Chevrolet

Watch Chevy’s First Electrified Corvette Prototype Whip Around the Nürburgring

Watch Chevy’s First Electrified Corvette Prototype Whip Around the Nürburgring

Chevrolet’s first electrified Corvette is getting closer.

Almost three months after the automaker finally confirmed it was developing a hybrid C8, video of the car undergoing track testing at Germany’s Nürburgring has surfaced online. We’re still waiting for concrete details about what to expect from the much-anticipated model, but it’s hard not to get excited by the footage of the coupé roaring around the infamous race track.

The stirring clip was posted to YouTube on Wednesday by CarSpyMedia. The video runs just shy of three-and-a-half minutes and depicts three different mid-engine prototypes—numbered four, five and seven—circling the “Green Hell” for the first time. The cars are all wrapped in digital camouflage, so it’s hard to make out any body changes. The most telling aspect of the video, though, is the audio. You can clearly hear the electrified prototype’s V-8, which lets out more of a loud thunder than a crackle.

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The roar that emanates from the prototype suggests that its hybrid-assisted powertrain will pair an electric “e-booster” motor with the 6.5-liter LT2 V-8 found in the C8 Stingray, rather than the 5.5-liter LT6 found in the Z06. Although the base model’s mill is bigger, the V-8 in the performance-oriented variant has a flat-plane crank which keeps weight down and produces more power, speed and sound. The LT2 may not be as powerful as the LT6—it produces 490 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque compared to 670 horses and 460 ft lbs of twist—but the presence of an electric motor could make up the difference.
Past reporting suggested the hybrid would produce 650 horses, but that was before the debut of the Z06, so it’s possible that output could end up being even higher. There’s also strong belief that the sports car’s “e-booster” motor will be positioned on the front axle, which, if true, would make the electrified C8 the first all-wheel-drive model in the nameplates’s history.

The Chevrolet C8 Corvette hybrid undergoing track testing at the Nürburgring 

CarSpyMedia/YouTube

We should know the answers to all these questions soon. When General Motors President Mark Reuss confirmed the variant’s existence—insiders believe it will be called either the E-Ray or the Grand Sport—earlier this spring he said that it could make its debut as “early as next year.” A fully-electric variant will follow sometime after.

Rick Ross Showcased Hundreds of Rare Cars and Bikes at a Show Held at His Georgia Estate

Rick Ross Showcased Hundreds of Rare Cars and Bikes at a Show Held at His Georgia Estate

Rick Ross doesn’t just want people to admire his car collection on social media, he wants them to be able to check it out in person.

That’s why the “Hustlin’” rapper opened up his Fayettville, Georgia, estate for the first annual Promise Land Car and Bike show this past Saturday. Over the course of what looks to have been a gorgeous spring day, auto and rap enthusiasts alike were able to check out some of Rozay’s most prized possessions.

The show, which is named for Ross’s 235-acre mansion and farm about 20 miles south of Atlanta, showcases hundreds of cars belonging not just to him, but also some of the city’s other “big boys” and “superstars,” according to an interview the rapper gave to TMZ last week. A quick look at social media shows that all manner of vehicles were on display, including a red Ferrari 488 GTB, a lime green Chevrolet C8 Corvette and even six-wheel monster truck the emcee took for a quick spin. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but it’s easy to see why the Boss likes his fire engine red 1959 Chevy Bel Air so much.

“As you can see, we could have had many many more people out here, but it wasn’t about how many people we could have. It was just about the comfort zone, the enjoyment level,” a triumphant Ross said in one of his many dispatches from the show. “Once again, man, look at these cars, look at these toys, these trikes, trucks, 6x6s.”
It’s unclear how many people attended the event—Ross guessed that 4,000 or so people would come through—but there was more for them to enjoy than just cars. The show, which Ross said he wanted to have the feel of a “youth fair,” also featured live DJ sets and a battalion of food trucks, according to Complex. The cars, trucks and bikes were the stars, though, with the owners of the most eye-catching rides receiving 24 carat diamond chains from the host.

Ross has never hidden his love of automobiles. Last year, he shared video showing a seemingly unending collection of American classics, including seven of his beloved Bel-Airs. His record label, Maybach Music, is also named for Mercedes-Benz most luxurious sub-brand.

Kiss’s Paul Stanley Snagged the First 2022 Chevy C8 Corvette. Now It’s Headed to Auction.

