Cooksey's High-Powered Send Off
Wil Cooksey loves to tell people about his dream job: managing the Bowling Green Assembly Plant where the Corvette is built. Cooksey retired from GM and his dream job in early March of this year. His love of fast cars, especially Corvettes, made him the perfect match for this coveted management position. During his tenure, Cooksey worked hard to become an owner's advocate by inviting and listening to customer feedback. He took this feedback to GM executives, and many changes were introduced on the C5 and C6 as a result. Cooksey became plant manager in 1993 and was responsible for producing three generations of Corvettes.
As part of his sendoff, Cooksey was given the job of introducing the 427 Limited Edition Z06 at this year's 12 Hours of Sebring. The introduction marked the culmination of his extensive involvement with the car, which spanned several months. Late last year, Cooksey was approached by Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles, who was seeking opinions on a new limited-edition model. Cooksey thought the car was a great idea. Charles then asked Cooksey if he would be willing to personally sign each vehicle, a first for a GM employee. "Who wouldn't want to do that?" Cooksey replied. Approval for the project was received in February, and Cooksey autographed the console lids of all 505 cars shortly thereafter.
Four hundred and twenty-seven of the limited-edition Z06s will be sold in the U.S., with the remaining seventy-eight reserved for export. Each car is equipped with "427" seats and emblems, '09 Z06 wheels, and body coloration for the door handles, third brake light, and center console. Crystal Red Metallic with a black, "stinger"-striped hood is the only color offered. In tribute to the man who poured his passion into the Corvette for 15 years, Cooksey was handed the keys to the first car built, No. 001.