Monday, December 29, 2014

Corvette Museum Sinkhole Filling Officially Begins

Ceremonial "First Rock" Tossed Into Hole

It's been seven weeks since construction work on the National Corvette Museum sinkhole began, with the 'filling of the hole' process officially starting today. Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode cast the first rock, inscribing 'Awesome God, Everyone Safe' on it. "The good Lord let it happen. It was roughly a quarter to six in the morning and we did not have anyone in the museum. No staff, no visitors, no guests. We're so thankful for that," Strode said before tossing the first rock into the hole.

The weeks-long process to prepare the hole to be filled was no quick and easy task, as the openings to the cave had to be first plugged. "Each side of the cave is approximately 30 feet long and about 20 feet high. It's just not feasible to fill the entire cave with rock so the construction team had to get creative with plugging every crevice," said Strode. A combination of steel sheet piling and gunnite were used to create a barrier before loads of gravel were conveyored into the building to begin filling the hole.

The construction team has lowered a remote-controlled Bobcat into the hole to level out the gravel. They expect the process of filing the sinkhole to take about two weeks.

Currently the hole features a 48-inch manhole which will allow access to one side of the cave, even after the sinkhole is filled. "We have some ideas for an exhibit where you can see into the cave via a camera with lights, and guests would be able to maneuver the camera, so we needed access to the cave to allow us to service that equipment as needed," said Katie Frassinelli, Marketing & Communications Manager. A number of exhibit companies are currently bidding on the planned sinkhole/cave exhibit which will be installed in the Skydome once construction work is complete. The work is expected to be complete by July, and the exhibit is anticipated to officially open Labor Day weekend, 2015 as part of the Museum's 21st Anniversary Celebration.

The National Corvette Museum is located at I-65 exit 28 in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is open seven days a week, from 8am until 5pm Central Time. Museum admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 6 to 16, $8 for seniors or $25 family admission. Children age 5 and under are free. While access to the Skydome is currently closed for construction, a Plexiglas viewing window is available so that guests may watch ongoing work.

For more information on the Museum, visit, download their free app on iTunes or Google Play or call 800-538-3883.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Corvette Engine Repeats Win as WardsAuto 10 Best

The high performance, technology-packed LT1 Small Block 6.2L V8 that powers the 2015 Corvette Stingray is a Ward’s 10 Best Engine for 2015. The engine also was recognized with this award in 2014.

WardsAuto reviewed 37 engines and propulsion systems from 12 manufacturers in this year’s competition, which looked at power, fuel efficiency, new technology and refinement and compared the attributes with data for similar engines.

“This recognition is another step in earning customers for life,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, GM Global Powertrain. Having the WardsAuto experts choose the LT1 as one of the best in the industry two years in a row is proof of what this Powertrain team can deliver – uncompromised performance, durability and efficiency that helps make the Stingray one of the best sports cars in the world today.”

The LT1 Small Block technologies contribute to making the new Corvette the quickest, most powerful and most fuel-efficient standard Corvette ever. The engine delivers an SAE-certified 460 horsepower, helping propel the car from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and a quarter mile in 12 seconds while offering EPA-estimated 29 mpg highway with an 8-speed automatic or 7-speed manual transmission.

“The 6.2L LT1 V-8 is the heart and soul of the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette, and it proudly upholds the 60-year legacy of small-block engines from General Motors,” said Tom Murphy, executive editor of WardsAuto World digital magazine. “This one's been re-engineered from head to torque converter, and the LT1 is the crown jewel of this massive engine family.”

“In the Corvette, this 460-hp V-8 barks with authority, delivering an exhaust note reminiscent of Detroit’s finest muscle cars. And it's efficient, too. WardsAuto editors flogging the 'Vette for more than 300 miles managed better than 20 mpg with the new 8-speed automatic."

The LT1, part of the Gen 5 family of Small Block engines, combines several advanced technologies – direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing – to support an advanced combustion system.

Direct injection is a primary contributor to greater combustion efficiency by ensuring a more complete burn of the fuel in the air-fuel mixture. This is achieved by precisely controlling the mixture motion and fuel injection spray pattern. Direct injection also keeps the combustion chamber cooler, which allows for a higher compression ratio.

Increased power and efficiency result from more than 10 million hours of computational analysis including computational fluid dynamics, to make the most of the combustion system, the direct injection fuel system, active fuel management and variable valve timing systems that support it. The combustion system itself benefited from 6 million hours of dedicated CPU analysis time.

