Ron Fellows Performance Driving School

ron fellows school

Are you looking for an exceptional driving experience in a high-performance sports car? Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club is your destination. As home to the exclusive Ron Fellows Corvette Performance Driving School, the Official High Performance Driving School of Corvette, we have something for every driver, from entry-level to expert. 

Recently we announced the release of new dates for Fall 2019 Ron Fellows Performance Driving Schools and they are filling fast. 

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Have you purchased a new Corvette within the last year? If so, contact us today to register for your subsidized driving school on behalf of Chevrolet. 

Don’t own a new Corvette? No problem! Our Corvette Owners School is available to non-owners and drivers of all skill levels. 

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Choose from the dates below and call TODAY 800.391.6881 to register for an unforgettable experience at one of the finest road courses in the nation.

October 14-15,15-16, 26-27

November 5-6, 18-19, 20-21, 30-12/1

December 4-5, 7-8, 19-20, 30-31

January 3-4, 5-6, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 18-19, 13-14, 20-21, 22-23, 25-26, 27-28, 29-30, 30-31

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Ron Fellows, a charter member of Corvette Racing – multi-time driving champion and class winner in every major long-distance sports car race – established his performance driving school at Spring Mountain in 2008. You will benefit from Ron’s precision detailed curriculum which will take your personal driving performance to exhilarating new levels.

The Ron Fellows Performance Driving School uses current models of the Corvette C7 Stingray, Grand Sport, Z06 and ZR1 models exclusively. Learn the skills necessary to tame these high horsepower sports cars in one of our adrenaline-charged Corvette programs. Call 800.391.6891 today to book your next driving school. 

IT’S TIME TO STORE YOUR CORVETTE!

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Here we are and it is October again. Wow! Where did the summer go? We had a great time with our Corvettes this summer attending a full schedule of Corvette events,  however, with that in mind, for those of us that live in the winter climate, NOW is the time most of us to store our Corvettes until spring. For our Corvette customers who live in better climates, we are jealous this time of year.

From washing and waxing to detailing the interior, people baby their cars in all sorts of ways. But it’s equally important to take care of your car before you put it into storage. Here are a few tips to make sure your car is ready to go when you are.

1. The Final Detail

Thoroughly clean your car, inside and out, before storage. The last thing you want to do is put a car cover on a dirty car. Give your ride a good hand wash, polish up that chrome and apply a coat of wax to the paint. Our H&H Detail Shop can also do an excellent job for you in getting your Corvette cleaned and ready for storage with an “Ultimate Detail” or even Ceramic Pro coating technology. Give us a call to schedule. 402-238-1742

If there are unpainted metal places under your car that are prone to rust, buy a can of rubberized undercoating and spray on a protective coat, keeping in mind that it needs to be reapplied yearly. Be careful not to spray this coating near any exhaust components that can get hot because products like this can be very flammable. For collectors, if you’re worried about keeping your car in original condition, a coat of WD-40 will also work. You can also stuff a sock in the exhaust pipe so that small animals won’t find a new place to set up camp, but be sure to remove it before you start the car again.

Throw out food wrappers, soda cans and any other trash that may have accumulated in the cabin. If you plan on steam-cleaning the carpet, do that far enough in advance (or after) storing the car to avoid moisture buildup and mold.

For added interior protection, you can buy a set of seat covers. To soak up cabin moisture, purchase a few packs of desiccant, laundry dryer sheets or moth balls placed in a sock and set them both inside and around the car, but you’ll probably need to air out the cabin to get rid of that distinctive smell. 

Mice and other small animals can create trouble if they get inside your car. Even though there isn’t a surefire way to protect your car from mice, there are steps you can take to make your car less appealing to them. Mousetraps work well outside the car, but never put them in your car. The last thing you want to find is a dead mouse on your passenger seat, especially months later. If you are storing your car in your own garage at home, remember that pest poison traps can be hazardous to your pets.

2. Check the tires

It’s worthwhile to inflate your tires to a higher air pressure before storing your car because tires can slowly lose pressure over time and with temperature changes. However, don’t exceed the tire’s maximum air pressure, which is listed on the side of the tire, and be sure to fill all four tires to the correct air pressure when you take your car out of storage. If you already know one of your tires has a leak, replace or repair it because it will deflate completely over time, and your car could end up kneeling on its rim.

Don’t engage the parking brake for storage as it can become “frozen” and difficult to disengage. If you’re worried about your car rolling, get some wheel chocks or blocks of wood to wedge against the tires.

For the more mechanically inclined and for owners of collectible cars, you can put your car on jack stands to take the weight off the tires and suspension. By doing this, you can avoid getting flat areas on your older tires and wheels. Procedures for doing this vary greatly from car to car, so if you’re unfamiliar with the proper and safe way to raise your car, consult with someone who knows. In all instances, be sure the floor of your storage site is completely flat and made of concrete before undertaking this.

