With his name inscribed on the “assembled by” plaque affixed to his new 505-horsepower Chevrolet LS7 crate engine, Jeff Kasper can point to his role in helping birth the high-performance engine for his project car.
Kasper, a sales and business manager for a semiconductor manufacturer in California, is the first customer of Chevrolet Performance’s new Crate Engine Build Experience, which allows hot rod builders to participate in assembly of their in the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., northwest of Detroit.
The 100,000-square-foot build center weaves the best practices of low-volume niche manufacturers and the established quality and manufacturing standards at GM to ensure the highest-quality specialized engines.
“The build program was the thrill of a lifetime,” said Kasper, whose garage contains a new Camaro SS and a Chevrolet Volt electric car. “Going inside the assembly facility and actually participating in building my very own engine greatly exceeded my expectations – and I’d absolutely recommend it to every enthusiast.”
Like many enthusiasts, Kasper wanted to build a special car with personal features that reflected his style and involvement, but wasn’t adequately equipped at home.
“I don’t have a garage full of tools or the resources to build an engine myself,” he said. “And time is always a factor.”
A crate engine was the logical choice and Kasper became interested in building an LS7 engine when he learned of the Corvette Engine Build Experience, which offers Corvette Z06 and ZR1 customers the opportunity to help assemble the LS7 or LS9 engine that power those production cars.
“I inquired about building an engine, even though I wasn’t purchasing a Corvette,” he said. “A few months later, I learned about the crate engine build program and made arrangements immediately. I was pretty much on the next plane to Detroit, as soon as I put in my order.”
When an order is placed through a Chevrolet dealer, a special concierge contacts the customer to verify participation and help coordinate arrangements. Travel arrangements to and from Metro Detroit are the customer’s responsibility, but the concierge helps schedule the engine build; coordinates the customer’s activities at the Performance Build Center; arranges local lodging and meals; and arranges ground transportation in the area.
Chevrolet Performance’s Crate Engine Build Experience includes part number 19259944 for the LS7 and part number 19259945 for the supercharged LS9 engine. The personally assembled engines carry Chevrolet Performance’s 24-month/50,000-mile limited warranty.
“I considered the LS9, but for my project, the LS7 really hits a sweet spot,” said Kasper. “And the benefit of a warranty with the crate engine only made the decision easier.”
At the build center, Kasper was immersed in every aspect of the engine’s assembly, from installing the crankshaft in the cylinder block to topping off the engine with its intake system.
The customer isn’t abandoned with the torque wrenches. A specially trained engine builder is on hand to oversee the assembly and use of specialized tools.
“The builders there were great to work with and the whole experience was a lot of fun,” said Kasper. “It was fascinating to learn how these engines are built with a combination of hand-assembly techniques and some computer-assisted high-tech tools.”
When the engine is assembled, it is started and run through a series of tests, providing customers with confirmation their new crate engine is ready to power their project vehicle.
“I got the most satisfaction and pride when I heard my engine fire up for the first time,” said Kasper. “When the engine came to life, it was the payoff for a day’s work and it was a satisfying success.”
The LS7 purchased with the Crate Engine Build Program has a suggested retail price of $22,756.10 and the LS9 purchased through the program has a suggested retail price of $32,050. See complete details at gmperformanceparts.com.
Chevrolet today unveiled the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition – the fastest, most capable convertible in Corvette’s history – as well as a 60th Anniversary Package that will be available on all 2013 Corvette models.
“The 2013 model year will be historic for Corvette, marking its 60th Anniversary and the final year for the current ‘C6’ generation,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet. “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”
The 60th Anniversary Package and 427 Convertible will make their public debut at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan 21, and will arrive at U.S. Chevrolet dealers early this summer.
Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
The Corvette 427 Convertible blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history.
Its heart is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06. Rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible – and, like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
The LS7 was co-developed with the Corvette Le Mans-winning GT1 engine and features lightweight titanium connecting rods and intake valves, as well as racing-inspired high-flow cylinder heads and a dry-sump oiling system. It is assembled by hand at GM’s Performance Build Center, where customers who purchase the 427 Convertible Collector Edition can purchase the Corvette Build Experience option and assemble the engine that will power their new car.
Supporting performance elements in the Corvette 427 Convertible include the driveline and rear axle system from the Corvette Z06, a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels – introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages – come standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.
The 427 Convertible also features several carbon-fiber components that help reduce weight, including:
Carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition)
Carbon fiber Z06-style fenders
Carbon fiber floor panels
The “CFZ” carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible, and included with the 60th Anniversary package
The weight reduction brings the 427 Convertible’s curb weight to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 – or one horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass. That’s better than:
Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31
The combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph.
The 427 Convertible is available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.
