SEMA 2013: Lingenfelter C7 Corvette Prototype

There was a lot of buzz at this year’s SEMA show about the new 2014 C7 Corvette. We met up with Jason Haines from Lingenfelter Performance Engineering to hear about some of the different packages they are working on for this car.

The team at LPE have not yet released the official numbers for their C7 Corvette performance kits. The car at their booth is a prototype, but it’s probably pretty close to what the final package will look like.

1986 Ferrari Testarossa Spider

First off I must apologize for not dragging my camera along with me, I was only able to click off a couple cell phone shots.

If you know anything about these convertible Ferrari’s than you know that there was officially only one Spider.  With that kind of exclusivity I’m sure the official car is stored away in a European museum somewhere for no one to see or drive.  Which leads me to believe that this car must have been a conversion, likely from an independent coachbuiler, possibly Pininfarina (known best for setting the automotive world on fire with the game changing Cadillac Allante). Continue reading

What’s the Deal with Retro ‘Vettes?

There is a famous expression that “everything old is new again.” It seems like there are plenty of examples in today’s world of new things designed to look, feel, or sound like old things. Let me give you some examples.

Many digital cameras and mobile phones will play a pre-recorded “shutter click” sound when you take a picture, even though the device does not have a mechanical shutter. If you’ve been to a casino in the last decade, you may have noticed that the slot machines play a sound of coins dropping into a tray, even though the payouts are electronic.

Have you noticed that virtually every bottle of maple syrup sold today has a tiny, useless “handle?” It’s purely a decoration, a throwback to the days when syrup actually came in jugs. Its purpose is the same principle as people who attach non-functional shutters to the outside of their house, or compact fluorescent/LED light bulbs shaped like incandescent bulbs. From Instagram photos to simulated woodgrain, our lives are full of “new” things trying to emulate the look and feel of something old.

There is a name for these things: they are called skeuomorphs. Like everything else, the automotive world is not immune to the skeuomorph. I have noticed that for some reason, people just love to take new Corvettes and make them look like old Corvettes. I just don’t understand this practice. Continue reading

The Roadster Shop’s 1962 Corvette C1RS

When you get right down to it, a car is a machine that does work. It transports people and cargo from one location to another. For most people, a car is just another appliance which is no different from an alarm clock or a garbage disposal. It is a purpose-built machine that makes our lives easier in some way. You use it when you need to, fix or replace it when it breaks, and feel no special attachment to it.

From the beginning of the automobile era, cars were designed with functionality in mind.  Early automobiles were simply boxes on a ladder frame with some wheels. Today, cars have evolved into sophisticated, computer-controlled machines – but I would argue that the majority of cars on the road are still more functional than beautiful.

The appearance of a car hasn’t changed much because it hasn’t needed to: a car doesn’t need to be beautiful to get us where we are going. While I can certainly appreciate the intrinsic beauty of something that is purely functional, I can also appreciate when things are both functional and beautiful.

This car, a customized 1962 Corvette roadster “C1RS” is one of the most aesthetically beautiful cars I have ever seen. This vehicle transcends the definition of a car or even a hot rod, it is a work of art.

Continue reading

Barrett-Jackson Auctions First 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray

While the Batmobile was definitely the crowd favorite of the Barrett-Jackson 2013 Scottsdale auction, I was looking forward to seeing a different car. On Saturday January 19th, they auctioned the first production model (VIN #0001) of the seventh-generation 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

When Chevrolet says the 2014 Corvette is “all-new,” they aren’t kidding around! The Corvette has a new exterior look, a brand new engine, and a completely redone interior. Even the sacred round taillamps have been redone! With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the changes.

Continue reading

1961 LS3 Pro-Touring Corvette Convertible

One of the cars that caught my eye at Barrett-Jackson 2013 was this gleaming red 1961 Corvette Convertible. Like a bald eagle or a baseball game, the sight of a first-generation Corvette is one of those symbols that should fill any red-blooded American with a sense of pride. It certainly caught my attention, and I went in for a closer look.

This car is built in the “Pro-Touring” style, which means it is an older car (roughly from the 50s to the 70s) that has been upgraded with today’s technology. I have a fondness for pro-touring cars, and this one was absolutely perfect.

Continue reading

Spinning Tires

Let’s take a look at the week gone by: