Corvette Driver Danny Kellermeyer Ready To Defend His T1 Racing Title

Matick Chevy Danny Kellermeyer Corvette Blog
Danny Kellermeyer and his Matick Chevy-sponsored Corvette racecar are ready to collect more trophies this season. Photo by Kayleigh Jordan.

Burning up a racetrack is a way of life for Corvette racecar driver Danny Kellermeyer of Clarkston, Mich.

When he was only 8 years old, Danny would slip away from his family’s farm near Jackson, Mich., to race go-karts at a nearby track.

“I told Dad I was playing,” recalls Danny. “I was winning and hiding my trophies in the cow barn so Dad wouldn't find them.”

When word eventually got around about his skill behind the wheel, Danny ‘fessed up and his father let him race.

The trophies have continued to pile up – from wins at drag races, then stock car showdowns and now in T1 racing.

Last year, Danny won the Waterford Hills Road Racing T1 Championship in Michigan and finished with the highest points in the SCCA T1 class in the Great Lakes Series.

This year, he has already won six of eight races, (and came in second in the other two) in his Matick Chevy-sponsored Corvette, with another 14 races coming up. His next race weekend is June 25-26 at Grattan Raceway.

This season’s early racing featured some wicked weather, but Danny still managed to win at Waterford Hills on May 14-15.

“It was the weekend from hell,” he says. “We were on the grid getting ready to pull out and it was cold and dry. A quarter-mile around, it starts to rain. Then another quarter mile and it starts to sleet — and then another quarter mile and it starts to snow. Officials brought us in because they couldn’t see the sightlines. I don’t own snow tires.

“I’ve never had a race like that, and I don’t want another,” he says.

Danny, a retired General Motors regional field service engineer, will be running his Corvette at the GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Mich., and the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio.

His Matick Chevy Corvette is in “top shape,” he says. But as always, Danny leaves nothing to chance, building his own components.

Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 9 Danny Kellermeyer
Danny Kellermeyer enjoys a fun fan base at the Waterford Hills Road Racing track in Michigan.

Danny presumes his DJ Racing team is one of the only crews out there that is self-sufficient.

“I have my own machine shop, and do all my own machine work,” he says.

 The component exceptions, he adds, are roll cages and paint.

His father’s influence figures into Danny’s can-do attitude.

“Dad always said, if you have to hire someone more than once, buy the tools and do it yourself,” he says.

On his schedule this year is the computer design of a new C7 Corvette with a 346-cubic-inch engine. This is the first time he has created components by computer.

“I like the method,” he says. “For me to (physically) swap a camshaft is costly. On the computer, I can hit a key and within five minutes, I will know what new horsepower reading will be.”

Being in a machine shop is familiar when you consider Danny built his first car when he was 12.

He started drag racing when he received his driver’s license at 16.

After he married in 1966, Danny and his wife, Michaelle, had three children. He continued to drag race until 1978. After living for a time near Atlanta, Ga., he moved to Ortonville and has lived there 30 years.

Since the 1980s, Danny estimates he’s driven nearly 46,000 miles on racetracks.

Last year, he set the fastest T1 lap at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Kentucky.

Depending on the race event, he’ll bring along anywhere from one to five cars to each track.

“I take a C5 Corvette that I have as backup,” he says.

Competitors this year come in all makes and models – Viper, Porsche, BMW along with other Corvettes.

At GingerMan Raceway in May, Danny faced off against a Panoz, an American racecar built by a company founded by Daniel Panoz.

“There are not many around,” Danny says.

At Waterford Hills, Danny looks forward to being greeted by his loyal fans.

“It’s neat to have a following. I like the fans and take cars to display and let kids sit in them.”

Danny sounds ready and able to defend his 2015 T1 championship.

 “We’re the guy to chase. Somebody’s got to be on top and I like being there.”

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110-Plus Corvette Owners Enjoy Matick Chevy’s Annual Detroit Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Experience

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Guests attending the Fifth Annual Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan began lining up their cars by 6:30 a.m. on June 4.
 

More than 113 ardent Corvette owners and their guests enjoyed an exclusive day of fast cars and racing entertainment during the Fifth Annual Matick Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Experience on June 4.

Drivers from around Michigan and beyond first fueled up on a scrumptious Saturday morning starter’s breakfast buffet and listened to Corvette presentations in Matick Chevrolet’s huge metro Detroit showroom.

Then they climbed into their Corvettes to caravan to a decked-out Belle Isle in the Detroit River, home of an action-packed weekend of racing. Instead of having to take a shuttle to the racetrack, Matick Caravan drivers parked on the island in a special Corvette Corral located near the track.