Other variants of the Gen 5 Small Block include the 4.3L V6, 5.3L and 6.2L V8 truck engines offered in the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, the GMC Sierra pickups, Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade SUVs. The LT1 is manufactured in Tonawanda, N.Y.

2007 Z06 Donated to Museum

For most of his life, Cliff Young was a Mustang man, but it was in 2006 that he fell in love with Corvette.  After a trip to a high performance driving school, he immediately started calling around trying to find a Chevrolet dealership with allocation for a Z06.  “It just had to be LeMans Blue as 2007 would be the last year for that color,” wife Sally remembers.  “It was a bit of a fiasco trying to get the car ordered.  Cliff knew he wanted to order it with the Museum Delivery option, so he spoke with the Delivery Department and happened to mention to Lori that he wasn’t able to get a car yet.  Lori connected him with a broker in Bowling Green that had allocation and made it happen.”

The Youngs picked up the car on June 27, 2007.  It was their first visit to Bowling Green, and sadly Cliff’s last.  The couple had planned on visiting April 2014, but Cliff experienced major health complications from Agent Orange – an exposure that occurred while serving in Vietnam – and passed on January 28, 2014 at the age of 68.

“While the Museum is in our wills, Cliff didn’t specifically list the car but I felt donating it was the most appropriate thing,” said Sally.  “He was always so impressed with how the Museum is run, I know he would be pleased with its new home.”  Sally was excited to hear that the car would be used for Parade Laps and other activities at the Museum’s new Motorsports Park.   The Youngs had already stepped up and supported the Park by joining the One Acre Club, donating funds for a purchase of one acre of land for the track.

“While Cliff enjoyed taking his car to the track, he didn’t race it,” said Sally.  “Cliff’s friend Mike Pettiford operates Go 4 It Racing Schools, and Cliff would attend and help out with the classes.  Mike would host special corporate events so Cliff would bring his car to use for instruction purposes and to enjoy an occasional drive around the track,” added Sally.  “Cliff also belonged to SCCA and would do flagging at races.”

While Cliff’s day job prior to retirement had been as a systems analyst, he was also a pilot, a flight instructor, scuba diver, parachutist, ham radio operator, and spelunker, and even spent over 30 years planning and designing his and Sally’s dream home.  “He was very gifted in electrical, plumbing and construction,” Sally noted.  “He lived a very full life.”

Indeed he did, and his legacy will continue through every enthusiast who steps foot for a ride in Cliff’s 2007 LeMans Blue Z06.

Monday, December 1, 2014

First 2015 Corvette Z06s on Way to Customers

Chevrolet is now shipping the all-new 2015 Corvette Z06 coupe from Bowling Green Assembly and some early customers could receive the much-anticipated supercar later this week.

“It has been an incredible opportunity to work on Chevy’s most capable model,” said Jeff Lamarche, plant manager of General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly plant, “It truly is an amazing car, and we’re thrilled to get them into the hands of our eager customers.”

The new Corvette Z06 offers the most choice for customers in the model’s history. It is the first Z06 to offer an available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. In addition, it is the first time since 1963 that the Z06 is available as a convertible – which will arrive in early 2015.

The new LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine is SAE-certified at 650 horsepower (485 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm) at 3,600 rpm – making the 2015 Corvette Z06 the most powerful production car ever from General Motors and one of the most powerful production cars available in the United States.

To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages a trio of advanced technologies – direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing –with a new, more efficient supercharger.

The LT4 helps make the Corvette Z06 the most capable car in the brand’s history. The Z06 accelerates from a rest to 60 mph in only 2.95 seconds when equipped with the all-new, available eight-speed automatic transmission – and achieves it in 3.2 seconds with the standard seven-speed manual transmission.

A quarter-mile sprint takes just 10.95 seconds with the eight-speed automatic and 11.2 seconds with the seven-speed manual. With both versions, the Corvette Z06 hits 127 mph at the end of the quarter-mile.

When it comes to braking performance, the Z06 can stop from 60 mph in only 99.6 feet. That’s the best braking performance of any production car GM has ever tested. Additionally, the Corvette Z06 achieves 1.2 g in lateral acceleration compared with the Corvette’s previous best 1.13 g.

All test results were achieved with Z06 coupes fitted with the Z07 Performance package, which adds Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The Z07 package also features the most aggressive aerodynamic package available on the Corvette Z06, which delivers the most downforce of any production car GM has ever tested.

The Z06 also offers the industry-first Performance Data Recorder – or PDR – which enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track. The racing-derived system is included with the available navigation system.

Pricing for the 2015 Corvette Z06 starts at $78,995 including destination, while the convertible model will start at $83,995.

Editors’ Note: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge but excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment