Author Archives: Christopher Dodge

1969 Chevy Corvette 427 Was Hidden for 15 Years, Its Cool Stories Are Remembered

1969 Chevy Corvette 427 Was Hidden for 15 Years, Its Cool Stories Are Remembered

Check out the gallery embedded below, and you’ll see a nice lady standing beside a dusty Corvette coupe. It’s the same Chevy looking as pristine as it gets in the rest of the hero shots, and the duo made up a family alongside the car’s original owner some years ago. Just in case you want to know all about their story, be sure to spend another two minutes watching the video testimonial at the end of the article. It’s well worth the effort.

Some vehicles just have cool background stories attached to them. As such, they’re not just soulless pieces of metal, rubber, and glass. And this matching-numbers 1969 Chevy Corvette 427ci L36 four-speed is certainly one of them. It doesn’t matter the seller going by the eBay username ca_guy is (apparently) just trying to flip the vehicle for a profit.

We are dealing here with a no-reserve auction, so this will ultimately end up in the hands of someone who hopefully appreciates the intrinsic value of its life story. But let’s get on with the details about the vehicle. The cool stuff about what happened with it over the years is best described by the eye-witness account.

So, we are dealing here with a 1969 Corvette that was acquired when new by the original owner from Harry Mann Chevrolet in Los Angeles, one of the biggest dealers of Corvettes at the time. It was lovingly nurtured, garaged, and upgraded until the owner passed away, at which point it was left “forgotten by many” for some 15 years.

Now it’s owned by this seller, who at least had the common sense to refresh its dusty appearance and bring it back to life once more, allegedly “to be enjoyed by many.” We dig the enjoyment part. The ‘Vette has a 427ci Big Block Chevy V8 engine under the hood. It’s of the L36, not the famous L88 variety, but it was still capable of churning out 390 horsepower off the factory floor.

The matching-numbers mill is mated to a four-speed transmission and the Cortez Silver paintjob (originally this was a Riverside Gold example) bodes well alongside the rest of the highlights. Such as the U.S. Mags wheels, side exhaust with headers, custom valve covers, or the “100% bone stock and original” interior. So, do we need to wonder why the highest bid has already gone up to over $26k?

CarGurus launches platform for dealers to buy used cars online from consumers

CarGurus launches platform for dealers to buy used cars online from consumers

CARY, N.C. –

When CarGurus purchased a majority stake in CarOffer this winter, one of the benefits to the deal was that it could give CarGurus dealer partners another digital avenue to source used inventory.

That capability came to fruition Friday with the launch of CarGurus Instant Max Cash Offer, a CarOffer-powered platform that allows dealers to acquire used cars online from consumers.

And for many, the timing perhaps couldn’t be better, with an auto industry grasping for used-car supply that has run dry amid the fallout from a chip shortage, new-car production delays and high demand.

CarGurus Instant Max Cash Offer, which utilizes the CarOffer Buying Matrix platform to facilitate consumer car sales to dealers, will launch first in Florida, Massachusetts and Texas. Consumers there can go to the “Sell My Car” page on the CarGurus website and type in the vehicle information to receive offers from the dealer network.

If the consumer chooses to move forward with the offer, CarGurus picks up the vehicle (at the location designated by the consumer) through a “white glove” concierge service, inspects the vehicle at that location and delivers it to the dealer’s lot. The consumer is paid once the car passes the inspection.

Dealers who are in the CarGurus/CarOffer network can utilize this tool by filling out CarOffer’s Buying Matrix.

“We are headed towards a digital world where shoppers and dealers are both buying and selling vehicles online, and CarGurus is in a prime position to help both do so with the technology-first approach that we are known for in the industry,” CarGurus president and chief operating officer Sam Zales said in a news release.

“CarGurus Instant Max Cash Offer will not only let consumers sell their car online from the comfort of their home while securing the top offer from thousands of dealerships, but will also help those dealerships gain a competitive position amid this new digital retail environment and level the playing field with the industry’s largest consumer vehicle retail buyers,” Zales said.

Alternative ways to source used vehicles continue to rise, especially as some retail and wholesale lines blur and as digital transacting becomes more common.

Just last week, Drivably announced a new online community that allows consumers to instantly sell their cars to dealers, who bid on the vehicles through an online auction.

And in June, ACV debuted a platform that gives dealer groups and commercial partners a way to host closed sales for select audiences. ACV PRIVATE MARKETPLACES will first be available for large dealership groups with multiple locations, and then for commercial consignors looking for a way to host closed auction sales.

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001

Russia to commission Project 20380 corvette Rezky earlier in 2022

According to information published by Tass on July 29, 2021, the Amur Shipyard integrated into the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) is planning to commission the Project 20380 corvette Rezky four months earlier than planned, Shipyard CEO Vladimir Kulakov told Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during his visit to the outfitting pier.
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The Rezky Steregushchiy-class or Project 20380 (Picture source: Duster clubs)

The corvette is expected to be commissioned by Victory Day in 2022.

In early July, the Rezky corvette left the slipway of the Amur Shipyard and was moved to the outfitting dock for outfitting work and trials.

Earlier, the Amur Shipyard built Project 20380 corvettes Sovershenny, Gromky and Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov. After the Rezky is commissioned, the shipyard will construct another ship of the type, i.e. the Grozny. The enterprise is loaded with state orders through 2028 and may receive additional orders for 2025-2033.

The shipyard needs a new transport dock and a hydraulic unit to extend its range of ships. The operational dock is 80% worn-out. Its service life was prolonged several times by the Pacific Fleet commander. In 2021, it was prolonged for the last time. The construction of the transport dock is estimated at 9.2 billion rubles ($125 million).

The Rezky Steregushchiy class, Russian designation Project 20380, is a class of corvettes being built for the Russian Navy and designed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. The corvettes has a steel hull and composite material superstructure, with a bulbous bow and nine watertight subdivisions. She has a combined bridge and command center, and space and weight provision for eight SS-N-25 missiles. Stealth technology was widely used during the construction of the ships, as well as 21 patents and 14 new computer programs.

The is armed with one100mm A-190 Arsenal or 130mm A-192 naval gun, one Kashtan CIWS-M (Close-In Weapon System), eight Kh-35 (SS-N-25) subsonic cruise anti-ship missile, two AK-630М CIWS (Close-In Weapon Systems), eight 330mm torpedo tubes for Paket-NK (Paket-NK/E for export) anti-torpedo/anti-submarine torpedoes and two 14.5mm MTPU pedestal machine guns.