Discounted caravan experience tickets — provided by Matick Chevy to each participant — came with reserved grandstand seating at the track’s Turn One, paddock passes to the garages, lunch and refreshments throughout the day at Chevy’s hospitality tent on Belle Isle – and a chance to check out Chevy product displays.

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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan guests savored a starter's breakfast and heard Corvette presentations before driving to the Detroit Grand Prix excitements on Belle Isle.

Greg Frost, a GM test driver in Hamtramck, chatted with his brother, Monroe Frost, over breakfast at Matick Chevy. Greg from Detroit has attended the Matick Caravan three times before; Monroe, twice.

Greg drives a LT3 Laguna blue 2016 Corvette he bought in September. “I like the look of the car,” he says. “I love cars, all kinds of cars.”

Monroe was looking forward to the end of the racing on Saturday because “they let us do a lap on the track,” he says.

Retired EDS employee Stan Slishinsky of Chesterfield Township drove his 2004 blue C5 to Matick, bringing along his brother-in-law, Jim Etkie of Sterling Heights. “I love all the Corvette people,” says Stan. “And with our Matick Caravan tickets we can park on the island. I’m looking forward to it being a great day.”

Carole Dimitry of Oakland Township chatted with her friend, Pam Liedtke, as they admired the rows of new Corvettes inside the Matick dealership. Carole drives a white 2016 C7 Corvette she bought from Matick Chevy in Redford Township, Mich.

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Almost every generation of these beauties was on display during the Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan on June 4.

“It’s our first time coming to this,” Carole says. “We came with four Corvette owners and we enjoy the camaraderie with the others.”

Pam loves the “comfort” of riding in her pal’s Corvette.  “We just went on a trip in it to upstate New York, and saw the wine country,” she says. “We even had the car’s first oil change in New York.”

Flint Corvette Club member Mary Hall, wearing earrings adorned with tiny Corvette logos, was ready for the day. “I woke up at 4 a.m. to get here,” she says, showing no sign of fatigue.

Olga Strahan of the Flint Corvette Club, which Matick Chevy sponsors, attended the caravan with her husband, Jim. He had talked about his dream car for years, so she purchased one for him. The 2005 silver Corvette was secretively parked inside the family garage. Jim came home and opened the door. “I cried,” he says. So Matick’s Corvette Caravan was a special day for him.

Southgate resident Rose Morey was another newcomer to the Matick Caravan. “My boyfriend Dave Johnson brought us here in a white 2012 Grand Sport Corvette,” she says. Dave races in his spare time, she explains. “I tried it, but I don’t have the need for speed.”

Elvin Binns of Detroit, owner of a torch red 2015 Corvette convertible, calls himself a devoted Corvette fan. “I’ve owned them since 1977,” he says. “I love the handling, performance and look of Corvettes.”

The 6-foot, 1-inch Elvin says he has no problems sliding in and out of the lower profile car. “I’ve developed my own technique,” he says, a smile crossing his face. He planned to enjoy breakfast and then swing back home to pick up his wife, Dee.

Mike Gold, an electrical engineer from Huntington Woods, brought his friend, Mayer Mechlowitz, who works in Detroit’s Eastern Market as a butcher. Gold has two Corvettes – a split window 1963 and red 2015 Corvette, which he drove in the caravan.

Mike revels in his Corvette. “It’s fast, handles great and looks good. It’s comfortable. It’s a fun car and a great car for the money,” he says.

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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan guests fueled up on an early starter's breakfast spread at the dealership.
 

As the crowd finished up the buffet of bacon, eggs, fruit, donuts, juice and coffee, John O’Neill of Waterford grabbed bottles of water before heading out to his 2001 Corvette. “I love to see the cars racing in one place with Corvette enthusiasts,” he says. “I come every year with my wife, Shari.”

Ken Lingenfelter, who operates Lingenfelter Performance Engineering in Brighton, greeted familiar faces in the growing crowd. “We build a lot of Corvettes and Camaros,” Ken says. “I love being around Corvette people. And this new Matick Chevy showroom is amazing.”

He invited all to attend “Cars and Coffee,” held every Saturday at his Wixom location, 47451 Avante Drive, until Labor Day. Ken also welcomes all to view his 250-car collection at a June 18 benefit for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology for $15.

In her stylish cowboy hat, leather jacket and heeled boots, Beverly Ross of Oakland Township listened to the event speakers. Beverly, who drove her red 2008 Corvette convertible to the event, found her friend, Porki Mellado of Rochester, in the crowd. The two are long-time members of the North Oaks Corvette Club, which Matick Chevy sponsors.

“I love the cars and the people at this great Matick event,” says a smiling Porki, owner of a 2001 Corvette. “Matick treats us really nice.”