Kiss’s Paul Stanley Snagged the First 2022 Chevy C8 Corvette. Now It’s Headed to Auction.

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley know his Chevrolet C8 Corvette is a “collector’s dream,” which is why he wants to make sure it goes to someone who can really appreciate it.

The rocker is teaming up with Barrett-Jackson to sell his 2022 Stingray convertible at the auction house’s upcoming Las Vegas sale. This isn’t just any old celebrity-owned car, though—It was the first C8 to roll off the line during the last model year.

Stanley, who’s also known as Starchild, and the Corvette go way back. In fact, the sports car was the first new vehicle the singer and guitarist bought for himself in 1977, following his band’s breakthrough earlier that decade, according to Barrett-Jackson. He’d later become acquainted with some General Motors higher-ups at the launch of the C7 in 2013 and was even asked to help design a special SEMA version of that car the next year. When the 2022 C8 convertible was announced, he rushed to put in his reservation. GM noticed and decided to treat him to something special: the first car from the model year’s production run.

Paul Stanley’s 2022 Chevrolet C8 Convertible 

Barrett-Jackson

That’s right, Stanley’s 2022 C8 convertible is VIN 001. The rocker, who already owns a 2020 Stingray coupe, knows how special that makes the car, but it also made him wonder if someone else would make better use of the vehicle. After deciding he “couldn’t do it justice,” Stanley has decided the best thing was to auction it off.
“I want to make it available to somebody who might be able to get more out of it, whether it’s to add to a collection or to drive it,” he said in the statement.

Inside Stanley’s C8 Convertible 

Barrett-Jackson

The winning bidder will be getting more than a just a car with a rich pedigree and coveted number. Stanley’s convertible comes finished in a beautiful coat of Red Mist Metallic accented with gloss black aero elements including a rear wing. This hue is offset quite nicely by the vehicle’s Saddle interior and pewter wheels, which help give it a warmer feel than you normally get from American sports cars. Under the hood is a 6.2-liter LT2 V8, which is paired to an eight-speed manual and capable of churning out 490 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque.
You’ll have your chance to bid on Stanley’s C8 convertible during Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas event, which runs from June 30 to July 2. The vehicle is being sold without reserve and comes with an autographed Ibanez PS120, which is the rocker’s signature guitar. Be warned, though, VIN 001 ‘Vettes can go for a lot.

An All-Electric Corvette C8 Is Coming, Chevy Says

An All-Electric Corvette C8 Is Coming, Chevy Says

The Chevrolet C8 Corvette is going electric.

General Motors President Mark Reuss announced that a battery-powered ‘Vette is in the works during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday morning. While he wasn’t ready to say when the EV will arrive just yet, he did reveal that a hybrid version of the sports car will hit roads next year.
Following his appearance on the show, Reuss took to LinkedIn to confirm the news about the electrified sports car, which many believe will be called the E-Ray. “Yes, in addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and other gas-powered variants coming, we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future,” the executive wrote. “In fact, we will offer an electrified [hybrid] Corvette as early as next year. Details and names to come at a later date.”

A prototype of the Chevrolet C8 Corvette hybrid 

Cheverolet/YouTube

Although we’ll have to wait for those details, anticipation for any electrified Corvette is certain to be intense, and the notion has already set off plenty of speculation. Last summer, an unconfirmed report suggested that a hybrid Corvette could pair the Stingray’s 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 with an “e-booster” electric motor that would increase the horsepower from an already impressive 490 hp to around 650 hp. That article was dropped before the debut of the Z06 and its 670 hp flat-plane crank LT6 V-8, though, so it’s possible a hybrid variant could be even more powerful. A video shown during Reuss’s announcement, which depicts the hybrid undergoing cold weather testing, all but confirms that the electrified ‘Vettes will have all-wheel-drive, which would be a first for the vehicle.
We’re sure there are some purists who will be concerned about what Monday’s announcement means for the Corvette’s beloved V-8. For the time being, at least, gas-powered ‘Vettes—like the Z06, which has yet to go into production—aren’t going anywhere. Reuss made clear that GM intends to keep producing Corvettes with internal combustions alongside those with electrified and fully electric powertrains. The end of the line is nearing for the gas-powered mill, though. Last year, GM announced it would phase out all gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035.
For the near future, however, Corvette enthusiasts will three different kinds of engine setups to choose from.

