2004 Corvette

2004 Corvette Coupe
2004 Corvette Coupe

Pricing: $44,535 (Coupe), $51,535 (Convertible), $52,385 (Z06 Coupe)

Engine options: 5.7L LS1 V8 or 5.7L LS6 V8 (Z06: 2001–04)

Transmission: 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic

Units produced: 34,064

Top Speed: 175 MPH (factory declared)

Available colors: Quicksilver, Electron Blue, Speedway White, Black, Torch Red, Millenium Yellow, Medium Spiral Gray, Anniversary RedArctic White, Lemans Blue (Comm. Edition), Black, Machine Silver, Torch Red, Millenium Yellow, Magnetic Red II, Medium Spiral Gray

Highlights of This Year:
Factory stock performance figures for the 405 hp (302 kW) version of the Z06 include an acceleration time from 0–60 mph in 3.9 seconds and 12.4 seconds in the quarter mile.

During the 2004 model year, a 24 Hours of Le Mans Commemorative Edition package (RPO’s Z15 & Z16) were offered as an option for all three C5 models (fastback coupé, convertible, Z06) in celebration of the C5-R “1–2” in-class finishes at Le Mans. The package consisted of a special paint color (“Le Mans Blue Metallic”); shale two-tone leather interior (coupés and convertibles only); and wide, silver-and-red stripes optionally applied down the center of the car (Z06 only). Commemorative Edition convertibles received a shale-colored soft top, and the Z06 version (dubbed the “Z16” after its RPO for the Le Mans Commemorative Edition) received a carbon fiber hood as a further weight-reduction measure. Special commemorative badging, headrest embroidery, and brightly polished wheel rims (a first on the Z06) with unique centercaps completed the package.

There were 2,025 Commemorative Edition (RPO Z16) Z06’s built in 2004.

Photos of the 2004 Corvette:

2004 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
2004 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
2004 Corvette Coupe
2004 Corvette Coupe
C5-R and the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Le Mans Commemorative Edition
C5-R and the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Le Mans Commemorative Edition
2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Le Mans Commemorative Edition
2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Le Mans Commemorative Edition
2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Le Mans Commemorative Edition
2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Le Mans Commemorative Edition

This one is my personal favorite – mine!

Sources
http://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/corvette/2004/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_(C5)
http://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/chevrolet_usa/corvette_c5/corvette_c5_convertible/2004.html
http://www.rollingthunderz.com/corvette_rfcs_c5.shtml
https://www.topspeed.com/cars/chevrolet/2001-2004-chevrolet-corvette-z06-c5-ar6617.html

Author
David Harned // Editor

David Harned

1968 Corvette

1968 Corvette
1968 Corvette

Pricing: $4,663 (Coupe), $4,320 (Convertible)

Engine options: 300-hp-4.69-cu-in, 350-hp-4.17-cu-in, 390- and 400-hp- 5.90- cu- in, 435-hp-4.92-cu.-in

Transmission: 3 speed automatic, 4 speed manual

Units produced: 28,566 (Total), 18,630 (Convertible), 9,936 (Coupe)

Top Speed: 130 mph (estimated)

Available colors: (Exterior) Tuxedo Black, Polar White, Rally Red, Lemans Blue, International Blue, British Green, Safari Yellow, Silverstone Silver, Cordovan Maroon, Corvette Bronze (Interior) Black, Red, Blue, Medium Blue, Orange, Tobacco, Gunmetal

Highlights of This Year:
In 15 years of Corvettes the car had not only driven into prominence in the sports car field, but was also been a forerunner of some exciting and practical automobile innovation. For 1968, the mechanics of the Stingray were improved and refined, this year was an inspiring year in terms of design. This Corvette boasted uncommon, removable sections over pilot and navigator, that lift out for open air moving. A nearly vertical glass rear window tucks out of the way into a compartment in the luggage area. The effect is a flow-through roof that had never been seen on an American sports car before. Long, low profile with blunt styling brings up the rear per the continental GT tradition. The aerodynamic design features a spoiler in the back. Behind front wheels, functional louvers help to keep the horses cool. Wraparound front and rear bumpers plus line-smoothing hideaway features help make Corvette a trim one style-side. On the nose end, vacuum operated headlights glide open automatically when lights are turned on. Windshield wipers are hidden under a power operated panel which activates when the wipers are turned on or off, so that they aren’t around when they shouldn’t be. Below belt-line, wheel trim rings and center caps cover big 7-inch-wide wheels. Special tuck in treatment goes to the bright metal body sill between the wheels. Front and rear marker lights add a special touch to the Corvette from the sidelines.

