75 ‘Vettes Line Up For Matick Chevy’s 2014 Corvette Caravan Experience to the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle

Matick Chevy Corvette Owners Bernardi 2
Father-son duo John and Jon Bernardi of Plymouth Township, Mich. are ready to go for the 2014 Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan to the Detroit Grand Prix.

The 2014 Detroit Grand Prix Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan Experience to Belle Isle was a huge success.

Some 75 Corvette owners with their Corvettes wheeled into the dealership's metro Detroit parking lot early this morning, anticipating a day of car fun.

Corvetteblog.com joined the car enthusiasts over breakfast plates of bacon & eggs (and all the accoutrements) as they prepared for speakers, a police-escort to the Grand Prix and a spot in the exclusive Corvette Corral near the track complete with day-long hospitality. We met up with folks like the retired Elvin and Doris Binns of Detroit.

Matick Chevy Corvette Owners Binns
Elvin and Doris Binns of Detroit drove their 2012 metallic black Grand Sport convertible in the Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan.

They pulled up in their 2012 metallic black Grand Sport convertible. “I’ve had a Corvette since 1973, six over the years,” Elvin shared. “The one I’m driving now is over 700 horse.” Elvin, who worked for Chrysler for 41 years, says they couldn’t get tickets last year and made it a point to get them this year for the event that’s all-things-Corvette!

Incidentally, Elvin was driving Corvettes even as a Chrysler employee. “Every now and then I’d drive my ‘Vette to work,” he says. The ‘Vette aficionado worked at Chrysler’s Trenton engine plant. “I was always a performance guy, always up in engineering, seeing what they were doing. When Chrysler stopped with the Hemi and the V-8, they lost me, and I went to Chevy.”

Another fave car over the years was his ’71 Dodge Charger. His passion for cars goes back to his days as a kid. “Even today, I have a wall of dye cast metal cars and models, Matchbook cars … anything to do with performance.”

Matick Chevy Corvette Owners Dan and Mike
Dan Watts of Novi (left) and good friend Mike Serge caravaned in Watts' yellow '05 convertible.

Enjoying breakfast just a few feet from the Binnses was Dan Watts of Novi, Mich. Dan owns a 2005 and a 1984 model. “I’m the original owner of the ’84,” Dan says, “and it’s got less than 21,000 miles on it.”

On this day, he arrived in his yellow ’05 convertible (matches today’s hat selection well!) with longtime pal Mike Serge (they’ve known each other since kids, growing up just a stone’s throw from George Matick Chevrolet, and even remember the old Topps store that was originally at the Matick location). This is their first Matick Corvette Caravan to the Grand Prix experience.

Dan’s favorite Corvette color over the years is …. “Well,” he says, “that’s a toughie. I guess I’d go with Millennium yellow, like my ’05.”  All this ‘Vette talk had Mike cruising down memory lane, too. He owned a ’63 red hardtop. “I sold that and then got a white ’64 coupe,” he recalls. The retired Chrysler employee, who’s always been a car buff, now has a ’68 Chevelle SS 454.

Women, too, came out in, well, droves. Kristen Lingenfelter and her husband, Ken, along with daughter Noelle and her friend, Chelsea, enjoyed the morning, including a slide presentation by Matick-sponsored Corvette racecar driver Danny Kellermeyer of DJ Racing Enterprise in Ortonville. Kristen arrived in her black C7.

“We just put a carbon fiber body kit on it yesterday,” she says. (Ken owns Decatur, Ind.-based Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, which he purchased from his race driver cousin, the former John Lingenfelter.) “I loooove the way the C7 handles on the road,” Kristen says. “I’ve been driving it daily, and I don’t want to put it away.” 

Matick Chevy Corvette Owners Kuesters
Katrina and Trevor Kuester of Macomb are attending their first-ever Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan. 

Parked near Kristen’s car was a zippy black C5 Z06, owned by Katrina and Trevor Kuester of Macomb, Mich. The Kuesters were attending their first Matick Corvette Caravan. “It’s a cool event,” Trevor says, as he and Katrina prepared to head out to their beauty and get rollin’ on this, one of the most beautiful blue-sky days this spring.