Beverly says she had been going to another dealer for years but switched to Matick, a drive of 30-plus miles, specifically for the outstanding service.

At that moment, the call came for the Matick Corvette Caravan drivers to head outside to their cars. Porki looked at Beverly with a big grin, adding, “Ladies, start your engines!”

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The 113-plus Corvettes pull out of the lot on their way to the Detroit Grand Prix during the Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan.

 

Browse more photos from the 2016 Matick Chevy Detroit Grand Prix Caravan Experience below.

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Matick Chevy Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Larry Courtney
Larry Courtney's U.S. Flag wrapped Corvette was a big hit at the Matick Chevy Grand Prix Corvette Caravan.
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Heinricy Prepares His Matick Chevy Sonic For Mid-Ohio Track Races

Matick Chevy John Heinricy Sonic 2016 1
Racecar driver John Heinricy, the 2015 B-Spec national champion, looks forward to another great season in his Matick Chevrolet-sponsored Chevy Sonic.

When GM execs approached then-retired GM engineer John Heinricy four years ago with the proposal of designing a racing kit for Sonic Chevys, he bit.

“I ended up buying a wrecked Sonic and built a race car,” says Heinricy, by then a seasoned racer himself.

That early knowledge paid off last year when the Clarkston resident drove off with the B-Spec championship in his Matick Chevy sponsored Sonic, winning it all at Daytona.

Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) describes B-Specs as race cars as subcompacts that are “fun to drive, fuel efficient  and handle well.”

The class was established to provide regular people with an easier access to racing.

Heinricy, who retired from GM in 2008, has raced since 1984, driving mainly Corvettes, Firebirds and Camaros.

And he still will enter races this year with his Corvette C7 and Camaro.

The Sonic adventure will be unique this year, he says.

“I’ll be defending a championship. It puts a different pressure on you.”

Next up – steering the Matick Chevy Sonic onto the Mid-Ohio Sports Car track for the Great Lakes Race of Champions Majors June 3-5.

Because Heinricy was last year’s champion, race officials have put restrictions on his Sonic.

“They have taken away some power on the intake,” Heinricy says.

“They do it because they want everybody to have a chance.”

Heinricy will face drivers, for example, in Honda Fits, Kia Rios and Ford Fiestas.

He’s just come off a weekend of highs and lows. Heinricy won the May 14 race in his Pontiac Firebird at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex, but in his second race on May 15, the car’s throttle gave him trouble.

“It had started snowing several laps before the end of the race,” he recalls. “I let off the accelerator, but it stayed open. I was going 140 mph and couldn’t stop the car. I went into a tire wall and damaged the car. It’s not fixable so I’m working on another car.”

Heinricy says he was “bruised pretty good,” but is focusing ahead.

“I put it (crashes) out of my mind and go on to the next race,” he says. “I feel just as involved as I always have.”

He has a “good chance” in his Matick Chevy Sonic among the B-Spec competitors at Mid-Ohio.

This is the first of seven races in which he’ll compete this season. The final championship will be held at Mid Ohio.

The summer will also find Heinricy at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. He recently joined the board of directors there.

People who donate to the museum can slide into the passenger seat in their own Corvette to enjoy “hot laps” with Heinricy at the wheel.

Matick Chevrolet, one of the Midwest's largest Corvette dealers, will be donating six hot laps for participants this year.

“I talk to participants and do some driving on the track in participants’ cars. I take them for three laps on the track. It’s very popular.”

Heinricy pushes the cars into the “80 percent” range, he says, so it's a good run, not just a slow roll.

“Pretty hard,” he adds.

Heinricy does admit racing is his “No. 1” activity.

“I love the competition, cars and technical aspects of it,” he says. “My wife and family are incredibly supportive of me.”

How supportive?

“They try to schedule weddings and births around my racing schedule,” he says with a laugh.

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Tickets Going Fast For Matick Chevy’s Detroit Grand Prix Corvette Caravan

 

Matick Chevy in Michigan offers Corvette enthusiasts a $50-off discount on the regular $200 ticket price — for two — to its 5th Annual Detroit Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Experience.

Only 100 tickets are available. See the flyer below for more details.

To make your reservation, contact Ryan Esler at 313-532-2570 or reseler@matickchevy.com.trt

To see the fun at Matick Chevy's exciting event last year, check out our caravan post and our photo album, which contains two-dozen photos.

The Corvette Caravan Experience begins with a 7:30 a.m. starter's breakfast, performance speakers and more at the dealership before the police-escorted  caravan heads to the Grand Prix racetrack on Belle Isle. It's an impressive location for an action-packed day of racing-related activities.

