Continuing the racing theme, the '09 Competition Editions offered motorsports fans and driving-event attendees some cool racing trim on Z51 and Z06 models. The $55,655 Z51 cars received the differential cooler, Dual Mode Exhaust, and heads-up display options. The Z06 was already loaded, so no additional hardware was included. Visual enhancements included a wide Z06 rear spoiler (on the Z51 version), racing stripes, a yellow windshield banner, red brake calipers, a special engine cover, and "Jake" skull badges. The Z51s were available in Arctic White or Blade Silver, while the Z06s were offered in Blade Silver or Black. Interiors were trimmed in Ebony with titanium embroidery, a Jake shifter knob, and Corvette Racing pedals. Owners could even get specially designed racing numbers. But the market wasn't in the mood, and only 72 cars were built, making these the rarest of all special-edition Corvettes.
Designed as a salute to 10 years of ALMS racing success, the GT1 Championship Edition was available on the coupe, convertible, and Z06. The Velocity Yellow cars received black stripes with silver trim, and the Black cars featured yellow stripes with silver trim. The hood graphics included a "ghosted" image of Corvette Racing's Jake mascot, while the class-championship years and each of the drivers' national flags appeared on the roof. The coupe version went for $65,310, the convertible cost $71,815, and the Z06 brought $86,385. Chevrolet planned 600 units, but only 125 were produced.
Marking the 50th anniversary of first Corvette appearance at Le Mans is the '11 Carbon Edition Z06. Essentially, this is a Z06 with the ZR1 chassis and some of the ZR1's carbon-fiber body parts. Available in either Supersonic Blue or Inferno Orange-with black-painted ZR1 wheels, front splitter, and side rockers-this is one smokin' hot Vette. The ZR1 suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes allow the Carbon Edition's LS7 engine to flex its muscles even harder on the track. The interior is all business, trimmed in black leather and suede. As of this writing, no price has been announced, but speculation puts the figure between $85,000 and $90,000. Production will be limited to no more than 500 units.
The Corvette has evolved into GM's halo performance car, and the special editions provide an additional dose of high-end appeal. Some of these cars were produced in the thousands, others in the hundreds, and a few in the tens. If you're considering a new special-edition Vette, be sure to get the R8C Corvette Museum Delivery option. The experience and extra documentation are a worthwhile investment in what's already an exceptional automobile.
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