Tag: National Corvette Museum

CHEVROLET’S RESPONSE TO VIPER IS A ZR-1 SS PROTOTYPE

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Former GM Heritage Center Corvette Donated to Museum

In the late 80s, Chevrolet was not-so-secretly developing what some dubbed a ‘Super Vette.’ But at the 1989 New York Auto Show, it was the debut of the Dodge Viper RT/10, complete with a 488-cid V-10 engine that sent GM engineers on a new path to develop a ‘Viper-Killer.’ Dodge credited the ’65 Shelby 427 Cobra as the inspiration for the Viper, but the model wouldn’t be available until 1992.

By 1990, then Corvette Development Manager, John Heinricy, had three projects for his engineering team to tackle, which would affect future Corvettes:

1) Response to the Viper: The newest Corvette adversary would soon arrive, a car that was light weight, utilized simple technology, but wielded brutal power. Heinricy wanted to study ways to lighten their ZR-1, should Chevrolet need to “skin the snake.”

2) Drop the Pounds: New safety regulations added more weight to the Corvette, which in turn decreased fuel economy. With the gas-guzzler tax looming, GM faced reduced performance to make up the difference, and they couldn’t afford that either. Lightning the weight of the car would improve the speed and efficiency.

3) Ideas and Innovation: A new product would bring the team together and inspire new ideas from the development engineers.

With a common theme flowing between these ideas, it made sense to use the same car for development. A white non-saleable 1989 ZR-1, which had been used in Chevrolet’s 1990 model year media preview, was hand-picked (VIN 00081). It was one of only 84 production ZR-1s built in Bowling Green for evaluation, testing, media preview and photography. No 1989 ZR-1s were released for public sale initially, but several have since found their way into private hands.

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Cemented in history: Entombed 1954 Corvette joins museum’s collection – Larry Edsall @Classiccars.com

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In 1954, Richard Sampson, a successful business owner in Brunswick, Maine, bought a new Chevrolet Corvette.

Cemented in history: Entombed 1954 Corvette

“After driving it for four years, he wanted to park it somewhere safe,” reports the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentuck

Cemented in history: Entombed 1954 Corvette

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Related – Through the generosity of donors, the National Corvette Museum hopes to grow its collection

CUSTOM-BUILT CORVETTE & ELDORADO ‘EL VETTE’ DONATED – National Corvette Museum – Tara Jacobi for John Jacobi

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While growing up I came to know there was nothing my dad could not fix.  At some point, I noticed my dad, John Jacobi (sometimes known as JJ) strived to do things differently than most.  For instance, he wouldn’t buy something if he knew he could make it.  Sometimes this was just plain embarrassing to me but as I got older I realized not everyone could engineer the things that he did.  He was an engineer by trade and grew up working in garages on cars.  Our family never took any of our cars to a shop as there was no need.  He would also improve upon something if he knew he could build it another way.  Nothing hits this point across like what he did with his most favorite type of car – the Corvette.

Read Tara’s story of her Dad’s amazing custom Corvette work here

Through the generosity of donors, the National Corvette Museum hopes to grow its collection – Kurt Ernst @Hemmings

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Article from Kurt Ernst on the National Corvette Museum efforts to fill the gaps in their collection through the generosity of donors, and it’s not just Corvettes they are seeking!

The Ford Thunderbird an early competitor is part of the Corvette story and is on the wish list.