The Chevy C8 Corvette: Everything We Know About the Powerful Mid-Engine Beast

The Chevy C8 Corvette: Everything We Know About the Powerful Mid-Engine Beast

Overview
There’s perhaps no car as American as the Chevrolet Corvette. Despite this, the Detroit auto giant decided to really shake things up and turn to Europe for inspiration when developing the eighth iteration of its most famous nameplate. The latest version of the iconic sports car doesn’t just have a bold new design; it’s also the first to feature a mid-engine layout. The radical move made waves when it was announced back in the summer of 2019, exciting much of the vehicle’s diehard fanbase, while horrifying more than a handful of purists at the same time.

Three years on and it’s safe to say Chevy’s audacious bet has paid off. The C8 Corvette has proven to be a massive hit with the automotive press and buyers. In fact, the only real problem with the car is how hard it can be to actually buy. The past three years have been riddled with just about every kind of production delay imaginable, including strikes, shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, supply chain issues and even a tornado destroying 120 just-built examples. With the car’s fourth model year about to go into production, Chevy is hoping for an easier road ahead. Regardless, demand for the C8 is unlikely to wane anytime soon. Here’s everything you need to know about the coveted sports car.

2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray 

Chevrolet

Engine, Specs and Performance
Any discussion about the C8 Corvette can only begin in one place: the engine. After 67 years of commitment to a front-engine configuration for the Corvette, Chevrolet decided to kick off the new decade by repositioning the car’s powerhouse behind the driver and passenger seats. And this isn’t just any old engine—it’s a brand-new, naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT2 V-8.
While that base motor, which is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, isn’t all that different from the one featured in the C7, it is more powerful, bringing a solid 490 hp of grunt and 465 ft lbs of torque. The new power train enables the car to rocket from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds. The C8 can also complete the quarter-mile in just over 11 seconds and reach a top speed of 184 mph. And if that’s not enough for you, a Z51 performance package will boost the horsepower and torque figures to 495 hp and 470 ft lbs, respectively, giving all other performance numbers a lift as well. One thing to note: There is only one transmission option, something that has caused consternation among the faithful.

To help manage all that power, the C8 Corvette has a Driver Mode Selector that allows you to pick from six driving modes, including Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, MyMode and Z Mode (the latter two of which are customizable). It’s also equipped with a four-wheel anti-lock brake system, with disc brakes and four-piston calipers on each wheel. The Z51 package also includes an electronic limited-slip differential, new final drive ratio, improved cooling system for the brakes, an enhanced suspension and a performance exhaust.
The C8 Exterior: A Bold Departure
Like any other vehicle, the Corvette as seen its shape and design shift since it was introduced in 1953. But from generation to generation, no design overhaul has been as jarring as the C8’s. For that last 25 years or so—about the time the C5 debuted in the mid ’90s—we’ve been able to see the previous generation of ‘Vettes within the new iteration’s design. That stops with the C8.
Chevrolet used the change in layout as a chance to alter the ‘Vette’s profile, discarding some of its trademark features. Gone is the long, signature nose and slightly squared-off back. The front still comes to a peak, but the rest of the lines and angles are sharper and the cockpit has been moved forward. That shift rids the car of the slinky elegance that’s been a part of its shape since the ’60s but gives its a new boldness. This is a vehicle designed for speed, and it looks like it. The new design, which is available as both a coupe and convertible, gives the American vehicle a decidedly more European aesthetic.

Inside the C8 Corvette 

Chevrolet

Interior, Infotainment and Cargo
It’s not just the exterior that’s been given a makeover. Open up the C8 Corvette’s interior and you’ll find a cabin that actually looks like the cockpit of a futuristic fighter jet. Sit down in the low-slung driver seat and you’re met with a rectangular steering wheel, which includes two large paddle shifters. Behind that is a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, which includes a new tachometer, to help keep track of your ‘Vette and its performance as you drive.

Embedded into the center console is an 8-inch infotainment screen that’s angled toward the driver. It’s equipped with Chevy’s Infotainment 3 Plus system, which features Bluetooth connectivity, a 4G mobile hotspot and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The C8 Corvette’s interior is also equipped with a high-performance, 14-speaker Bose audio system that is sure to be music to any audiophile’s ears.
You’ll also have three different styles of bucket seats to choose from, as well as a variety of color and material options, including Napa leather and suede microfiber. And for those worried about cargo space, the C8 offers a front compartment and rear trunk that still has room for two sets of golf clubs.