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Best Used Cars for Uber and Lyft Drivers

Best Used Cars for Uber and Lyft Drivers

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have had a difficult few years. Their earnings fell as demand for travel evaporated, and those who did drive during the early days of the pandemic did so at great risk. Now, even as demand for ride-hailing increases, rising gas prices are cutting further into their profits.

Before the pandemic, we spoke with Harry Campbell, a ride-share consultant at, who told Consumer Reports that drivers put as much as 1,000 miles a week on their cars. For that kind of heavy-duty driving, the things many people want in a car—reliability, fuel efficiency, comfort and safety—become critical.

We also looked at new information from the personal finance data service ValuePenguin, which estimates that a ride-share driver’s expenses increase by 25 percent and profits dip by 12 percent for every four gas fill-ups in a month. We also studied online forums to find out the challenges Uber and Lyft drivers face. Then we looked at the results of our Annual Auto Surveys to find out which affordable used cars are best at meeting those challenges. We didn’t recommend any new cars because they depreciate too quickly to make much financial sense for ride-share drivers.

Some of these models carry our new Green Choice designation, which highlights vehicles with the cleanest emissions. (You can read more about Green Choice here.)

Of course, potential ride-share drivers should check out their local laws, which can put stricter requirements on licensing and car choices. Using a vehicle for ride-sharing could also void or reduce its warranty coverage. And insurance costs could go up if you use your car for ride sharing.

If need to replace your car and you drive for a ride-sharing service, take a look at our list.

Best Overall: 2014+ Toyota Prius

Ride-share drivers on forums like and praise the Prius. First and foremost is the extremely good fuel economy.

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“It makes more sense to have a high-mpg vehicle the more you drive, because your number one expense is going to be gas,” Campbell says.

The Prius’ reliability ratings in our surveys are consistently well above average. And it offers up to 27.4 cubic feet of room for luggage behind the rear seats, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

We recommend a 2014 or newer model because of its optional forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Leatherette seats are available and preferred because they retain fewer odors and are easier to clean after the inevitable spills and messes that passengers create.

See the complete Toyota Prius road test, reliability, and pricing.

Best Sedan: 2015+ Toyota Camry

We praised the Toyota Camry for its “generous room and a comfortable ride,” which could help drivers get better ratings from riders. Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking became available starting in 2015, the same year the Camry aced Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. Our Annual Surveys show much-better-than-average reliability, and fuel-economy ratings are similarly impressive even if you don’t get the hybrid version.

See the complete Toyota Camry road test, reliability, and pricing.

Best Affordable Car: 2016+ Kia Soul

Thanks to its boxy design, this little Kia has a surprising amount of room for passengers, and its distinctive look makes it easy to spot in a sea of sedans and SUVs. CR praised the Soul for its “abundant interior space and super-easy access,” some of the very qualities that make for a good ride-share experience. Despite its affordable price, the Soul has options like leather seats.

In addition, forward-collision warning became available starting in 2016.

CR recommends active safety features for all drivers, but they can be especially important for ride-share drivers.

“Drivers are putting a lot of miles on their car, and they do get into accidents,” Campbell says. “You’re protecting yourself but also your passengers.”

See the complete Kia Soul road test, reliability, and pricing.

Best for Bad Weather: 2015+ Honda CR-V

Drivers of all-wheel-drive cars tend to make more money when it snows “because there’s a lot of surge pricing,” Campbell says. That’s when fares go up because of the increased demand for rides.

The CR-V is one of the better models among small SUVs because of its roomy cabin, good fuel economy, competent handling, rock-solid reliability, and top safety scores. For drivers in the snow belt, the CR-V has particular appeal with all-wheel drive and additional ground clearance. Just make sure to invest in winter tires, if they’re appropriate.

See the complete Honda CR-V road test, reliability, and pricing.

Best for Uber XL and Lyft Plus: 2014+ Honda Odyssey

Services like Uber XL and Lyft Plus pay drivers more when riders request a vehicle that can seat six or more passengers. Our pick is the Odyssey, which can fit seven or eight passengers depending on how it’s configured.

Like all vehicles on this list, it offers top safety scores and earns praise in our survey. In this case, remember that the Odyssey’s fuel economy is only 19 mpg city—so it might not be as cost-effective to operate if all the seats aren’t regularly filled.

See the complete Honda Odyssey road test, reliability, and pricing.

Best for Uber Select and Lyft Premier: 2013+ Lexus ES

In some cities, ride-share services like Uber Select and Lyft Premier offer riders the choice of an upscale car. Riders pay more and drivers make more—although Campbell says that these services tend to draw fewer riders (primarily businesspeople). The cars that qualify for premium ride-sharing vary from city to city, but the Lexus ES is usually on the list.

Our survey respondents praised the ES for its reliability and comfort, which are paramount virtues for ride-share drivers. While the drivers on forums like and caution against spending money on a new car simply to use for ride-sharing, a late-model Lexus may make sense for those who want to drive a comfortable car and also make some extra money on the side.

See the complete Lexus ES road test, reliability, and pricing.

Cochranite coasting in the Rocky Mountain Corvette Cruise

Cochranite coasting in the Rocky Mountain Corvette Cruise

“It will be a beautiful drive,” Messner said. “Our only worry right now is what’s going to happen with the fires. Every day is a bit of a challenge in making sure everything is going to work out.”

COCHRANE— Setting out on an epic cruise across Alberta and British Columbia, a convoy of Corvettes departed Okotoks on Monday (July 19).

Cochranite Jim Messner was selected as a cruise captain for the Rocky Mountain Corvette Cruise and drew on his experience with Cruise Cochrane to help organize and run the logistics of the journey.

The Rocky Mountain Corvette Cruise has been running for about eight years and has a rich group of participants experienced in the art of cruising. Messner participated in the cruise for the first-time last year.

The 2021 Rockies Cruise saw 36 Corvettes from across Alberta and British Columbia meet in Okotoks before starting on a five-day epic journey across Alberta and British Columbia.

“We come through some of those stops or towns, whatever the case may be, and you get surrounded by people wondering what’s going on,” Messner said with a laugh. “We get a chance to talk to them and show the cars to the kids which I think is important. It’s a really good time and everyone is happy and friendly— It’s a real relief after being locked up for so long.”

This year marks the eighth annual cruise. Since its inception, it has grown from a one-day event to five days.

The cruise began with people from across the western provinces gathering in Okotoks on Monday with the Corvettes officially hitting the road on Tuesday (July 20) traveling and visiting Nanton, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, The Frank Slide and the large truck in Sparwood, B.C. The day ended in Cranbrook.

