for Canada and 66 for other markets.

“This is a rare edition and we are excited to have it for display,” said Betty. “It is with the help of Randy and Charla and other Museum supporters that we are able to continue preserving the history of Corvette. Their car will be enjoyed by visitors for many years to come.”

“It’s part of our life anymore, the Corvette family,” Randy added. “We enjoy everyone at the Museum and the Museum itself, all the people that come with it, the volunteers and employees.”

Thanks to Randy and Charla not only for this generous donation, but for their on-going support of the Museum!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Chevrolet Z06 C7.R Edition

Corvette Z06's track-to-street connection honored with exclusive special edition

Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition – a road-going, track-capable homage to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars. It’s offered in Corvette Racing’s signature yellow livery – or black – with coordinated exterior and interior accents.

Only 500 examples of the C7.R Edition will be built when they go on sale later this year – and all will include the Z07 Performance Package with carbon ceramic brakes, as well as a specially serialized vehicle identification number.

“Corvette Racing’s legacy and technology were significant influences on the development of the Corvette Z06 and the new C7.R Edition honors the very direct link between the racecar and the production model,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. “It also advances Chevrolet’s plan to offer special-edition models that offer a unique, personal ownership experiences, which become important parts of Corvette’s legacy.”

The complete list of content and unique features for the 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition includes:
  • Offered on coupe and convertible models with 3LZ trim
  • Available in Corvette Racing Yellow Tintcoat (new for 2016) or Black exterior colors
  • C7.R Edition graphics package
  • Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and Michelin PS Cup 2 tires
  • Yellow brake calipers
  • Black wheels with yellow accent strip and Corvette Racing-logo center caps
  • Visible carbon fiber ground effects package
  • New visible carbon fiber hood section
  • Grilles and vents finished in Spectra Gray Metallic
  • Jet Black leather interior with sueded microfiber accents on the instrument panel and doors
  • Sueded microfiber-trimmed Competition Sport Seat, steering wheel and shifter
  • Yellow contrast stitching throughout the interior
  • Carbon fiber interior trim package (high-gloss)
  • Corvette Racing sill plates
  • Numbered C7.R Edition interior plaque showing the build number, starting with VIN 700001
  • Special indoor car cover with C7.R graphics.
The Z07 Performance Package includes Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced un-sprung weight. The Z07 package also includes adjustable front and rear aero components for unprecedented aerodynamic downforce and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires for enhanced grip.

“The Z07 Performance Package enhances overall performance to make the Corvette Z06 one of the most track-capable cars you can buy off the dealership floor and still drive it to work every day,” said Charles. “Combined with the 650-horsepower supercharged LT4 engine, true aerodynamic downforce and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential, the Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition offers capability matched only by an elite fraternity of the world’s supercars and special-edition exclusivity that is sure to make it an instant collector’s item.”
Additional updates for the 2016 Corvette Z06 include a new, available front curb view parking camera, MyLink connectivity enhancements with smartphone projection technology, power-cinching hatch/trunk latch, new available design packages and more. Complete details are available on our blog here.

2016 Corvette Z06 is the Most Capable Corvette Ever

2016 Spice Red Z06 Corvette
New for 2016:
  • C7.R Edition – limited to 500
  • Twilight Blue Design Package
  • Spice Red Design Package
  • Jet Black Suede Design Package
  • Corvette Racing Yellow Tintcoat and Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat exterior colors
  • New Carbon Fiber Hood option features a visible weave section
  • New “Blade” accessory wheel
  • Available two-tone GT seats – red or gray – offered in leather or suede
  • New red or yellow stitching option offered on 3LZ Jet Black interior
  • 3LZ trim offers Brownstone interior color and adds color breakup design
  • New power-cinch feature for coupe hatch and convertible trunk latches
  • Front curb view parking camera offered on 2LZ/3LZ trims
  • Enhanced Chevrolet MyLink
When the Z06 rejoined the Corvette lineup in 2015 as the most capable model in the car’s long, storied history, it also joined an elite fraternity of the world’s most capable supercars. It returns for 2016, offering more choices for personalization to complement its world-class levels of performance – including an all-new C7.R Edition.