The Corvette Convertible takes the same basic stingray idea with the lid off and turns in top-down driving for two. Drivers of the ’68 Corvettes had three options of how to put the top on. Soft top (in black, white, or beige) or removable hardtop- pick either one as standard or order them both together. There is a big story in glass for the ’68 Corvette Convertible. Like the Coupe, and like all previous Corvettes since ’53, a rustless fiber glass body is basic. Full door glass styling aids in visibility as well as appearance and the Convertible’s removable hardtop has a glass rear window for the first time. Both the Coupe and Corvette Convertible start off with a 300-hp Turbo-Fire 327 V8 standard along with a fully synchronized 3-speed box. Four other engines are available, and with 427 V8’s there is a special high-domed hood. Additional transmission choices are 4-speed, close ratio 4 speed and Turbo Hydra-Matic- which broke into the Corvette power team lineup in 1968. For comfort, air flows through Corvette with full door windows closed, thanks to the new Astro Ventilation system with vent ports in the driver and passenger sides of the instrument panel.

The 1968 Corvette cockpit is designed with the traveling duo in mind. Thin tapered and contoured buckets are very comfortably high-backed. Supple all-vinyl upholstery is standard, and there was an option to order genuine leather. Between the seats the center console houses the parking brake lever, gear shift, cigarette liter and ashtray, thumb-wheel heater controls, air vent controls, and light monitoring system indicators. The console also stows seat belt buckle straps- twin sets with push button buckles. The option to order AM/ FM radio was available with out without FM Stereo multiplex. New features like the seat belt reminder light and door ajar flashers were introduced. A new ignition alarm system to remind you to take the key when you leave the car was also introduced.

Photos of the 1968 Corvette:

1968 Corvette Convertible
1968 Corvette Convertible

1968 Corvette Convertible
1968 Corvette Convertible
1968 Corvette Convertible
1968 Corvette Convertible

Sources
http://www.corvettemuseum.org/learn/about-corvette/corvette-specs/1968-corvette-specs/
https://www.corvsport.com/c3-corvette-overview-shark-generation/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_(C3)
https://www.topspeed.com/cars/chevrolet/1963-1968-chevrolet-corvette-c2-ar160567.html

Author
Daniel Thomas // Contributor

Daniel Thomas

1963 Corvette

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (Split Window)
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (Split Window)

The 1963 Sting Ray production car’s lineage can be traced to two separate GM projects: the Q-Corvette, and perhaps more directly, Mitchell’s racing Sting Ray. The Q-Corvette, initiated in 1957, envisioned a smaller, more advanced Corvette as a coupe-only model, boasting a rear transaxle, independent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes, with the rear brakes mounted inboard. Exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, a long nose, and a short, bobbed tail.

Meanwhile, Zora Arkus-Duntov and other GM engineers had become fascinated with mid and rear-engine designs. It was during the Corvair’s development that Duntov took the mid/rear-engine layout to its limits in the CERV I concept. The Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicle was a lightweight, open-wheel single-seat racer. A rear-engined Corvette was briefly considered during 1958-60, progressing as far as a full-scale mock-up designed around the Corvair’s entire rear-mounted power package, including its complicated air-cooled flat-six as an alternative to the Corvette’s usual water-cooled V-8. By the fall of 1959, elements of the Q-Corvette and the Sting Ray Special racer would be incorporated into experimental project XP-720, which was the design program that led directly to the production 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. The XP-720 sought to deliver improved passenger accommodation, more luggage space, and superior ride and handling over previous Corvettes.