On Wednesday (July 21) the day was spent touring, with a stop in Yahk for ice cream. After a trip to the Castlegar Sculpture Walk and a lunch break, the drivers met with other car enthusiasts from the local area. The drivers ended the day in Osoyoos.

On Thursday (July 22) the convoy toured through Keremeos, taking the Green Mountain Road and stopping at Apex Mountain Resort before landing in Kelowna. The trip then continued along the east side of Okanagan Lake to Vernon.

On Friday (July 23) the group drove up to Nakusp and onto Revelstoke enjoying two ferry crossings as well and lunchtime hospitality in Nakusp. The Revelstoke Mountain Resort is hosting the group, Messner said, and they are looking forward to racing down the Pipe Mountain Coaster before having supper at the Rockford Grill.

On the final day of the cruise Saturday (July 24) everyone will head back home or continue on their personal voyages with their Corvettes.

Bringing together 36 Corvettes is a sight to behold, Messner said, and the cars span decades ranging from the 1970s to brand new. Messner hit the road for the Rocky Mountain Corvette Cruise with his 2007 Corvette.

“It’s an adventure,” Messner said with a laugh.

He is happy to see the cruise has doubled in size in comparison to 2020 and was looking forward to connecting with old friends and seeing the new faces.

“People are more comfortable doing it and being among a crowd,” Messner said.

He considers the cruise lucky, because last year the timing was just right allowing them to avoid most major COVID-19 public measures. This year they face a new challenge— Planning around the forest fires ravaging British Columbia.

“It will be a beautiful drive,” Messner said. “Our only worry right now is what’s going to happen with the fires. Every day is a bit of a challenge in making sure everything is going to work out.”

Contingencies have been built into the drive so they can adapt as needed and stay safe, he said, explaining the route of the ride could change based on fire and smoke levels.

“We just hope that it all goes safely and that the fires subside and that the weather is good,” Messner said. “The fires are more important though, if they can get some rain and shut down these fires, we’ll put up with that before just to help the people in B.C.”

syracuse’s Logo

Manlius police identify 2 Syracuse men in Corvette after fatal crash

Manlius, N.Y. — Manlius police have identified the passenger killed when a Corvette crashed into a tree Monday afternoon.

Gregory Damon, 71, of Syracuse, was pronounced dead at the scene, Manlius police Sgt. Kenneth L. Hatter III said in a news release.

Damon was riding in the front passenger seat of a 2017 Corvette. The driver, 75-year-old Donald Reals, also from Syracuse, was traveling west in the 7200 block of Richmond Road East in the town of Manlius at about 2:45 p.m. when he veered off the road at a curve and hit a tree on the north side of the road, police said.

Reals was trapped in his car, but conscious after the crash, Manlius Police Capt. Jeffrey Slater said at the scene. Minoa firefighters extricated Reals from the Corvette, he said. Both Minoa and EAVES ambulances responded to the scene. EAVES ambulance crews transported Reals to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, officials said.

A chaplain arrived on Richmond Road East after Damon was pronounced dead. Someone from the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office also responded, police said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Members of the Manlius and DeWitt police departments’ Accident Investigation Team spent several hours Monday trying to “determine the sequence of events that led to the collision,” Hatter said in the release. They used a 3-D scanner to recreate the accident and take measurements, and police flew a drone over the crash site as they tried to piece together what exactly happened.

“The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made,” Hatter said in the release.

Richmond Road East was closed between East Kendall Drive and Fremont Road for several hours after the crash, but has since reopened.

Manlius police ask anyone who saw the crash to call them at 315-682-2212 or 315-682-8673.

A Manlius police officer takes a photo on Richmond Road East on Monday, July 26, 2021 after a Corvette crashed into a tree. One person was killed and another injured, police said.Catie O’Toole | [email protected]

Have a tip or a story idea? Contact Catie O’Toole: [email protected] | text/call 315-470-2134 | Twitter | Facebook

Corvette was going 138 mph just before California crash killed 2

Corvette was going 138 mph just before California crash killed 2

A driver in a convertible Corvette was going 138 mph after a night out drinking and just before he crashed at an Irvine intersection, leaving his two passengers dead, a prosecutor told jurors on Monday, July 26.

Norman David Martin, 26, faces two counts of murder in connection to the July 22, 2017, crash at Jamboree Road and Main Street that claimed the lives of Jamie Lopez and Nancy Ortiz, both 26.

During the trial’s opening statements on Monday, Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough told jurors that only minutes before the crash a friend who had been out with Martin that night told him over the phone that he hoped Martin wasn’t driving.

Earlier that day, Martin and a friend had quit their jobs at Fletcher Jones Motorcars, a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Newport Beach, Scarbrough told jurors. They had dinner and drinks in Laguna Beach, the prosecutor said, then met up again that night at a Costa Mesa nightclub.

Someone they knew had reserved a private table and bottle service at the club, the prosecutor said, and security footage reportedly shows Martin drinking at least five mixed vodka drinks within an hour and a half.

While at the club, Martin met Lopez and Ortiz, the prosecutor said, and persuaded the women to go to an apartment in Irvine to meet up with his friends.

The group called an Uber, but the driver told them he didn’t have enough room to take them all to the Irvine apartment in one trip, the prosecutor said. The driver wouldn’t let anyone sit in another person’s lap.

So Martin told his friends that he and the two women would meet them at the apartment.

Shortly after the friends arrived at the apartment, Scarbrough said one of them received a call from Martin saying they were on their way. The friend responded by telling Martin, the prosecutor said, “I hope you aren’t driving.”

Police investigators would later determine with the help on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette’s on-board computer that the car was traveling at least 138 miles per hour as it approached Jamboree and Main.

Martin struck the intersection’s crown and the car went airborne, with some witnesses saying they saw sparks as it came back down to the ground, the prosecutor said.

The car landed in a different lane, still going more than 100 mph, and Martin apparently over-corrected and steered into the curb, the prosecutor said, with the Corvette striking three palm trees and a fire hydrant before spinning back onto the street.

During the prosecutor’s opening statement, the seating arrangement for the women passengers in the Corvette was not brought up.

Martin, Lopez and Ortiz were all thrown from the car. Martin and Ortiz landed in the roadway, while Lopez struck a palm tree.

Lopez and Ortiz died at the scene. Martin was taken to a hospital, where hours later his blood alcohol-level was tested at just below .08 percent, the legal limit for driving, police and the prosecutor said. Given the amount of time that had passed, police determined that Martin had been too intoxicated to drive.

Martin, who is representing himself in his trial, opted to not give an opening statement to the jury on Monday but could do so later.

If convicted, Martin faces up to 30 years to life in prison.

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Photos Preview New Corvette C8 Rival

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Photos Preview New Corvette C8 Rival

The all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL was recently caught testing in a series of fresh spy photos, giving us our best look yet at the up-and-coming Corvette C8 Convertible rival.

According to General Motors, the most cross-shopped vehicle for C8 Corvette buyers is the Porsche 911, as GM Authority covered previously. However, the Mercedes-Benz SL is another worthy contender, and although the C8 Corvette handily outsells the SL, dominating its segment with 62 percent segment share during the second quarter of the 2021 calendar year, the new SL is shaping up to be quite the rival all the same.

For starters, AMG is playing a major role in the new vehicle’s development and engineering, which means it will surely have the performance needed to raise a few eyebrows. That go-fast attitude will be underlined with new styling inspired by the venerable Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, while the roof configuration will go from a retractable hardtop, to a folding fabric unit.

Another critical update will be the addition of two new rear seats, bringing the cabin layout to a 2+2 configuration. Previously, the SL was known as a two-door roadster, but with a new 2+2 layout, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL will inch that much closer to the Porsche 911.

The new model’s lineup will start with the SL 43 and rear-wheel drive, while at the top of the heap, Merc will offer the SL 73e with 4Matic all-wheel drive. The range-topping power spec in the SL 73e will include a hybrid, twin-turbo 4.0L V8, the same system expected to throw down 800 horsepower in the upcoming AMG GT 73e.

For the moment, the current SL has not performed all that well in terms of sales – in fact, it’s one of the slowest-selling models in the German automaker’s lineup. Nevertheless, the new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL could very well change that. Look for the new Mercedes-AMG SL to debut late in the 2021 calendar year, with sales kicking off in 2022.

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2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Photos

  • Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2021 C8 Corvette Z51 Convertible. Details here.

ACS Composite Introduces C8 Corvette Stingray Rock Guards

ACS Composite Introduces C8 Corvette Stingray Rock Guards

C8 Corvette Stingray owners frustrated by rock chips in their paint can look to ACS Composite for a solution with the company’s latest C8 Corvette Rock Guards. The new product is featured in the following 15-minute, 24-second video, which includes not only the benefits on offer, but the product install process as well.

“When we’re talking about rock chips, they usually happen from the wheels,” says Joseph from ACS Composite. “The spinning wheels going down the road projecting rocks all over your bodywork, and usually that happens all over the side.”

To stop the rocks, ACS Composite developed a new rock guard kit that installs new components around the rear of all four wheel wells.

From the factory, the C8 Corvette Stingray is equipped with what ACS Composite refers to as a trim bezel, which doesn’t really offer any protection from rocks hitting the paint along the flanks.

Alternatively, General Motors also offers an official Chevrolet Accessory dubbed the Front Splash Guards and Rear Splash Guards. These components add a degree of extra protection for the paint, protruding out from the wheel well by about half an inch. ACS Composite offers these items on its website, which includes all four items in textured black for $189, and all four items in Carbon Flash for $349. Alternatively, the items are also available in Black for $75 per pair (one pair for the front, another for the rear) on the official Chevrolet Accessories website.

For those C8 Corvette Stingray customers that need even more protection than what’s offered by the OEM Splash Guards, ACS Composite offers its C8 Corvette Rock Guards. The new piece retains the same mounting points as the factory components, while extending protection around the wheel well by more than an inch in terms of height and width. Critically, ACS Composite also made sure the look of the piece would not impact the C8 Corvette Stingray’s style.

Pricing for the new Rock Guards is set at $499, per the ACS Composites website.

Check out the new pieces and how they install in the video below:

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Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray Pictures

  • Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2021 C8 Corvette Z51 Convertible. Details here.

Which used cars South Africans searched for this year

Which used cars South Africans searched for this year

AutoTrader has released its Mid-Year Car Industry Report for 2021, looking at the search habits of South Africans for the first six months of the year. In it, AutoTrader offers insights in terms of the most popular used cars in the country, which models and brands are highly coveted, as well as the rising interest in electric vehicles.

While the extensive report is available to download as a PDF here, we’ve taken a look through and highlighted some of the most interesting and pertinent statistics below.

For example, an all-time record high of over 319 million online vehicle searches were conducted during the first six months of the year, representing growth of 44 percent year-on-year for AutoTrader.

Much of this can be attributed to the pandemic, which has also seen ecommerce flourish during the past 18 months too, while traditional brick-and-mortar establishments have suffered.

Looking at the Demand segment of the report, which lists the top 10 searched for brands, models and variants, it looks like German and Japanese vehicles have dominated over the first half of 2021.

What people are searching for

To that end, the Top 10 searched for brands are:

  1. BMW – 40.45 million
  2. Mercedes-Benz – 38.13 million
  3. Volkswagen – 37.92 million
  4. Toyota – 35.38 million
  5. Audi – 22.64 million
  6. Ford – 20.51 million
  7. Land Rover – 11.65 million
  8. Hyundai – 9.28 million
  9. Nissan – 8.10Volkswagen Golf R  million
  10. Porsche – 7.86 million

As for car models, the Top 10 is as follows:

  1. Toyota Hilux – 11.46 million
  2. Volkswagen Golf – 9.55 million
  3. Mercedes-Benz C Class – 9.02 million
  4. BMW 3 Series – 8.28 million
  5. Ford Ranger – 7.52 million
  6. Volkswagen Polo – 6.53 million
  7. BMW 1 Series – 4.86 million
  8. Toyota Fortuner – 4.38 million
  9. BMX X5 – 3.55 million
  10. Audi A3 – 3.2 million

Last is variants, which looks at different year models within a specific brand, where VW and BMW feature heavily:

  1. Volkswagen Golf GTI – 1.63 million
  2. Volkswagen Polo GTI – 1.43 million
  3. Mercedes-AMG C Class C63 – 1.40 million
  4. Volkswagen Golf R – 1.19 million
  5. Ford Ranger Wildtrak – 713 071
  6. BMW 3 Series 320d – 605 535
  7. Mercedes-Benz A Class A45 – 575 599
  8. Toyota Hilux 3.0D4D – 488 497
  9. Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI – 474 943
  10. BMW 1 Series m135i – 469 281

Running through the above lists, it appears as if those who own a VW vehicle and are wanting to sell it, will likely have some interest on marketplaces like AutoTrader. Whether you get what you want for it is another question altogether.