Their car was lined up near John Bernardi and his son Jon’s ‘Vette. “Last year,” recalls Bernardi, Sr. of Plymouth Township, Mich., “we didn’t bring our ‘Vette. This year, we just had to. We’re absolutely looking forward to a spectacular day. You couldn’t order this weather!” Adds his son, “We’re Corvette fans and race fans, what more could we want but a day like today?”

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Auto News Spotlights Best Practices At Metro Detroit Corvette Dealer

Matick Chevy Management Team
Matick Chevy Management Team left to right: Sales Director Paul Zimmermann, General Manager Molly Williams, Fixed Operations Director John Peters and Dealer Karl Zimmermann

Article from the Automotive News, May 12, 2014

By Jesse Snyder

BEST PRACTICES

Matick Chevrolet says hello to customers, hello to sales
Dealership relies on staff, improvisation to gain the upper hand

Metro Detroit -- It's not the 100-car showroom, high-volume Corvettes or massive new collision shop that have propelled Matick Chevrolet into the brand's top 1 percent of sales volume.

Rather, it is employees' obsessive approach to customer service, owner Karl Zimmermann says of the single-point store just outside Detroit.

"We have five other Chevy stores within 7 miles, and in this town, everybody gets the employee discount, so we can't compete on price," he says. "We have to offer a superior customer experience." rel="lightbox351818"

For starters, Matick Chevy works on greetings. Walk in the front door and head to the counter in the back corner. You'll pass several employees who make eye contact and greet you, but they wait for you to initiate further conversation. That's the norm throughout the building.

"Our rule of thumb is to greet anybody within 10 feet of you," says General Manager Molly Williams. "We're big on training." rel="lightbox351818" Top to bottom, employees recognize that a good customer experience is the dealership's edge, she adds.

Zimmermann, 49, says hiring is crucial.

"We look for people who are committed, who have a servant's heart," he says. "We value folks with integrity and a diversity of opinion and background."

Matick Chevrolet has a high- traffic location in Redford Township near the intersection of Interstate 96 and U.S. 24, and across the street from Detroit's west side. Neighborhoods on both sides reflect 1950s and '60s suburbs: grid-style streets with small, single-family homes and detached one-car garages on uniform 50-foot lots.

In 1978, founder George Matick converted a department store and connected grocery into a rambling dealership with 107,500 square feet under the roof and a massive showroom as his centerpiece and competitive advantage.

The dealership still counts on the area for repeat customers and takes pains to support Redford Township activities such as Little League, says Williams, a past president of the local chamber of commerce.

"Good employees need good homes," she says. "We want the neighborhood to be strong, a place where people want to live. What I love about Redford is its small-town atmosphere."

Click here to read more.

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C7 Luxury-Focused Atlantic Convertible And Track-Focused Pacific Coupe Available Soon

Corvette Stingray Convertible Atlantic concept
Corvette Stingray Convertible Atlantic concept

From Chevrolet News, April 25, 2014

The 2015 Corvette Stingray will be available in two new design packages: the Atlantic luxury convertible and the Pacific performance coupe.

They go on sale later this year with the rest of the 2015 Corvette Stingray lineup.

“One of the design goals for the Corvette Stingray was to provide customers with the flexibility to tailor the car to their personality,” said Kirk Bennion, Corvette exterior design manager.

“The Atlantic and Pacific Design Packages were originally designed to showcase how the Stingray could be configured as a luxury sport GT car or as a high-performance motorsport car.”

The Corvette Stingray Atlantic convertible and Corvette Stingray Pacific coupe concepts were introduced last fall at the SEMA Show. A strong response from enthusiasts helped influence production. They are the latest Chevrolet concepts from SEMA that made concept to reality. Several Camaros, such as the Hot Wheels edition, and the Sonic Dusk are now in production.

“We plan to make news with the Corvette Stingray every year, in part by offering special-edition models that offer a unique, personal ownership experience,” said Todd Christensen, Corvette marketing manager. “Our customers have told us they appreciate these limited-edition models, which have become an important part of the Corvette’s legacy.”