The C7.R Edition pays tribute to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars. It’s offered in Corvette Racing’s signature yellow livery – or black – with coordinated exterior and interior accents. Only 500 will be built, all with the Z07 Performance Package with carbon ceramic brakes, and a specially serialized vehicle identification number.

Additionally, three all-new color-themed design packages – Twilight Blue, Spice Red and Jet Black Suede – offer custom-tailored appearances that elevate the Z06’s presence on the street or track, while features such as an available front parking camera and power-cinching latch for the coupe’s hatchback or convertible’s trunk enhance convenience – and add an extra measure protection.

Additional updates and enhancements for the 2016 Corvette Z06 includes:
  • Corvette Racing Yellow Tintcoat and Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat exterior colors
  • New Carbon Fiber Hood option features a visible weave section
  • New “Blade” accessory wheel
  • Available two-tone GT seats – red or gray – offered in leather or sueded microfiber
  • New red or yellow stitching option offered on 3LZ Jet Black interior
  • 3LZ trim offers Brownstone interior color and adds color breakup design
  • New chrome engine start/stop button
  • New Performance Data Recorder icon on the MyLink screen (if equipped).
The Corvette Z06’s capability is rooted in its LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine, which is SAE-certified at 650 horsepower (485 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm) at 3,600 rpm – making it the most powerful production car ever from General Motors and one of the most powerful production cars available in the United States.

With the available Z07 package, its capability enables:
  • 0-60 mph acceleration in 2.95 seconds with the eight-speed automatic and 3.2 seconds with the seven-speed manual transmission
  • Quarter-mile times of 10.95 seconds at 127 mph with the eight-speed and 11.2 seconds at 127 mph with the seven-speed transmission
  • Lateral acceleration of 1.2 g
  • 60-0 mph braking in only 99.6 feet – the best of any production car tested by General Motors.
The Z07 package adds adjustable front and rear aero components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced un-sprung weight.

The 2016 Corvette Z06 is offered in coupe and convertible models, in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ trims.

C7.R Edition details

Corvette Racing’s legacy and technology were a significant influences on the development of the Corvette Z06 and the new C7.R Edition honors the link between the racecar and the production model.

The content and unique features for the 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition includes:
  • Offered on coupe and convertible models with 3LZ trim
  • Available in Corvette Racing Yellow Tintcoat (new for 2016) or Black exterior colors
  • C7.R Edition graphics package
  • Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and Michelin PS Cup 2 tires
  • Yellow brake calipers
  • Black wheels with yellow accent strip and Corvette Racing-logo center caps
  • Visible carbon fiber ground effects package
  • New visible carbon fiber hood section
  • Grilles and vents finished in Spectra Gray Metallic
  • Jet Black leather interior with sueded microfiber accents on the instrument panel and doors
  • Sueded microfiber-trimmed Competition Sport Seat, steering wheel and shifter
  • Yellow contrast stitching throughout the interior
  • Carbon fiber interior trim package (high-gloss)
  • Corvette Racing sill plates
  • Numbered C7.R Edition interior plaque showing the build number, starting with VIN 700001
  • Special indoor car cover with C7.R graphics.
Design package details

The three new design packages offered on 2016 Z06 offer customers more choices for a tailored look and feel of their Corvette. Each gives the vehicle a distinctive, customized appearance that reflects the different roles the Corvette plays in different customers’ experiences – from high-performance to grand touring.

Each is offered on Z06 3LZ coupe and convertible models with the following details.

