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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
“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!”
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
Posted June 10.
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.
Photos by Lindsay Emeigh
Posted June 2, 2015
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Posted May 31, 2015
May 21, 2015 — GM announced today that it will spend $439 million on upgrades at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Ky. This investment adds to the $135 million GM has already pumped into the facility over the past four years for the new Corvette Stingray and the Performance Build Center.
A new 450,000-square-foot, environment-friendly paint shop, almost half the size of the entire current production facility, will include substantial technology upgrades, new tooling and robots to improve efficiency.
Construction will begin this summer and last two years. Corvette production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.
“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”
Added UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada: “This new paint shop will mirror the efficiencies and technologies of the new body shop, installed with the launch of the Stingray.”
Corvette production began in 1981 in Bowling Green following assembly in Flint, Mich., and St. Louis, Mo. Each has been an exclusive home of the Corvette, contributing to its distinction as the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. More than 1.6 million have been produced in 62 years.
Since the launch of the all-new 2014 Stingray, the Corvette has won more awards than any other car in the industry, including the 2014 American Car of the Year, Car & Driver’s 10 Best and Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year.
Building on that recognition, Corvette sales reached an eight-year high in 2014 with almost 38,000 cars sold globally. The plant welcomed a record 56,000 tourists last year.
The new Performance Build Center opened last year and in March began hosting customers in the Build Your Own Engine program. More information about Bowling Green Assembly is available at corvetteassembly.com.
The investments in Bowling Green are part of the $5.4 billion that GM said it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years.
Watch this morning's First Shift video report from Automotive News about the planned $400 million makeover at the Corvette Bowling Green, Ky. manufacturing facility, including a paint shop and other upgrades.
Click here to listen. There is a short video ad before the report.
GM is scheduled to make the announcement later today (May 21, 2015).