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- Enters supercar territory with race-proven design, advanced technologies and world-class performance
- With track-focused Z07 performance package, 2015 Corvette Z06 delivers faster lap times than 2013 Corvette ZR1
- First Corvette Z06 to offer supercharged engine, removable roof panel and available paddle-shift automatic transmission
DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history – the 2015 Corvette Z06. It stretches the performance envelope for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission – all building on the advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.
“The new Z06 delivers levels of performance, technology and design that rival the most exotic supercars in the world,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “And the Z06 leverages the engineering expertise of GM, offering the choice of two world-class transmissions, supercar performance without supercar fuel consumption and technologies that make it easier to fully enjoy the incredible experience of driving it.”
The 2015 model is the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. The new, supercharged 6.2L engine is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW), and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.
A track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced unsprung weight. Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1.
“The Corvette Z06 is a great example of the technology transfer between racing and production Corvettes,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “First, we took what we learned on the Corvette Racing C6.R and applied that to the all-new Corvette Stingray. Then, using the Stingray as a foundation, the Z06 and C7.R were developed to push the envelope of performance on the street and the track.”
Supercharged, efficient performance
The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver an estimated 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.
These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.
“The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. “It is one of the world’s only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve.”
To maintain the Z06’s mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about one inch (25 mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.
The new 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s LS9. The rotors are shorter in length, too, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to get up to speed quicker, producing power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently, thanks to a new, more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
The LT4 engine also has several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:
- Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional heads
- Lightweight titanium intake valves and machined connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
- High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency and is enabled by direct injection
- Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
- Stainless steel exhaust headers and an aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts
- Standard dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51; used with dual-pressure-control oil pump.
The LT4 will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y., and at the new Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Ky.
Eight speeds, no waiting
The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.
“Unlike most ultra-performance cars, the Corvette Z06 offers customers the choice between two transmissions to suit their driving styles,” said Juechter. “The seven-speed gives the driver the control of a true three-pedal manual transmission with perfect shifts enabled by Active Rev Matching. The new eight-speed automatic offers drivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and manual control for track driving.”
The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.
The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.
In fact, the 8L90’s controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.
“There’s no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car.”
Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.
The eight-speed automatic will be built at GM’s Toledo, Ohio, transmission facility.
Designed for downforce
The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities.
“Practically every exterior change served a functional purpose, as this beast needed more of everything,” said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, “The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability.”
The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires.
To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets, the Z06 was fitted with larger Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tires are 1.5 inches wider than the tires on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tires are two inches wider.
To cover the wider tire tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.
The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:
- The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
- The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap, and collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.
To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tires and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 is tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tires to the ground at high speeds.
The Z06 will offer three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:
- The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and the rear spoiler from the Corvette Stingray’s Z51 Performance Package
- An available carbon-fiber aero package – in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce
- The available Z07 package add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car that GM has tested.
The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.
The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which vents hot air from the engine compartment and contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.
Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. To cope with the additional airflow, the Z06 has also has larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.
Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.
Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength and less weight than comparable steel frames. They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.
The Z06 also benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Z06 are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.
“Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every “g” of grip and every pound of downforce,” said Juechter. “It’s a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that’s even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call.”
For the first time ever, the Corvette Z06’s aluminum frame will be produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. It’s the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it will be used essentially unchanged for the C7.R race cars.
The stiffer design of the aluminum frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. With the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model’s fixed-roof design. It is 60 percent stiffer than the previous model with the roof panel installed.
The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.
Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:
- Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
- Active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Track mode and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
- Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
- Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
- Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.
The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard on the Z06 to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
The eLSD is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:
- Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
- Mode 2 is engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes.
This calibration enables more nimble turn-in and traction while accelerating out of a corner
Mode 3 is automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged. This calibration has the same function as Mode 2, but is fine-tuned to work with Performance Traction Management.
The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015. Performance data and pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
An all-new, British luxury automotive brand is to be launched in April 2014, promising to refresh the classic British sports car, for the 21st Century.
Successful British businessman and car enthusiast, David Brown, has created a brand in his own name – David Brown Automotive – to deliver his vision for a new take on the British sports car.
