Category Archives: Manufacturer news

Chevrolet SEMA-Corvettes+COPO Camaro

Chevrolet always has a strong presence at the yearly SEMA show held in Las Vegas. Besides the factory presence on the SEMA floor, many enthusiasts bring out their personal designs based on Chevy products and have them at various vendor’s booths and displays.

Chevy Bowtie

But before the SEMA show even opens to the public, Chevrolet holds a media event the night before and gives the press sneak peeks at various models. Here we’ll present our four favorite performance Chevy cars

COPO Camaro

We have been HUGE fans of the COPO Camaro and love Chevrolet’s commitment to the drag strip by providing these cars in limited production, with only 69 being handmade each year. Past versions were mentioned here.

COPO Camaro

This year’s version was enthusiastically received and has lots to applaud. The 2015 version of the COPO Camaro on display at the SEMA Show featured a white exterior with gray and orange accents including an all-new style of COPO graphics – and was fitted with a 350 “LSX” V-8 engine topped with a 2.9L Whipple supercharger.

These production race cars are fitted with a pre-approved NHRA roll and a full on racing chassis and suspension components – including a solid rear axle system in place of the standard independent rear axle.

Racers can select from a variety of supercharged and naturally aspirated LS-family engines based on their racing NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes, including the 350, 396 and 427 naturally aspirated engines and a supercharged 350.

But you can’t just waltz into a showroom for these beauties, you have to enter into a lottery and hope you are one of 69 selected.

Jimmie Johnson’s 1971 Corvette

NASCAR racer Jimmie Johnson resto-modded a vintage 1971 Corvette with both exterior and interior updates, plus an all-new Gen V LT1 crate engine. The crate engine is rated for 460 horses. Jimmie came out in person to tout this powerhorse.

Jimmie Johnson

Johnson chose a Super Magnum six-speed manual transmission also offered by Chevrolet Performance. Johnson’s resto-mod Corvette also has an updated chassis, with adjustable coil-overs replacing the original front and rear suspension components, for more precise handling. A set of C6 Corvette Z06 brakes were bolted to this Corvette to help slow it down in record time. The 18 inch wheels help to emulate the rally wheels of the day.

1971 Corvette Driver's Side

Kiss’ Paul Stanley 2015 Corvette Stingray

Frankly the exterior treatment of the Corvette left me wanting more, but I can’t deny that during the show plenty of folks were checking it out. This red beauty had the Z51 package added to it; so it came rolling in with a dry-sump oiling system, electronic limited-slip differential, monster front brakes and a cooling package for both the differential and transmission. The transmission is an eight speed paddle shifter bolted to a 6.2L Gen V LT1 engine, rated at 460 horsepower and 465 pounds of torque.

Blue Devil

For Corvette aficionados, they can name off all the historic and record breaking cars. so a few tears welled up when the Blue Devil drove out.

ZR! Corvette

The ZR1, nicknamed the “Blue Devil,” is the first of the cars swallowed by the famed Corvette Museum “sinkhole” to be restored. You know, the hold in the ground that ate up eight Corvettes?

Technicians from Chevrolet took it under their wing and fixed some body panels, cracked doors, some broken glass and some bent control arms. The first public viewing for this iconic Corvette was here and then it was going to be whisked away back to Bowling Green, KY to be put back on public display.

So tell us which car makes your heart flutter?

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Scion Coming to SEMA

SEMA Signage
SEMA Show in Las Vegas

Toyota’s Scion brand is prepping for the upcoming SEMA Show in a big way by teasing out two sketches of some customized, tricked out Scion’s. Scion will showcase in Las Vegas at least two models; a Slayer Mobile Amp tC themed after trash metal band Slayer and a Riley Hawk Skate Tour xB named for the pro skateboarder.

Scion

Scion’s have always branded and positioned themselves as an entry market for coming of age drivers and buyers and offer many ways to customize the cars right off the dealer’s lot.
Last year Toyota had some neat racer inspired cars plus a “Tanked” Highlander which we showcased here. Now we’ll have to be sure and check out the Scion cars this year!

Scion SlayerSlayer

You’d expect a Slayer dedicated show car to focus on the music and you wouldn’t be wrong.

The music is going to be pumping out of this tC for sure. Slayer is a California formed heavy metal band and has won two Grammy awards. It will be interesting to see if any of the four band members make it out for the debut of this Scion.

Riley Hawk

Riley Hawk’s ride, an xB, will present a flashback to the 70’s van craze. His ride will have shag carpet, bubble windows and wood paneling on the interior. Can’t wait to see it in person at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. There is bound to be enough room for his skateboard in this tricked out Scion!Scion Hawk

Riley Hawk is the son of Tony Hawk, who revolutionized skateboarding on the West Coast. Riley is only 21 years of age and is already an award winning skater, but suspect Dad had to explain what shag carpeting was about!

SEMA

The sketches are a bit limited in presenting what the final version will look like, but can’t wait to see the outcomes in a month at the SEMA Show. We’ll keep our eye peeled for more progress updates.