Twilight Blue Design Package:
  • Offered in Shark Gray, Blade Silver, Arctic White or Night Race Blue exterior colors
  • Convertibles feature a blue top and Shark Gray tonneau inserts
  • Shark Gray accent vents
  • New Blade accessory wheel in pearl nickel finish
  • Black or gray brake calipers
  • Chrome exterior badges
  • Optional tri-color stripe package
  • Special Twilight Blue full-color interior color.
Spice Red Design Package:
  • Offered in new Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat, Shark Gray, Blade Silver and Arctic White exterior colors
  • Convertibles feature a Spice Red top
  • Shark Gray accent vents (except with Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat)
  • New Blade accessory wheel in pearl nickel finish
  • Spice Red calipers
  • Chrome exterior badges
  • Special Spice Red full-color interior color.
Jet Black Suede Design Package:
  • Offered in Black, Blade Silver, Arctic White and Torch Red exterior colors
  • Convertibles feature a black top
  • Satin black wheels with red stripe
  • Red brake calipers
  • Satin black hood extractor and graphic
  • Special Jet Black sueded microfiber interior – with sueded microfiber steering wheel and shifter
  • Carbon fiber (high gloss) interior trim plate.
MyLink enhancement details

Advanced phone integration technology in the 2016 Corvette Stingray provides owners a simple and intuitive way to use their compatible smartphone in their vehicle. It integrates certain phone functions onto the 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen, allowing users to call up music, navigation apps and more.

Once the phone is plugged in to the MyLink USB port, users call up music (saved or streaming), travel/map apps and other apps using the MyLink touchscreen, leaving the phone safely stowed – and avoiding the need for the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. Using voice commands built into a smartphone, drivers can also dictate and hear text messages hands-free.

A projection icon on the MyLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected. The icon changes to indicate a specific technology brand name when a phone is connected. The user can enter advanced phone integration mode and exit to other MyLink settings and menus, while continuing to stream music or audible navigation directions from a compatible phone.

Complementing MyLink to enhance connectivity is OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on.

Designed for downforce

The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities. The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires.

To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets, the car is fitted with larger Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tires are 1.5 inches wider than the tires on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tires are two inches wider.

And to cover the wider tire tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward the edges of the body.

The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:
  • The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
  • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap, and collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.
To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tires and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 is tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tires to the ground at high speeds.

The Z06 offers three increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:
  • The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and a rear spoiler
  • An available carbon-fiber aero package – in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill, which combine to create true aerodynamic downforce
  • The available Z07 package add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car GM has tested.
The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much so that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.

The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which vents hot air from the engine compartment and contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.

Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders of Coupe models, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. Convertible models feature under-body inlets. To cope with the additional airflow, Z06 Coupe and Convertible also have larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.

Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes over Stingray models.

Ten exterior colors are offered: Laguna Blue Tintcoat, Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Corvette Racing Yellow Tintcoat, Arctic White, Blade Silver Metallic, Black, Shark Gray Metallic, Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat, Torch Red and Night Race Blue Metallic.

Convertible considerations

The seventh-generation Corvette Z06’s aluminum structure is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. As there are no structural reinforcements needed for the Z06 Convertible, it has a nearly identical curb weight as the Z06 Coupe. They also share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options – including the track-focused Z07 Performance Package.

Like the structure, there are only minor design changes from the Z06 Coupe to Convertible. The convertible features a fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).

With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top – offered in four colors – with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window contribute to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.

With the top down, the Corvette’s signature profile is further accentuated. Behind the seat backs, dual Carbon Flash-painted or available carbon fiber accent panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior.

The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers, from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible. Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic.

Interior features

Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength. They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.

Several trim combinations are offered for the seats:
  • 1LZ: GT seats with perforated Mulan leather seating surfaces or Competition Sport seats with leather seating surfaces and sueded microfiber inserts
  • 2LZ: GT or Competition Sport seats with perforated Mulan leather seating surfaces; GT or Competition Sport seats with leather seating surfaces and sueded microfiber inserts
  • 3LZ: GT seats with perforated Napa leather seating surfaces; Competition Sport seats with perforated Mulan leather seating surfaces; GT or Competition Sport seats with leather seating surfaces and sueded microfiber inserts.
All models feature a fully-wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. There’s even a micro-LED screen for the passenger’s climate control placed below the vent on the dash, away from the performance features on the instrument panel.