3. Fluids and Power

It’s a good idea to use fuel stabilizer. Why? Most ethanol-blended fuels have a shelf life of only about three months. If you’re storing a car for six months, fuel stabilizer should help prevent corrosion in the fuel lines and engine. Add fuel stabilizer to a nearly full gas tank.

It’s also a good idea to change your car’s oil and oil filter and check and top-up all other fluid levels before storing your car. If you live in a colder climate, make sure your car has enough antifreeze. Once you’ve topped off the fluids and added fuel stabilizer, take your car out for one last ride to circulate the new fluids. A complete check up and oil and filter change at the H&H Service Department can be arranged by calling 402-238-1742 to make an appointment. Our Certified Corvette Technicians are on hand to pamper your Corvette before storage.

4. The  battery

Your car battery should be either removed and stored, or connected to a trickle charger or battery tender. Battery tenders are available thru the H&H Parts Department. Make sure your battery tender or charger has a float mode or automatic shutoff feature so the battery doesn’t get overcharged. You can run the battery tender’s cables up through the underside of the engine bay so that you can keep the hood closed and your car cover in place. If the batter is located in the trunk be sure you lightly close the trunk lid to be certain the trunk light goes off to save the battery. Flat style power cords work best. On late model Corvettes equipped with numerous and assorted electronics it is best to keep your batter fully charged so reprogramming isn’t necessary.

If you want to remove the battery but still have it on a battery tender, set it on a piece of wood in your garage and attach it to the tender. Make sure not to lose track of the two battery bolts. Keeping your car’s battery charged prolongs the life of the battery, and you don’t have to wonder whether your car will start. You can also remove the battery and store it in a warm room in your home. Keep in mind that cold batteries can freeze and may crack.

5. Car Cover

Invest in a quality car cover. If you store your car outside, make sure that cover is waterproof and is securely attached to your car so that high winds don’t blow it off. Universal and custom-fit car covers are available at online retailers and at H&H Parts Department. There is a big difference between a $25 universal-fit car cover and a high-quality model-specific cover. Your best bet is to get one that’s breathable and keeps out moisture. Never cover your car with a plastic tarp as it will severely scratch the paint.

A basic car cover is worthwhile if you store your car inside because it can protect your car’s freshly waxed exterior from accumulating dust and dirt. In addition, a thicker car cover provides a layer of protective padding for your car’s exterior in case you bump it while you move items around in your garage.

It’s easier to have another set of hands available when putting a cover on your car; it also eliminates the risk of having the cover touch the ground, picking up grit. However, before you put the cover on, make sure all the windows and doors are fully closed and that valuables and necessities are out of the passenger compartment. You don’t want to open a covered, storage-ready car just to get your cell phone’s car charger. If you have a fixed antenna, you’ll also want to remove it before covering up. You can put the antenna in your trunk or on the floor by the passenger seat so it’s readily available for reinstallation.

In addition to a car cover, consider a car jacket. Just drive your car onto the jacket, put a soft car cover on it (this is a must) and zip up the outer plastic jacket. This solution provides protection from moisture, rust, rodents and dust.

6. Starting It Up

A common discussion among people who store cars is whether or not to start it every so often. If you do a proper job storing a car, you don’t need to start it, but if you want to start it up, just remember what you have to remove and put back on.” In other words, don’t start your car with those socks still stuffed in the exhaust or the battery tender’s cables in the engine bay. Completely remove the car cover, too; don’t just peel it back enough to get in the driver’s door. Never let a car run with its car cover on — or with the garage door closed.

Once your car is started, let it warm up to its operating temperature to remove any condensation and cycle the fresh oil through the engine to lubricate the parts a bit. Then, don’t forget to redo the steps needed to return your car to its storage state.

Now is the time to prepare ahead to ready your Corvette for storage. The time and proper preparation you do now will pay dividends when spring comes.

Chevy Corvette C8 Convertible Buttons Have Been Hiding In Plain Sight

Can you see them?

In the automotive realm, 2019 will go down as the year of the Corvette. We’ve relentlessly reported on pretty much every aspect of the new supercar, not to mention rumors and the unconfirmed variants still-to-come. That’s actually the main reason for this particular article because we’ll be honest – going nuts over two buttons nestled in the Corvette’s interior isn’t exactly earth-shattering news. Bear with us though, because this is about more than just a couple convertible-top controls. It’s a preview of what we’ll be seeing in person next week, but also a reminder to be vigilant. Sometimes, secrets are hiding right in front of you.

