The National Corvette Museum (NCM) Birthday Bash began 19 years ago to celebrate Corvette being named Car of the Year in 1998. The Bash traditionally marks the rollout of the next model year Corvette and it’s a place where you can inspect next year’s offerings in detail. The 2017 Bash unveiled the 2018 Corvette Carbon 65 Edition. This commemorative option celebrates Corvettes 65th year of production. A large contingent of GM engineers and designers from the Warren Tech Center, and the Bowling Green Assembly Plant were on hand to explain 2018 changes.
The seventh generation (C7) Corvette will enter its fifth year of production in 2018. The Z30 Carbon 65 Edition will be available on Grand Sport 3LT and Z06 3LZ coupe or convertible. It’s available in one color (Ceramic Matrix Gray) and each one will have unique VIN sequences. Production will be limited to 650 units globally, 450 US/200 for export. Only options are the Z07 package on the Z06 and manual or automatic transmissions. These options suggested price is around $15,000.
The Z30 Carbon Edition includes:
Ceramic Matrix Gray exterior paint (blue tops on convertibles)
Unique Carbon 65 fender and door graphics
Black with machined grooved wheels (Cup for GS/Blade for Z06)
Blue brake calipers marked “Carbon”
Visible carbon fiber ground effects, hood section, roof (coupe), tonneau inserts on the convertible.
Visible carbon fiber spoiler and rear quarter intake ducts.
Center wheel caps with carbon logo
Carbon flash badges and outside mirrors
Jet black suede wrapped interior with blue stitching
Carbon fiber steering wheel rim and gloss carbon fiber interior trim
Competition sports seats
Numbered interior plaque and carbon sill plates.
Besides the Carbon 65, Corvette’s 2018 lineup will offer ten colors to choose from. They are: Ceramic Matrix Gray, Admiral Blue, Watkins Glen Gray, Long Beach Red, Torch Red, Blade Silver, Racing Yellow, Sterling Blue Metallic, Black, Arctic White and Black Rose Metallic. The base Stingray will feature 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels standard and FE2 Magnetic Ride Control will be available. In addition a wider selection of wheel designs will be an option on the base Stingray. J57 Ceramic brakes for GS are available without the Z07 performance package. HD digital radio is standard. The rear view camera features higher resolution. Engine choices and horsepower ratings remain the same (LT1-460 HP and LT4-650 HP).
Many seminars were held throughout the event about C7 design and operation. The most popular was “What’s new in the 2018 model year” presented by Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter, Corvette Designer Kirk Bennion, Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles, and Director of Design Chevrolet Interiors Ryan Vaughn. As of April 4 a total of 29,749 Corvettes have been built, 41 percent were Stingrays, 38 percent Grand Sports and 22 percent Z06’s. Arctic White was the most popular color with 19 percent of the total production, closely followed by Watkins Glen Gray at 18 percent. Sterling Blue accounted for 3 percent of the 2017 production as of April 4th. The Grand Sport was a very popular 2017 choice for customers.
The plant closing rumors are true. The Assembly Plant will close for 13 weeks (August/September/October) to connect the new paint facility with main assembly area. The 2018 Corvettes can be ordered, but this will end on June 12 if you want your car built before August. The closure will change the way future Corvettes are painted and built.
Callaway Cars is celebrating their 30th year in business. NCM Hall of Fame member Reeves Callaway and his staff reviewed the company’s history to a large audience. Chris Chessnoe, Program Manager Callaway Cars, assembled an exhibit of cars the company has built since 1987. They were displayed inside the museum and Chris gave guided tours throughout the Bash and explained each car.
The popular LT4 Engine building demonstration returned and was conducted by Bowling Green Assembly Plant employees John Wurth and Bryan Lee.
Other activities included seminar and classroom sessions by Corvette Certified Technician Paul Koerner. Enthusiasts also enjoyed guided road tours, two celebrity choice car shows, the Ladies Oasis, and an expanded Garage Party with women of the GM Corvette Team. The Corvette Team covered all aspects of the car including maintenance, engineering and even high performance driving (ladies only). The NCM Motorsports Park also had numerous driving events during the Bash. The Bash is a great way to inspect next year’s Corvettes. Plan on attending the 2018 event as you never know what surprise the Corvette team might unleash! For more museum news and schedules go to www.corvettemuseum.org.
Photography by Walt Thurn