The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray not only had a new design, but also newfound handling prowess. The Sting Ray was also a somewhat lighter Corvette, so acceleration improved despite unchanged horsepower. For the 1963 model year, 21,513 units would be built, which was up 50 percent from the record-setting 1962 version. Production was divided almost evenly between the convertible and the new coupe – 10,919 and 10,594, respectively – and more than half the convertibles were ordered with the optional lift-off hardtop. Nevertheless, the coupe wouldn’t sell as well again throughout the Sting Ray years. In fact, not until 1969 (by which time the coupe came with removable T-tops) did the closed Corvette sell better than the open one.

Pricing:
Coupe: $4037

Engine options:
327 in Small-Block V8 – 250 HP
327 in Small-Block V8 – 300 HP
327 in Small-Block FI V8 – 360 HP

Units produced: 21,513: 10,919 convertible and 10,594 coupe

Top Speed: 142.5 mph

Highlights of This Year:
The Corvette Sting Ray evolved from a racing car called the Mitchell Sting Ray. William L. Mitchell had replaced Harley Earl as head of General Motors styling in 1958. Mitchell thought it was important for the Corvette to be associated with racing, so he persuaded Chevrolet general manager Ed Cole to sell him the chassis of the 1957 Corvette SS “mule” for $1 (to get around the corporate racing ban) so he could build a race car. Mitchell had designer Larry Shinoda create a body for the Sting Ray race car inspired by the sea creature of the same name. Shinoda came up with the “split-window” coupe design which Mitchell loved although Zora Arkus-Duntov was against its vision-blocking look. The “split-window” was offered only one year and has become a very collectible item. Corvette “firsts” for 1963 included optional knock-off wheels, air conditioning, and leather upholstery. Air conditioning was a rare option in 1963 because it was introduced late in the year. Only 1.3 percent of the 1963 Corvettes were so equipped. However 83.5 percent came with four-speed manual transmission. The 184-powered Corvette could go from 0-to-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and from 0-to-100 mph in 16.5 seconds. Five historic Corvette Grand Sports were constructed in 1963 before all GM racing programs were canceled. Grand Sports weighed 1,908 pounds and had a 377-cd version of the small-block Chevy V-8 equipped with an aluminum cylinder block and aluminum hemi-head cylinder heads. They also featured a twin ignition system and port fuel injection.

Photos of the 1963 Corvette:

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (Split Window)
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (Split Window)
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
1963 Corvette Ad
1963 Corvette Ad

The Story behind the (first) Corvette Z06:
Let’s flashback to the summer of 1955 at Le Mans, France. Twenty-three hours and fifteen minutes into the world’s most brutal and mechanically challenging endurance race, after a near day of non-stop racing, disaster struck: 83 spectators died, 120 cheering fans severely injured. Motorsport from then on was never the same.

Reeling with the aftermath of such a tragic accident, automakers across the globe were compelled to shut down racing operations for a while in fear and expectation of the worst. Two years later, the American Manufacturers Association placed a formal ban on manufacturer-backed racing programs in an attempt to limit the damage racing may have caused in the previous years.

While a noble effort, the ban was not to be upheld long—while all the major automakers did indeed refrain from racing their own official racecars, the guy on the street could easily outfit his or her vehicle of choice with homologated parts and specs capable of racing in many premier series throughout the world.

In a reactionary measure from the masterminds behind the Corvette, a legend was born: the 1963 Corvette Z06. Even through the restrictions, the men and women from Chevrolet kept pushing the research and development of their iconic sports-car, producing an automobile ready to race straight from the factory.

The Z06 was released to the public during the debut of the ’63 split-window Corvette, allowing enthusiasts track-ready enjoyment and impeccable style immediately after purchase. With the exclusive Z06 package came the arrival of many racing-derived parts such as massive cooled disc brakes, heavy-duty suspension and, in traditional motorsport fashion, a gargantuan 36.5 gallon fuel tank.

But of course, the masterpiece would not be complete without the absolutely phenomenal 327 small-block V8. Producing 360 hp and 352 lbs-ft. of torque, the Z06 hit 60 MPH in an impressive 5.9 seconds, giving drivers instantly competitive performance the moment they turned the key.