Here’s the deal. General Motors released a gaggle of images back in July when the new mid-engined Corvette was officially revealed. The convertible was teased briefly in a video at the tail end of the presentation, and the motoring world latched onto that. Meanwhile, this singular rendering of the Corvette’s cockpit sat quietly among all the photos and we didn’t give it much thought.

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Our friends at MidEngineCorvetteForum, however, are nothing if not straight-up sleuths when it comes to all things C8, and a forum member known has tbs156 realized this image included two buttons for the convertible model. One lowers the top, and the other lowers the rear window. We know, that discovery just blows your mind, but it does reveal something we’d only speculated about previously. It appears that, should you so desire, the C8’s rear window can be raised or lowered independently of the top.

So there you go….

News From GM

The 2020 Corvette Convertible offers a first-ever production retractable hardtop. The two-piece hardtop can activate at speeds up to 30 mph with the power of six electric motors for improved reliability in extreme temperatures. Plus, performance remains high when the top goes down, making this the most track-capable Corvette Convertible in history. See for yourself.

 

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Coming soon to a track near you

Debuting January 2020 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona®, the C8.R race car will feature two unique liveries and compete for Chevrolet in the GT Le Mans class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 

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Build the Dream

You’ve visualized the perfect design, now you can build and price the Corvette Stingray Coupe. Build Now

Why the New Corvette had to be Mid-Engine

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The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has a mid-mounted engine, in case you haven’t been paying attention. Why? Several reasons. Let’s drive right in.

First on the list is demographics. The front engine Corvette, on the market since 1953, and one of the first postwar American sports cars, has an increasingly older audience. The average age of the buyers was said to be 59, and male. What’s wrong with that?

Chevrolet wants to have at least one model with a youthful image, a progressive we-like-innovation type audience. But no matter what changes and updates they made to the front-engine Corvette, the audience remained stubbornly middle-aged, even beyond what you could call the age for a mid-life crisis.

You could blame that situation partly on price. Younger buyers, in their mid-30’s, are busy getting mortgages and still paying off college loans. The older guys are able to walk into a dealership and buy one in cash. But with the booming economy, it seems like $60,000 is not a barrier anymore. There are code writers that are skipping college and getting that salary out of high school. When they buy a sports car, not enough of them choose a Corvette to shift the average age younger. Front-engine Corvettes just aren’t cool enough for the younger crowd.

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Another problem with the old front engine Corvette was, some theorize, a nostalgia sale. In other words, a guy reached a certain age, he has some spare money, maybe from selling a house at a huge profit, so he buys a car he remembers as “cool” when he was young. Nostalgia sales are good, if you just want to ride that horse ‘til it drops, but there’s no growth potential. After showing as many as eleven mid-engine prototypes in the past, Chevrolet had to step up and make it real or look like some nostalgia cover band. Not the Eagles, but a band that sounds like the  Eagles.

So Chevrolet has to go where the current state-of-the art is, even if it means losing a reliable source of buyers. And the current performance state-of-the art is a mid-engine. The drawbacks of a front engine are nothing you would notice in ordinary driving, but on a twisty road, or sampling a race track with your car club, it becomes a handful at the limit. Even the pro drivers were wary of the front engine Corvette not handling consistently on the edge, although that was greatly improved over the last two generations. While every car since the C5 generation uses a transaxle to even out the front-to-rear weight distribution, the mid-engine setup focuses more mass between the two axles and makes the car more predictable and consistent.

Then there’s the chip on Chevy’s shoulder about the Corvette punching above its weight with performance numbers that look good against European exotics, not to mention the Ford GT stealing the supercar spotlight. The Ford is almost eight times the price so it’s hardly in the same ball park, but I think the Corvette will steal the limelight back with Ford GT production ending soon and higher-performance Corvette variants on the way.

Chevrolet also expects to pirate sales away from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Why? Ferrari’s average buyer is said to be 47, Lamborghini’s 48, and Porsche 911 buyers 52. If the new Corvette actually scores buyers in their ‘30s, it will be achieving Chevrolet’s dream because those buyers will be role models for future Corvette owners.

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The youth appeal even extends to the new Corvette’s color choices. Chrome wheels have been banished, for example, and hues like Rapid Blue, Accelerate Yellow, and Zeus Bronze join the exterior paint selection this year.

In a damn-the-car-with-faint praise article in a recent issue of Esquire, the author imagined a scene where a new buyer will disassociates from the stereotypical Corvette owner by saying “Just so you know, I’m not a Corvette Guy. I only drive this because it’s the best way to go zero to 60 in 3 seconds that doesn’t cost $150,000. It’s only $59,995. And look at it.” That’s Esquire‘s interpretation, but I can’t help but think this is exactly the idea Chevy is going for with the C8.