Matick Chevy recently completed a $9 million LEED-certified renovation of its dealership. It's HOUR Detroit's Best Automotive Dealership for 2015.

Matick Chevy Caravan Flyer 2 2016
Matick Chevy Caravan Flyer 2016
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Racecar Driver Kellermeyer Posts Record Lap Times Twice On Way To Two Championship Titles For 2015

 
Matick Chevy Kellermeyer At NCM
Danny Kellermeyer set the T1 fastest-lap record at the new National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park this summer. Photo by Jeff Loewe 

Legendary Michigan racecar driver Danny Kellermeyer racked up another amazing season in his #37 yellow C6 Corvette.

In addition to setting track lap records at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio Sports Car race tracks, Kellermeyer repeated as the winner of two titles — the SCCA Great Lakes Championship Series, which includes race results from tracks in five states, and the Waterford Hills Road Racing (WHRRI) Championship series in Michigan.

“The WHRRI Championship was hard fought over the season’s 15 races and it came right down to the last weekend to finalize the points winner,” reports Kellermeyer of the George Matick Chevrolet-sponsored DJ Racing Team. “The Clarkston, Mich., WHRRI is a challenging 14-turn, 1.5-mile road race track that draws a very competitive group of drivers from Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and as far away as New York.

“We experienced exceptional racing this year with great competition from BMWs, Porsches, as well as other Corvettes,” he adds. “Our Matick Chevy Corvette racecar was able to win 10 of the 15 races this summer, which put us on top for the championship.”

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The Waterford Hills Road Racing championship came down to the last day of racing with Danny Kellermeyer retaining the title. Photo by Mark Windecker

The DJ Racing Team faced challenging competitors at multiple tracks in the SCCA Great Lakes Championship Series.

Kellermeyer competed in the first “door-to-door competition race” at the new National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Kentucky. The 184-acre facility — completed in late 2014 — hosted its first SCCA competition event in June.

The $20-million facility consists of a west and east course and, when combined into the Grand Course, creates an exciting 3.15-mile extremely technical course.

“This new track was on my list of things to do this season, and we were going to tackle the track with vengeances,” Kellermeyer reports. “I love studying new tracks and this one was going to be new to everyone. It was a fun event and I was able to have my family all together at the track. It’s not often I have been able do that.”

The track consisted of three sections where more than 125 mph could be obtained, two of those areas continue into carousels where 95-100 mph are maintained. Add in 23 turns, a LeMans straight, a 30-foot sink hole drop, a 75-mph chicane in the front straight and you have the most technical track anywhere, he says.

“I thought I had the track figured out before I got there, but I found out how wrong I was. I did not calculate for all of those elevation changes. The complete track is rolling except for the front straight,” says Kellermeyer.

His #37 yellow Corvette emerged triumphant, winning both races and setting a new track record each day. “Our Matick Chevy/Corvette Central/Hawk-sponsored performance Corvette will go down in history as the first Corvette to win at NCM Motorsports Park in a competition event,” boasts a happy Kellermeyer. “I set the T1 record the first race and then broke the record by 1.5 seconds in the second race.”

At the Gingerman Raceway in West Michigan, Kellermeyer captured another first-place podium finish as well as top finishes at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. He once again broke the T1 track record on the pro course at Mid-Ohio.

“The track got better the final day and I was able to lower the lap record by more than a second on the final day. I was able to qualify under the record, but we can only set the record during the race. So we worked on the car to get it ready for the race to run another fast lap and it worked.”

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Racecar driver Danny Kellermeyer enjoys meeting with fans, signing posters and talking about his Matick Chevy-sponsored C6. Photo by Jeff Loewe

The DJ Racing Team also managed to support other venues. Highlights of these were the Waterford Hills Road Racing Vintage Race, Corvette Autocross events, shows and displays, and hosting various Corvette clubs with DJ Racing shop tours.

DJ Racing's 29-year-old C4 Corvette was prepped and ran its first vintage races. A podium finish was obtained in all three races, finishing with two second places and a first place. “The older racecar still was impressive as it had been stored in a barn for the past nine years,” he says.

The Flint Corvette Club (Mich.) and Irish Hills Corvette Club teamed up to hold an NCCC autocross event at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this summer. The event brought in competitors from as far away as Nebraska. The DJ Racing team supported the event with a display of the Matick Chevy-sponsored C6 Corvette racecar, as well as offering free corner weight evaluations of the competitors' cars.

“We set up the scales and scaled a lot of cars,” says Kellermeyer. “Each competitor got a Matick Chevy corner weight sheet documenting their Corvette. I don’t think anyone has ever offered this at an event and we had Corvette owners waiting for their opportunity to drive up on the scales.”