The C8 Corvette’s Infotainment 3 Plus system 

Chevrolet

First-Drive Impressions
Like anyone else interested in high-performance vehicles, we were excited to get behind the wheel of the 2020 C8 Corvette. But that test-drive through Nevada made one thing abundantly clear: While definitely a step in the right direction—and an incredible vehicle for its price—the new C8 wasn’t fully ready to shine. This is a car, after all, that wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Lamborghinis and McLarens, but it simply didn’t feel fully refined yet. From our “First Drive” write-up:

“The new ‘Vette is a remarkable achievement for something starting under $60,000, but it’ll be a while before the C8 matures into the outstanding machine I’m confident it can be. Maybe that machine is the forthcoming Stingray convertible. Maybe it’s an eventual higher-powered Corvette variant. Either way, I feel the magic looming.”

Of course, it’s important to remember that the 2020 model was the very first installment of the C8. On average, different ‘Vette generations have managed to stick around for more than eight years. That gives the brand some time to improve the car—and find that magic.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Edition in White Pearl Metallic Tri-Coat 

Chevrolet

What’s New for 2023
As the C8 goes into its fourth year of production, its athletic design and powerful V-8 remain unchanged. There are new exterior and interior options available for the upcoming 2023 model year, though. These include three new 20-spoke wheel styles (gloss black, matte black with a red stripe and “ultra-bright machined”), as well as the possibility of black tail pipes for the performance exhaust package. There are also two new trim packages for the cabin, Stealth Aluminum and Adrenaline Red.
The coming model year also marks 70 years since the Corvette made its debut at the 1953 General Motors Motorama. To mark this special birthday, Chevy is offering an anniversary trim package that includes one of two special finishes (all-new White Pearl Metallic Tri-Coat or Carbon Flash Metallic), color matching racing stripes, new wheels, red brake calipers and special “70th Anniversary Edition” badging and Corvette crossflags.

There’s still more to look forward to: Since the C8 was announced back in the summer of 2019, enthusiasts have wondered when its first high-performance variant would arrive. The time is now, as 2023 will see the debut of the C8 Z06 (more on that in a bit). With the C8 finally beginning to expand, one can only wonder how long before the rumored E-Ray plug-in hybrid variant arrives.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with Z07 performance package 

Chevrolet

The High-Performance Z06 Is Finally Here
New add-ons are exciting and all, but the 2023 model year change that enthusiasts are really looking forward to is the introduction of the high-performance C8—the Z06.
Chevy finally confirmed last summer that the eighth-generation Corvette was getting the Z06 treatment. The biggest difference between the new variant and other C8s is its all-new, naturally aspirated 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 with a flat-plane crank dubbed the LT6. The sonorous mill is similar to the one found in the C8.R race car, and is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that sends power to the rear axle. It spits out a hair-raising 670 horses and 460 ft lbs of twist and has a redline of 8,600 rpm. That’s 180 more horses than the Stingray and only a hair less torque. The final performance figures have yet to be revealed as of writing, but you can expect the car to be fun and loud. It could get more powerful, too. Chevy has also announced plans to release a track-only version, called the Z06 GT3 race car, in 2024.
A new powerplant isn’t the only change to the Z06. The car is also 3.6 inches wider and features a much more intense aero package. Modifications include a new front fascia with a larger splitter and a small fixed rear wing. There’s also the track-focused Z07 performance package that adds carbon-fiber upgrades, such as a larger front splitter, dive planes, underbody strakes and a more prominent, racing-style rear wing.
How excited are people for the Z06? Enough that GM felt the need to warn dealers about charging outrageous markups for the coveted variant back in January, even though the car likely won’t go into production until sometime this summer. That didn’t stop the first Z06 coupe from selling for $3.6 million a week later, though. Of course, the proceeds from that sale went to charity so we don’t think GM will mind.

Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car 

Chevrolet

Fuel Economy and MPG
As one of US’s defining performance vehicle’s, the Corvette has never been known for its fuel economy. The C8 is less of a gas guzzler than some its predecessors, but it still offers better performance on the road than at the pump. The 2022 Corvette, the most recent on record as of press time, has a fuel economy rating of 15 miles per gallon (mpg) for city driving, 24 mpg on the highway and a combined rating of 19 mph, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. That means you can drive the car an average of 352 miles on a full tank. Gas prices are currently out of control, but the EPA puts the average cost of keeping the sports car’s tank filled at $3,950 per year. That means that on average C8 owners spend $8,000 more on fuel over a five-year span than other vehicle owners.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Like all Chevrolet models, the C8 Corvette comes with a healthy warranty. The bumper-to-bumper limited warranty covers the entire vehicle for repairs, including parts and labor, for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Meanwhile, the powertrain warranty runs for five years or 60,000 miles, though other durations are available. Your first maintenance visit is also covered by Chevrolet, as well as the cost of any recall-related work.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 

Chevrolet

C8 Corvette’s Price: Is It Worth It?
When Chevrolet first announced the mid-engine C8 Corvette, they promised it would start at less than $60,000. As far-fetched as that sounded at the time, the automaker managed to deliver on that promise. Three model years later and the ‘Vette’s starting price has now climbed to $64,995. Pricing has yet to be announced for the Z06, but there’s a general sense it will start around $90,000. Of course, with a near-endless list of options and trim levels—the 70th Anniversary Edition package tacks on $5,995, for example—the C8’s price can quickly climb skywards, with a fully loaded convertible available for north of $100,000. Still, when you consider the kind of vehicles that the C8 is competing with, even the most expensive version seems like a bargain in comparison.
More stories about the C8 Corvette from Robb Report:

The First Chevrolet C8 Corvette Convertible Heads to Auction Next Week

The First Chevrolet C8 Corvette Convertible Heads to Auction Next Week

Another historic Corvette is about to hit the block.

Barrett-Jackson will auction off the first 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible next week as part of its annual Palm Beach sales event. The winner won’t just walk away with one of the most anticipated vehicles of the upcoming model year, though; their purchase will also help a good cause.
The C8 Z06 is a high-performance vehicle through and through. Because of that it features a retractable hard-top roof that helps ensure performance never dips whether you’re driving with it up or down. Powering the car is a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 that spits out a hair-raising 670 hp. The brutish mill features a flat-plane crank, so you won’t just feel that power, you and everyone in the vicinity will hear it too.

Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll like the color of the mid-engine speed machine. Barrett-Jackson says the winning bidder will get to customize it to their exact specifications. Not only will you get the first Z06 convertible, you’ll also get the Z06 of their dreams. You can also choose to take delivery of the convertible at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Not a bad, right?
Proceeds from auction will benefit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The full hammer price will be donated to the non-profit, which is named for the US’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice and has supported nearly 300,000 students attending historically Black colleges and universities, medical school and law school since its founding in 1987.
If you’re already dreaming of seeing the first Z06 convertible in your garage, make sure you’re in Palm Beach on Saturday, April 9, when the car is scheduled to go up for bid. Expect to drop some serious dough, though. At the very least be prepared to spend more than the car’s expected $90,000 starting price. The first Z06 coupé sold for a jaw-dropping $3.6 million at Barrett Jackson’s Scottsdale auction this past January.

The Black Classics Car Club Fosters Automotive Culture and the Drive to Give Back

The Black Classics Car Club Fosters Automotive Culture and the Drive to Give Back

Car culture burns bright in Los Angeles, where the arterial network of roadways links an endless sprawl of diverse neighborhoods. As the automobile industry emerged from the oil crunch and malaise of the 1970s, cars started becoming cool again, forming a stronger-than-ever force in urban circles. At South LA’s Fremont High School, shop teacher Bruce Gray rode that wave and became a lynchpin for impressionable kids who had motor oil coursing through their veins.

“There were so many people who attended the automotive technology class,” recalls Mark Thomas, who graduated from Fremont in 1984. “Year after year, more students attended that class and graduated, but still kept in touch.” A sort of critical social mass, it seemed, was inevitable. “It turned into, ‘We’re going to all get together,” he says, in spite of the forces that tear individuals apart.

The motoring connection forged a universal sense of community and everything that comes with it; witness familiar teen automotive-culture tropes established across varying demographics—everything from American Graffiti to Boyz n the Hood. In this case, Gray and his students transcended high school, evolving into a social network that started at his nearby shop, A & G Gray Auto Repair in South Central LA, and extended well beyond graduation.