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I predict that Chevrolet will not go to great efforts to sponsor events that reek of the past and focus on things like the racing program to promote the car. They are cutting the old fans loose to some extent, but not completely. One indication of how torn Chevrolet was in doing this was that they still, for the 2020 model, kept “Stingray” in the name. It seems unnecessary, but all the automakers do it (Porsche has revived the name “Speedster” several times). A more clean break from the past lies in the decision to drop the manual transmission in the new car. The time had come to lose the third pedal, however. Even Ferrari no longer offers manuals. Modern kids coming up have never driven a manual.

Of course, marketing the Corvette to 30-year-olds is a sure-fire way to get youthful 50-year-olds to buy it. So we’ll see how much the demographic really shifts. As a former Corvette ad copywriter , back in the ‘60s, I even hope there will be an ad campaign similar to the famous one for the ’66 Shelby Mustang where the headline was “How to make an Italian cry.” I think there should be billboards showing the new Corvette with the headline “Arrivederci Ferrari.” Of course some elitists will still buy Ferraris and Lambos and McLarens so they can brag about the price, but Chevrolet has basically weakened their sales argument by showing how overpriced those brands are.

Credit: Hemmings

Corvette Newsletter October 2019

H&H IS HAPPY TO PROVIDE A LIST OF EVENTS PUT ON BY CORVETTE GROUPS IN THE METRO!

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Cornhusker Corvette Club:

Oct 12: Smeal Firetruck Cruise and Dinner – Snyder, NE

Oct 19: Fall Color Cruise – Council Bluffs, IA

Oct 25: Lofte Theatre Production “The 39 Steps” – Manley, NE

Nov 9: Veteran’s Parade – Bellevue, NE

Nov 12: Meet & Greet at Stumble Inn – Bennington, NE

 

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Midwest Early Corvette Club:

Oct 18-20: Kansas City Trip – Kansas City, MO

 


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River Valley Corvette Club:

Contact Club Members for event ideas!

 

NE Corvette Association

Nebraska Corvette Association – Lincoln, NE

Visit us at: nebraskacorvette.com

Oct 23: NCA Social – Lincoln, NE

Dec 14: NCA Christmas Party – TBD

 

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Upcoming Museum Events

View a complete list of events with more information and links to register on our website here.

Upcoming Motorsports Park Events

CORVETTE EXPERIENCE

Upcoming Dates: October 18 | October 24 | November 1

Get behind the wheel of a Corvette Stingray Z51 for a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on practice on-track. The Experience includes lunch and a guided VIP tour of the Museum. Ask us about bringing additional guest(s) too! Cost $599. BOOK HERE or call 270-777-4509.

AUTO X BY NCM

Upcoming Dates: October 19 | November 16

Auto-X by NCM keeps things simple and fun. There is no class structure, course working, trophies or drama. Join us for a day of unlimited timed autocross runs for $50! BOOK HERE.

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November 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Twinkle at the Track is a NEW drive-through holiday light experience on the west track of the NCM Motorsports Park. Vehicles can drive through more than 25 scenes totaling more than one million bright lights on a 2-mile stretch of race track! Ask us about planning a party overlooking the lights! Learn more

Corvette Chronicles: The Life Of The Corvette Knock-Off Wheels

Article Source: Corvette America

One of the most iconic details of the midyear (1963-1967) Corvettes is the use of “knock-off” wheels. The term is typically used as a paraphrase for “reproduction,” but in the sense of these stylish sports cars, it actually is the means for removing and installing them!

Except for perhaps the Opti-Spark distributor used on the second-generation small-block, there may not be any other item offered by General Motors that defined the era, yet brought so much trepidation. Imagine having a pristine paintjob on your Corvette, and each time you wanted to remove or install a wheel, you needed to beat on the center with a hammer. That meant hoisting the heavy tool within close proximity to the car’s fender or quarter-panel’s paint!

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Knock-off wheels are iconic. They’re also more complex to use than the typical five-bolt-style wheels. They attach to the hub using an adapter (shown in front of the wheels), that ironically, is bolted to the hub using the five lugs. Photo: Corvette Forum

If you do it correctly (and many enthusiasts have proven that it can be done), there will be no problems. But, if you don’t, you might lose a wheel. So, to recap – you can bugger up the bodywork on your Corvette by hitting it with a hammer, or you can be driving along and allow your newly-loosened wheel to do it for you. It doesn’t take long to see why some enthusiasts are hesitant to take a set of knock-off wheels lightly.

The Difference In The Details

The original knock-off wheels were produced by Kelsey Hayes for use on the then-new midyear Corvette but were also used on many European autos prior to Corvette adopting them. Knock-offs were even used on some of Carroll Shelby’s creations, but we’re going to stick with the Chevrolet side of things for now.

