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.