Corvette 60th Anniversary Package
All 2013 Corvette models, including the 427 Convertible, will be available with a 60th Anniversary Package, featuring an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top.
Additional content includes a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers and the “60th” logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top, extending the graphic theme over the roof.
For 2013, all Corvettes will feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias and the “waterfall” panel on convertible models, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.
Charity Auction at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
The first Corvette 427 Convertible offered to the public will go to the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction, on Saturday, Jan. 21. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Drive to End Hunger food relief program.
Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports are teaming up for the auction, including Hendrick team driver and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon. Team owner Rick Hendrick helped launch the Drive to End Hunger program with AARP and the AARP Foundation.
The Drive to End Hunger is part of a multi-year sponsorship for Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet. It calls on racing fans, corporations and charitable organizations to raise money, build awareness, and engage Americans who face the threat of hunger.
A legacy of 427-powered Corvettes
Early 427-powered Corvettes, particularly convertibles, offered from 1966 to 1969 are some of the most-coveted and collectable Corvettes ever produced.
The first 427-powered Corvette rolled off the assembly line for the 1966 model year. Two performance levels of the 427 were initially offered – an “L30” version rated at 390 horsepower and the “L72,” which cranked out 425 horsepower. Both were rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.
The range of 427 engines grew in 1967, with the addition of the “L71” and “L88” options. The L71 added a unique triple-carburetor induction system that helped boost output to 435 horsepower. Known to collectors as “427/435” cars, these ’67 models – especially the convertibles – are especially sought-after collector cars.
The “L88” delivered 430-horsepower (with a single four-barrel carburetor) thanks to racing-tuned aluminum heads. Intended for customers who would immediately transform their new Corvette into a race car, the L88 was installed in just 216 production Corvettes between 1967 and 1969.
In 1969, a special “L89” 427 engine combined the L71’s induction system with the L88’s aluminum heads, offering maximum horsepower with an approximately 100-pound weight advantage over the standard iron heads. Also in 1969, Chevrolet built two “ZL1” 427 Corvette coupes. The ZL1 engine was essentially an all-aluminum version of the L88, with the aluminum cylinder block and heads offering a tremendous weight advantage for racing. More of the engines were sold as crate engines to racers.
By 1970, the big-block engine grew to 454 cubic inches, just as the trend in high-compression, high-performance engines was beginning to wane. The four-year run of 427 Corvettes was already established as the golden era of performance
Commemorative Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition models
Rare and low-production examples of the Corvette have been around since its 1953 introduction, but Chevrolet didn’t begin building commemorative models until 1978, when the 25th Anniversary model – also known as the Silver Anniversary Corvette – was offered. The Corvette was in its third generation then and at the close of that epoch in 1982, a Collectors Edition was offered, as well.
Those special models launched what has become a tradition for the Chevrolet Corvette, which has offered milestone anniversary and generational collector-edition models ever since. The 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible represents the first time a Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition are being offered in the same year – and available on the same car.
Below is a list of the Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition models, as well as production numbers and their distinguishing features.
Two-tone silver exterior with gray leather interior
Silver-beige exterior color with lower graphic accent; silver-beige leather interior; bronze-tinted roof panels; cast aluminum “fin” wheels and unique VIN identification
White lower body with white 17-in. wheels, with black roof and dark removable roof panel; special badging and embroidered seat logos; all-white leather interior
First anniversary model offered in coupe and convertible body styles; Ruby Red exterior with special badging; Ruby Red leather-covered seats
Sebring Silver exterior with special badging;
silver 17-inch ZR-1-style wheels;
“Collector Edition”-embroidered seats; optional LT4 5.7L engine with 330 hp
Special 50th Anniversary Red exterior; specific badging and champagne-color five-spoke wheels; Shale leather-trimmed interior
Coupe and convertible models in LeMans Blue with Shale leather-trimmed interior; Z06 model in LeMans Blue with silver stripe graphics and carbon fiber hood
Arctic White with Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior and blue top (convertibles); special badging; optional stripe package; 60th logo gauge cluster and sill plates
427 Convertible Collector Edition with LS7 engine; carbon fiber hood, fenders and floor panels; 19-in./20-in. wheels with Michelin PS2 tires; std. Magnetic Selective Ride Control; 427 hood badges
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
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2013 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427 CONVERTIBLE COLLECTOR EDITION – PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Chevrolet Performance announced its 2012 catalog of high-performance parts and accessories for Chevrolet cars and trucks, as well as crate engines and engine parts.
Featuring the new COPO Camaro concept vehicle on the cover, the catalog contains more than 300 pages of parts for Corvette, Camaro, Cruze, Silverado and other vehicles powered by GM’s LS, small-block and big-block engines – and almost every accessory and part is available for purchase online at gmperformanceparts.com. The catalog also includes a list of the authorized Performance dealers that specialize in high-performance parts sales.