The outlook for EVs

One of the other interesting elements that AutoTrader looked at, outside of used cars, was that of electric vehicles (EVs), which despite several hurdles including lack of infrastructure and an unstable power grid, has still seen plenty of searches.

“We’re only in the starting blocks when it comes to EV adoption – in 2020, according to the latest EV Green Paper by the South African government, 92 electric vehicles were sold in the country. But this is set to change! In total, over 285,000 searches for EVs were conducted in the first six months of 2021 on AutoTrader, indicating an increase of over 211% vs the same time a year ago (albeit off a low base). A 234% increase in EV Consumer Advert Views was recorded, dominated by the BMW i3, Porsche Taycan and Jaguar I-Pace,” highlights AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie.

“Bearing in mind the importance of this trend and our belief that the impact of renewable energy on EV uptake needs to be addressed, we have devoted a substantial section of this report to EVs,” he adds.

Diving into said data, while there isn’t a plentiful number of EVs available on the market, a handful of models are garnering serious interest.

To that end the BMW i3 leads the charge with 111 450 searches, followed by the Porsche Taycan and Jaguar I-PACE at 104 452 and 50 240 respectively. The same three models feature among the most viewed EVs on AutoTrader.

The maketplace was also able to share some insights regarding EVs in SA, specifically highlighting some barriers that are hindering adoption, despite interest in the technology from those in the 25 to 24 and 35 to 44 age brackets.

“As mentioned in the previous electric vehicle survey, EVs in South Africa currently attract a 25% import tax vs a 18% tax for Internal Combustion Engine vehicles, this is excluding other taxes such as ad valorem tax. Higher taxes and the lack of incentives has aided in driving the cost of EVs up to an unattainable level for consumers,” the report outlines.

It therefore looks like EVs only stand a chance in South Africa if regulators and government improve infrastructure and incentivise ownership.

1969 Chevy Corvette L88 Drag Races 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T, It's Extremely Close

1969 Chevy Corvette L88 Drag Races 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T, It’s Extremely Close

So what happens when the Hemi and the L88 meet at the drag strip? Well, regardless of the cars they’re in, things become exciting, to say the least. Especially if it’s a Factory Appearing Stock Tire event, which allows certain changes to the drivetrain.

The footage below shows an L88-powered 1969 Chevrolet Corvette lining up against a Hemi-powered 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T for an extremely close encounter. But before we check out the outcome, let’s take a closer look at the cars.

On one lane we have a 1969-model-year Corvette L88. In stock form, these cars were underrated at 430 horsepower and 460 pound-feet (624 Nm) of torque thanks to a 12:1 compression ratio. This Corvette now hits the drag strip with a 13.5:1 compression ratio and an L88 that has been bored to 439 cubic inches (7.2 liters). There’s no info on how powerful it is, but it’s safe to assume that the rear wheels spin to the tune of at least 500 horsepower.

The 1967 Coronet R/T in the other lane features similar upgrades, including a compression ratio increased from 10.25:1 to 11.75:1 and modified rear gears. Whether the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi is stock or not remains a mystery, but it’s plenty powerful at 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet (664 Nm) of torque in (underrated) factory form. A cool detail about this car is that it’s a one-owner survivor.

Both cars are equipped with three-speed automatic gearboxes, so things are level in this area, but the Corvette is significantly lighter. Devoid of a radio and a heater, the Chevy tips the scales at 3,454 pounds (1,567 kg). The Coronet R/T comes in at 3,726 pounds (1,690 kg), to the Corvette is almost 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter.

On paper, the Corvette has what it takes to score a comfortable win, right? Well, the Chevy goes on to win the race, but only because the driver had a slightly better reaction time. The ETs are extremely close at 10.95 seconds for the Coronet and 10.98 clicks for the Corvette, but the latter takes the win thanks to a better reaction time. Their trap speeds are also almost identical at 125.63 and 125.80 mph (202.18 and 202.45 kph), respectively.

Should these cars race again, it could be anyone’s win. But before that happens, hit play to watch the tightest drag race you’ll see today. Reports Highest and Lowest Insurance Rates for Used Cars Reports Highest and Lowest Insurance Rates for Used Cars

FOSTER CITY, Calif., July 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Drivers buy used cars to save money, but if they purchase certain models, they may get sticker shock when they find out how much it costs to insure them. To help prevent consumers from financially driving off a cliff due to high insurance rates,, a comprehensive resource for insurance information, releases a report listing the 2006 to 2020 car models that cost the most and least to insure.

The guide and tool come at a time when used car sales and prices are at record highs, so budgeting for the full cost of ownership may be more important than ever. Early results of an ongoing Insure survey show that nearly 53% of those who purchase used cars fail to consider the cost of insurance in their car-buying decision.

The new report, Buying and insuring a used car: Most and least expensive 2006 to 2020 models, finds that budget conscious drivers can choose used car models such as Honda, Chrysler, and Dodge to save on insurance, which have rates ranging from $922 to $958 per year.

The top five least-expensive used car models to insure in 2021:

  • 2006 Honda Odyssey LX: $922
  • 2006 Chrysler Town & Country: $923
  • 2006 Dodge Caravan SE: $925
  • 2007 Honda Odyssey LX: $936
  • 2007 Dodge Caravan SE: $937

At the other end of the spectrum, Maserati holds nine of the top ten slots in the most-expensive used cars to insure—with rates ranging from $4,248 to $5,102, while Porsche tops the list with an average annual premium of $5,239.

The top five most expensive used car models to insure in 2021:

  • 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: $5,239
  • 2019 Maserati Quattroporte GTS GranSpor: $5,102
  • 2018 Maserati Quattroporte GTS Granspor: $4,778
  • 2017 Maserati Quattroporte S: $4,723
  • 2018 Maserati Gran Turismo MC Centennia: $4,623

All cars were evaluated based on 100/300/50 coverage with a $500 deductible.

The new Insure guide offers comprehensive information on how to purchase a used car, including strategies for researching cars, making a decision, getting an inspection, and negotiating with dealerships.

“Although used cars can be more affordable than newer models, it’s still important to factor insurance costs into your budget when deciding on which car to purchase,” advises Penny Gusner, senior consumer analyst for Insure. “Our interactive used car insurance tool can help drivers view the rates they may pay on different car models and we explain the car insurance rate factors that can impact premiums.”