To say there are a few different types and styles of knock-off wheels would be an understatement. There are the original wheels, which were manufactured for GM by Kelsey Hayes. There are also reproduction wheels that were made by Western Wheel. Other companies have begun reproducing knock-off wheels, with each one being slightly different.

Parts supplier, Corvette America, offers both knock-off and bolt-on style wheels for Corvettes. For judging purposes, enthusiasts are recommended to consult the appropriate judging manuals for their particular year of Corvette. There is a lot of information available as to what is correct and acceptable, more than we can cover here.

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The hub adapter on the left (from Corvette America) actually mounts the wheel to the vehicle. The hub in the center, mounts only the spinner to the bolt-on style wheel so it appears like a knock-off wheel. Most aftermarket wheelsets use safety (also called anti-theft) pins to keep the spinners from rotating (right). They insert into the semi-circular opening when they line up after the wheel is installed. A properly-installed knock-off wheel will have the hub assembly flush with the wheel, as shown in this photo. Photo: Corvette Forum

One way the OE wheels differ from most of the aftermarket wheels is the omission of the “safety pin” that helps ensure the spinner does not rotate during use. Another thing about the factory wheels for 1963-1967 Corvettes is the understanding that no 1963 Corvettes were shipped from the factory with knock-off wheels. That said, some Corvettes were shown having knock-offs. But, they were limited to the first few Pilot cars or some of the rare race cars sent to those lucky racers who knew the combination to Chevrolet’s back door.

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While knock-off wheels were intended to start with the beginning of the midyear generation, a lawsuit against Kelsey Hayes put the project on hold. As it turns out, the early knock-offs — which were identified by their two-bar spinners — also used gear-toothed mating to the hub adapter. It’s reported that Dayton Wheel owned the patent on this style. Starting in 1964 — when knock-offs were first offered to the public — they used a pin-driven method of mating to the adapter. This makes these early wheels incredibly desirable and rare.

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In 1964, the original Kelsey-Hayes wheels had the manufacturing dates ink-stamped on the wheel’s mating surface. For 1965 and 1966, the wheels had the dates hard-stamped on the backside. Then, in 1967, almost as quickly as they appeared, the knock-offs were gone, thanks to federal regulations. The wheels still looked similar, but the rotating spinner was considered unsafe and eliminated.

When To Knock It Off

Many enthusiasts have crouched beside their newly-purchased midyear — hammer in hand — ready to dislodge one of their knock-offs only to find out they were not knock-off wheels. They look like knock-off wheels but are, in fact, bolt-on knock-off wheels. These reproduction wheels were designed to give the stylish appeal of the original knock-offs, but provide the assurance of retaining the wheel using the tried-and-true five-lug fasteners instead of the single spinner.

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Spinners and hub adapters are side-specific. Left-hand refers to the driver’s side, Right-hand is for the passenger’s side. As a rule of thumb, the spinners always tighten by rotating to the rear of the vehicle (driver’s side = clockwise, passenger’s side = counter-clockwise). Photos: Corvette America

In this case, the spinner still spins, but only to fasten the chrome cone to the hub assembly. Once the spinner and the cone are removed, the five lug-bolts are easily accessed to remove the wheel. These are great for owners who want the look, but not the burden, of occasionally checking wheels for tightness.

Gettin’ It On

As you can imagine, properly installing something with a hammer is much more important than removing it. Such is the case with knock-off wheels. While there are a few variations, depending on who you ask, there are also some very important, and widely-accepted steps to ensure they remain on the vehicle at speed.

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The wheel is driven by the drive pins on the hub assembly. Safety (anti-theft) pins go between the hub assembly and the spinner to prevent them from rotating. Photos: Corvette America

One of the most significant points of interest has to do with the spinners and the hub adapters, not the wheels. The spinners are side-specific. The hub and spinner on the left (driver) side of the vehicle is a right-hand thread, while the spinner and hub on the right (passenger) side are a left-hand thread. The idea is the spinner would only tighten with the wheel’s rotation, not loosen. It’s also debatable whether this is necessary with the modern, aftermarket wheels and their safety pin design. Either way, the aftermarket wheels are also left and right specific.

Once the hub adapters are bolted onto the vehicle’s hubs (ironically, with the five lug nuts), the wheel can be installed, and the trim cone and spinner can be spun into place. There are two different-sized bosses machined into the back of each wheel. The larger holes are there to give clearance for the longer, knock-off-style lug nuts. The other hole is just the right size for a drive pin that will drive the wheel.

If you use regular, short lug nuts, you can unknowingly put the drive pins into the larger lug openings and the lugs into the drive pinholes. This will allow the wheel to rotate on the adapter. Doing so can elongate the drive-pin holes and the wheel could eventually fall off. The larger and longer knock-off lug nuts should prevent this as they shouldn’t fit into the drive pin openings.

