GM Student Intern/Muscle-Car Lover In Awe Of GM’s Heritage Center

Matick Chevy GM Heritage Center 21
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.

Matick Chevy GM Heritage Center 1
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.

Matick Chevy GM Heritage Center 8
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.

Matick Chevy GM Heritage Center 5 1
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.

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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.

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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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Chevy Lifts Lid On Refined, Lighter 2016 Camaro Convertible

Matick Chevy 2016 Camaro Interior 1
The new 2016 Camaro Convertible.

Chevrolet News, June 24, 2015

Chevrolet will offer a convertible model of the all-new 2016 Camaro, featuring the segment’s most advanced top.

Check out Chevy's cool Camaro video here.

The 2016 Camaro is the only convertible in the segment to offer all of the following:
• Fully automatic operation with latches that automatically release and secure the top
• Capability of opening or closing at speeds up to 30 mph
• Remote opening with the key fob
• A hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically, providing a more refined, finished appearance when the top is lowered and stowed.

The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – designed for a comfortable, quiet driving experience in all seasons. The top emulates the sleek silhouette of the Camaro coupe.

“The 2016 Camaro coupe will set the benchmark for the segment in terms of technology, performance and design,” said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager. “Adding the most sophisticated top in the segment brings another level of refinement – and driving enjoyment – to the Camaro convertible.”

The new Camaro convertible arrives in early 2016.

Matik Chevy Camaro 2016 Side View
The 2016 Camaro will weigh 200 pounds less than the model it replaces.

Like the Camaro coupe, the convertible benefits from a stiffer, lighter structure that helps reduce total vehicle weight by at least 200 pounds compared to the model it replaces. Consequently, the Camaro convertible retains the coupe’s sharp chassis tuning and nimble reflexes.

“From the beginning, the Camaro’s architecture was developed to incorporate a convertible with uncompromised driving dynamics,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Customers will appreciate what they don’t feel: quivers, cowl shake or an under-damped chassis typically found in a four-seat convertible.”

The architecture also enables the Camaro convertible’s sleek design, allowing the top to fold down completely beneath the belt line. The hard tonneau cover automatically covers the folded top, creating a finished appearance.

“With many convertibles, you have to affix a tonneau cover manually – if it’s done at all,” said Tom Peters, design director. “The Camaro convertible’s automatically deploying hard tonneau not only makes it easier to enjoy convertible driving when the inspiration hits, it ensures the car always looks its best.”

Matick Chevy 2016 Camaro 1
The 2016 Camaro is offered in LT and SS models.

About the 2016 Camaro

The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro offers higher levels of performance, technology and refinement and is designed to maintain the sporty car segment leadership earned over the past five years.  

Offered in LT and SS models, it provides a faster, more nimble driving experience and a broader powertrain range.

Six all-new powertrain combinations are offered, including a 2.0L Turbo rated at an SAE-certified 275 horsepower, an all-new 3.6L V-6 producing and SAE-certified 335 horsepower, and the LT1 6.2L V-8, which is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque – the most powerful Camaro SS ever. Each engine is available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

Camaro’s leaner, stiffer platform and slightly smaller dimensions are accentuated by a dramatic, sculpted exterior. Meticulously tuned in the wind tunnel, the exterior contributes to performance through reduced aerodynamic lift for better handling, while enhancing highway fuel efficiency. 

Inside, the driver-focused cabin integrates class-leading control technologies, including a new Driver Mode Selector, configurable instrument cluster and a customizable ambient lighting feature.

The 2016 Camaro coupe and convertible will be produced at General Motors’ Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Mich.

FAST FACT: In 1967 – Camaro’s first model year – the available convertible model came with a manually operated top. A power-operated top was a $52.70 option selected by 47 percent of buyers.

Posted June 24, 2015

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Free Press Writer Tells Inside Story Behind The 1-Millionth Corvette

Matick Chevy Millionth Corvette
The one-millionth Chevrolet Corvette rolls off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Ky., in 1992. Today, the historic car undergoing restoration at GM Design headquarters in Warren. (Photo: General Motors)

By Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press Auto Critic

Originally published June 21, 2015

How did the one-millionth Chevrolet Corvette get to be No. 1,000,000? No, not just by coming after No. 999,999, smart-aleck. Go sit in the corner.

Months of planning went into figuring out which Corvette would make history, and exactly when it would be built, former Corvette model-year manager Jeff Yachnin told me last week. Yachnin spent 17 years on the Corvette team.

