Thursday, October 30, 2014
We often attract like-minded people and organizations who are also on a mission to ignite the imaginations of tomorrow’s innovators. Such was the case last Friday when the members of Team ChEaparral donated their 1986 ChEaparral J2J “sucker Vette” to the Museum.
Part fun, part engineering exercise, and part financial challenge, this was a project taken on by a group of engineers from Proctor & Gamble, looking to come up with an entry to compete in the $2007 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge. The goal for this contest was to build a car for under $2,007 that they could enter in a variety of competitions.
With the challenge of doing this on the cheap, they found a wrecked Corvette in a barn for $1400. It already had a hole in the hood so they cut it out further to make room for twin turbos that gave it an extra 100 horses.
Because they couldn’t get fast enough in an autocross to generate downforce in the usual way, they came up with another idea to get more grip inspired by the Jim Hall vacuum enhanced Chaparral 2J from the 1970’s. For their CHEAParral version of Jim’s car, they rigged up a skirt under the car connected to a cooling fan from an Abrams tank installed in the passenger seat. They powered the fan with a snowmobile engine, to create so much suction that you can actually see the car being pulled to the ground. They wound up getting around 1000 pounds of downforce while making quite a spectacle of themselves for the crowds. With a beer keg for a gas tank designed to keep the engine from being gas starved in the hard turns, they were ready to see what they could do with this car.
They competed against 50 others, winning the autocross, concourse, best-engineered award, top finishing team and the 2007 Challenge Overall Champion award. Having succeeded in their goal of making this car a winner, the question eventually came up of what should happen to the car.
“It is sad for us to let the car go, but we are happy that the car is coming here,” says Cliff Papsdorf when he handed over the keys. “The National Corvette Museum is the perfect home for it.”
The team hopes that the ChEaparral will show future generations what a group of people can make happen with hard work, a good education, and a focused devotion to a cause.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Corvette Museum Skydome Sinkhole Viewing Ending Soon
National Corvette Museum officials met on Wednesday with construction personnel and engineers to review the plan, process and timeline for remediating the sinkhole and repairing the Skydome building. Construction is slated to begin on Monday, November 10 and if everything goes according to schedule, the project will be completed by July, 2015.
The team reviewed the step-by-step process of filling the sinkhole beginning with the removal of boulders. Late November through December the team will then install sheet piling to block the cave openings. The hole will then be filled with about 4,000 tons of fist-sized #2 stone, taking place late December through mid-January, 2015. The remaining concrete slab flooring in the room will be removed in mid-January. At that time, electrical, water and HVAC repair work will occur through mid-February.
A quantity of 46 micropiles as well as grade beams will be installed mid-February through late March. The micropiles will be spaced 15-20 feet apart at an average depth of 141 feet based on the structural engineering design. This design will ensure that if another collapse were to occur, the floor would remain intact. Following this process will be the installation of additional stone as well as a new concrete slab floor (anticipated to take until late April to complete). The final two months of construction will include the rebuilding of a new entrance with garage door and emergency exit doors, other repairs, repainting, installing new lighting fixtures, a thorough cleaning and other final touch ups.
Changes to the room will include a one-level natural color polished concrete floor without stairs and ramps like the current room has; the new garage door to allow for easy display car access as well as the ability to have an open-air entry for after-hours facility rentals; a redesigned drainage system; and 12 foot paved perimeter around the Skydome. The cost of the project is just over $3.2 million.
While the Skydome web cams will be removed during the construction process, the Plexiglas viewing window will remain so that Museum guests can watch the on-going work.
The Museum team has received numerous ideas and suggestions on ways to tell the story of what happened on February 12, 2014 and provide interesting and entertaining aspects for visitors. The Museum is currently exploring several options that include the opportunity to see down into the caves and 3D art.
The Museum plans to display the three restored Corvettes and five unrestored Corvettes in the Skydome once work has completed.
“We appreciate all of the support, feedback, ideas and prayers throughout this very interesting time in our history,” said Wendell Strode, Museum Executive Director. “Sunday, November 9 will be the very last day to see the sinkhole up close and in person – so if you’ve been wanting to check it out for yourself you have just over three weeks to do so.”
Currently six of the eight “sinkhole Corvettes” are on display in the Skydome: the 1962 Tuxedo Black Corvette, 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, 1993 40th Anniversary Ruby Red Corvette, 2001 “Mallet Hammer” Z06 and 2009 “1.5 Millionth” Corvette. After November 9th the Museum will move as many of the cars as possible into other public viewing areas until the Skydome re-opens in July, 2015.
The National Corvette Museum is located at I-65 exit 28 in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is open seven days a week, from 8am until 5pm Central Time. Museum admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 6 to 16, $8 for seniors or $25 family admission. Children age 5 and under are free, but are not allowed in the Skydome building. For more information on the Museum, visit www.corvettemuseum.org or download their free app on iTunes or Google Play, or call 800-538-3883.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
New eight-speed automatic enables 2.95-sec. 0-60 time, 10.95-sec. quarter-mile
“The Corvette has long been known as America’s sports car,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors’ executive vice president, Global Product Development. “With the capability of the new Z06 rivaling the best performance cars in the world, we will also be America’s Supercar.”
The Corvette Z06 accelerates from a rest to 60 mph in only 2.95 seconds when equipped with the all-new, available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission – and achieves it in 3.2 seconds with the standard seven-speed manual transmission.
A quarter-mile sprint takes just 10.95 seconds with the eight-speed automatic and 11.2 seconds with the seven-speed manual. With both versions, the Corvette Z06 hits 127 mph at the end of the quarter-mile.
When it comes to braking performance, the Z06 can stop from 60 mph in only 99.6 feet. That’s the best braking performance of any production car GM has ever tested. Additionally, the Corvette Z06 achieves 1.2 g in lateral acceleration compared with the Corvette’s previous best 1.13 g.
The new Z06 is also the fastest production car ever tested at GM’s 2.9-mile Milford Road Course, beating the record set by the Corvette ZR1 by a full second.
All test results were achieved with Z06 coupes fitted with the Z07 Performance package, which adds Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The Z07 package also features the most aggressive aerodynamic package available on the Corvette Z06, which delivers the most downforce of any production car GM has ever tested.
“The defining aspect of driving the Z06 is seamless integration of power, technology and aerodynamics,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “As a result, the Z06 delivers ferocious acceleration, tenacious handling, and high-speed stability that few cars can match.”
It is the first Corvette Z06 with a supercharged engine – SAE certified at 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque – and the first with an available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission.
Performance-enhancing Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management are standard, and the award-winning, industry-first Performance Data Recorder is available.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 coupe goes on sale in in early 2015 priced at $78,995, while the Z06 convertible goes on sale in the second quarter, priced at $83,995.
Editors’ Note: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge but excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Excludes other General Motors’ vehicles.