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Corvette LeMans: Ride Along With a Live Video Feed

Race fans will have an all-access view of this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with exclusive features that include “riding along” with Corvette for the entire race. SPEED will carry 17 hours of live coverage on television Saturday and Sunday. Via a partnership with Corvette Racing, fans can go to to view the hours not televised, including a special live stream providing a constant look from inside one of the two Corvettes seeking a seventh class win at Le Mans.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, begins at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EST) Saturday. The live web stream of the race on will air race coverage without commercial interruption for hours of the race not carried on television.

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most prestigious and demanding events in all of racing,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president for performance and motorsports. “We jumped at the opportunity to work with SPEED to provide fans expanded coverage from Le Mans, with an inside view of how Corvette will battle its peers, the world’s best sports cars.”

The streaming video feed will be from the cockpit of the No. 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R piloted by Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia. The special web coverage will also include links to an in-depth video tour of the legendary Le Mans circuit in the No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R with commentary from Oliver Gavin, who will seek his fifth class win for Corvette at Le Mans this weekend. 

Corvette Racing faces fierce competition on the imposing Le Mans circuit with entries representing Ferrari, BMW, Porsche, Lotus and Aston Martin.

The No. 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Beretta, Milner and Garcia finished third in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Gavin will be teamed with Jan Magnussen in the No. 74 Compuware Corvette Le Mans, a pairing that won the GT1 title three consecutive years in 2004-06. Richard Westbrook will be the third driver.  Corvette competes in the renamed GTE Pro class this year at Le Mans.

Note: Corvette Racing press releases, high-resolution images and media kit can be downloaded from the Team Chevy media website:

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Win a Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

Ross Downing Chevrolet is helping to put you behind the wheel of a brand new 2012 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible! Go to and test your Vette knowledge for your chance to enter this Corvette contest. The winner will also receive a 5-day 4-night trip for 2 to the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans in France! This is without a doubt the biggest contest in the history of the automobile – and it just so happens to be for Corvette lovers like yourself. We hope that this brand new Vette goes to a visitor like you!

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VIDEO – Paint and installation of Z06 hood and wide body fenders

It’s that time again! We pay a visit to our Service Department to check in on this awesome Z06 that we’ve been working on for a while now. This video takes you through the painting and installation of aftermarket wide body fenders and a Lingenfelter hood on a 2008 Corvette Z06. See more of this build on the Corvette Community website!

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New Details Emerge on 2012 Corvette Performance Packages

The 2012 Chevy Corvette Centennial Edition

Chevrolet announced today that it will once again elevate Corvette’s performance capabilities with a series of improvements for the 2012 model year that improve on-track performance and on-road comfort. They include enhancements to the high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models as well as interior upgrades across the Corvette lineup.

Sports car fans will get their first look at the 2012 models – including the racing-inspired appearance of the Chevrolet Centennial Edition  – at a special event this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Production begins in July.

“We constantly strive to make the Corvette a better car on the road and the track,” says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. “For 2012, the Corvette lineup achieves its highest performance level ever, while at the same time being easier to drive and enjoy thanks to several changes and new features inside the car.”

Interior of the 2012 Chevrolet COrvette

New Michelin Cup ZP tires elevate Z06/ZR1 performance

Corvette’s greater performance for 2012 begins with the new, optional Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, which are available on the two highest-performing models, the lightweight, 505-hp (377 kW) Z06 and the maximum-performance, 638-hp (476 kW) supercharged ZR1. They are competition-oriented tires, optimized for warm, dry conditions to increase cornering and handling capability.

When combined with the Corvette’s exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires are expected to help set new benchmarks for Corvette performance. Engineers estimate an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to more than 1.1g, and improved braking distance. Testing at Virginia International Raceway has demonstrated improvement of approximately three seconds per lap.

The Cup ZP tires were developed by the same Michelin engineers who develop tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. They are included in the optional Z07 performance package on the Corvette Z06 and a new PDE performance package on the ZR1. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel offered in 2011.

Performance Traction Management (offered on the Z06 for the first time in 2012) is an advanced system that optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. The system also integrates traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems to enhance race track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.

A full-width racing-style spoiler for improved aerodynamics is also included in both the ’12 Z07 and PDE packages. The Z06 model will now offer Magnetic Selective Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension technology – an innovation Corvette pioneered several years ago. And as before, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes will be a part of the Z07 chassis package (they are standard on ZR1). Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires remain standard on the ZR1.

A carbon fiber hood will be an available option on 2012 Z06 models, while the standard manual transmission for ZR1 will include taller gearing in fifth and sixth gears, for a 2-mpg improvement in highway fuel economy.

Interior and feature changes

All 2012 Corvette models will include a new seat design and a new steering wheel. The seats feature larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas, which provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving while remaining comfortable for daily street driving. Microfiber suede seat inserts are optional and improve tactile feel, as well as add additional support.

The new seats are complemented by the revised steering wheel, featuring model-specific badges, streamlined switch trim and wrapped spokes. Padded center console and armrests for all models are now included for 2012. An additional visual touch inside the car is contrasting color stitching – in red, blue and yellow – which is available with the custom leather-wrapped interior.

Also coming in 2012 is a new Bose uplevel audio system, which includes nine speakers (compared to seven in 2011) for improved audio quality that is more precisely tuned to the cabin’s acoustics. New tweeters located in the instrument panel and improved Bose Nd next-generation bass performance is the main benefit that Corvette drivers will hear.

A new Technology Package (2LT trim level) brings together many of the Corvette’s popular infotainment features and makes them available for more models. The package’s equipment includes the navigation radio, head-up display, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and a USB port.

Wrapping up the new features for 2012 is the availability for customers to select brake caliper colors, for more personalization of their Corvette. The calipers are offered in the red, yellow, silver or gray.

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Corvette Accessories!

Chevy Corvette Accessories

At Ross Downing Chevrolet we understand that your Corvette is more than a car it is your passion!  So we wanted to remind you that we offer a ton of great GM accessories for your Corvette! 

Our online accessories tool is a really cool way to find and purchase them.  This tool allows you to actually view the accessories on a 3d view of the Vette so you can see what they will look like on your car.  It will also give you installed and parts only prices….an the best thing is that since they are GM accessories they are covered under warranty.

Once you find the ones you are looking for it is real easy.  Just print out the ones you like or just add to cart and we will contact you to confirm.  Once they come in our trained technicians will put them on for you.  Its that easy.   So, if you are itching to add something extra to your Corvette just click the below!

Accessories Page

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Decoding Corvette VINs – It’s Old VIN Time Again

Every Corvette owner knows his or her car has a vehicle identification number (VIN) that’s intended to help prevent theft and aid in the recovery of the car if stolen. But that’s not the only reason behind the original car-ID system that was introduced in the U.S. in 1954. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), which administers the VIN program, “One of the original purposes was to enhance public safety…based on the assumption that drivers of stolen vehicles are more likely to operate those vehicles unsafely and thus be involved in vehicle crashes.”

Today’s VINs serve a much wider purpose than theft prevention, recovery, and public safety. “The VIN has…become the key identifier in data systems that track such things as compliance with federal importation regulations, vehicle registrations, insurance coverage, and motor vehicle crashes. Entities that today utilize VINs in data systems include NHTSA, state motor-vehicle departments, law-enforcement agencies, insurance companies, organizations involved in motor vehicle research, and manufacturers,” says the agency. 

In addition to these regulatory and safety functions, VINs allow Corvette owners to obtain certain historical information, depending on the year of the vehicle. 

From 1953 through 1964, the Corvette’s VIN provided data in a 10-digit sequence, showing model, model year, assembly plant, and serial number, respectively. (Note: ’55 Corvettes used an 11-digit VIN sequence that began with the letter “V” to designate the V-8 engine in the vehicle.) 

Model-year ’65-’71 Corvettes used a 13-digit VIN system, which listed GM Division, car line or series, engine type (V-8, but not the specific engine option), body style, model year, assembly plant, and production sequence number. 

In 1972, General Motors revised the VIN for all of its divisions and their models, including Chevrolet and the Corvette. The new alphanumeric sequence included engine type—not just whether the engine was a V-8—and assigned a specific letter (later, single-digit numbers were used, too) to every RPO engine available in the Corvette during the model year. This change made it possible to quickly identify a Corvette’s original engine option by looking at the alphanumeric character in the fifth position on the VIN and decoding it. 

In 1976, the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association petitioned NHTSA to adopt a 17-digit industry-standard VIN, which the agency did in 1981. The new system added even more data to the metal plate, including country of origin, manufacturer, and restraint system installed. Though later revised for uniformity across all domestic and import vehicle lines—and to include a scannable bar code—it’s still in use today and is scheduled to remain in use for the next 30 years. 

GM keeps VIN Data cards from model year ’72 through ’11 in a database system, as a way of helping dealers’ service departments decode VIN-plate data. (Our research shows that 1972 is the first year of the VIN Data cards.) In Part 1, we’ll help you decode Corvette VINs from 1972 through 1982. Over the next few months, we’ll show you how to decode the VINs found on ’84-’11 Corvettes. 

Note: GM’s Passenger Car VIN Data cards are inconsistent in naming data fields. For example, in some years GM calls the model-year code “Year Designation,” while in others it calls it “Last Digit of Model Year.” We’ve left the data-field-naming anomalies exactly as they appear on the official cards. Corvette owners who are interested in decoding ’53-’71 Corvette VINs may find decoders on the Internet or in myriad books dedicated to the subject. 

Decoding Corvette Vins

Example: 1Z37K2S123456
1 – Division Line (1=Chevrolet)
2 – Series (Z=Corvette)
3-4 – Body Style (37=Coupe, two-door hardtop, 67=Coupe, two-door convertible)
5 – Engine Type (K=350ci/200hp, L=350ci/255hp, W=454ci/270hp)
6 – Year Designation (2=1972)
7 – Plant (S=St. Louis, Missouri)
8-13 – Serial (Starts at 500001 through 527004)


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SHIFT 2 Unleashed: Tommy Milner’s Hot Lap of Laguna Seca

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