 

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Artwork courtesy of Toyota ©

 

i3 from BMW San Diego spotted

i3

i3 passenger side 2

The i3 is BMW’s answer to the hybrid world.  It is the all electric answer from Germany for sustainable cars.  But seeing these cars in person, might be harder than finding a public accessible plug in spot!

i3 carbon body and carbon footprint

The i3 uses carbon fiber strengthened plastic in the body panels and the use of electricity and their lithium ion battery should lower the carbon footprint of the car that goes 0-60 in seven seconds.  Electric cars are known for their instant on thrust/torque.

i3 BMW passenger side

I3 spotted

Recently while on assignment in San Diego, we spotted TWO i3’s – also on assignment.  They were running around the harbor of San Diego Bay, presumably involved in a commercial spot.  These cars are still pretty rare and mainly hitting the car shows try to prime the pump.  My guess is the video may even end up on the cutting room floor, if that is where they discard digital footage these days.

Photo car

Photo car 2

While you are looking at these shots, take a look at the tricked out photo car –  Porsche.  the flat black paint helps to reduce reflections in the car model and the long extended boom allows for a variety of action shots.

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Barrett-Jackson Florida Update

Barrett-Jackson wrapped up their three days of car auctions on Sunday with sales exceeding $25 million in sales for over 500 vehicles.  The auction was held in Palm Beach, Florida and crowds were evident throughout the auction.  The prices were right and seven cars linked to charities sold for over $2.25 million dollars.

Detroit Muscle

Among the cars being auctioned off were Chevrolet’s first 2015 Camaro Z/28 for $500,000, a 2013 Mustang from the Hollywood film, Need for Speed went for $300,000 and the first production 2015 Z06 Corvette went for a smooth $1 million dollars!

Three Preview Cars from Barrett-Jackson Did Well

Previously we previewed three classics to keep an eye on and the prices sure were high for these beauties.

DSCN3364

The 57 fuel injected Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible went for $110,000.

DSCN3358

The 1971 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible went for $104,500.

DSCN3359

The silver 1967 Corvette coupe went for $165,000

Not bad for just three cars!

Barrett-Jackson TV Coverage Changes for 2015

Perhaps responding to complaints/concerns of their recent coverage on a variety of Fox stations, Barrett-Jackson announced that starting in 2015 with their Scottsdale auction the television coverage will be on Discovery and the Velocity channel.  That might be a better linkage for the car auction, especially with the heavy emphasis that Velocity gives to cars and restoration shows.  Wonder who the reporters will be?

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Teens Drive Smart Kicks Off with Bridgestone

Teens Drive Smart is a half day safe driving course focused on young drivers.  Four different times are offered on a weekend and allows youths to learn more about safe driving habits and get behind the wheel of a BMW 328i to practice what they are taught.

Teens Drive Smart

The course is offered FREE of charge and gives parents another chance to make their child safer behind the wheel.  Sometimes a youngster will listen more to outsiders than a parent.  Last year the course was offered at seven locations across the country

Registration

The course is offered FREE of charge but often fills up quickly.  Interested teens can sign up now and I encourage readers to sign up early, before the courses are closed.  More information can be found here

Bridgestone

Tire manufacturer Bridgestone sponsors this course and is part of their safety outreach.  Our own two sons attended a similar half day course back in the day and they appreciated the chance to drive a road course and try out some evasive moves without a risk (or wearing out my tires).

Sites where Teens Drive Smart will be held

This year the course will be offered in at least twelve sites starting with Phoenix, Arizona.  They also will be at Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami and Nashville.  There is also a chance for other sites to be added and you can be notified of the full schedule here.

Here’s some photos from a “similar” course sponsored by Bridgestone at the previous Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, AZ

 

And some in car views of the BMW’s in action

Bridgestone In BMW View

Bridgestone in BMW View 2

Another View from in car

 

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Tanked works on a Highlander

Tanked is a popular show on the Animal Planet where two brothers-in-law working in Las Vegas make custom fish tanks.  Their skill and ingenuity is enviable.

Toyota Highlander
Highlander morphed by Tanked

Las Vegas

Seems appropriate that the firm is based in Las Vegas, which is also the home for the SEMA Show.  At last year’s show, Toyota showed off a SpongeBob and SquarePants themed Highlander with the interior dedicated to a fish tank.  The 800 gallon tank consumes most of the interior of  the spacious Toyota Highlander.

The engine was removed and replaced with the pumps and filters for the aquarium.

Toyota Highlander

The representatives from Toyota were very pleased with the outcome  and is a big hit with the younger kids.  You had to look close to realize that there were actual fish swimming around in the tank.  Twenty species were in the tank including starfish and clown fish.

The exterior artwork on the Highlander mimicked the SpongBob SquarePants theme as well

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Corvettes at Barrett-Jackson Auctions

Corvettes Rule

The number one manufacturer offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson?  Consistently, year after year – Chevrolet.  The number one model – no contest – the Corvette!