Matick Chevy Kellermeyer Wins At Waterford
Corvette driver Danny Kellermeyer took the checkered flag numerous races this season as he finished with two series championships. Photo by Mark Windecker
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GM Student Intern/Muscle-Car Lover In Awe Of GM’s Heritage Center

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A pair of 1963 Corvettes, one a convertible and one with hard top, both with a 327 under the hood.

Guest post by Mitchell Bergslien

Growing up, my dad always took me to local (and not so local) muscle-car shows, which only grew my love and appreciation for American muscle cars —where they came from, why they were important and the heritage that they represented.

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GM Intern Mitchell Bergslien.

When muscle cars were hot, it was a simpler time —  it was all about who had the biggest V8 and things like the “radio delete” option, checked off to save weight for your quarter-mile time. One of the most important vehicles, I think, that represents heritage, speed, V8s and pure Detroit Muscle is the Chevrolet Corvette.

As a General Motors intern this summer and muscle-car lover, I (and fellow interns) was given the amazing opportunity to visit the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich. Walking in, the first car you see is a perfect-condition 1956 Chevy pickup, beautiful in black with black wheels and chrome hubcaps — the epitome of what every Chevy truck guy would love to own.

That truck was just the tip of the iceberg in the GM North American Heritage Collection. In addition to a facility full of 600 concept vehicles, rare and classic muscle cars, and experimental vehicles, a very cool part of the museum features archives that contain records of every GM car and truck going back forever.

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A visitor could look up, for example, the marketing campaign for the original Corvette from 1953, which is amazing compared to the modern-day marketing for the current C7 Corvette. (Ok, it was cool for me, anyway, considering that I am a marketing major/intern at GM's world headquarters in Detroit this summer.)

After touring all of that, we were invited to the museum’s warehouse. It was GM muscle-car heaven — a dream come true for me to see all these cars in perfect condition, and with such great heritage.

You could see anything from a 1957 Bel-Air or 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS to a 1970 Nova SS or a 1939 Buick Roadmaster. There is a full line of Chevy and GMC trucks from the first Chevy Suburban and 1902 Cadillac. The progression of cars is amazing — it’s exciting to see how far we’ve come.

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Here's  the rear view of the beautiful pair, got to love that split window styling! They don’t make them like that anymore.

By far the coolest section was the Corvette line-up, including a perfect Sebring Silver 1963 split-window 327 4-speed with a black interior. Prominently on display next to her is the 1963 convertible 327 4-speed, fashioned in tuxedo black with a gorgeous red interior.

Those two were my personal favorites  — the split window was the coolest thing that Chevy ever designed! Of course, the holy-grail Corvette would have to be the 327 fuel injection, 360 horsepower engine, but beggars can’t be choosers. Still, it’s a beautiful car to look at and it is in good hands! I’m so glad that these cars are preserved and kept as a piece of Chevy history.

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Two Mako Shark Corvette concepts – painted with the fade from dark blue to light gray just like the Mako Shark itself.

Right next to those two beauties sat a pair of 1973 C3 Corvettes, one in classic white and the other in pace car spec. It was really cool to see the progression of the Corvette in just 10 years. The biggest surprise is the amount of horsepower coming out of those engines.

In 1963, the 327 made more than 300 horsepower. Fast forward to 1973 through the gas/oil crisis, a Chevy small block 350 can’t even make 200 horsepower. As cool as the 1973 Stingray looked, it just didn’t have the performance to match it.

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A display of Corvette racing memorabilia.

The next generation C6 Corvette was much farther ahead in 2006 — a beautiful car painted in the classic Lemans blue with a black interior. Today’s Corvettes share similar qualities with their older generations, but are still very different, long, low and lean with a big engine.

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A C3 interior. Even in today’s C7 you can now get an all-red leather interior, but with much more gadgets and technology.

The most important feature shared was the four circular taillights. Corvette has stayed true to those taillights throughout the years. While other things have changed, including the exterior styling, the interiors and even the Corvette badge, one thing that stayed for a long time was the four round taillights ... until the big change with the C7 generation.

This particular C6 had the 400 horsepower LS2 6.0L V8. One thing I don’t like that all the manufacturers did was switch to liters instead of cubic inches. “Cubic inches” just sounds way cooler than liters, but that’s just me.

Either way, the new Corvette engines are monsters and if they had put this kind of power into a classic ’63 Corvette, it would be beauty-meets-the-beast and it would definitely own the street.

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Check this mid-engine 1990 Corvette prototype car. Look how low that is to the ground!