David has sought out key industry talent to create the new car. An experienced design team is led by Alan Mobberley, who was Chief Designer at Land Rover for 19 years, until 2005, while automotive engineering experts, Envisage Group, have developed it, for production.
David has not settled for an update of any existing model. He has commissioned a completely original exterior and interior design, sourced bespoke British suppliers for interior trim and materials and the car has been thoroughly engineered for low-volume production, combining the latest manufacturing techniques with traditional craftsmanship.
David explained: “I wanted all the impact and style of a classic sports car, but with modern capabilities and conveniences. This is what I want in a car, but it’s not something anyone really offers. So, I’ve created it myself.”
The result – codenamed “Project Judi” – will be revealed in April 2014 and will be made available for sale, in strictly limited numbers. It will combine a classically-inspired exterior design, with the latest in performance, dynamics, technology, comfort and refinement.
“I thought that if I’m looking for this, others might be too,” commented David.
More details on the new car, including its name, will be announced closer to the car’s launch date. In the meantime, anyone can register their interest to receive more information at:
Peter Haynes: +44 7738 883 259; firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Hale: +44 7738 709 485; email@example.com
Source: Torque PR
DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the 2014 Camaro Z/28 will go on sale this spring with a suggested retail price of $75,000, including a $995 destination charge, but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees.
The new Z/28 is offered in five exterior colors – Red Hot, Black, Silver Ice Metallic, Ashen Gray Metallic and Summit White. Only a single option is available: A $1,150 package that adds air conditioning and a total of six audio speakers. The standard Z/28 package includes one speaker.
“The Camaro Z/28 is an uncompromising performer that’s bred for the track – and every one of its unique components supports the goal of faster lap times,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “It takes the Z/28 back to its racing roots and adds to the strong lineup of Chevrolet performance cars, including a revamped Camaro SS and supercharged ZL1, as well as the SS sedan, Corvette Stingray convertible and 2015 Corvette Z06, which we’ll introduce at the North American International Auto Show next week.”
The Z/28’s unique exterior is designed like a race car to produce downforce that presses the tires against the track for greater grip – up to 1.08 g in cornering acceleration – and faster lap times. The aerodynamically optimized design helped the Camaro Z/28 log a lap on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring road course that was four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1’s and beat published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.
Power comes from the 7.0L LS7 engine, with dry-sump oiling, rated at an SAE-certified 505 horsepower (376 kW) and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). The engine will be built by hand at the new Performance Build Center within GM’s Bowling Green assembly plant.
A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is the only transmission offered and power is distributed to the rear wheels via a Torsen limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs, for optimal traction. The differential works in unison with Chevrolet’s proprietary Performance Traction Management system, allowing drivers to adjust the level of throttle and braking intervention to match their capability and driving environment.
The Camaro Z/28 is also one of the first production cars fitted with race-proven, spool-valve dampers, which allow four-way damping control, enabling engineers to precisely tune both bump and rebound settings for high-speed and low-speed wheel motions. The wider tuning range also allows dramatically greater damper stiffness without a significant change in ride quality. Additional chassis changes include stiffer spring and bushing rates for improved cornering response.
Lightweight, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires reduce unsprung weight by 49.6 pounds (22.5 kilograms) per car compared to the 20-inch wheels standard on Camaro SS and ZL1.
The massive 305/30ZR19 PZero Trofeo R tires represent the first production-car application in the industry and are believed to be the widest front tire on any production car. To fully exploit their grip, the Z/28 also features Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix™ rotors and fixed, monoblock calipers. The large 394 x 36 mm front rotors are paired with six-piston calipers, while the 390 x 32 mm rear rotors are paired four-piston calipers. Compared to similar-size, two-piece steel rotors, the lightweight carbon discs save 28 pounds (12.5 kg) per car.
The combination of tire grip and braking power enable the Camaro Z/28 to achieve at least 1.5 g in deceleration. With standard front brake cooling ducts, the Z/28 is also capable of continuous track use.