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Once everything is in place and the car is still in the air, you’ll need a trusty assistant to press on the brake pedal to prevent the wheel from spinning. You want the wheel to freely center itself on the beveled surface of the hub assembly. At this point, you are now ready to take a hammer to your Corvette.

As is the case with any specialized task, there are opinions on the best way to get the desired result. Installing knock-off wheels is no different. Because we’re smacking shiny chrome parts with a hammer, it goes without saying that not any old hammer will do. In fact, Chevrolet provided an approved hammer when you purchased your Corvette or an over-the-counter set of knock-off wheels. A special lead hammer is specified, due to it being softer than the chrome surface of the spinner, and you’ll be hitting it with the hammer – hard.

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In today’s modern world, there are new, possibly better, alternatives. Many enthusiasts prefer to use a lead-filled dead-blow hammer. Others opt for a six-pound pounder called the Mother Thumper. This mass of lead has quite a following in the knock-off world and joins all the benefits of a lead hammer with the additional benefits of using a bigger hammer! For those really industrious types, you can even make your own lead hammer, as shown in the video below.

Reportedly, Chevrolet suggested about eight, good whacks with the lead hammer (adjust accordingly if using a Mother Thumper). Then, check to see that the wheel is seated properly. If your wheels have the safety-pin recesses, continue knocking the spinner until one of the pin openings in the spinner lines up with one of the recesses in the hub assembly. Do not install the safety pins at this time. Continue installing each of the wheels in this fashion.

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Once all of the wheels are installed, mark a line on each of the spinners and hub adapters and take the car for a short drive around the block. Check to see if each mark is still intact. If not, re-tighten the wheel and re-test. If all spinners appear to be secure, then go for another longer drive, and re-check each spinner. Stop immediately if any wobbling or sloppiness appears, as a wheel may be working itself loose. If everything checks out on the longer drive, then install each of the safety pins and chrome caps.

You’re Never Done

The once-and-done installation of bolt-on wheels is why many Corvette enthusiasts who drive their cars often, opt for the bolt-on style knock-offs. For those who want the full effect of knock-offs — responsibilities and all — diligence is the key to safe travels. Some enthusiasts will safety wire the spinners to ensure that they have not shifted in transport. Others will mark their wheels with tape or other means. The hard-core group of knock-off owners will simply keep their lead hammer handy, and check their wheels from time to time – sometimes mid-trip.

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Many enthusiasts keep a small, flat screwdriver with their lead hammer so they can remove the small chrome cap. Many a safety pin has been destroyed because someone didn’t remove this cap and notice the pin first. The chrome cone is just for show and comes off once the spinner is removed. Photos: Corvette America

While these wheels are arguably one of the aspects that epitomize the midyear era, their quirks and exclusivity are also one of the things that makes this era’s enthusiasts such a tightly-knit group. Sharing information and know-how with others is a lot easier thanks to the Internet. It might have even simplified installing a set of knock-off wheels, or made them a little safer if nothing else!

Article Source: Corvette America

The Corvette’s Introduction In 1953

Have you noticed how new car introductions seemed to have lost their luster over the past few decades? With the recent introduction of the next-generation Corvette aside, it seems manufacturers aren’t really excited about introducing the latest creation to the world at large. That wasn’t the case in 1953 when the Corvette was first introduced. Back then, it was obvious the excitement was shared on both sides of the velvet rope.

Back in the ’50s and ’60s, dealerships would whitewash their windows to keep prying eyes from prematurely seeing the newest offerings. It was a great way to build anticipation, as well as get potential customers across the dealership’s thresholds. In a world where information didn’t travel at the speed of light, enthusiasts had plenty of time to pour over a new car’s surface and see what was new. With today’s cell phones and the Internet, automakers have given up on soapstone and whitewash, favoring spy photos and information leaks to whet the buyer’s appetites.

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Corvette made its first introduction at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Many people saw the Corvette for the first time, including Zora Arkus-Duntov.

In 1949, GM created its own venue for highlighting its newest offerings to the buying public. What became known as the “Motorama” – a title that was first used for the 1953 event – these expositions would travel around the nation, giving the world its first glimpse at the cars that would move them into tomorrow.

A Star Is Born

When Chevrolet sought to show its sports car to the world, it did it in grand fashion at the General Motors Motorama held at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel on Jan. 17, 1953. Production began a frantic six-months later.

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The 300 Corvettes built in the Flint plant were hand-assembled. Production speed improved as more cars were built, but the first 1953 Corvette took three, 16-hour days to assemble.

The cars were destined to be an American answer to the small, nimble European sports cars many G.I.s experienced while visiting Europe on Uncle Sam’s payroll. In an attempt to make Corvette unmistakably American, Chevrolet devised a unique emblem for its new sports car, featuring an American flag crossing a checkered flag.