On top of all the cool production Corvettes, the museum features a handful of experimental and concept Corvettes that were really cool to see. One that stuck out in particular was the 1961 Mako Shark Corvette. Inspired by the Mako Shark itself, this looker has the 427 V8 and is even painted like a shark —  dark blue on top fading down to a grayish white on the bottom. And of course, it features huge side exhaust pipes.

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C6 Corvette when they were first introduced in 2005. Oh how far they have come with the styling! For better or worse?

Having the opportunity to experience GM’s entire heritage and to see how far the company has come was just amazing. The progression of cars is fantastic and technology is great, but it’s important to know from where you came.

I would love to go again and would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go!

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A prototype Corvette, no motor in this, just a cool concept body that would be amazing if they ever put into production!

Access to the GM Heritage Center is limited to GM internal groups and external organizations seeking a unique and exclusive venue that was designed to create an ideal setting for a variety of events. Information about reserving the venue for a special event, meeting, or group tour can be found here.

Mitchell Bergslien, of Oswego, Ill., is a marketing major at Northern Illinois University who is spending the summer in Detroit as a GM marketing intern working in Dealer Network Planning and Investments.

Posted July 31, 2015

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‘Corvette Mechanics’ Discuss The Care And Feeding Of Your Corvette

Matick Chevy Corvette Mechanics
Corvette Mechanics' Paul Koerner and Brittany George at the Corvettes in the D.

Owners of America’s favorite sportscar were able to pick the brains of Corvette Mechanics' (thecorvettemechanic.com) Paul Koerner and Brittany George during their seminars presented at the third annual “Corvettes in the D” event, which featured hundreds of cars along the Detroit River last month.

In informative forums throughout the day, Koerner (a GM world-class certified technician) and certified technician George discussed Corvette technology, products and care, and answered questions from event participants.

Koerner talked about the recent evolution of Corvette batteries, including absorbent glass-mat technology, lowered weight and reserve capacity. He also answered questions about vehicle storage and battery life.

“It’s always important to give your battery a visual inspection after any extended length of storage,” Koerner said. “Any white powder residue on the battery top is a sign of trouble to come. There is a battery maintenance option, available for about $100, to keep your vehicle battery fully charged in the event you don’t want to disconnect it.”

Audience members participated in an animated discussion of fuels and fuel treatment options. “The best advice I can offer any Corvette owner is to always use a top-tier fuel,” Koerner said. “They keep the engine clean with better detergency, and they improve responsiveness – especially with acceleration.”

He suggested that owners visit the website www.toptiergas.com for more information on fuels.

One Corvette enthusiast asked if a store like Costco, with its fast inventory turnover, would ensure a fresher fuel. “Good point,” Koerner replied. “Yes, the freshness is important to consider.” Another audience member recommended Shell stations as a top-tier fuel supplier.

For those Corvette owners who have not been regular users of top-tier fuel, Koerner suggested the use of Techron Fuel System Treatment PLUS every 3,000 miles.

“Use a 20-ounce bottle to a full tank,” Koerner said, “and please make sure it is the ‘PLUS.’ That is what’s recommended by GM in their general maintenance guidelines, and is good insurance against sulphur contamination. We want to keep carbon deposits as low as possible, even with fuel injection.”

Koerner warned to “never put C-Foam in your fuel tank, as it is not compatible with fuel level sensors.”

Matick Chevy Corvette Mechanic Brittany
 Corvette Mechanics' Brittany George.

George continued with a discussion of tire-pressure monitoring. "With the computerized monitoring, you don't need to use a gauge as often."

An audience member asked if the monitoring was in real time. George explained that “upon ignition, the monitoring does not start in real time. It will actually show the tires’ pressures from the last drive experience. However, after the first few minutes – and after a speed of 15 mph – the system refreshes and is then constantly transmitting.”

George described several conditions in which this monitor could be a valuable safety feature with its ability to forewarn the driver of any air pressure imbalances – especially in racing situations where a blowout could be devastating.

Corvette owners can visit www.thecorvettemechanic.com to find answers on Corvette-specific problems or email Paul and Brittany:

As "Corvettes in the D" spectators left that forum and mingled with the hundreds of Corvettes and their owners, they likely were thinking that, once again, organizers Larry and Verna Courtney, with support of General Motors, Corvette Central, Matick Chevrolet and Michelin Tires, have succeeded with another top-tier event.

Guest report by Honey Murray

Posted July 22, 2015

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July 25 ‘Corvette Generations’ Car Show Pre-Registration Due July 6

The North Oaks Corvette Club's third annual "Corvette Generations" Car Show on Saturday, July 25 in downtown Birmingham, Mich., is limited to 120 Corvettes.