On the interior, the Camaro Z/28 features trim in a distinctive, matte-metallic finish called Octane, a flat-bottom steering wheel and Recaro seats with microfiber inserts. The seats feature aggressive bolsters for high-performance driving, as well as seat cutouts inspired by the five-point harnesses found on racing seats. To save weight, both front seats incorporate manual adjustment.
The rear seats of the Z/28 have also been modified for weight reduction. Nine pounds, or four kilograms, were saved by eliminating the seat-back pass-through, as well as using high-density foam in place of the rigid structure of the seat back and steel mesh of the seat bottom.
Additional examples of weight savings include:
- Elimination of the tire-inflator kit, except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where it is required by law
- Removal of some interior sound deadener, as well as trunk carpet
- Use of a smaller, lighter battery
- Thinner rear-window glass – 3.2 mm vs. the standard 3.5 mm
- Elimination of high-intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps and fog lights
- No air conditioning except as part of the single option package.
The Camaro Z/28 will be available to order in late January with the first cars delivered to customers in the spring. Rights to the first Camaro Z/28, VIN 0001, will be auctioned at Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. on January 18.
The Z/28’s suggested retail price includes destination and freight charges, as well as the gas-guzzler tax.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
WALWORTH, Wis. – Mecum Auctions will bring the world’s largest collector car auction to the Osceola Heritage Park grounds in Kissimmee, Fla., this Jan. 17-26 with 3,000 vehicles and 3,000 items of Road Art and memorabilia set to cross the auction block throughout the 10 days of hard-hammering action. The immense lineup includes everything from high-performance muscle cars to ‘50s era cars as well as vintage racers, European sports and exotics and of course an impressive and vast offering of Corvettes.
From investment-grade collector cars to entry-level vehicles, the lineup includes something for everyone. Vehicles will range from several thousand to several million dollars and will include marques ranging from the unique and obscure to the automotive industry giants. With such significant Corvette sales over the years, the Kissimmee auction has become an epicenter for the buyers and sellers of America’s Favorite Sports Car and this year’s auction is filled with incredible investment-grade offerings wearing the Corvette name.
Nine days and more than 48 hours of Mecum’s Kissimmee Auction will be broadcast on the NBC Sports and Esquire networks followed by a one-hour special broadcast on NBC. For a complete list of consignments visit Mecum.com. Mecum’s website is updated daily with the most recent consignments including photos and descriptions of each vehicle. For more details on the Kissimmee auction, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder, visit www.mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050.
Certain to please anyone with a pulse, a few select vehicles set to cross Mecum’s block are detailed below:
1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Prototype “The Real McCoy” (Lot S132)
At a time when the Corvette brand was in jeopardy of dying off due to lagging sales and fierce competition, an olive branch came in the form of this prototype Corvette. Driven by Zora Duntov to a new two-way Flying Mile Speed Record at Daytona Speed Week, this 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Sebring Racer was engineered specifically to race. The goal was to win the 12 Hours of Sebring in an attempt to gain credentials with buyers looking for a true champion sports car. Piloted by John Fitch and emerging as the grueling race’s class winner, this Corvette quickly became known as the car that saved the brand. Chevrolet immediately launched an advertising campaign following the race dubbing the car “The Real McCoy,” a moniker it has retained ever since. As a 2012 Bloomington Gold Great Hall Inductee, this car is truly a pioneer in Corvette’s racing history.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dick Lang Race Car (Lot S148)
With a storied racing history piloted by driver Dick Lang, this Corvette has been restored by the Naber Brothers to its glory day configurations and has become a multiple-award winner securing even the National Corvette Restorers Society American Heritage Award “For the preservation of a historically significant piece of Corvette history.” Finishing 4th in 1963 and 3rd in ’64 in National SCCA A/Production standings with Lang at the wheel, the car competed in nearly two-dozen documented races throughout the two-year period. With its N03 36 gallon fuel tank, this rare and coveted Z06-equipped car is further set apart by being one of just 63 big tank coupes built in 1963.