We were talking because I got a look at the historic car undergoing restoration at GM Design headquarters in Warren, just outside Detroit. The car was damaged — virtually totaled, to the untrained eye — when a 30-foot sinkhole swallowed it and seven other cars at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., on Feb. 12, 2014.

Chevrolet saw the millionth 'Vette coming and preparations began years in advance.

Read more by Mark Phelan here.

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‘Corvettes In The D’ Offers Displays, Seminars & More Along Detroit River

Matick Chevy Corvettes in the D 2013
Hundreds of Corvette owners turned out for the 2014 "Corvettes In The D."

With Larry Courtney as the organizer, you can expect this year's "Corvettes in the D" to be a revvin' blast. 

Hundreds of Corvettes participated in the 2014 "Corvettes In The D" event, which takes place this year on Sunday, June 28 at GM's Renaissance Center headquarters along the Detroit River. Attendees also enjoyed seminars by Corvette mechanic Paul Koerner and Brittany George, which are on tap again this month.

"This will be our third year at the Detroit Ren Cen and quite honestly there are still a few growing pains. What I try to do is keep the good stuff and avoid repeating the things that did not work so well," reports Courtney, who also headed the National Corvette Caravan from Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky in 2014.

"This year I was very excited to see GM make a Z06 convertible and I thought this would be a good time to celebrate the Z06.  There will be some fine examples of the C5, C6 and C7 Z06s on display. I would like this to be a Z06 reunion and hope to see a lot full of Z06s.  There will also be a great representation of all generations. Plus, we'll have a club tent for eventgoers to learn about area Corvette club updates   and to get information on upcoming shows," he adds.

Here are Courtney's invitation and flyer. Please share them with your friends!

For other questions, email  Courtney here.

2015 CORVETTES IN THE D Vettes For Vets
2015 Corvettes In The D - Vettes For Vets
2015 CORVETTES IN THE D
2015 Corvettes In The D. Please share this information with your friends.

Posted June 10.


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Matick Chevy’s Detroit Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Photo Album

 
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Dealership
Matick Chevy in metro Detroit hosted its annual Grand Prix Experience on May 30.

We hope you like this collection of photos from the annual George Matick Chevrolet Corvette Caravan Experience to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on May 30. 

The race day experience included discounted grandstand seat tickets to the Grand Prix and Chevy's Hospitality Tent and Corvette Corral parking on the island, a starter's breakfast program at Matick, speakers and more. Almost 100 Corvette owners and their guests wheeled into the dealership Saturday morning before heading to the island with a Redford Township Police escort.

WJBK Fox 2 News promoted the event earlier in the week. Watch Matick General Sales Manager Paul Zimmermann, who recently was selected as one of the 2015 Automotive News 40 Under 40 Retail, talk about the Grand Prix event and the new C7 here.

Matick's Corvette Caravan Experience sold out, reports George Matick Chevrolet’s Ryan Esler. To attend the 2016 event, email Ryan well before race weekend, which is usually near the end of May. Corvetteblog.com will feature stories on the 2016 caravan beginning in January.

Enjoy the ride!

P.S. We also love to hear good news. Click here to learn how the Grand Prixmiere fundraiser, presented by Chevrolet on the Friday of race weekend, raised $1.1 million for the Belle Isle Conservancy. The funds will help maintain, renovate and improve the huge island park located in the Detroit River.

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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan: The Line-Up Begins.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 12 Leader
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan C7 Leader of the Pack.aa Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan
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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 1 Paul Zimmermann
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Host Paul Zimmermann.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 2
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Pulls Out.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 9 Danny Kellermeyer
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Host Racecar Driver Danny Kellermeyer.
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 7Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan's Breakfast Gathering.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 5
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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Host Larry Courtney and His Wife Verna
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Host Larry Courtney and His Wife Verna.
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Regulars
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Regulars
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Matick Chevy Corvette CaravanMatick Chevy Corvette Caravan 6Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan's Guest Speaker Ken Lingenfelter.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 8Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Host Racecar Driver Danny Kellermeyer Talks with Guests.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 10
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Matick Chevy Corvette CaravanMatick Chevy Corvette Caravan 13Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Guest Gregory Frost and His Friend, Sonja.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 14
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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan's Pace Car.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 16
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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan —Breakfast Is Served.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 18
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan corvetteblog.com Interview.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan 19
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Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Breakfast
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Breakfast.Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan C7
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Corvette Museum
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Photos by Lindsay Emeigh

Posted June 2, 2015

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Nearly 100 Corvettes Lined Up For Matick Chevy’s 2015 Caravan To The Detroit Grand Prix On Belle Isle

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Getting ready to steer toward some fun, these attendees can't wait to get into their 'Vettes!