Gusner  is available to comment on how drivers can make the best used car choice by considering insurance costs when making a purchase decision and taking advantage of an auto insurance advisor tool.

Insure is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), a leader in providing performance marketplace technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in delivering online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs. Insure is a member of QuinStreet’s expert research and publishing division.

For more than 35 years, Insure has served as a comprehensive consumer resource for insurance information, offering expert advice, articles, news, and tools about car, home, health, and life insurance. Consumers have access to free car insurance quotes and guidance on finding the right insurance policy, saving money and solving claims problems.

Twitter: @InsureCom

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GM considered a four-seat Chevrolet Corvette in 1962

GM considered a four-seat Chevrolet Corvette in 1962

General Motors once considered a four-seat Chevrolet Corvette, even building a prototype in 1962. A photo of that prototype recently popped up in an Instagram post from the automaker’s design department last week.

Based on the C2-generation Corvette that was about to launch for the 1963 model year, the four-seater was an answer to the Ford Thunderbird, according to the post. By the early 1960s, the T-Bird had grown from a traditional sports car into a cushier “personal luxury car.”

Aside from its stretched wheelbase, the prototype looks similar to the production 1963 Corvette. It even sports the split rear window that was unique to the 1963 model year. While it looked cool, the split window limited rear visibility, and was quickly deleted.

The C2 wheelbase was stretched by 6.0 inches, to 104 inches, according to a Corvette Blogger post. The roof was also slightly taller than a standard C2 roof, according to the post.

GM design staff hated the four-seat Corvette, but what actually killed it was a GM executive getting stuck in the back seat, according to the post, citing a later interview with designer Larry Shinoda. As the story goes, after an executive got in the back seat, the front seat locked, leaving him trapped. Not the best first impression, admittedly.

The Corvette has remained a two-seater ever since. Now that the ‘Vette has adopted a mid-engine configuration, the only way a four-seater could reach production will likely be if rumors of a Corvette-badged electric SUV prove true.

At $37,500, Is This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 The C3 To Snag?

At $37,500, Is This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 The C3 To Snag?

Nice Price or No Dice 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454

It’s always been said to “go big or go home.” Supporting that maxim, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Corvette has a big block mill that you can take home or wherever else you want. That is if the price isn’t too big a deal.

The comments on yesterday’s 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant heaped praise on the car but called into question its $19,955 price. In the ad for the car, the seller noted that they were in no hurry at all to move the metal. With the price earning an overwhelming 95 percent No Dice vote in our poll, that seems a sensible attitude for the current owner to have adopted.

Hey, when you think of the Apollo space program what springs immediately to mind? Is it the Moon landings? Maybe it’s Tang, the powdered orange-flavored beverage that the astronauts supposedly downed while in space. Honestly, since you’re reading Jalopnik, I’m going to guess that it’s neither of those two iconic aspects of Project Apollo. What I’m betting is that when you think of Apollo, you also think of the Chevy Corvette. It was, after all, the official sports car of the rocket-riding Apollo crews.

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This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 hails from the same year as the Apollo 14 mission, the program’s third successful attempt to land on the Moon. Even by that time, the new had worn off the Moon landings, and I’ll bet that today, most people can’t name the members of the mission’s crew. Not to leave you hanging, that was Alan Shepard, Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchel. The Apollo 14 mission was the first, and eventually only trip into space for Roosa and Mitchell. It was Shepard’s second, having been feted a decade earlier as America’s first man in space.

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Part of that earlier celebration included General Motors gifting Shepard with a white 1962 Corvette, thus setting up GM’s practice of making sure that America’s space heroes drove America’s sports cars.

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There’s nothing in its ad to indicate that this Mille Miglia Red over beige convertible was ever owned by anyone notable, much less a spacefarer. What the ad does disclose is that the car is kitted in a way that might make anyone feel like a rocketeer.

That starts with the engine, which is an LS5 big block with 454 cubic inches of displacement and an 8.5:1 compression ratio. As spec’d, that mill pumps out 365 (gross) horsepower and 460 (again, gross) lb-ft of torque. How do I know these facts? Well, it’s noted right there on the console, right behind the shifter for the four-speed Muncie M21 gearbox.

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Okay, so you get a hot mill and something for your left leg to do while driving it. What else does this C3 have to offer? Well, there’s that incredible styling, which looks like it was yanked straight off a spinning car show dais and shoved straight into the pleasure centers of our brains. There has perhaps been no more iconic look for the ‘Vette than that of the Mako Shark-aping C3 Stingray.

This one looks to be in damn-good shape with acceptable panel gaps, shiny paint, and bright chrome trim thrown in here and there. Each of the aggressively arched fenders is underpinned by deep-dish steel wheels wearing turbine center caps and bright beauty rings. Fat, raised white letter Goodyears keep the wheels off of the macadam.

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The vinyl top, in white, looks like it doesn’t get a lot of air time, but seems serviceable. The only major gaffe on the exterior is a recalcitrant cowl for the windshield wipers that doesn’t seem to want to stay seated. Typically, the cowl raises on springs to let the wipers do their thing. When the wipers are stowed, the panel is held down by engine vacuum. The raised panel here indicates a leak, but that’s usually not that big a deal.

Image for article titled At $37,500, Is This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 The C3 To Snag?

The interior looks completely stock, right down to the AM/FM radio. There’s a little bit of wear evident here, but again, nothing too bad. The worst of it is probably the fiberglass in the door jam that’s showing through where the paint has been abraded by a slight misalignment of the door.

The ad claims the car to rock its original engine and transmission, which is a big deal when you’re playing in this league. The car carries a clean title and, according to the ad, has just seen $3,000 in unspecified repairs. The seller claims the car “Runs and drives excellent” and is “very clean in/out.” The asking price is a cool $37,500.

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What do you think about this big block ’Vette and that $37,500 price? Does that feel like a good deal to pretend you just took a trip into space? Or, is that too much despite all the car’s bona fides?

You decide!

Los Angeles California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at [email protected] and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Chevrolet Corvette sold out for foreseeable future

Chevrolet Corvette sold out for foreseeable future

First batch of 250 mid-engined supercars all spoken for; no ETA for further shipments

GM Specialty Vehicles has confirmed its initial allocation of Chevrolet Corvette vehicles is already sold out before the first example even arrives, but won’t say when more supplies of the mid-engined supercar – or the ballistic new circa-450kW Z06 version – will come to Australia.