1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, CSX3016 (Lot S154)
One of just 23 factory Competition Cobras, this car made a name for itself back in 1966 by becoming class winner at the 12 Hours of Sebring with Bob Grossman driving and breaking the track record at Watkins Glen in the same year. Restored by respected H.R.E. Motorcars, Inc. of Freeport, N.Y., this racer is finished in its original livery as raced by Grossman and presents as a showcase factory Competition Cobra.
1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline Convertible (Lot S158)
Judged as an ACD-Certified Category 1 Original with its original engine, chassis and body, Duesenberg 2315/J-391 was completed by Walter M. Murphy Coachbuilders of Pasadena, Cali., as a demonstrator for Duesenberg’s Los Angeles sales branch. With an impressive ownership history, it was originally sold to Hollywood screen writer Gene Markey, who later became a highly decorated Rear Admiral after World War II. A series of owners in the 1940s included James Talmadge (son of Buster Keaton and Norma Talmadge), who in 1952 traded the car to actor Tyrone Power for a new MG. Power owned the car until his death after which it was sold to J.B. Nethercutt and then to Bill Harrah’s Auto Museum in Reno, Nev. In 1986, it was purchased and restored by Joseph Folladori of Indianapolis and later became part of Las Vegas’ Imperial Palace Auto Collection, eventually joining the prestigious John O’Quinn Collection. J-391 also participated in March of 1998 as one of six Duesenbergs specially invited to the Geneva Automobile Show in Switzerland, was featured in the November 1952 issue of Road & Track, and was more recently immortalized by Beverly Rae Kimes in “A Duesie’s Dozen, The Ownership Ancestry of J-391.”
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car, Mrs. Harley J. Earl’s Corvette (Lot S153)
When it comes to Corvettes with great stories, this 1963 Corvette Styling Car certainly makes the grade. Originally ordered for the wife of Harley J. Earl – founder of General Motors’ Styling and Design – this pink lady is Shop Order 10324, in direct sequence one number after Mr. Earl’s 1963 styling car that recently sold at Mecum’s Chicago auction for a strong $1.5 million. Featuring just 27,457 miles, this car’s ownership history is known since new, having been in the same hands and stored away since 1976. Finally back in the public eye, this one-of-a-kind factory creation is offered unrestored with just one repaint in its correct Pink Pearl shade and accompanied by documentation stating this car belonged to Chevrolet Motor Division Engineering Center.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring (Lot S145)
This car, number 1222, retains its numbers-matching engine according to the included Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. Research shows No. 1222 was delivered to Italy in the Light Ivory over black leatherette scheme it wears today. Collectible almost from new, it has been in collections in Japan and more recently Mexico, before joining a Porsche collection in the United States. A 300 KPH speedometer and dash rally times are ready for the next California Mille or Texas 1000, and sport seats reupholstered with corduroy inserts will cradle any driver in comfort for days of touring.
1988 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer (Lot F259)
Based on a 1988 Chevrolet Corvette, the famous Callaway Sledgehammer was built by Callaway to exceed all existing top speed records and as a showcase for Callaway’s industry-leading engineering expertise. For years the Sledgehammer claimed the title of the fastest street-driven car in the world, having set the mark on October 26, 1988 when John Lingenfelter drove it to an incredible 254.76 mph. In 2013 the Sledgehammer was inducted into the Bloomington Gold Great Hall, which “recognizes 50 people and 50 Corvettes that significantly influenced the Corvette Phenomenon” – a great honor for one of the world’s great Corvettes.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Tanker (Lot S150.1)
This Corvette Z06 is considered by many Corvette authorities to be possibly the finest example of one of the rarest production Corvettes ever built. Produced on Valentine’s Day, 1963 and delivered to Atzenhoffer Chevrolet in Victoria, Texas, this Sebring Silver and Red Z06 big tank split window coupe was sold to its original owner in Grand Prairie, Texas. The owner campaigned the car extensively throughout the Midwest in SCCA competition and it was rediscovered in Salt Lake City in 1976. A frame-off restoration was completed in 1984 to the highest possible quality. The interior, chassis and drivetrain remain original to the car, which was painted with original factory-supplied Sebring Silver paint, and only original parts were used in the restoration. This extremely rare and beautiful Z06 has been inducted to the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame in addition to garnering Gold Certification, Special Collection honors and the NCRS Top Flight award. Documented with warranty booklet, owner’s packet with contents and previous owner search, the car also comes with all award certificates.
