Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hug a tree and buy a Corvette Stingray

 

I can hear it now, “But honey buying a new Corvette will save us money and help the environment!”

As if anybody needed any more inducements to buy the new 2014 Corvette, the first year for the seventh generation of the iconic American sports car, now you can add great gas mileage!

General Motors recently announced that the 2 seater Stingray, with a powerful 455 horsepower V8 LT1 engine mated with a manual transmission, will have an EPA sticker estimate for gas mileage of 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and 17 miles in the city.  And yet the car will still go 0-60 MPH in under 4 seconds.  All this with a LT1 engine that is delivering 6% more horsepower than the 2013 model.

Now surprisingly Corvettes have been saddled with the misconception that muscle cars are gas hogs.  Even today some current offerings from Detroit are not known as miserly fuel users.  But Corvettes for years have been able to provide their happy owners with some great gas mileage.

General Motors was able to obtain the highway estimate by two tricks; the standard test was in “tour” mode and improved upon by using the “eco” mode – Active Fuel Management.  Under ideal situations, with eco mode the engine turns off fuel to four of the cylinders without significant changes in performance.  I have that same system on a six banger Impala and when it switches off three cylinders, I wouldn’t notice it without the dashboard indicator.

The second trick is the manual transmission involves SEVEN gears.  This allows drivers to get a big right bicep while swapping gears and optimizing performance.

It’ll be interesting to see how the automatic fares under the EPA rules.  The automatic will also use Active Fuel management to conserve fuel.

So now you can have a car with both performance and economy!  Thanks GM

 

 

Happy 60th Birthday – Corvette

Unveiling of the 60th Anniversary Corvette at Barrett-Jackson Auction
Unveiling of the 60th Anniversary Corvette at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ

America’s longest lasting sports car icon, the Corvette, first went into production in Flint, Michigan. on June 30, 1953. Since then, Corvette has become an American icon that continues to offer the arguably best in today’s technology and performance for the price.

Over 1.5 million cars have been produced over the past sixty years.

All 300 of the 1953 models were Polo White with a red interior and listed at $3,498.

Since 1956, the sport scar has only been powered by V8 engines. Corvette was available solely as a convertible for its first 10 years.

Since 1981 Bowling Green, KY has been the birthplace for all Corvettes offering both a factory tour and a Corvette museum on the premises.

Chevy’s Suburban is the only nameplate that has been in production longer in America.

 

Dean Jeffries – car customizer – rest in peace

Car customizer, engineer and stunt driver Dean Jeffries died in his sleep recently at the age of 80.

Die hards will recognize both his name and his cars.  Dean might not have had the greatest publicist,  but he was a renaissance man when it came to cars.

Of course his customs done for Hollywood are instantly recognizable.  The Monkeemobile, the Green Hornet and the Beach Boy’s cover car from their Little Deuce Coupe album were all his handiwork.

He started out as a painter- striper and worked with Von Dutch.  He added the script to James Dean’s Porsche Spyder – Little Bastard.  He moved over to George Barris’s shop and honed his metal working skills.  He painted the first Shelby Cobra for Carroll Shelby.

You can lean more at www.deanjeffries.com

 

Rest in Peace

2014 Corvette Stingray will be shod with Michelin’s

For the recent past, Corvettes came out of Detroit with Goodyear Run Flats.  The stiff sidewall helped carry the tire in the event of no air pressure but also contributed to a stiff ride.  many owners derisively referred to them as run craps.

Many owners actually used regular speed rated tires and risked a flat tire or carried a small portable compressor and a patch kit.  Some switched to Michelin’s version of the run flats – the ZP – Zero Pressure

For 2014 the Corvette Stingray (the C7 generation) will sport Michelin’s Pilot Super Sport ZP.  These tires will have the same size but should offer a smoother ride.  It’ll be interesting to see what the new owners say, and why Goodyear was dropped.

 

As seen at SEMA, Bryan Fuller’s Thunder Taker now in Hot Rod Magazine

We first saw this stretched out hearse at the SEMA show in 2012.  It was done by Bryan Fuller of Fuller Hot Rods in Atlanta.  At the 2011 SEMA show Bryan was the spokesperson/celebrity for Gear  Wrench.

Now Hot Rod Magazine’s April, 2013 issue features it with a great story and pictorial.  http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/hrdp_1305_thundertaker_1960_cadillac_superior_coachworks_hearse/viewall.html

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This car took THREE years to build and is just an awesome 8,000 pounds of Detroit metal.  Great paint job and a nicely executed custom ride.

 

NHRA at Phoenix, AZ – End of an era or a new begining?

Drag racing
Erica Enders-Stevens NHRA Pro Stock driver

This weekend marked the 29th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) meet at Phoenix’s Firebird Raceway.  But is it the end?  The dragstrip is on leased land owned by the Gila River Indian Community and was once out in the middle of nowhere on the southeast edge of the Phoenix area.  The 30 year lease expires at the end of March, 2013 and while the president of NHRA is optimistic, one can only hope that a new management team can keep NHRA coming back in 2014.

Phoenix is blessed with not only being the site of all four major sports – baseball, football, basketball and hockey – but also hosts two NASACR races and the Arizona Nationals for the NHRA.

Hopefully we’ll see NHRA back for more action like Erica Enders-Stevens’ win this past week.  What do you think?