GMSV opened the official order book for the five-variant MY22 Chevrolet Corvette coupe and convertible in early June, and all 250 vehicles in Australia’s first batch have now been spoken for – without a single test drive taking place and despite at least one dealer charging an additional $43,000 in delivery fees.

List prices (excluding on-road costs) for the new Corvette were announced by GMSV in March, with prices starting at $144,990 plus ORCs for the 2LT Coupe and $159,990 for the 2LT Convertible, and higher-spec 3LT variants costing $15,510 extra.

In addition, each GMSV dealer was allocated one example of a 3LT Coupe-based Carbon Edition variant fitted with a host of options available in the US, created exclusively for Australia and New Zealand and priced at $189,990 plus ORCs.

carsales understands each of GMSV’s 54 dealers were allocated fewer than five Corvettes from the initial batch, with a limited range of paint colours.

The first example of Chevrolet’s first global Corvette made its Australian debut in the hands of Craig Lowndes at The Bend circuit in early May, but that was a left-hand drive vehicle.

And the first right-hand drive Chevrolet Corvette made its global public dynamic debut at Fuji Speedway in Japan early last month, but no Aussie-spec RHD versions have so far landed Down Under.

GMSV told carsales this week that US production of Australia’s MY22 Corvette models in Kentucky won’t take place until the fourth quarter of this year, ahead of first local deliveries by the end of this year.

“Shipment of the first RHD C8 Corvette from Bowling Green is to start in Q4, with the balance of the first allocation to follow shortly after,” said GMSV spokesman Ed Finn via email.

But when asked when subsequent shipments of Corvettes will arrive in Australia, Finn said: “TBA – let’s get the first allocation landed and into customer hands!”

The GMSV website continues to invite registrations of interest for the Corvette and, given the demand, more examples of the MY22 Corvette are expected to arrive in Australia once they’re produced in RHD, followed by updated MY23 vehicles.

As for the Corvette Z06, which will soon be revealed in the US ahead of a 2022 launch as an MY23 model, Finn told carsales last week: “The Z06 is a high-performance version of the C8 Corvette, but nothing has been officially announced regarding a possible launch date – and no right-hand drive markets have been confirmed as part of the program.”

Australia’s standard Z51-spec Corvette Stingray is powered by a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre LT2 pushrod V8 (369kW/637Nm) matched with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.

The first global mid-engined and auto-only Corvette accelerates to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 312km/h.

But the more powerful Z06 will pack the first road-going application of the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 5.5-litre LT6 V8 seen in the Corvette C8.R race car, featuring a flat-plane crank, 32-valve DOHC cylinder-heads and a redline north of 8000rpm.

And it will be followed by an even more potent new Corvette ZR1, almost certainly blessed with a 500kW-plus turbo V8 – and hopefully right-hand drive.

Here's What We Love About The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette

Here’s What We Love About The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette

1953 saw Chevrolet introduce the world to its latest creation, the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette, otherwise known as the Vette, is a beautiful two-door two-passenger American sports car. This sports car has been in production for the past sixty years and is currently in its eighth generation.

Since it debuted in 1953, all Corvettes until 2019 featured front engines. It was after 2019 when Chevrolet opted for mid-engine layouts for the Corvette. There is no doubt that the Corvette is one of the most popular American cars. Among the many reasons that many people love the Corvette is the unmatched body style it features, the proper handling, and the beautifully crafted interior.

While all Corvettes have a special place in every enthusiast’s heart, there are some that are more memorable than others. One such example is the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette. This ride was the first in the fifth-generation Corvette lineup, which is also known as the C5 generation.

The C5 Corvette featured a number of redesigns that saw the sales number of the Corvette increase significantly. The designs and crafting of the C5 started in 1996, but it was not until 1997 when the first C5 rolled off the production line. The delay was caused by several mishaps during manufacturing and engineering. The new redesign went on to inspire future Corvettes. Narrowing down what we love about the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette is no easy task, but we’ve done it.

So, without further ado, here is what we love about the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette.

RELATED: World’s Fastest C8 Corvette Owner Gets Tempting Offer To Sell Her Supercar


9-Via Bring a Trailer Cropped

Via Bring a Trailer

The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette was a two-door coupe that made its debut 44 years after the Corvette lineup was first unveiled. And 24 years later, we are still in awe at what this ride was and remains to be. If you have never heard of or read about the fifth-generation Corvette, it’s easy to think of it as another used car.

However, if you have, then you understand how significant and iconic the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette was, especially when it comes to what we now know as the Corvette. The 1997 Corvette was the first in the C5 lineup; it featured a whole new facelift that was long overdue.

This facelift alone saw it boost Corvette sales. Further, the redesign saw it used as a template for all the future Corvette builds. Its frame was made of hydro-formed steel, which made it lighter than its predecessors. It also featured a new and improved rear transaxle that distributed its weight evenly.

The 1997 Corvette was wider, which meant that less of the car was extending beyond the axles, the front, and the aft. This also helped a lot when it came to proper weight distribution. The 1997 Corvette was available in seven beautiful colors, namely, Arctic White, Sebring Silver Metallic, Nassau Blue Metallic, Black, Light Carmine Red Metallic, Torch Red, and Fairway Green Metallic.

While the new redesign managed to steal the show, it could never overshadow the powertrain strapped to the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette.

RELATED: The 10 Best Engines In Classic Corvettes Till The ’70s

What We Love: The Powertrain



Under the hood of the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette was one of the most iconic engines ever made. Chevrolet fit this ride with an all-new, all-aluminum LS1 V8. This engine saw Chevy live up to the small block engine legacy that had proven one of the hardest to live up to.

This new engine demonstrated Chevy’s prowess when it came to balancing the horsepower, torque, fuel efficiency, durability, and reliability in terms of the engine. This new engine was made of cast aluminum that was used as the block material. The same cast aluminum was used as the cylinder head material. The intake manifold of this engine was composite; the exhaust manifold was an insulated dual wall stainless steel.

The valve train on this engine was an OHV valve train with 2 valves per cylinder. The main bearing caps used in this engine were made of powdered metal. Chevy made the crankshaft with cast iron that had undercut and rolled fillets. The camshaft was made of hollow steel, and powered metal was used to make the connecting rods.

The specs of this engine were a 5.68-liters displacement. This engine had a maximum power output capacity of 345 HP at 5,600 RPM and 350 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 RPM. When it came to performance, the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette cleared a 0 to 60 MPH sprint in 4.72 seconds while on manual transmission and 5.05 in automatic. The top speed of this car was 175 MPH.