Truth be told though, the racing-spec Corvette was far from cheap, debuting with a base price nearly $800 dollars more than the mighty Jaguar E-Type. Likely due to the racing nature of the car and GM’s willingness to eschew sanctioned racing, the Z06 option was not even listed in the brochures. In the end, a total of 199 Z06-optioned Corvettes were produced, making the ’63 one very rare machine.

After a 38-year hiatus, the Z06 option returned to the Corvette line-up, continuing the rip-roaring performance from 40 years prior but now with the driver-friendly practicality that technology allowed. Now that the world readies itself for Corvette’s latest track rocket, one can truly appreciate the epic history of the absolutely Corvette Z06.

Sources
http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/03/the-story-behind-the-1963-chevrolet-corvette-z06/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_(C2)
http://www.motorera.com/corvette/1960/vet63.htm
https://www.supercars.net/blog/1963-chevrolet-corvette-sting-ray-split-window/

Author
Kent Clapsaddle // Contributor

Kent Clapsaddle

1953 Corvette

1953 Corvette
1953 Corvette

The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. Originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to induce GM to make a production version to sell to the public. First production was on June 30, 1953.

Pricing:
Convertible: $3498

Engine options:
235 – 3.9L, 6 cyl. – 150 HP (standard)

Units produced: 300

Top Speed: 105 MPH

Highlights of This Year:
Fiberglass Body, Mesh Stone Guarded Headlights, Vertical Grill Teeth, No Outside Door Handles, All Models were made in Polo White with Sportsman Red or White interiors and black tops, Each was essentially hand made, 5000 RPM Tachometer standard, Built-in exhaust outlets, 300 Units produced

Photos of the 1953 Corvette:

1953 Corvette
1953 Corvette
1953 Corvette
1953 Corvette
1953 Corvette
1953 Corvette

More about the 1953 Corvette:
The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. Originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to induce GM to make a production version to sell to the public. First production was on June 30, 1953.

From the start, the Chevrolet Corvette was truly unique. Based on the EX-122 concept of 1952, the Corvette remains one of the few GM Motorama designs with their space age, show-car styling virtually unmodified for production. Its highly anticipated early-1953 introduction in the ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria drew over 300,000 spectators, and production commenced in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953.

The response to the Motorama show car was overwhelmingly positive, and production began that June in Flint, Michigan. It would change the landscape of the American road forever.

The 1953 Corvettes were built by hand and appeared nearly identical to the Motorama car. They were powered by the existing Chevrolet 235-cu.-in. 6-cylinder engine that was modified with a three-carburetor design and dual exhaust to give it more sports car-like performance. Named the Blue Flame Special, this engine generated 150 horsepower, and it was teamed with a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. This powertrain, however, did not live up to the performance expectations of sports car buyers.

As introduced in 1953, the Corvette was mostly a thrown together experiment. Production was limited to 300 units total, so sales of the entirely new model was not a problem.

The first Corvette reaches the end of the assembly line on June 30, 1953. The entire 1953 production took place in the back of a customer delivery garage in Flint Michigan. The first two were engineering test cars and according to official records, were destroyed. Of the first 300 Corvettes, approximately 225 are known to exist today.

Early 1953 Corvette wheel Notice the Chevrolet Bel Air wheel covers. According to GM, they were supplied on the first 25 Corvettes. The remaining production was equipped with the faux knock-off style. The same wheel continued thru 1957.

All 1953 Corvettes were Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top. There were two options offered: a signal seeking AM radio ($145.15) and a heater ($91.40). Although listed as options, all 1953 Corvettes were equipped with both items. The base price was $3,498.00, including the federal excise tax and $248.00 for shipping and handling. The radio had an interesting feature: since fiberglass is electrically inert, the antenna was simply incorporated in the trunk lid. This would not be possible with a conventional steel body.

When introduced in 1953, the Corvette featured the “Blue Flame” six cylinder engine. This is not as the Chevrolet engineering team wanted things, but they had no choice. Although other GM marques featured V8 motors they were not willing to share; a very different situation compared to years later when various divisions would feature the same powerplants. It was renowned for reliability but with a rating of 105 HP, performance and sportiness was not included.