Founded more than three decades ago, the club now comprises about 30 members but is continuing to grow with a new generation of participants. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

“We just had a fondness for the cars and for helping each other,” recalls Fred Steger, who was one of Gray’s students. Following years of unstructured meet-ups and drives, the Black Classics Car Club was co-founded in 1986 by Steger and Gray. “The next thing you know, it started growing and growing,” Steger says.
Thomas, who serves as the club’s historian, studied engineering in undergraduate and graduate school following his time at Fremont, eventually moving to Detroit to work for General Motors before returning to LA five years later. It was back home where he reconnected with his old crew, whose automotive interests largely focused on Chevrolet models like so-called Tri Five Chevys, the evocative coupes, sedans and wagons manufactured in the years 1955, 1956 and 1957. Also well represented in the group of approximately 30 members are Camaros, Novas, Chevelles and pickup trucks. Ironically, Thomas’ exposure to GM didn’t dampen his passion for the Blue Oval: in addition to a Chevy Nova and 3100 truck, he also enjoys owning a 1967 Ford Mustang.

A 1955 Chevy Bel Air awaits admirers. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

Members were originally drawn to stylish cars that were easy to work on and customize. And within the club emerged nearly every area of expertise that involved building, rebuilding or modifying the relatively straightforward classic cars from the pre-computerized era. “We have one guy who’s a major mechanic and can fix anything; we have a guy who’s really good at fabricating and sheet metal; we have an electrical guy; we have another one who had a radio shop, and another who works at a tire shop,” says Thomas. “It ended up being much cheaper because we didn’t have to take our cars to a shop. Someone in our club does everything.” Steger adds that the only thing not covered by club members is chrome and interior upholstery.

A member’s 1966 Shelby GT350 displayed during one of the club’s monthly gatherings. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

The Black Classics Car Club has evolved since the days when Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith topped the charts. In high school, the kids put their hot-rodding handiwork to the test by street racing. Nowadays, the members just meet up on the third Sunday of every month (as many of them work on Saturdays). There are also road trips, the calendar for which is planned out months in advance with destinations including Palm Springs, San Diego and Utah’s Zion National Park. And every February, the group votes on its officers— though there seems to be an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the arrangement, as Steger has continuously served as president since the club’s formation over three decades ago.

The 1941 Cadillac belonging to member Larry Green. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

The club is also more focused than ever on giving back to the community, using its members and their meticulously cared-for vehicles as an opportunity to help those around them. From toy drives and free meals to donations given to convalescent homes, members of the Black Classics Car Club have leveraged their passion into a boon for those around them. And road rallies have strengthened the group’s resiliency throughout some trying times, bringing as many as 52 cars together for these journeys.

The club convenes on the third Sunday of every month. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

The annual trip to Laughlin is referred to as the club’s “super bowl,” and it’s considered the long-distance gauntlet through which all member cars must pass in order to be worthy of admittance. If one suffers a breakdown, the group will work together to find a solution, even if it requires the last-ditch effort of towing the vehicle to a friend’s shop in Bullhead City, Ariz. Such is the solidarity and camaraderie on hand.

Members are usually drawn to stylish cars that are easy to work on and customize. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

With an eye towards keeping the organization relevant for future generations, the founders have expanded the age of the cars to 1987, as some of the mid-century classics owned by old timers are usually no longer attainable for young newcomers to the hobby. “We brought it back so we can get younger folks who can afford Malibus, Grand Nationals and cars like that,” says Steger. He says that one unfortunate byproduct of modern times is the demise of classes that originally brought this group together.

Vehicles on display from the Black Classics Car Club. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

“There are no more shop classes were kids could use their hands; they’re not there anymore,” says Steger. Yet, on the other hand, Thomas is bullish on what lies ahead. “Multiple clubs are doing events with each other now, and that’s making it even better for the community because we have a chance to make a bigger impact collectively. The future is bright.”

How the Black Classics Car Club Fosters Automotive Culture—and Community—in LA

How the Black Classics Car Club Fosters Automotive Culture—and Community—in LA

Car culture burns bright in Los Angeles, where the arterial network of roadways links an endless sprawl of diverse neighborhoods. As the automobile industry emerged from the oil crunch and malaise of the 1970s, cars started becoming cool again, forming a stronger-than-ever force in urban circles. At South LA’s Fremont High School, shop teacher Bruce Gray rode that wave and became a lynchpin for impressionable kids who had motor oil coursing through their veins.

“There were so many people who attended the automotive technology class,” recalls Mark Thomas, who graduated from Fremont in 1984. “Year after year, more students attended that class and graduated, but still kept in touch.” A sort of critical social mass, it seemed, was inevitable. “It turned into, ‘We’re going to all get together,” he says, in spite of the forces that tear individuals apart.

The motoring connection forged a universal sense of community and everything that comes with it; witness familiar teen automotive-culture tropes established across varying demographics—everything from American Graffiti to Boyz n the Hood. In this case, Gray and his students transcended high school, evolving into a social network that started at his nearby shop, A & G Gray Auto Repair in South Central LA, and extended well beyond graduation.

Founded more than three decades ago, the club now comprises about 30 members but is continuing to grow with a new generation of participants. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

“We just had a fondness for the cars and for helping each other,” recalls Fred Steger, who was one of Gray’s students. Following years of unstructured meet-ups and drives, the Black Classics Car Club was co-founded in 1986 by Steger and Gray. “The next thing you know, it started growing and growing,” Steger says.
Thomas, who serves as the club’s historian, studied engineering in undergraduate and graduate school following his time at Fremont, eventually moving to Detroit to work for General Motors before returning to LA five years later. It was back home where he reconnected with his old crew, whose automotive interests largely focused on Chevrolet models like so-called Tri Five Chevys, the evocative coupes, sedans and wagons manufactured in the years 1955, 1956 and 1957. Also well represented in the group of approximately 30 members are Camaros, Novas, Chevelles and pickup trucks. Ironically, Thomas’s exposure to GM didn’t dampen his passion for the Blue Oval: in addition to a Chevy Nova and 3100 truck, he also enjoys owning a 1967 Ford Mustang.

A 1955 Chevy Bel Air awaits admirers. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

Members were originally drawn to stylish cars that were easy to work on and customize. And within the club emerged nearly every area of expertise that involved building, rebuilding or modifying the relatively straightforward classic cars from the pre-computerized era. “We have one guy who’s a major mechanic and can fix anything; we have a guy who’s really good at fabricating and sheet metal; we have an electrical guy; we have another one who had a radio shop, and another who works at a tire shop,” says Thomas. “It ended up being much cheaper because we didn’t have to take our cars to a shop. Someone in our club does everything.” Steger adds that the only thing not covered by club members is chrome and interior upholstery.

A member’s 1966 Shelby GT350 displayed during one of the club’s monthly gatherings. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

The Black Classics Car Club has evolved since the days when Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith topped the charts. In high school, the kids put their hot-rodding handiwork to the test by street racing. Nowadays, the members just meet up on the third Sunday of every month (as many of them work on Saturdays). There are also road trips, the calendar for which is planned out months in advance with destinations including Palm Springs, San Diego and Utah’s Zion National Park. And every February, the group votes on its officers— though there seems to be an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the arrangement, as Steger has continuously served as president since the club’s formation over three decades ago.

The 1941 Cadillac belonging to member Larry Green. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

The club is also more focused than ever on giving back to the community, using its members and their meticulously cared-for vehicles as an opportunity to help those around them. From toy drives and free meals to donations given to convalescent homes, members of the Black Classics Car Club have leveraged their passion into a boon for those around them. And road rallies have strengthened the group’s resiliency throughout some trying times, bringing as many as 52 cars together for these journeys.

The club convenes on the third Sunday of every month. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

The annual trip to Laughlin is referred to as the club’s “super bowl,” and it’s considered the long-distance gauntlet through which all member cars must pass in order to be worthy of admittance. If one suffers a breakdown, the group will work together to find a solution, even if it requires the last-ditch effort of towing the vehicle to a friend’s shop in Bullhead City, Ariz. Such is the solidarity and camaraderie on hand.

Members are usually drawn to stylish cars that are easy to work on and customize. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

With an eye towards keeping the organization relevant for future generations, the founders have expanded the age of the cars to 1987, as some of the mid-century classics owned by old timers are usually no longer attainable for young newcomers to the hobby. “We brought it back so we can get younger folks who can afford Malibus, Grand Nationals and cars like that,” says Steger. He says that one unfortunate byproduct of modern times is the demise of classes that originally brought this group together.

Vehicles on display from the Black Classics Car Club. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Black Classics Car Club.