Download the 2012 Chevrolet Performance Catalog: click here
Download the 2011 Crate Engine Catalog: click here
The industry-first Connect and Cruise Crate Powertrain Systems highlight the 2012 catalog. They are factory-engineered engine-and-transmission combinations, matched with all the electronic control modules, wiring harnesses and other key components. The first two from Chevrolet Performance include a 556-hp supercharged LSA engine/4L85-E transmission combo (part number CPSLSA4L85E) and the Corvette-based 430-hp LS3, which is matched with a 4L65-E automatic transmission (part number CPSLS34L65E). The specially calibrated controllers for the respective kits are designed for retrofit installations in older vehicles, for easier and quicker installation and operation without the need for third-party tuning.
Chevrolet Performance engineers matched the engines with their respective transmission, ensuring each was up to the task of channeling high horsepower with exceptional durability. The engine controller is specially calibrated to run the engine without some of the production-vehicle features that aren’t required in an older vehicle. That means no “theft” codes, no System OBD2 codes and, therefore, no need for third-party tuning. And the systems’ unique SuperMatic transmission controller is designed to work with the engine controller for a seamless, “plug and play” installation that is quick, easy and intuitive.
More details about the Connect and Cruise Crate Powertrain Systems are available in the catalog and at gmperformanceparts.com.
Additional highlights of new crate engines and parts found in the catalog include:
LSX454R drag racing crate engine, which is now in production and available for ordering
New E-ROD 5.3L engine, which now carries CARB EO number D-126-31
LS376/525 crate engine – a new factory-engineered combination that matches the ASA camshaft with the LS3 V-8 for powerful street/strip engine
New LSA and 5.3L controller kits, which are specially designed for installation in older vehicles
ZL1 fuel pump kit – a high-flow system for higher-performance Camaros, straight from the new Camaro ZL1 production model.
Along with descriptions and part numbers for all the engines, parts and accessories, the Chevrolet Performance catalog offers valuable information on selecting matching components for the best-performing combination, as well as detailed specifications on most components – including charts outlining cylinder head specs and camshaft specs. There’s also a special section for LS engine builders that provides an overview of the LS engine family and parts interchangeability.
It’s that time of year again – we’ve got 2011 & 2012 Corvettes on sale for the lowest prices we’ve had all year. We’re Louisiana’s #1 Corvette dealer and have sold Vettes to people all across the country. Over 20 in stock, with more than 20 still on the way!
See our inventory below, and make sure to also check out our two Centennial Editions in stock as well!
We’re located here in Hammond, Louisiana, but we have a ton of experience selling Vettes to people from all over the country. So even if you aren’t a Louisiana resident, we’ll find a way to get you behind the wheel! Visit us today at www.chevycorvette.com or give us a call at 888-221-8185!
The 2012 Corvettes are here, and we need to make room for more. We’re offering our remaining 2011 Vettes to you at INSANELY low prices. No seriously, we’re practically GIVING these bad boys away. If you or someone you know is in the market – no matter where you live – please do them a favor and tell them about Ross Downing Chevrolet! CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR 2011 INVENTORY!
No one will beat our prices, and it doesn’t matter if you live in another state – we frequently get customers making the trip from multiple states away just to get the best deal on their next Corvette. We’ll make it worth the trip, we promise! So give us a call today at 888-242-6209 and speak with a member of our Corvette team. There will NEVER be a better time to buy a Corvette than right now!
When the terms “Chevrolet” and “racing” are mentioned together, most people think of the Corvette. Not only is it the most iconic muscle car ever, but it has also provided some of the most pivotal and influential moments in the history of Chevrolet racing. Here are just a few.
Corvette’s first Sebring race helps make Chevrolet America’s performance leader
In a gamble that even Zora Arkus-Duntov thought too risky, Ed Cole sent four Corvettes to the Sebring 12-hour endurance race in 1956. Overall, they fared poorly. But the efforts that went into putting them into the race had a monumental effect on the Corvette as a racecar, and on Chevrolet as a racing institution.
Team manager John Fitch’s pre-race testing produced numerous parts failures. Ad hoc attempts to deal with them on the fly rapidly evolved into a new quick-response system within Chevrolet’s engineering department. And, since Sebring rules forbade the use of non-production parts, the more robust components had to be immediately available through Chevrolet dealers, a situation that led to the creation of a new factory heavy-duty parts distribution system. Soon, Chevrolet was America’s premier source for race-inspired knowledge and hardware.
In March, 1957, Chevrolet was back at Sebring with a full-fledged factory effort introducing Ramjet fuel injection. Later that year, American auto manufacturers jointly agreed to shut the door on overt factory motorsports involvement. However, Chevrolet continued to quietly work with a select band of professional motorsport independents. The list included the legendary racecar builder Smokey Yunick, Jim Hall of Chaparral fame, and a young racer named Roger Penske.