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The first production Corvette rolled off the line on June 30, 1953.

There was only one problem. Just a decade earlier, folks in the white, domed building passed the National Flag Code, which made it illegal for the flag to be used for advertising purposes. There was no way Chevy would be able to trademark the crossed flags with an American flag in the mix. The faux pas was realized just hours before the car’s debut, and a different emblem featuring two different crossed-flags — one wearing a Chevrolet Bow Tie emblem and the other, a French fleur-de-lis symbol — was flown-in to replace the illegal logo. The original logo has survived the ages and now resides at the National Corvette Museum.

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The first Corvette logo (Left) could not be used due to the American flag being part of the emblem. It was swapped at the last minute before Corvette’s debut. The emblem now resides in its own display at the National Corvette Museum.

Once the curtains were pulled back, the world was all too happy to take in Chevrolet’s latest creation. The Corvette’s first showing proved to be an overwhelming success. The world seemed to flow through the turnstiles, and the word “Corvette” was now a permanent part of their vocabulary. What began as a simple question to gauge the public’s interest in an American two-seater raised the larger convern of how Chevrolet was going to satiate the buyer’s apparent hunger.

The first complete Corvettes rolled out of Chevrolet’s converted Customer Delivery Garage off of Van Slyke Road in Flint, Michigan, on June 30, 1953. Each one of the cars was hand-assembled on the assembly line, and only 300 Corvettes were made for the 1953 model year — all Polo White with red interiors and black convertible tops. The first 1953 Corvette took three, 16-hour days to assemble, but production eventually ramped up with three cars rolling off the line each day.

A Bigger Inspiration

Corvette’s impact on society from its first showing in New York goes far deeper than merely stoking the appetites of American drivers. Among those power-hungry people was a Belgian-born American engineer by the name of Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Zora managed to bootleg more things through Chevrolet than any other engineer I’ve ever known. – Ed Cole, Chevrolet Chief Engineer

Zora was both enamored and underwhelmed with the new sports car. He couldn’t take his eyes off of the sexy lines of this new design, but he also couldn’t believe his eyes. How could Chevrolet infuse this car with the Blue Flame six-cylinder engine?

From his prior experience, Zora was quite familiar with performance driving, having learned from the likes of Sidney Allard in the development of the Allard J2 race car. He penned a letter to Ed Cole, who was Chief Engineer at Chevrolet at the time and suggested several improvements. He also stated, “It would be a pleasure to work on such a beautiful car.” Zora was hired at Chevrolet shortly thereafter.

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Zora Arkus-Duntov was enamored with Corvette’s sleek lines but did not have the same sentiment for its six-cylinder engine or two-speed transmission.

Corvette’s biggest fan was now working on the inside, but not always with company approval. Ed Cole reportedly once stated, “Zora managed to bootleg more things through Chevrolet than any other engineer I’ve ever known.” His ability to get things done under the radar is still legendary within the halls of GM.

Zora was able to somehow keep Corvette alive until it could sustain itself, thanks to Chevrolet’s new V8 engine and Corvette’s four-speed transmission. Fuel injection soon followed, along with various other performance concoctions that were either deemed too costly or too far ahead of their time.

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Zora’s passion for performance oozed into Corvette’s lifeblood. His commitment to increased performance moved ahead, with-or-without his supervisor’s approval.

Zora continued being Chevrolet’s ace-in-the-hole on race day. His conviction that racing improves the breed stood true and kept Chevy in the race with other manufacturers through the muscle-car years. He continually butted heads with bean counters and upper management whenever his endeavors would come to light.

Even then, Zora continued to read the rule-book from the back-side of every page. In the midst of the 1957 Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (AMA) ban, when upper management doubled-down, withdrawing all financial support for racing in 1963, Zora was putting the finishing touches on what would become the Grand Sport Corvette. Intending to build at least 125 cars to meet homologation rules — and known as “lightweights” — these cars were race-bred track monsters. While corporate managers were expecting a still-birth of the car, Zora was busy ferreting parts and complete cars throughout GM’s vast facilities to select racers. Only five cars were ever built, and they enjoy extreme rarity and collectability. They also stand as a testament to Zora’s ability to get things done — no matter what.

Ahead Of His Time

One thing Zora never saw to completion was convincing GM of the benefits surrounding a mid-engine Corvette. He made several attempts — some of which were quite stunning in appearance — while others were exercises in a proof-of-concept. Until his retirement in 1975, Zora kept chipping away at the front-engine ceiling, but never felt the warmth from the sun that rose on the other side.

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The 1953 Corvette was the first mass-produced car featuring a lightweight fiberglass body. It was always a testbed for innovative technology right down to the very fiber that comprised the bodies of the first cars produced.