Additional interior features include:
  • Performance Data Recorder (included with the available navigation system)
  • Color driver information center is standard on all trim levels
  • Electric-locking glovebox
  • Eight-inch-diagonal color touch radio with Chevrolet MyLink is standard on all trim levels; a navigation system is standard on 3LZ and available on 1LZ and 2LZ. Includes behind-screen storage compartment
  • Bose® nine-speaker premium audio system is standard on 1LZ
  • Bose® 10-speaker premium audio system – with bass box – is standard on 2LZ and 3LZ
  • Head-up display with color readouts – including g-meter in track mode – is standard on 2LZ and 3LZ
  • Keyless entry with push-button starting is standard on all trim levels
  • Rear-vision camera is standard on all trim levels
  • A new front parking camera is offered on 2LZ and 3LZ trims
  • Power tilting/telescoping steering column is standard on all trim levels
  • Heated and ventilated seats are standard on 2LZ and 3LZ
  • Sueded microfiber-wrapped upper interior trim package is standard on 3LZ and includes headliner, visors, trim above windshield and rear window, A-pillar trim and area around quarter window
  • Interior colors: Dark Gray, Blue, Jet Black, Kalahari and Adrenaline Red – and, new for 2016, Brownstone is available on 3LZ.
The Z06 also benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.

Supercharged performance
The heart of the Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver an SAE-certified 650 horsepower (485 kW) and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.

These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.

To maintain the Z06’s mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about one inch (25 mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.

A 1.7L supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s engine. The rotors are smaller in diameter, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to produce power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently via a more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.

The LT4 engine also has several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:
  • Rotacast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum heads
  • Lightweight titanium intake valves
  • Machined, forged powder metal steel connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
  • High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency and is enabled by direct injection
  • Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
  • Stainless steel exhaust manifolds that offer greater structure at higher temperatures
  • Lightweight aluminum balancer
  • Standard dry-sump oiling system with a dual-pressure-control oil pump.
Seven-speed manual and new eight-speed automatic transmissions

The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match or the 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.

The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.

The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.

For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that come with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.

In fact, the 8L90’s controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.

Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.

Track-proven structure and technologies

The Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.

Its aluminum frame is produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. It’s the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it is used essentially unchanged for the C7.R race cars.

The stiffer design of the aluminum frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. With the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model’s fixed-roof design. It is 60 percent stiffer than the previous model with the roof panel installed.

The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but is uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.

Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:
  • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
  • Active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Track mode and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
  • Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
  • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.
The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard on the Z06 to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.

The eLSD is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:
  • Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
  • Mode 2 is engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes. This calibration enables more nimble turn-in and traction while accelerating out of a corner
  • Mode 3 is automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged. This calibration has the same function as Mode 2, but is fine-tuned to work with Performance Traction Management.
Performance Data Recorder

The award-winning, industry-first Performance Data Recorder – or PDR – enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track. It was developed with Cosworth, the motorsports-engineering company that supplies the Corvette Racing team’s data acquisition and telemetry electronics system.

The PDR system includes three major components, all seamlessly integrated into the Corvette Z06’s interior. First is a high-definition camera, mounted within the windshield header trim, which records the driver’s point-of-view through the windshield. Audio is recorded via a dedicated microphone in the cabin. 

Second is a self-contained telemetry recorder, which uses a dedicated GPS receiver that operates at 5 hertz, or cycles per second – five times faster than the in-dash navigation system, which allows more precise positioning and corner traces. Finally, the system features a dedicated SD-card slot in the glove box for recording and transferring video and vehicle data (SD card not included). Recording time depends on the capacity of the memory card, but an 8-gigabyte card can record approximately 200 minutes, while a 32-GB card stores up to about 800 minutes – more than 13 hours of driving time.

