With the debut of the 2005 "C6" Corvette in Detroit at the lovely Detroit Opera House last January, there have been a variety of reactions to the new 400hp, shorter, lighter, tighter, non-retractable-headlight Corvette. The general consensus is quite good. Anytime you take a performance car, make it lighter (by approximately 50 pounds), and add horsepower to the base engine, you get that kind of reaction. Clearly, the new car is not a retro Corvette, as some would have initially expected. It is an incorporation of many things Corvette, both new and old: new engine technology and interior "gadgetry," yet clear, classic design cues from past Corvettes. Most important, it retains the leading-edge excitement for Corvette enthusiasts and general fans of cool cars.
While the '05 Corvette is all new with few parts that interchange with the previous-generation Corvette, it does retain many of the same part names and engineering science. The change is evolutionary, not revolutionary; and, knowing how great the current '97-'04 Corvettes are, that isn't a bad thing.
Like many new car shapes, the '05 was designed by wind tunnel as well as by man. Many of the styling touches are there because they're advantageous to slipping more cleanly through the wind. But the biggest design controversy was about the return to a fixed-headlight system, the first such configuration on the Corvette since 1962.
"If the C5 is a well-toned athlete, then the C6 is Carl Lewis," says Corvette Designer Tom Peters. "One of the controversies was between pop-up and fixed headlights. Fixed headlights won in the end for a variety of reasons: They reduce mass, have better build quality, and improve night-driving aerodynamics."
Best of all, the new Corvette has the competition scared, and they should be. The last generation of Corvette took a bite out of their share of the burgeoning high-performance, high-end, fast-car market. After all, why buy an $85,000 Porsche when you can buy a $50,000 Corvette that can do the same things-and be serviced by the local Chevrolet dealer for a lot less money. The same fear took place at Ferrari and Lamborghini dealerships as well. And if the '05 Corvette can really go 180 mph and out-accelerate the competition, the question gets even more curious.
The new Corvette is a breath of fresh air for all fans of performance. The clean styling and increased horsepower should once again show Corvette's leadership in the performance arena. And, with a host of high-tech comfort and convenience features, it should be plenty fun to drive too. We can't wait.-Cam Benty
Hot Rod Power Tour-Corvette Club ChallengeIf your Corvette club is looking for the ultimate road trip, nothing matches the Hot Rod Power Tour, presented by General Motors and cosponsored by Flowmaster. This year, the tour will kick off in Arlington, Texas, on June 5, and traverse northward to Green Bay, Wisconsin, with the tour conclusion on June 11.
Corvette Fever magazine will also be there, and each day at the morning drivers' meeting, Corvettes will be gathered en masse for the rollout.
For Corvette clubs, that's great news. We'll be offering the club with the best participation in the HRPT their own feature in our Club of the Month column. Additionally, you'll get to see the latest concepts and projects from GM on the GM Performance Vehicles tour.
Pre-registration for the Hot Rod Power Tour is $55 prior to May 28. Registration includes a vehicle decal, credentials for the driver and one passenger, plus all Tour stops and activities. For further information and registration, call (877) 413-6515 or visit www.hotrod.com.
NCRS Schedule In Full SwingThe 2004 schedule of National Corvette Restorers Society events has been announced, and it looks to be another banner year for the NCRS. But with the new season, there is often confusion concerning the NCRS special awards. The following is a complete listing of the top NCRS awards of the year in abbreviated fashion. For further information about everything NCRS, go to www.ncrs.org. Make your travel plans now.
Performance Verification Award(r)Created by the NCRS in 1985, it recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of '53-'86 Corvettes.
NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence Award(r)This award was created in 1985, in honor of Mr. Zora Arkus-Duntov, longtime chief engineer for the Corvette, who retired from General Motors in 1975. The Duntov Award recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of '53-'86 Corvettes.
NCRS Mclellan Mark of Excellence Award(r)This award was created in 1997, in honor of Mr. David R. McLellan, longtime chief engineer for the Corvette, who retired from General Motors in 1996. The McLellan Award recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of '74-'86 Corvettes.