The Barrett-Jackson Auction starts on Tuesday, January 14th, and over the six days of car sales , with over 1400 vehicles offered up for sale – 136 will be Corvettes!  Hands down the Corvette will be the number one model sold.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that the Corvette, covering seven generations (or model changes), has been around since 1953.  But this is still a huge tribute to the American sports car.

Here are just a few pictures to whet your appetite – enjoy the sneak preview and let us know which is your favorite.

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Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro selling at Barrett-Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage Does It Again

Gas Monkey Garage, from Dallas and the stars of Fast N’ Loud on the Discovery Channel, will be auctioning off their last COPO Camaro at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale on Saturday January 17th during the first of two “prime time” schedules for that day.

Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro
Driver side view

COPO Camaro

The COPO Camaro was developed by Chevrolet to be a drag strip car and certified to NHRA certification levels.  Each year Chevy sells 69 units, which are NOT street legal, by way of a lottery system.  This past year Richard Rawlings and his partner bought out an additional 20 chassis’s from Chevrolet which are considered CRC- Certified Race Chassis.  So these come with the power train components.  Gas Monkey Garage then offered them for sale with either the buyer adding on the optional go fast components or leave with just the chassis.Gas Monkey Grage COPO Camaro Interior

Barrett-Jackson Auction

At the 2013 Reno Barrett-Jackson auction they sold a similar COPO Camaro, but one that Rawlings and his financial backer actually had a hand in building and was featured on Fast N’ Loud.

Of the twenty originally available only this one and a rolling chassis are left.  The one being auctioned lists as being the only one with the Gas Monkey Garage decals.  This one is offered at auction with a three speed automatic transmission instead of the more traditional two speeds.  And they stuffed a 454 LSX engine under the hood.

At the auction Barrett-Jackson has set up two time slots for their Salon Collection cars on Saturday.  The first will be from 1-3 (local time MST) and shown on the Fox Channel.  Probably the first time a car auction has been shown on nationwide television by a big four broadcaster.  They then have a second two hour block on Saturday shown on the National geographic Channel from 5-7 MST.

Prediction?

This COPO Camaro will be the third one sold.  The one in Reno sold for $137,500.    What do you think this one sells for?  Their web site shows the remaining rolling chassis originally was selling for $85,000  and now offered for $75,000.

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Photos Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

Corvette’s Jake Logo Revised

With the introduction of a new generation Corvette, the C7, it figures that a new Jake design would be in order.

Jake is the logo for Corvette Racing and featured a modernized skull with the corvette crossed flags as the eyes.

jake-c6r

Picture 1 of 1

Jake Updated

The C7.R (the full on racing version of the Corvette) will make its track debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, 2014.  This is the day after its unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 25, 2014. When the C7.R takes to the track, it will sport an all-new Jake logo, which has become the unofficial mascot of Corvette Racing.

corvette-c7r-jake-mascot

Picture 1 of 1

Jake logo Black and White

The History of Jake


Jake first appeared in the early 2000s, when the Corvette Racing team was gaining momentum and winning multiple ALMS championships and the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. The team began uniting behind a rally cry of “Take No Prisoners” and a flaming skull logo that represented its unrelenting drive for victories.

It wasn’t until after the C5.R completed the final 24 Hours of Le Mans that the unofficial logo was born. Urban lore claims that the sketch started on a cocktail napkin as a skull with crossed flags for the eyes and was named after Jake, Jim Belushi’s character from The Blues Brothers.

Jake Concept Edition

Jake even was honored with Chevrolet concept car that was shown at SEMA in 2010.  It was based on a Grand Sport edition and was liberally covered with sedate Jake logos.

The new Jake, with the seventh-generation Crossed Flag logo for eyes, is more modern and more aggressive just like the C7.R will hope to be.

Artwork courtesy of © General Motors

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Bumble Bee Camaro Tire with Hollywood Magic

Bumble Bee -the Star of the Transformer Movie Anthologybumble-bee Camaro

The Bumble Bee is one of the main characters in the Transformer Movie Series and is a bright yellow Camaro.  Chevrolet certainly enjoys the publicity that is garnered by the Bumble Bee and Hollywood studios are known for accepting cash or product for a movie “placement”.

bumble-bee-hood

SEMA 2013

At the recent SEMA show, the three “stars” of the upcoming Transformers 4 movie directed by Michael Bay were showcased by Chevrolet at a standalone display.  Present were a new sleek Corvette Stringray, an urban looking Sonic and the yellow Bumble Bee Camaro.  They were highlighting the upcoming Transformers 4 release next summer.

bumble-bee-side

The same three cars were present at Chevrolet’s Media Event.  But after Monday’s event some sharp eyed spectators noted a slight change in the “shoes” the Bumble Bee was wearing. pre-close-up Bumble bee tire It turns out the Hollywood magic must have worn out and the painted on Goodyear logo and Eagle name were removed showing the true brand of these tires – Pirelli.post-close-up Bumble Bee tire

Ah, the magic of Hollywood!

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