About Mecum Auctions
Nobody sells more than Mecum. Nobody. The Mecum Auction Company is the world leader of collector car and Road Art sales, hosting auctions throughout the United States. The company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 27 years, now offering more than 15,000 vehicles per year and averaging more than one auction each month. Established by President Dana Mecum in 1988, Mecum Auctions remains a family-run company headquartered in Walworth, Wis. For further information, visit www.mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. Follow along with Mecum’s social media news and join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
Osceola Heritage Park
1875 Silver Spur Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744
January 17-26, 2014
$20 per person, per day; children 12 and younger receive complimentary admission
Gates open daily at 8 a.m.
Vehicles start daily at 10 a.m. except for Road Art Monday
Photo Credit: David Newhardt Courtesy of Mecum Auctions
The Stephen Cox Blog presented by McGunegill Engine Performance: Short Track – Please… Give Me the Worst Tire You Can Find
Doug Strasburg is an easy guy to talk with. His humble, soft-spoken manner belies a lifetime of motorsports experience and wisdom. The Mid-American Stock Car Series has thrived under his leadership despite being on the endangered species list not many years ago. When you disagree with Doug, believe me, you’d better do it on very solid grounds. The man knows auto racing.
As we chatted on the phone yesterday, discussing the spec tire package that will guide the series into the future, Doug was consumed with finding a tire that really worked with Mid-Am’s overhorsepowered metric chassis cars. I was equally determined to find one that did not.
Not that I have any say in the matter, of course. But my misguided sense of self-importance demands that every now and then someone take me seriously. Doug generously played the role.
“Good tires should be outlawed,” I shamelessly harped. They are a menace to auto racing. As tire width and grip expands, the groove on the racetrack shrinks. Drivers must use every inch of track to get a good lap time. Pretty soon, the high groove is junk, used only as a layover lane for lapped cars.
As the racing groove narrows, the cars line up single file and passing becomes virtually impossible. Sure, we set new track records every weekend, but the racing is awful. Why? Because, as road racing legend Anatoly Arutunoff pointed out in the early 1970’s, “wide tires ruin racing.”
Okay, here’s your homework assignment. Check out this short video of vintage racing from the 1950’s (http://youtu.be/m9RHlQG27Ns). You will find gobs of excellent, side-by-side racing at nearly every featured racetrack. Is this not what every series president and track owner wants today? So what were they doing in 1950 that we’re not doing now?
The answer is simple… racecars of that era had very little grip. When the cars cannot grip the track, driving ability becomes the deciding factor in a race. And as a driver, I prefer to be as relevant as possible.
I was chatting with one of my sponsors, DeWaine McGunegill of McGunegill Engine Performance, at the Performance Industry Racing trade show in Indianapolis last month when he made a very insightful comment. “You’ve got to remember when these race tracks were built,” DeWaine observed. “Most of them were built from the 40’s through the 60’s, and they were never intended for these speeds. We’re running speeds today that they never dreamed of.”
That speed comes from increased grip, and the increased grip narrows the groove, and a narrow groove eliminates passing on tracks that weren’t designed for such speeds. When cars had no grip, the racing was incredible. Now we need silly gimmicks like “commitment cones” at short tracks and “push to pass” buttons in Indycars to artificially compensate for lousy racing with cars that stick to the track like glue.
So no, if a series is going with a spec tire, I don’t want a tire that works. I want one that doesn’t. I want the worst train wreck of a tire that I can possibly find. I want a tire that makes the car impossible to set up properly. I want a tire so awful that it runs just as good up high in the marbles as it does down on the bottom of the track. Because it’s taken us 40 years to figure out that Arutunoff was right after all…
Wide, sticky tires really do ruin racing.
Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions
McGunegill Engines/Boschett Timepieces #31
Co-host, Mecum Auto Auctions
Photo Credit: Dirt Track Digest
Source: Global Media/Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions