Consummate Corvette aficionado K. Scott Teeters blogs about Ken Hazelton’s unique split-window coupe that has never been driven on the street. Zora Arkus-Duntov would have been proud.
Although born to be a street sports car, this Sting Ray has never been anything but a racecar. Zora Arkus-Duntov was the driving force behind making sure that production Corvettes could be easily turned into competitive racecars. He was famous for saying, “I want my customers to enjoy their Corvette.”
Even though he was in the engineering department and not sales and marketing, he thought like a salesman. Duntov’s insistence that Corvette customers had access to Chevrolet engineered parts for racing, created the Corvette’s racing halo.
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Thanks to our friends at CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE, here’s an outstanding Gen I Camaro, powered by an LS3 engine.
We started hearing about this beautiful ‘69 Camaro months ago. Keith Sultana, the owner of the car, as well as Man Made Legends in Davidson, North Carolina, invited us over one evening to check it out. Then, it was just a body that was receiving subtle and clean modifications. Keith, and shop foreman Bob Turner, told us they were going to drop an LS3 in it and make a Pro-Touring car. That’s when we really perked up. Those beautiful classic lines with modern, fuel injected performance is almost always the surefire way to the top.
The Historic Vehicle Association will be showcasing a ’32 Ford hot rod, ’51 Mercury custom and a ’64 Chevy lowrider on April 12 to May 4 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The vehicles will be exhibited in the HVA “glass case” on the walkway between the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and National Gallery of Art. The vehicles are privately owned and are being commemorated and recorded as part of the HVA National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) to be permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.
Dubbed Gypsy Rose, it’s a beautifully painted ‘64 Chevrolet Impala lowrider designed to go “low and slow” when it cruised East LA in the 1970s. It was known as one of the most extravagantly painted lowriders of the period and was featured in the opening of the 1970s sitcom, Chico and the Man. Gypsy Rose was featured on the cover of LOWRIDER Magazine in 1980. It will be on display from April 12-19.
The ’32 Ford V8 McGee Roadster was built by Bob McGee, a returning veteran who attended and played football for the University of Southern California. McGee raced the car on the California dry lakes and used it to promote hot rod safety. The iconic Deuce roadster was featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1948. It will be on display from April 20-26.
Best known as the Hirohata Merc, it’s a ‘51 Mercury coupe that was originally purchased by Bob Hirohata and extensively customized by master craftsmen, Sam and George Barris at their shop in Lynwood, California in 1952. It was striped by Von Dutch and featured modified design elements from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, and Lincoln. Under Hirohata’s ownership it was driven cross-country from LA to Indianapolis and Detroit and back. The Merc collected over 150 trophies during the first several years it was shown. It will be on display from April 27-May 4.
“The HVA’s objective is to share America’s automotive heritage with the American people,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Historic Vehicle Association. “The three cars being recognized on the National Mall represent a uniquely American story of the talented builders who modified production cars for speed and style. These three examples represent true national treasures of the early days of the hot rod, custom and lowrider movements. It is their first time in Washington, DC.”
The HVA expect hot rods, custom cars and lowriders to descend on the nation’s capital during the exhibition. This three-week 2017 exhibition expands upon the two-week 2016 HVA Cars at the Capital exhibition that featured President Taft’s 1909 White Steam Car and President Reagan’s ‘62 Willys Jeep CJ-6.
The 2017 Cars at the Capital free exhibition is underwritten in part through the generous support from Shell (including their Pennzoil and Quaker State brands), Hagerty, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and TEN: The Enthusiast Network (including its AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD and LOWRIDER brands).
The HVA is dedicated to preserving and sharing America’s automotive heritage. In 2014, the HVA established the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs and Library of Congress to document historically significant automobiles in America’s past. For more information about the HVA and its events, please visit https://www.historicvehicle.org/
One of the rarest factory-built Corvettes ever built can be seen for the first time in 60 years at the Amelia Island Concours next month.
The ‘57 Corvette Super Sport prototype originally built for GM’s famous Motorama shows of the 1950s will, after six decades hidden from view, break cover in a special exhibit at the 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 12, 2017. After its auto show duties, it was sold to Ralph Poole of Albuquerque, NM. The current owner, John Baldwin purchased the car in 1996.
“We’ve been working on the SS for the last few weeks and have it running nicely for the first time since the 1950s,” said owner John Baldwin.
Actually a 1956 model, the Corvette was customized by the Chevrolet studio at GM Design and “updated” with a one-off 1957 Vin # tag. It was used to showcase the first fuel-injected Corvette engine, which debuted in 1957 models. This special Corvette debuted at the January 1957 New York Waldorf Astoria Auto Show (there was no Motorama show in 1957) and the Chicago Auto Show, but has not been seen by the public for the past 60 years. Power for this unique prototype comes from a fuel-injected 283/283 small-block mated to a close ratio three-speed transmission.
“This unique Corvette is practically unknown,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “It was the cover car for the June, 1957 issue of Speed Age magazine and then it disappeared. It’s been hidden for its entire life. For it to be at Amelia is the sort of thing we dream of.”
Fastest Camaro ever makes one pass at 202.3 mph and backs it up at 193.3 mph on Germany’s Papenburg proving ground. Average top speed: 198 mph.
Chevrolet tested the ZL1 with 10-speed automatic transmission on the high-speed oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg GmBH proving ground. Compensating for wind speed, the top speed is the average achieved from running the ZL1 in both directions on the 7.6-mile loop – 202.3 mph in one direction and 193.3 mph in the other direction!
Testing was conducted on the ZL1’s production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at 44 psi, the recommended setting for extended high-speed driving. The car’s only deviations from stock were mandatory safety and data logging equipment.
Papenburg’s high-speed oval features 2.5-mile straights and 1.3-mile turns with 49.7-degree banking on the top lane. The steep banking allowed Chevrolet test drivers to run the ZL1 flat out around the track without lifting off the throttle in the turns.
“The ZL1 was developed with high-speed performance in mind, incorporating a balanced aerodynamic package that reduces lift without significantly affecting drag,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “After testing the car in standard settings, which produced the 198-mph average, we set the front and rear camber adjustments to 0 degrees and the tire pressures to the maximum allowable sidewall pressure, the ZL1 averaged over 200 mph.”
Special aero features include a stanchion rear spoiler that offers an advantageous lift/drag ratio compared to a blade-style rear spoiler, and a patent-pending auxiliary transmission oil cooler cover that reduces front-end lift with no drag penalty. The front-to-rear aero balance was also fine-tuned for high-speed stability.
Additional performance capabilities of the ZL1 Camaro tested with the available 10-speed automatic transmission include: 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds Quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds at 127 mph 1.02g max cornering 60-0 mph braking in 107 feet
The 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine powering the ZL1 is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match or an available, all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Additional features include:
Magnetic Ride Control
Electronic limited-slip differential (coupe only)
20-inch forged aluminum wheels
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 summer-only tires measuring 285/30ZR20 in front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear
Brembo brakes with six-piston Monobloc front calipers and two-piece rotors
The ‘17 Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,435 for a coupe with the manual transmission (price includes $995 destination and $1,300 gas guzzler tax) and $65,830 for a coupe with the 10-speed automatic (price includes $995 destination and $2,100 gas guzzler tax).
“This test caps an impressive list of performance stats for the Camaro ZL1, which was designed to excel at everything. It’s the most capable – and fastest – Camaro ever,” said Al Oppenheiser.