Luxury GT-focused Atlantic Convertible

The 2015 Corvette Stingray Atlantic Design Package is inspired by the luxury and performance of private jets seen at European vacation destinations. Offered exclusively on Z51-equipped convertibles, it is available in 2LT or 3LT trims, with the following unique features and content:

Front Z06-style splitter
Shark Gray exterior vents, hood “stinger” graphic and tonneau inserts
Chrome Torque wheels with Stingray center caps
Stingray underhood liner and floor mats
Custom splash guards, rear license plate frame and logo valve stem caps
Custom luggage.
This package is available in all colors offered on the Corvette Stingray.


Corvette Stingray Coupe Pacific concept
Corvette Stingray Coupe Pacific concept


Track-focused Pacific Coupe

The 2015 Corvette Stingray Pacific Design Package is inspired by West Coast drivers who attend weekend track events. It is offered exclusively as a Z51-equipped coupe, in 2LT and 3LT trims, with the following unique content:

Color choices of Torch Red, Black, Arctic White, Blade Silver and Shark Gray – a new color for 2015
Satin black full-length racing stripes
Satin black Z51 wheels with red stripe and Stingray center caps
“CFZ” carbon fiber ground effects package and visible carbon fiber roof panel
Carbon Flash rear spoiler, outside mirrors and exterior badges
Red brake calipers
Competition Sport Seats in red or black
Carbon fiber interior trim, Stingray sill plates and Stingray floor mats
Custom splash guards and rear license plate frame
Indoor car cover (gray)

As with other 2015 models, Corvette’s new Performance Data Recorder is available on the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as an all-new eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. A seven-speed manual transmission is standard.

The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level telemetry system. With included software, users can analyze their laps to improve their driving and lap times. The system includes a high-definition camera integrated into the interior’s rearview mirror assembly.

The new paddle-shift eight-speed is designed to deliver world-class shift times that rival the best dual-clutch designs, and is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared to the previous six-speed automatic. EPA estimates are pending.

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Chevy Boasts An Impressive 14 Performance Car Lineup

Chevys Top Performance Lineup
Chevy's Top Performance Lineup

Chevrolet News, April 21, 2014

With the introduction of the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible at the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet offers enthusiasts 14 distinct performance-car models – including nine Camaro models, the SS performance sedan and four Corvette models. Output ranges from 323 to an estimated 625 horsepower.

View Chevy's two-minute video of its performance cars here.

“Chevrolet has been America’s best-selling performance brand for four consecutive years, due in part to the breadth of our lineup,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. “For 2015, we will have the best range in our history, offering a performance car for virtually every enthusiast, from the 30-mpg Camaro LS and the COPO Camaro drag car to the 625-horsepower Corvette Z06 Convertible supercar.”

The 2015 Chevrolet lineup of performance cars includes:

Corvette

The all-new Corvette Stingray was the most awarded vehicle of 2013. Built on a new aluminum chassis and featuring a new 6.2L V-8 rated at 455 horsepower, it backs its performance capability with the greatest efficiency of any sports car with at least 450 horsepower: an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city driving and 29 mpg on the highway with its seven-speed manual transmission. A new eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission will be offered in 2015.

The new Z06 Coupe and Convertible join the lineup for 2015. The new Z06 delivers supercar levels of performance and technology, including at least 625 horsepower and 635 lb-ft of torque from an all-new supercharged engine, and true aerodynamic downforce for high-speed stability. The Z06 Coupe is the most capable Corvette in the brand’s history, recording the fastest lap of any production car ever tested at GM’s Milford Road Course test track. The Z06 Convertible will be one of the most capable convertibles on the market – matching the coupe model – with 0-60 acceleration in less than 3.5 seconds.

Chevrolet SS

Chevrolet’s first V-8-powered, rear-drive performance sedan since 1996 is based on a race-proven, global platform that underpins the Camaro, and, in Australia, the high-performance Holden VF Commodore. Lightweight aluminum hood and deck lid panels contribute to a nearly 50/50 weight balance, while the performance of the SS’s 415-hp / 415-lb-ft 6.2L V-8 enables 0 to 60 mph sprints in 5 seconds flat.

Camaro

The Camaro lineup starts with the 323-horsepower V-6-powered coupe and convertible, which match performance with efficiency – including up to 30 mpg on the highway for the 2LS coupe model – and a suggested starting price of $23,555 not including tax, title and dealership fees.

The SS coupe and convertible come with Chevy’s legendary small-block V-8, featuring a 6.2L engine delivering up to 426 horsepower, and 0-60 acceleration in 4.5 seconds.

The Camaro 1LE is the most affordable, track-capable Camaro in the lineup, starting at $37,350. Offered only on SS coupes with a manual transmission and optimized for the track with unique gearing, suspension tuning and tires that make it capable of more than 1 g in cornering grip.

The Camaro ZL1 (coupe and convertible) is equally at home on the race track, the drag strip or daily commuting. It features a supercharged 6.2L V-8 with 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque – making the ZL1 the most powerful Camaro ever from Chevrolet. It is also the most technologically advanced, with standard Magnetic Ride Control and, on coupe models, Performance Traction Management.

The COPO Camaro, limited to 69 units this year, is a hand-built race car designed exclusively for drag racing – the first purpose-built Camaro race car from Chevy and the quickest Camaro ever from the factory

Finally, the all-new Camaro Z/28 returns the iconic model to its road-racing roots. It features exterior elements designed like a race car to produce downforce that presses the car against the track for greater grip – up to 1.08 g in cornering acceleration – and faster lap times. Camaro Z/28 logged a 7:37 lap on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring track, which was faster than published times for Porsche 911 Carrera S and Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.

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Student Wins $5,000 In Corvette Facebook Photo Contest

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Prize Winner

Chevrolet News, April 23, 2014

Dan Wang from the Rochester Institute of Technology won the Chevrolet Corvette Student Showcase Challenge. Wang received the most votes for his images on the Corvette Facebook page, earning him the $5,000 grand prize.

"The Corvette Z06 photo challenge has been a great experience,” said Wang. “I plan to use the prize money to help fund the pursuit of some of my personal projects, like documenting the Hardcore Happening, an annual Hot Rod Festival in upstate New York."

Chevrolet introduced the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible last week at the New York Auto Show. Wang was one of three students who participated in the competition and had the opportunity to photograph the vehicle before its public reveal. Wang chose to portray how the Z06 Convertible would look on the road by using unique lighting techniques and background elements.

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TOP GEAR Review: Corvette’s Stingray vs. Porche’s 911

Corvette vsPorsche
Corvette vs Porsche (Photo by Lee Brimble)

By Tom Ford from Top Gear, April 7, 2014

911 versus the new Corvette Stingray
Has the American come of age, or will Germany reign supreme? Tom Ford finds out ...

The difference between ‘bump' and ‘jump' is not just bad handwriting, but a mere 10 mph, as it turns out. A worrying lack of detail in the pacenotes means it's almost impossible to work out whether the bend in front involves third-gear-over-slight-crest-onto-straight or fourth-gear-over-slight-crest-into-dry-stone-wall-without-touching-floor.

Even more worrying is that I haven't got any pacenotes, using instead something more commonly known as a satnav.

This is patently a silly idea, and one that is abandoned quickly, given that this road - the Kirkstone Pass from Windermere to Penrith - is a mischievous tarmac rollercoaster bordered by dry-stone walls with the crash-absorbency characteristics of a load of sharp rocks piled on top of one another.

Put it this way, get this too wrong, and they'll be recovering the resulting smear with Henry the Hoover while I pick sharp bits of the Lake District out of my chest cavity. My heart is beating rather quickly. If I were a shrew, I'd have exploded.

Start reading the real comparisons and more of the details here.

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Detroit Dealer Plans Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Event For May 31

Matick Corvette Grand Prix Invitation
Matick Corvette Grand Prix Invitation
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Fellows Driving School Offers Special Tuition Incentive

Matick Chevy Corvette Owners

Owners of 2014 Corvette Stringrays can save up to 60 percent off the tuition costs of attending the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain Motorsports Motor Resort near Las Vegas, Nevada.

You can save more than $1,500.

The program is designed for drivers of all experience levels and includes dynamic car control exercises, visual skill development and proper cornering techniques while learning to master the performance enhancements of the award-winning 7th generation Corvette.

This two-day program includes a one-night, two-day stay, meals and the opportunity to experience the true on-track performance capabilities of the Corvette Stingray. Developed and managed by legendary Corvette racer Ron Fellows, the curriculum is designed to accommodate drivers of all skill levels and teach them how to handle the precision offered by this completely reengineered sports car. Along with classroom instruction and challenging car control exercises, participants will spend extensive time on Spring Mountain’s road course.