The PDR system can record video with three data overlay options, each rendered in real time:
  • Track Mode – shows the maximum level of data on the screen, including speed, rpm, g-force, a location-based map, lap time and more.
  • Sport Mode – shows fewer details on the overlay but includes key data including speed and g-force
  • Touring Mode – simply records and displays video and audio of the drive with no data overlay
  • Performance Mode – records performance metrics, such as 0 to 60 mph acceleration, 1/4-mile speed and elapsed time, and 0-100-0 mph runs.
The video can be viewed on the Corvette Z06’s eight-inch color touchscreen when the car is parked, or downloaded to a computer for further editing, and sharing video via social media sites. For users who want a more in-depth understanding of their performance, the PDR vehicle data can be opened in the included “Cosworth Toolbox” software, which combines Cosworth’s professional-level motorsport data analysis with an easy-to-use graphic interface.

The Corvette Z06 is built at GM’s Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant.



Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe and convertible
Body styles / driveline:
2-door hatchback coupe with removable roof panel or 2-door convertible; rear-wheel drive
composite and carbon-fiber body panels, hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components
Manufacturing location:
Bowling Green, Ky.


LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc):
376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm):
4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material:
cast aluminum
Cylinder head material:
cast aluminum
overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery:
direct injection
Lubrication system:
dry sump
Compression ratio:
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):
650 / 485 @ 6400 – SAE certified
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):
650/ 881 @ 3600 – SAE certified
Max. engine speed (rpm):
Recommended fuel:
premium required
EPA-estimated fuel economy
15 / 22 – manual
13 / 23 – automatic


Seven-speed manual with Active Rev Match
Paddle-shift eight-speed, electronically controlled automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch
Gear ratios (:1)
Final drive ratio:

Chassis / Suspension

short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorber
short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorber
Active handling:
Magnetic Selective Ride Control
Traction control:
StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Steering type:
variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
Steering gear ratio:
12.0 to 16.4
Turns lock to lock
Turning circle, curb to curb
(ft / m):
37.7 / 11.5


front and rear power-assisted discs with two-piece steel rotors; fixed six-piston aluminum front calipers and fixed four-piston aluminum rear calipers; carbon ceramic matrix rotors with Z07 pkg.
Rotor diameter (in / mm):
front – Z06 : 14.6 / 371
front – Z06 w/Z07: 15.5 / 394
rear – Z06: 14.4 / 365
rear – Z06 w/Z07: 15.3 / 388
Rotor thickness (in / mm):
front – Z06 : 1.3 / 33
front – Z06 w/Z07: 1.4 / 36
rear – Z06: 1 / 25
rear – Z06 w/Z07: 1.3 / 33

Wheels / Tires

Wheel size:
front: 19-inch x 10-inch
rear: 20-inch x 12-inch
Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat (Z06)
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (Z07)
front: P285/30ZR19
rear: P335/25ZR20



Wheelbase (in / mm):
106.7 / 2710
Overall length (in / mm):
177.9 / 4518
Overall width (in / mm):
77.4 / 1965
Overall height (in / mm):
48.6 / 1235 (coupe)
48.6 / 1235 (convertible)
Track (in / mm):
63.5 / 1613 (front)
62.5 / 1587 (rear)
Curb weight (lb / kg):
3524 / 1598 (coupe)
3582 / 1625 (convertible)
Weight distribution
(% front / rear):
50 / 50


Seating capacity
Headroom (in / mm):
38 / 962
Leg room (in / mm):
43 / 1092
Shoulder room (in / mm):
55 / 1397
Hip room (in / mm):
54 / 1371


Interior volume (cu ft / L):
52 / 1475
Cargo volume (cu ft / L):
Coupe: 15 / 425
Convertible: 10 / 283
Fuel capacity (gal / L):
18.5 / 70
Engine oil (qt / L):
9.75 / 9.2
Engine cooling system
(qt / L):
11.3 / 10.7