The engineering staff responded with the usual engine upgrade methods. A more radical camshaft rubbing on solid lifters, dual valve springs, and a higher compression ratio cylinder head (8.0:1; previous was 7.5:1) all contributed to the effort. The largest gain was achieved via an upgrade to the induction system. Three Carter type YH sidedraft carburetors featuring “bullet” air cleaners with an aluminum manifold were incorporated and the output soared to 150 bhp at 4,500 RPM.

Corvette headlights featured a stoneguard (or “fencing mask”) treatment, part of the “sports car” target image. They were often seen on race prepared cars as a way to prevent broken headlights from debris and rocks. The engineers and stylists both wanted glass covers, similar to what was used on the license plate but the current laws forbid the practice.

All 1953 Corvettes came with red interiors. A “waterfall” effect was found between the seats as a body piece extended into the interior. This gave a very open feeling to the car. Later generations would pay homage to this technique and incorporate the same design traits in the convertible models. Pressing the button released the convertible top cover.

The Corvette reputation as a performance car would have to wait until 1955 when a V8 became available. When equipped with the “Blue Flame” six cylinder, the zero to 60 time was around 11 seconds with 1/4 mile times of about 18 seconds. It’s hard to say which was more at fault; the six cylinder motor or the two speed automatic transmission.

The 1953 Corvette is probably better appreciated today than when it was new. There are two basic reasons why it will remain a desirable model amongst collectors: 1) 1953 was the first year of production, a strong point in collector car circles. 2) Limited production. At only 300 units it is by far the rarest Corvette model year.

All 1953-55 Corvettes had removable (as opposed to roll up/down) windows. Black oilcloth bags were used for storage. Along with the Polo White exterior, all 1953 Corvettes came with a black canvas soft top.

The 1953 thru 1957 Corvettes featured full instrumentation, which included oil pressure, battery, water temperature, fuel and tachometer. The bad news was that they were centrally located. The joke of the day was that the passenger had a better view of the tachometer. Bumpers, both front and rear, were purely decorative and offered no protection.

Despite what these official press photos may imply, hardtops were not an option supplied by Chevrolet. Aftermarket sources did supply them and in some cases they were sold by Chevrolet dealers. The fiberglass body was very labor intensive which explains the high purchase price. The tail light fin areas were particularly difficult to work with.

Sources
http://mobile.corvettestory.com/1953-corvette.php
http://www.boldride.com/ride/1953/chevrolet-corvette-roadster
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette

Author
Evan Scronce // Contributor

Evan Scronce

Welcome to the latest iteration of Vette-net

Welcome! If you have spent any time on our Vette-net in the last years, you know we’ve been in dire need of an overhaul, so here it is. We are still building out content, but we are open during construction so have a look around.

The introduction of the C7 Corvette it all trims – Base, Grand Sport, Z06 and now the 2019 ZR1 represents what I consider nearly the absolute representation of what can be squeezed out of the setup that has been Corvette for the nearly 65 years that this car has been in existence.

The front-engined, rear-wheel drive format has been tweaked to the limits of aerodynamics, power, grip, weight, traction and with 0-60 times continuing to drop into sub 3 seconds, these cars are brutally fast. Without the highly-integrated electronics these vehicles require great skill (and bravery) to drive and with them, they make you feel superhuman. They demand your respect. Truly a value priced performance thrill that you cannot experience any other way.

Ours is a love that spans generations. Whether you have a 50s or 60s styled C1, the highly sought after collectable few years of C2s, the long running and iconic C3 (those fenders!), the affordable performance of the C4s, the end of an era C5s, the high performing many variations of the C6 or the latest family of C7s, you know what I mean. I have never given up my dream of owning one of each. Until I do, I continue to be a fan like all of you, watching and learning and studying and dreaming about my favorites.

I hope you enjoy looking at, studying, admiring and most of all driving the Corvette as much as I do. Thanks for visiting.

Author
David Harned // Editor

David Harned

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