This exclusive offer is good for one year from the retail purchase of a 2014 Corvette Stingray and is applicable only to the original owner. Only one attendee per vehicle is eligible for the discount and he/she is responsible for his/her transportation costs.

Click here for more driving-school details.

Our blog sponsor, metro Detroit's George Matick Chevrolet, is one of the midwest's largest Corvette dealers with national sales and delivery. Its sells 2014 C7s at or below the MSRP. Visit www.matickchevy or call sales director Paul Zimmermann at 313-532-5016.

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North Oaks Corvette Club Gears Up For Its Annual Summer Show

North Oak Matick Chevy Show Marquee
The North Oaks Corvette Club packs downtown Birmingham with beautiful cars

"It's a pretty big deal when a bustling city like Birmingham (MI) turns its two main streets over to you for a day-long Corvette show," says North Oaks Corvette Club past president and Corvette Generations Car Show chairman Skip Hartlerode.

The metro Detroit club will host this premier annual show in conjunction with Birmingham's "Day on the Town" shopping event. The community's downtown crossroads -- Old Woodward Avenue and Maple Road in the heart of the main shopping and entertainment district -- will be closed from early morning on Saturday, July 26 until early evening for pedestrian traffic only.

Show Corvettes, car enthusiasts, guests, shoppers and diners will have the town to themselves. All stores and restaurants remain open during this busiest shopping day of the year in Birmingham.

North Oaks Matick Chevy Show viewers
Car lovers checking out the Corvettes

The club's event tents move north to the Maple-Old Woodward intersection, providing prime real estate for the show's award stage this summer. There is room for up to 150 Corvettes to line Old Woodward Avenue both north and south of Maple Road.

But the rain-or-shine show is limited to the first 120 Corvettes that register.

"We're looking forward to a bigger event for 2014, with more Corvettes of any generation whether stock, custom or modified, people's choice voting, trophies in 13 classes, more door prizes, raffles, entertainment, a kids' zone and a huge sidewalk sale," adds Hartlerode. 

Pre-registration is $25 per Corvette or $35 the day of the show, space permitting.

Trophies are courtesy of Matick Chevrolet, the club's Corvette sponsor.

For more information or to request a show flyer, email info@northoakscorvetteclub.com or call Skip Hartlerode at 586-719-0660.

North Oak Matick Chevy Show Street
The Birmingham show is limited to 120 Corvettes

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Sinkhole Stabilization Begins Today At National Corvette Museum

Matick Chevy Sinkhole Presentation 1
New photos show the extent of the damage to these priceless Corvettes. The pace car is buried and the Spyder is pretty crunched.

Work begins today to stabilize the gigantic sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum, museum Executive Director Wendell Strode said this morning.

After setting up equipment and opening a hole in the Skydome's exterior to gain access inside, construction crews now will work on supporting the walls around the huge sinkhole. They'll clear out the concrete, rock and dirt and then the Corvettes as they become available to extract. This may take several weeks.

For daily updates on the sinkhole project, visit the museum's Facebook page, which has changed its profile photo to highlight "The Great Eight" that dropped into the 40-foot wide, 30-foot deep sinkhole.

Strode said that the project engineers do not believe there is any danger of more sinkhole activity at the museum. The rest of the Skydome and the museum are safe, he said, and the museum is open.

"This is Mammoth Cave territory," he said, "and it is different from any other place in the world. We have sinkholes (around here) regularly." title="Aerial view" rel="lightbox351745" He added that engineers are accustomed to working in these situations.

He also said that the museum worked around 77 sinkholes in the last nine months while constructing its new 184-acre MotorSports Park. This facility, which is adjacent to the museum, will open in August as part of the National Corvette Caravan activities.

Three other sinkholes in the area occurred on the same day as the museum's sinkhole. While there is technology today to build on sinkholes, Strode said one of the possible contributing factors for the local sinkhole activity could have been the more than normal rainfall the area has experienced over the past several years.

Aerial view
Aerial view of the museum's 40-foot wide sinkhole

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