With a few exceptions during the next quarter-century, Chevrolet officially wasn’t racing. But since its customers certainly were, it seemed fitting that the factory would help them remain competitive.
‘Never give up’ spirit generates admiration and respect for Corvette at 1960 Le Mans
To Zora Arkus-Duntov, the European expatriate Corvette racing engineer, the 24 Hours of Le Mans was the Mount Everest of motorsports. He had personally achieved a class win there, driving a Porsche.
From the beginning, the goal of Duntov’s 1957 Corvette SS program was an overall Le Mans victory, but that ambition became a casualty of the American auto industry’s 1957 racing ban. However, Duntov and Ed Cole found wealthy sportsman Briggs Cunningham a willing ally in a plan to capture a Le Mans class win for the Corvette in 1960. American road racing cars were still a curiosity in Europe then, so the four Corvettes appearing on the grid for the race were given considerable attention, but not much respect.
When John Fitch turned quicker lap times during the rainy night with Corvette No. 3 than cars bearing such noble marques as Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin, a few in the crowd took notice. At dawn, others, some of whom initially voiced surprise that any Corvettes were still running, also began to focus on the American cars.
As the race wound down, Corvette No. 3 was assured of a class win if it could make it to the end. Then, with team driver Bob Grossman at the wheel and less than four hours to go, the engine overheated. Rules prohibited adding fluids so late in the race. As spectators shouted encouragement and waved American flags, Grossman continued on, pitting often so his engine bay could be packed with ice.
Years later, Grossman would say the memory of the ovation he got on his last lap still gave him goose bumps. Five decades after its 1960 class victory, to the great delight of Le Mans spectators, the Fitch/Grossman No. 3 Corvette was back at Circuit d la Sarthe in 2010, with 93-year-old John Fitch at the wheel.
Shades of the ’50s: Corvettes rule in 1980s U.S. road racing
Rather than stand by in 1984 while privateers went road racing with their new C4 design, Corvette engineers took a page out of Ed Cole’s 30-year-old playbook and linked with top-flight independents, in a quasi factory competition effort that turned out to be almost too successful.
Teams led by Tommy Morrison, Kim Baker, Doug Rippie and John Powell participated in testing the cars for the Corvette racing group.
The result was a 19-for-19 win record in SCCA’s Escort Endurance Championship series, a clean-sweep performance that resulted in an invitation after the 1987 season for the Corvettes to race elsewhere. That led to the multi-million-dollar Corvette Challenge series of 1988 and ’89, which produced an extreme rarity at Chevrolet, a collectible batch of VIN-specific production C4 racers.
Corvette factory race team opens a new chapter in Chevrolet performance history
A turning point in Chevrolet’s approach to motorsports occurred in the late 1990s, when an unabashed Corvette factory racing team was established. Working with partners Pratt & Miller Engineering, Chevrolet stepped out from behind the curtain it had kept between itself and the racing arena since 1957.
Since 1999, Corvette Racing has garnered seven class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and eight American Le Mans Series team championships. The group also booked an overall win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2001, the year that an Earnhardt duo, Dale and Dale Jr., were co-drivers in one of the Corvette team cars.
Chevrolet V-8 race engine receives global recognition.
In a rare nod to the elegance of pushrod overhead valve engine design, the Corvette LS7.R engine that powered, with a perfect reliability record, the Compuware C6.R team to manufacturers, drivers and team championships in the 2006 American Le Mans Series, was named the Global Motorsport Engine of the Year.
Fifty key race engine engineers polled by England’s Race Car Engineering magazine made the selection. They praised the LS7.R engine for its compactness, simplicity, reliability and high specific output. Not coincidentally, those winning attributes have been inherent virtues of all Chevrolet small-block V-8s since 1955.
Magnificent Corvette effort produces 2011 Le Mans class win
Of all the great Corvette runs at Le Mans since 1960, none were more meaningful than the 2011 GTE Pro class victory, accomplished during Chevrolet’s Centennial year.
Team Corvette’s number 74 C6.R, driven by Jan Magnussen, Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook, was leading its class at dawn, when a collision put it out of the race. With seven hours to go, another of the Corvette Racing team’s C6.R entries, the No. 73 car driven by Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia, suddenly became the Corvette Racing team’s best hope for victory.
C6.R No. 73 was running a lap behind the AF Corse Ferrari that instantly became the frontrunner when their teammates’ car crashed. But, as the track became damp, the American car began gaining. Excellent pit stops helped put the Corvette within striking range, and with just two hours and 10 minutes to go, Milner slipped past the Ferrari, putting Corvette in the lead for the remainder of the race.
Counting Corvette Racing’s 2011 GTE Pro Class win, Corvette has won the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy seven times since 2001.