The $25 pre-registration fee is due July 6. Update: The fee is $35 from July 7 to the day of the show.

Check out these flyers for more details. It's one of Michigan's best Corvette shows.

2015 Generations Car Show
2015 Generations Car Show
NOCC Registration Form 2015 Page 1
NOCC Registration Form 2015 Page 1
NOCC Registration Form 2015 Page 2
NOCC Registration Form 2015 Page 2
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Classic Vettes Mix With Classic Stories At ‘Corvettes in the D’

Matick Chevy Richard Pinke
Richard Pinke and his classic 1958 Corvette.

Visitors to the 3rd annual “Corvettes in the D” gathering, held along Detroit’s riverfront on Sunday, June 28, were eager to view the stars of the show: seven stunning C5, C6 and C7 Z06 Corvettes.

“This year we featured the Z06 convertible,” said event organizer Larry Courtney, “and subtitled the show ‘Celebrating the Z06 Evolution.’

The first of the all-star line-up was the velocity-yellow, full-competition 2015 Z06 owned by Royal Oak, Mich. resident Bill Murchison, who was happy to share the high points of owning that car – and his two other ‘Vettes.

“This is as close to a race car that you can have on the street,” he said.  “The tires have very little tread and perform miracles on dry pavement – they’re as amazing in the turns as on a straightaway.”

Matick Chevy Bill Murchison
Bill Murchison and his speedy 2015 Z06.

Murchison also pointed out another design feature that looks great, but is, actually, purely functional. “See this feature that looks like a decorative side gill? Its purpose is to cool the transmission, brakes and rear axle.”

Murchison’s stable of Corvettes includes a blue 2009 ZR1 (the most powerful ever made) as well the anniversary edition of the convertible 427 in white with silver-blue stripes.

Standing in the shadows of the GM World Headquarters at the Renaissance Center, Murchison praised the Corvette line: “They give you what they say they’re giving you in a beautiful, totally-drivable, timeless car. More than you’d hoped for!”

And, scanning the aisles of hundreds of Corvettes and their owners, it was easy to feel that you’d arrived at the Emerald City of collectible autos, with organizer Courtney a most devoted wizard at the controls – though not behind any screen.

In the thick of the action, Courtney had several goals: to bring a fun, family event to downtown Detroit that honors and showcases a beloved make of car; to raise money for the Veterans Outreach Project of Southeast Michigan and Operation Care Package of Michigan, two charities that forward all proceeds to the cause of helping our veterans; and to keep Corvette owners updated, connected and able to share their special Corvette stories.

A Detroit News photographer also was on site to take some photos of the action. See those here.

Although Jerry Shoate of Detroit does not own a Z06, he does have stories to share about his “plain, regular, Corvette ’05 C6 series in red.”

Matick Chevy Corvette Jerry Shoate
Jerry Shoate's classic 2005 C6.

“This car is very comfortable,” he said. “Starting with the C5 series, they got more comfortable due to the updated suspension and body style. For example, the C3 is a nice, really collectible car, but it rides a little rough. We just got back from a 3,000-mile trip, and it couldn’t have been a better ride – plus the fuel efficiency was great!  Oh, yeah, now that I’ve taken that road trip with my buddy, my wife says I’ve got to take her on one. She loves the ride, too!”

Mahlon Cooks, Shoate’s friend and most recent road trip passenger, interjects and laughs, “Tell them how you dream about your car!”

Matick Chevy Corvette Mahlon Cooks
Mahlon Cooks and his 2014 Stingray.

Cooks brought his black 2014 Stingray with the Z51 package. “This is a wonderful car,” Cooks says. “It’s quicker than my other two Corvettes (a ‘99 convertible and a ’77 L-82), but not as roomy.  I do take it on highway trips. My favorite road is I-65 through Kentucky.”

Although not one of the Z06 featured cars, the rare, Panama yellow 1958 C1, owned by Richard Pinke, was definitely a show-stopper with a special story.

“My dad bought me this car for my graduation in 1958 for $3,510 – a whole year’s pay for most!”  As an owner of a tool-and-die shop in Panama City, Fla., where Pinke and his family lived, Pinke’s dad could foresee problems in that field.

“My dad said, ‘Go to school and be an engineer.’ So, I moved to Michigan and did just that and worked as a Cadillac prototype engineer,” he recalled.

Matick Chevy Richard PinkeCorvette 2
Richard Pinke's Panama yellow beauty.

Pinke’s car, stored in a Florida warehouse until it was brought to Michigan in 2006 with 167 miles on it, was still almost ready-to-go.  “I replaced the tires, hose and battery and drained the brake fluid, adding silicone fluid.”