The fourth annual George Matick Chevrolet 2015 Corvette Caravan Experience to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was once again a huge success.

Some 100 Corvette owners and their favorite passengers wheeled into the dealership's huge parking lot early yesterday (May 30) morning, anticipating a day of car fun. The local WJBK Fox 2 News station even promoted the event earlier in the week. Check out the segment here.


 

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Guests fill up before heading to the races.

Corvetteblog.com joined the car enthusiasts over plates of bacon & eggs (and all the accoutrements) and met up with folks like Zack Trajzevski of Shelby Township, Mich., who drove his 2002 zippy yellow Corvette coupe into Matick’s lot with cousin Nick, of Canton, Mich.

“Ever since I saw a Corvette, when I was 9 years old, I thought that it was the coolest car I’d ever seen,” Zack recalls. And now a proud owner of a ‘Vette, Zack is all about Corvette events such as the Matick Corvette Caravan.

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These Corvette owners are ready to roll at the 2015 Matick Chevy Grand Prix Caravan.

“Matick puts on a great show here … the hospitality … everything … it’s a topnotch operation,” says Zack, who with his cousin Nick and dozens of others would soon pull out of the lot and ribbon their way onto I-96 for a police-escorted caravan down to the exciting Grand Prix races on Belle Isle in Detroit.

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Joseph Williams (right) and his son Lawrence.

In line for the breakfast buffet were Joseph Williams and his son, Lawrence, of Detroit and Redford, respectively. The father-son duo pulled up in Joseph’s candy apple red C6. “It’s running real well,” shares Joseph, who’s participated in the caravan every year since it started four years ago. “I love the grand Prix and I love speed.” Indeed, Joseph says he’s hit 120 on a certain Sunday morning — of course we won’t reveal where.

Banker Mary Karey and husband Joe Karey wheeled in in a C6 cyber gray convertible. Residents of Oakland Township, the couple once lived in Texas and enjoyed sharing tales about their ‘Vette club in the Lone Star state and their current ‘Vette event goings-on.

Steps from the Kareys were Gregory Frost, decked in a sharp race-themed shirt that he bought at the Grand Prix last year, and friend Sonja. The two arrived in Gregory’s 2008 red Corvette.


 

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Gregory Frost came decked out in his favorite shirt.

After satisfying their morning appetites and enjoying hot cups of coffee, the eventgoers settled back for a short presentation by Ken Lingenfelter, who showed various race films and also mentioned Matick-sponsored Corvette racecar driver Danny Kellermeyer of DJ Racing Enterprise in Ortonville, Mich. Danny, too, enjoyed the day’s event.

The Collection raises money through tours and other private showings to help benefit these types of charities. While the Collection currently is not open to the public, it is available for corporate and charity events, silent and live auctions, and car-club specialty showings. For more information, call 248-486-5342, ext. 10.

Ken owns Decatur, IN.-based Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, which he purchased from his race driver cousin, the former John Lingenfelter. The company also has a fascinating collection of cars in southeast Michigan. In addition to a passion for collecting rare and unique automobiles, the Lingenfelter Collection is also actively involved in many charities, including breast cancer research and the  the Ronald McDonald House in Detroit affiliated with the Children’s Hospital, which he talked about during his presentation.

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Mike Richardson drove his '78 Corvette.

Meanwhile, Mike Richardson of Farmington Hills, and son Brett, rolled up in Mike’s 1978 silver-anniversary beauty. “It’s running well these days,” Brett reports.

As the sun shone outside (and there were quite a few downpours later in the day, but luckily that held off for these cruisers), enthusiastic ‘Vette owner Isaly Szetla, of  Southfield, Mich.’s Vettestorations, and her cruisin’ pal, Liz Fretz, both of Novi, Mich. (both regular fixtures at these types of events), jumped in to Isaly’s ’82 red convertible. Revving up the engine, the friends pulled into the colorful line of shiny metal zipsters, waving as they went and looking forward to a day at the races!

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Isaly Szetla (left) and her cruisi' pal Liz Fretz are regular fixtures at Corvette events.


Update: This event sold out, reports George Matick Chevrolet’s Ryan Essler. To attend next year’s event, be sure to contact the dealership well before race weekend, which is usually near the end of May. Corvetteblog.com will feature stories on the 2016 caravan beginning in January.

Did you attend the Corvette Caravan? Did you enjoy it? Please share!

Posted May 31, 2015

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