“There are no more shop classes were kids could use their hands; they’re not there anymore,” says Steger. Yet, on the other hand, Thomas is bullish on what lies ahead. “Multiple clubs are doing events with each other now, and that’s making it even better for the community because we have a chance to make a bigger impact collectively. The future is bright.”

The First Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Just Sold for $3.6 Million at an Auction to Benefit Veterans

The First Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Just Sold for $3.6 Million at an Auction to Benefit Veterans

People might be even more excited about the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 than we thought.

The first example of the C8’s upcoming high-performance variant sold for a jaw-dropping $3.6 million at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction event this past Saturday, according to a press release. All proceeds from the sale of the vehicle, which was donated by the Detroit automaker, will go to Operation Homefront.

The 2023 Z06 is one of the most intriguing sports cars on the horizon because of a number of racing-style upgrades, including a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V-8 that spits out 670 hp. That said, we’re guessing the winning bidder, NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, was just as motivated by the chance to help out. This isn’t the first C8 auction he’s won, either. Hendrick also bought the first C8 Stingray for $3 million back in 2020, with the proceeds from that auction going to the Detroit Children’s Fund.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with Z07 performance package 

Chevrolet

All of the money from the latest auction is headed to Operation Homefront. Established in 2002, the non-profit seeks to provide support for military and veteran families in all 50 states. The group provides short-term financial assistance and helps families find transitional and permanent housing.
“The proceeds from the sale of this sensational Corvette Z06 will go a long way to helping us help our military families overcome their financial hardships and have the opportunity to thrive in the communities— our communities—they’ve worked so hard to protect,” Brig. Gen. (retired) John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront, said in a statement.
Saturday’s sale set a new charity auction record for Barrett-Jackson. ‘Vette lovers can expect to get their hands on the new Z06 for a lot less than Hendrick paid at the event. Chevy has announced that the variant will start at $90,000, and has even warned dealers against charging exorbitant markups for the coveted sports car.
Now, let’s just hope that production of the latest C8, which has been hampered by delays and other issues, can keep up with demand.

The Chevrolet Corvette Will Get a Special Trim Package for Its 70th Birthday

The Chevrolet Corvette Will Get a Special Trim Package for Its 70th Birthday

It’s the Corvette’s 70th birthday and Chevy aims to celebrate—with a gussied-up new edition.

The Detroit automaker confirmed that it will release a 70th Anniversary Edition of its beloved sports car on Monday, days after inadvertently leaking its existence on its website.  The special trim package will be available on both versions of the C8 ‘Vette—the Stingray and the just-introduced Z06 high-performance variant.

The very first Corvette made its public debut at the General Motors Motorama way back in January 1953 and would go into production later that summer. The two-door roadster wasn’t an immediate hit, but the introduction of a V-8 powertrain in its third year helped turn things around. Nearly seven decades later, there have been eight ‘Vette generations, the most recent of which debuted in the summer of 2019. Now, it is one of the most popular and successful nameplates in American automobile history.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Edition in White Pearl Metallic Tri-coat 

Chevrolet

The 70th Anniversary Edition is really just a special trim package, so the differences between it and other Vettes are entirely superficial. There’s no denying that it looks sharp, though. You’ll be able to choose between one of two colors: all-new White Pearl Metallic Tri-coat or Carbon Flash Metallic, both of which can be accented with color-matched racing stripes (Satin Grey or Satin Black, respectively). Other exterior details include new wheels with a dark finish and Edge Red stripe on the outside, red brake calipers and special “70th Anniversary Edition” badging and Corvette crossflags. There’s also rear a new bumper protector and trunk cover.
The inside of the birthday-edition C8 looks just like any other, except for a few key differences. You’ll have your choice of two-tone leather GT2 or Competition Sport seats, both of which feature red contrast stitching, red seatbelts and suede microfiber inserts. There’s also 70th Anniversary Edition logos on the seats, steering wheel and door sills, as well as a plaque on the center speaker grille (this detail will be available on all 2023 Corvettes). Each car will also come with a matching luggage, which will come in handy next time you take the mid-engine speed machine on a road trip.

2023 Corvette 70th Anniversary Edition exterior badging 

Chevrolet

The 70th Anniversary Edition trim package will be available as an option on 2023 C8 Corvette Stingray 3LT and Z06 3LZ models, both of which are expected to go into production this spring and on sale later this year (the first example will be auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson before that). No price has been announced just yet, but you can expect it to be north of the standard-issue ‘Vette.

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