NCRS SAM FOLZ Memorial Award(r)Created in 1988, this award honors Mr. Sam Folz, one of the founding fathers and a past president of the NCRS. The Sam Folz Memorial Award recognizes individuals for the restoration, preservation, and driving enjoyment of '53-'86 Corvettes.
NCRS Founders Award(r)This award was created by the NCRS in 1995 in honor of the seven founding fathers of NCRS. The Founders Award encourages and recognizes the value and enjoyment of member participation in NCRS activities. It demonstrates the NCRS commitment to equally recognize the significance of the "driven Corvette" among the membership, regardless of Flight status achieved, and applies to '53-'86 Corvettes.
NCRS Chevrolet Bowtie Award(r)This award was created in 1992. The Bowtie Award recognizes the unrestored Corvette and encourages the owner to retain and display the car in its present condition for the enjoyment and continuing educational benefit of the membership.
For more information on these events and an application to join NCRS, contact: National Corvette Restorers Society, 6291 Day Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45252-1334; (513) 385-8526 or (513) 385-6367; (513) 385-8554, 24-hour fax; NCRScincy@aol.com, e-mail; www.ncrs.org.
Coming EventsMarch 27, Crystal River, FL. Corvettes in the Sunshine at Crystal Chevrolet. Trophies in all major classes. Vendors with food, soft drinks, and Corvette paraphernalia. Door prizes (some worth hundreds of dollars). Trophy for best club participation. Pre-registration $20 (received by Feb. 28, free T-shirt). Registration $25. Info: Harry Cooper (352) 637-2917, Bob Jackson (352) 628-7775; www.citruscorvettes.com.
March 27-28, Ft. Myers, FL. Event brings together Kruse, Vintage Gavel, and D.E. Foeller Sales. With a team like this, it's going to be an exciting, fast-paced event, featuring the best collector cars in the southeast. Don't miss it! Info: Kruse International (800) 968-4444.
May 30, Merrimack, NH. Gate City Corvette Club's Spring Fling 24 at Anheuser Busch Inc. Registration begins 9 a.m. Pre-register by phone or on the Web site and save $3. Coupes and roadsters judged separately. 49 Classes, 150-plus trophies for Show, Super Street, Street. "Best Of" awards. Dash plaques and goodie bags to first 200 cars. Info: Carol Whittier (603) 437-3803, Dean Gagne (603) 472-3524; www.gatecitycorvetteclub.com.
April 2-4, Los Angeles, CA. SEMA's International Auto Salon at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Features trade-only exhibit hours as well as targeted industry educational programs. Exhibit hours for trade and consumers Saturday and Sunday feature cutting-edge specialty automotive trends and urban lifestyle attractions. Info: ConvExx Show Management, firstname.lastname@example.org; SEMA, 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765; (909) 396-0289.
April 3, Enid, OK. Corvettes of Enid presents its annual Corvette Expo from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center, Garfield County Fairgrounds. Corvettes on display from Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and other states. Cars will be judged and trophies will be awarded for First, Second, and Third place in each class. Best Paint, Best Engine, Best Interior, and Best of Show will be awarded. Vendors will be present with Corvette-related material. Info: Jack (580) 233-1283, Bob (580) 237-7993, or Charlie (580) 233-7449.
April 3, Effingham, IL. "Get Your Parts Before the Summer Starts" swap meet at Mid America Direct's corporate campus. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. No charge to attend. Only private sellers will be allowed. Parts must be for Corvettes, Porsches, or Volkswagens. Info: (800) 500-8333 or register online at www.madirect.com.
April 3-4, Hot Springs, AR. Kruse is back with local sponsor Brian Odle for the 31st Annual Hot Springs Collector Car Auction. Don't miss this event; consign today. Info: Kruse International (800) 968-4444.
April 16-18, Englishtown, NJ. Spring Englishtown Swap Meet and Auto Shows at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Participant award each entry. People's Choice judging each day. Trophies to Top 50. Car show registration 8 to 11:30 a.m. General admission gates open 7 a.m. and close 6 p.m. each day. Unlimited free parking; $8 general admission. Children under 12 free. Info: (732) 446-7800 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; www.racewaypark.com.
April 18, Woodstock, IL. Skip's Fiesta Drive-In Swap Meet at McHenry County Fairgrounds. Parts swap and car sale. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Info: (630) 876-1042; www.skipsusa.com.
April 18, Tinley Park, IL. NCCC four concours events at Apple Chevrolet. Sponsored by Windy City Corvettes and Lakeside Corvettes. Info: Dennis or Mary Ann Bugbee (630) 682-8073; www.windycitycorvettes.com.
April 22-24, Bowling Green, KY. The C5/C6 Birthday Bash at the National Corvette Museum. This year's bash kicks off the new event season with an opportunity to see the new C6 Corvette. Attendees who pre-register prior to April 8 will be entered for a chance to ride in the C6 models at the Museum following the unveiling. The bash will offer guests three days of nonstop activities including seminars, road tours, drag racing, autocross, and tours of the GM Corvette Assembly Plant. The drawing for the last C5 Corvette Z06 (RPO Z16), a Commemorative Edition, will take place as part of the banquet and auction on Saturday. Raffle tickets are limited to only 2,004 tickets. Register by visiting www.corvettemuseum.com/registration/c5_bash/info.shtml.
April 24, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. MagnaFlow Open House and Car Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust. Event includes Mario Andretti and possibly Ivan Stewart signing autographs, monster trucks, car show, installation demonstrations, dyno runs, manufacturer vendor booths, music, food, and more. Info: Tanya Oxford, MagnaFlow Exhaust, 22961 Arroyo Vista, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688; (949) 858-5900 ext. 1147; www.magnaflow.com.
April 25, Half Moon Bay, CA. Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show at Half Moon Bay Airport from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 1,500 automobiles on display. Custom street rods, Mustangs, GTOs, and Camaros will be featured. The T-bird, Jaguar, Cobra, Triumph, and Model-T roadster will also be included. Spectator admission is $15 adults, $5 for ages 5-14 and 65+, free for kids 4 and under. Registration for car show $20 ($25 for entries postmarked after April 15) includes a dash plaque and admission for two. Info: (650) 726-2328; www.miramarevents.com.
On The BlockCorvettes Trading HandsPrices for Corvettes moved up slightly this month after several recent increases. The following list shows Corvette prices from auctions ranging from California and Washington to Missouri and Michigan.
At the top of the heap among the early cars was a '54 Corvette convertible that sold for $35,600, closely followed by a '59 roadster with the base 283ci/230hp engine and automatic transmission. It sold for $34,500. The ever-popular mid-years ('63-'67) drew active bidding, with top honors going to a '67 Tuxedo Black (rare color) with the optional 427ci/435hp engine with complete documentation, including the Protect-O-Plate. This beauty found a new home at $77,100. Also at the higher end of the market was an original, numbers-matching '65 convertible with an original, numbers-matching 396ci/425hp engine, which sold for $67,500.
In the "good buy" department was the sale of a Satin Silver '64 coupe equipped with the 327ci/365hp engine and rare factory air, which sold for $25,000. Other good buys included a '63 coupe with a 327ci/340hp engine at $30,200, and a '67 coupe with the base 327ci/300hp engine at $29,000.
Leading the shark ('68-'82) price category was the sale of a '71 T-top with the 454ci engine and four-speed transmission. It sold for $20,000. A '73 454ci-equipped Corvette with T-top and 77,000 original miles sold for $9,800.
Prices for '85-'96 Corvettes were soft, with only a '90 ZR-1 selling for more than $10,000. One C5 Corvette, a '99 model, crossed the auction block and was termed a good buy at $23,100.
Following are summary results of this month's Corvette auction sales.
Legend: R=Roadster, C=Coupe, T=T-top, ZR-1=High Performance Coupe.
Source: A&B Investments, Ltd., publishers of the Vette-N-Vestments Corvette Price Guide and monthly Corvette Market Letter.
To get pricing information on your Corvette, simply head to www.corvettefever.com. Once there, click on "What's It Worth?" and you'll find additional information and instructions on securing a personal response from Bob Kroupa regarding your Corvette's value. You can also send your letter to: Bob Kroupa, Corvette Fever, On The Block, P.O. Box 77764, Greensboro, NC 27417-7764.