Most of us have seen the commercial for the new Fiat Abarth 500, which is more than slightly risque. But now comes a video - not a real commercial! - from Fratres Films that more accurately describes the way Corvette owners feel about their cars. This one's still pretty racy, so viewer discretion is advised - not safe for work - your mileage may vary.
Best wishes to all for a happy Corvette new year!
Most of us Corvette owners spend a lot of time thinking about our bodywork - all that fine fiberglass with its sinuous, muscular bulges and curves. And we spend time on the engine, brakes, interior and suspension as well - but there's a critical part of every Corvette that often gets neglected, and that's the car's frame.
At restoration time - or after any accident - one of the things you want to be sure to include on your to-do list is to check your Corvette's frame for straightness and level. Especially with older cars, crash damage can be lurking far below those pretty fenders. If your Corvette has an unexplained pull to one side, or seems to take corners better in one direction than the other, that's another clue that your car's frame may not be on the straight and level with you.
Luckily, a good body shop can check your car's frame for straightness and true. Many modern alignment shops can detect frame damage, too, if they use the latest in laser-based alignment tools. Read on for more information about frame damage and what you can do about it.
One task that every vintage Corvette owner will have to perform sooner or later is a carpet replacement.
I won't lie to you - it's a terrible job. The old carpet is always dusty and frequently it's moldy and stinky. You have to work with knives and it's easy to slip and cut yourself. And carpet kits never seem to fit as well as the original carpet did. But the results when you do it right are nothing short of amazing. Your Corvette will look much newer (at least on the inside) and it will get back a measure of that new car smell that everyone loves. Replacing the carpet is also a good chance to put down some sound-deadening material and heat shielding if your exhaust has been cooking your heels like a V8-powered barbecue.
So if you know this task is in your future, Read on for the complete step-by-step instructions on replacing your Corvette's carpet. The process is pretty much the same for all years, but we did this project on a lovely '69 coupe. You'll be hearing more about this car in the future, so stay tuned!
This video is amazing - watch as GM engineer Tom Norkiewicz puts the C6 Corvette through its paces at the GM Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. Norkiewicz has 22 years experience, mostly at the Desert Proving Ground, where he helps develop the ride control systems for GM vehicles. How would you like that for a job? Sign me up! Norkiewicz gets to drive Corvettes to the limit of their ample capabilities year-round.
Santa, I know what I want in my stocking this year!
Corvettes, along with every other car sold in America, got a big shakeup in 1974 as the DOT mandated "5 MPH" bumpers for all cars in that year. The result was the conversion from the sleek chrome bumpers found on classic cars to the large, ungainly, rubber-covered massive steel battering rams that appeared in this year and in some form or another have been with us ever since.
So for those of us with Corvettes made after 1972 (because 1973 was a transition year), we have to do more than unscrew a couple bolts to get the bumpers off our cars. Here's a quick one-page look at the process of getting the rear bumper off and then onto a 1970s Corvette again. Mileage will vary with C4 and C5 Corvettes, but it's largely similar.
Don't go ripping into the back end of your classic 1970s Corvette for no reason - but good reasons to do this job would include fuel leaks, cracks in the rear fiberglass, and the need to replace the little "Corvette" emblem on the bumper. Take your time with this project - and good luck!
What's amazing is how easy this project was to complete. If you have a small rotary saw, like a dremel or similar tool, you can do this project in an afternoon with hand tools and perhaps a drill. The total cost was right around $1,000 for parts, and the results are well worth the investment!
Regular readers will know that here at Corvette HQ at About.com, we have a project car! It's a 1977 Corvette Coupe that is fundamentally sound, it just desperately needs freshening of almost everything that can be replaced on a Corvette.
We finally turned a major milestone in the history of this car - and we'll have more to report later this week. But we got the old 7-working-cylinder engine removed and replaced it with a nice fresh strong 350 V8 recently, and what a difference that makes!
I recorded the entire process from shopping for the engine to watching the entire engine swap procedure down at my local Corvette guru shop, and I gleaned many tips for a successful Corvette engine swap to share with you.
As always, you should get a shop manual for your specific year and model of Corvette before you attempt any work - I can't possibly cover all the different models and years in an article. But this story should give you an idea of what's involved - and even if you choose to take the car to a professional for this work (which is what most people do) then at least you will be an informed consumer.
Next up - headers and side pipes!
Every car enthusiast loves technical specifications - and Corvette lovers enjoy a good set of tech specs better than most people, because the specs on a Corvette are so great!
So, for your rapturous enjoyment, here's the full lowdown on all the 2012 Corvettes - You can read the options, features, and specs of the Corvette and Corvette Grand Sport, or bump it up a notch and read all about the 2012 Corvette Z06, and then hold on to your socks and read the specs on the maximum performance 2012 Corvette ZR1.
Corvette Racing has released a final video of the 2011 racing season, reflecting on the season and the lessons learned at this year's Petit Le Mans race in Atlanta in October. The intrepid boys from Detroit will back next year, however, and they're already working on the cars to win the 2012 season!
One of the best things about Corvettes is their fiberglass bodywork. It means that your Corvette's fenders will never rust, but on the other hand, fiberglass does tend to crack. If you are restoring or just driving your old Corvette, chances are that you've got some cracks to deal with.
Fixing a crack in your Corvette is going to take some bold work, sanding away the paint and getting into the fiberglass panels from above and below, and so this job isn't for everyone. But you can do a good job in your garage with some patience and the right tools. But even if you don't plan to get your hands dirty, you should read this new article on making fiberglass crack repairs to a Corvette, so you'll know what's involved when you take your 'Vette to the bodyshop. An informed Corvette owner is a happy owner!