Everything in this gorgeous auto is original – even the straps that appear to be seatbelts. “Of course, these cars did not have seatbelts then,” said Pinke. “We’ve never been exactly sure why, but those are parachute straps with the label of ‘Irving Airchute Co.’”

As Larry Courtney (whose U.S. flag wrapped Corvette is sponsored by Matick Chevy as was the event) walked among the rows of gleaming Corvettes and happily chatting with owners and visitors, glad of the success of another huge event, he thoughtfully shared what really makes the Corvette unique: “The person behind the car.”

Guest post and photos by Honey Murray

Posted July 3, 2015

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Z06 Display, Souvenir Book & 300 Cars Highlight 2015 ‘Corvettes in the D’

 
Matick Chevy 2015 Corvettes in the D
About 300 vehicles participated in the 2015 "Corvettes in the D."

Beautiful sunny weather greeted some 300 Corvette owners and their guests at the annual "Corvettes in the D" celebration along the Detroit River on Sunday, June 28.

After a rash of rainy and windy weather prior to the big event, Vette aficionado and "Corvettes in the D" organizer Larry Courtney laughed that, “The sun is always out for our events.”

Courtney, owner of the charismatic red, white and blue flag-wrapped Corvette convertible that is an anticipated staple of Corvette events around the country, said he “had a ‘special conversation’ about Sunday and, of course, the sun was shining for us – and we’re very glad!  The turnout was great!”

This third Annual "Corvettes in the D" at GM’s Renaissance Center headquarters along the Detroit River, sponsored in part by General Motors, Corvette Central, Matick Chevrolet and Michelin Tire, was organized as a celebration of the Z06, as well as a fundraiser for veterans.

Matick Chevy Larry Courtney at the D
Verna and Larry Courtney hold down the "Corvettes in the D" regisgration.

With the beautiful weather, Courtney said the anticipated 300 Corvettes provided a rainbow stream of perfect chassis, purring engines, and grinning drivers and passengers.

“We chose to feature the Z06 Corvettes this year because we knew that the convertible was coming out soon and the new Z06 would be a terrific machine,” explained Courtney. “So we put together seven great examples of the C5, C6 and C7 Z06 Corvettes to display, in addition to several other displays and Corvette activities, including sessions with the Corvette Mechanic.”

With a stroll down the “Z06 spotlight lane,” event-goers could view these special cars and talk with their owners. The chosen cars, brilliant in the sun, included:

  • a 2002 with more than 250,000 miles and owned by a driver who likes to race
  • a 2002 that has some modifications and low miles
  • a C6 Black Centennial edition
  • a C6 Ron Fellows edition and a C6 with a Katech package
  • a C7 convertible and a C7 coupe
Matick Chevy Courtney Z06 Book
Corvettes in the D souvenir book.

With the event’s celebration of the ZO6, each Corvette participant received a goodie bag – packed with care by Courtney’s wife and co-organizer, Verna Courtney – and containing a glossy, info-packed souvenir book that shares fascinating photos and facts about everything from Louis Chevrolet breaking Barney Oldfield’s closed-course, one-mile world record and Chevrolet’s partnership with Will Durant in the formation of the Chevrolet company, to Chevrolet’s place in the NASCAR era, photos and stories from Corvette owners and a list of Corvette events and related websites.

The book also shares structural, technical and design descriptions of the 2015 Corvette Z06, labeling the model as “the most capable Corvette ever,” the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine with an eight-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel.

Young visitors were treated to a kids’ goodie bag, containing a special Z06 coloring book and crayons, a die-cast collectible model car, flashlight, pens, keychain, sticker sheet and stickers: all part of expanding the fun of being around Corvettes and their owners as they share stories and information while raising money for area veterans.

17th
The 17th District Veterans Court logo.

The Courtneys chose two local groups as charities benefiting from the Corvettes in the D admission donations:  The Veterans Outreach Program of Southeast Michigan, based in Redford Township, and Operation Care Package of Michigan. Both are 501C charities, and both are staffed by volunteers, pay no salaries, and provide all proceeds to the cause.

The Veterans Outreach Program of Southeast Michigan helps veterans get the benefits to which they are entitled while providing counseling, job placement, education and housing. Operation Care Package of Michigan packs and sends goodie boxes to those serving overseas.

“Not only are Corvette owners some of the most fun people, they are also among the most generous,” said Courtney. “Sometimes I receive checks for the charities in the mail long after our events – and from visitors who live in other parts of the world.”

For more information about donating to the charities, the special souvenir publication or the 2016 event,  email Larry Courtney or call him at 586-218-8616.

Guest post story and photos by Honey Murray

Posted June 29, 2015 

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