One of the traits of a true visionary is they are typically so far ahead of those around them, it usually takes time for everyone else to catch up. In Zora’s case for the mid-engine Corvette, he was so far ahead that it took several generations before the idea could be realized. We are just now seeing the bloom of those seeds that were carefully planted by Zora’s hand.

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A mid-engine design was always at the forefront of Zora’s mind. Even in the midst of emissions and fuel-mileage edicts, he felt there was a place in Chevy’s lineup for a mid-engine car.

The recent reveal of the next-generation C8 Corvette took the Internet by storm. Rather than clogging halls in various events around the nation, the mid-engine reveal pushed the limits of the Internet itself. The reveal set records for viewership and captured the gaze of millions, who were eager to see the new car for the first time.

We can’t help but wonder who might be looking upon this latest iteration of Corvette with the same passion and thought that Zora possessed. Not content with where we currently are, but thinking forward, REALLY far forward and asking themselves, “What if?”

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SOURCE: Bolig

Mid-engine C8 Corvette convertible to be revealed in October

Chevrolet previewed its next-generation Chevrolet Corvette convertible during the world debut of the C8 coupe with a handful of teaser images, but the droptop wasn’t actually at the event. At the time, we didn’t know how long we’d have to wait to see the new Corvette convertible in the flesh, but we now have a date to circle on the calendar.

Corvette Assembly Plant Manager Kai Spande let slip that we should expect to see the Corvette convertible “in the October timeframe.” Admittedly that’s a big circle to put on a calendar, but Spande’s words at least give us some clarity on when to expect the Corvette convertible.

Automakers often hold back different variants of a new sports car to keep interest high. Although not always the case, that strategy means buyers sometimes have to wait a year or more between the launch of the base car and spin-off models like a convertible. Thankfully, it doesn’t sound as if that’ll be the case with the new Corvette.

If Chevy sticks to an October introduction of the all-new Corvette convertible, we should see the open-air model in showrooms by early 2020—just in time for warmer spring weather.

Powertrain specs for the Corvette convertible haven’t been discussed, but they should mirror those of the Corvette coupe. That means we should expect a 490-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 in base form, or a 495-hp version of the same engine with the optional Z51 performance package. An 8-speed dual-clutch automatic will be standard across the board. As with previous generations of Corvette, the C8 convertible should spawn high-performance models like the Z06 and ZR1.

The Corvette convertible will use a retractable hardtop that will fold into a compartment just behind the passenger cabin. Because the roof will essentially sit on top of the Corvette’s mid-mounted engine when retracted, the C8 convertible will do without the coupe’s clear engine cover.

Chevrolet has offered no word on pricing yet, but given the base Corvette’s starting price of less than $60,000, it’s probably a safe bet that the C8 convertible will start from under $70,000.

Source: Motor Authority

So You Think You Can Drive?

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So you think you can drive?

I’m not talking about ovals here, nor am I talking your performance racing on flat concrete around little orange cones. Fun, yes, but not challenging enough.

What I’m talking about here is the adventure to push those skills to the limits. Finding new limits to push yourself and doing it in a Corvette.

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Welcome to an adventure you must experience for yourself. The Great Mountain Corvette Fascination. Start by contacting Mandy at Palm Island Car Tours. Mandy is the owner and will be your lead guide as you cruise the country roads and highways.

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It all starts in Munich, Germany where we were met at the airport and were transported to the Hotel Erb. Upon arrival, we met with the group of fellow adventurers over dinner and drinks and then retired for a night’s sleep. The next morning we had a great breakfast and assigned our Corvette. A 2018 Corvette coupe. An important paper signing and an inventory of any scratches or dings in the car prior to us signing for it, and then we were off. We were given a pamphlet prepared by Mandy that listed our daily routes and names of towns we stopped in. The book was very helpful in prep as it listed traffic signs and descriptions of those signs meanings. I can say that I was never a fan of round about’s and now have more appreciation of their usefulness to control traffic. Mandy also downloaded the GPS for our daily trips to help assist our routes. Ron and I quickly learned that this driving was not for the meek and mild drivers ( us flatlander’s ) Mandy described the driving as “Spirited”, I defined it as aggressively driving.

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Our first day of driving was eye-opening as the roads are narrower and you have bicycles everywhere. Fast paced switchbacks as you climb and descend the mountain roads, one after the other, using the paddle shift on the Corvette saved on braking and help get you up and down with ease. Our tour covered Germany, Austria, and Italy. Scenery is breathtaking and beautiful, stayed in fabulous hotels every night and the food exceptional. Met with about 80 Corvette’s from Club Italy and made some new friends.

Ron Wesely and Brad Petersen