To many people, this is where the numbers game stops. And we agree, the power output capacity and the engine build not only added to the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette’s stamina but to its reputation as well.

NEXT: Here’s Why You Should Buy A 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Edition Pickup Truck

This New Trail Boss Pack Will Bump Up 2022 Chevy Colorado’s Capabilities

If you love to go off-road then you might need the Trail Boss Pack.

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About The Author

Clarisa Mane
(51 Articles Published)

Clarisa is a freelance writer who got introduced to the world of cars during the worst time in her life. After being in an accident that was caused by things she could not control Clarisa sought answers that welcomed her into the world of cars.
Being an avid reader and with the excitement to know more she found herself behind the wheel of sports cars and one thing led another and from that a gearhead was born

From Clarisa Mane

2021 New York Auto Show Poster Features C7 Corvette GS Wheel

2021 New York Auto Show Poster Features C7 Corvette GS Wheel

Hype is building for the 2021 New York Auto Show, set to take place in The Big Apple next month. Event organizers recently released a new poster advertising the show, and notably, the poster includes an image of the C7 Corvette Grand Sport’s wheel.

The poster is titled “The Future Is Bright,” and includes an image of the Manhattan Bridge, which spans the East River and connects Lower Manhattan with Downtown Brooklyn. In the background, we see the New York skyline, with gorgeous neon hues highlighting the city streets and sky.

In addition to these iconic NYC landmarks, the New York Auto Show poster also incorporates overlaid pictures of the Statute of Liberty and, notably, the C7 Corvette Grand Sport’s wheel. The roller design includes split spokes and a sizable lip, and measure in at 19 inches by 10 inches in front, and 20 inches by 12 inches in the rear. The wheel is also made from aluminum.

In total, the C7 Corvette Grand Sport offered five individual wheel finish options for the 2019 model year, including Pearl Nickel (RPO code Q8W), Black (RPO code Q8X), Machine-Face (RPO code Q8K), Chrome (RPO code Q8Z), and Satin Black with Red Stripe (RPO code RUR). Although it’s a bit unclear, the wheel featured in the New York Auto Show poster appears to have a Machine-Face finish to it.

The New York Auto Show was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, however, the show is slated to go forward, running between August 20th and August 29th at the Javitz Center in New York City. A press day will kick things off on August 19th.

2019 Cadillac CT6-V at the 2018 New York Auto Show

2019 Cadillac CT6-V at the 2018 New York Auto Show

“We are excited to welcome back auto enthusiasts and industry professionals for this year’s show with full, pre-pandemic attendance levels and a new exhibit focused on electric vehicles with five indoor tracks where attendees can go for a test ride,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This is a sure sign that New York is coming back stronger and better than ever.”

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The Four-Seat Corvette Was Too Bad To Be True

The Four-Seat Corvette Was Too Bad To Be True

Image for article titled The Four-Seat Corvette Was Too Bad To Be True

Photo: GM Design

The year was 1962 and Chevy was throwing around ideas for the C2, which would take the car in a new direction and help make the Corvette the most famous car in the world. One thing GM considered (briefly) back then: a four-seat Corvette, which looks all wrong.

The car never made it into production, of course, but GM Design’s Instagram account recently unveiled photos of it, in all of its blasphemous glory. The Corvette is the defining American grand tourer, which is power, the open road, and, yes, two seats, a car for the retired or the childless or the idle rich. The whole point of a grand tourer is that it is you and (hopefully) your love driving into the unknown, and not you and your love and two dumb friends in the back.

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Photo: GM Design

This was apparently in reaction to the Ford Thunderbird. I would like to think that Chevy stuck to its two-seat guns out of some kind of principle, but the real reason this never got made was because a GM executive got mad. Corvette Blogger dug up an old interview with Larry Shinoda, a GM designer who worked on the C2. The interview included this amusing tidbit:

Ed Cole had a brilliant idea to do a four-passenger [Corvette], so they stretched the car out and it kind of looked like a two-hump camel. They’re really pushing at me so because the Ford had the Thunderbird which had gone into a kind of a luxury four passenger car. They had the model all finished and Jack Gordon, who was the President of General Motors, came in one day in his double-breasted suit and everything. He’s looking at it and he says Ed…tell me…can a human really sit in that back seat? Ed says, of course, Mr. Gordon and he yanked open the door and tilted the seat forward and Mr. Gordon climbed in sat down and was kind of hunched over in the back. Finally, he says let me out of this thing…for some reason the damn seat jammed up they couldn’t get the seat [to fold down], they had to unbolt the seat and he’s fuming, because you know, it’s all union and the union mechanics had to come and unbolt the seat. When he finally got out of the car, he was totally frustrated…he was madder than hell…and that killed the car, which is kind of good for Corvette fans…

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An executive getting into a car and getting mad is probably what kills 99 percent (if not 100 percent) of the cars and car features that never see the light of day instead of an engineer or designer making a more informed decision. In this case, at least, that was for the best.

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Photo: GM Design

Why local auto dealers are seeing a major price surge in used cars | Prior Lake

Why local auto dealers are seeing a major price surge in used cars | Prior Lake

If you’re thinking of buying a sweet new ride this summer using stimulus check savings, you might want to rethink your purchase because new and used car prices are soaring nationwide due to a global microchip shortage.

The devastating chip shortage is affecting automakers and dealerships all over the world including the Twin Cities metro leaving dealers and consumers struggling to get their hands on vehicles.

According to experts and industry leaders, the shortage of computer chips — which modern cars need in order to operate everything from infotainment systems to special safety features and more — is being caused in large part by the pandemic, after auto factories briefly shut down production.

Low interest rates, high savings and government stimulus payments have also boosted demand.

Ford, General Motors and Chevrolet are among the hardest-hit manufacturers, according to data by Automotive News. Ford has shut down production of 325,000 vehicles including nearly 110,000 units of the popular F-Series pickup truck. GM and Stellantis had to abandon 278,000 and 252,000 vehicles, respectively. Following the F-Series, the most impacted models are the Jeep Cherokee, which shut down 98,584 units, Chevrolet Equinox lost 81,833 units, Chevy Malibu lost 56,929 units and the Ford Explorer, which had to forfeit 46,766 units.

“It’s hard to get anything with this chip shortage on all the vehicles, these new vehicles haven’t been coming out,” said Michael Sjulstad, sales manager of Velishek Auto Sales in Prior Lake. “We’re sitting anywhere from 85 to 100 vehicles on our lot when we usually have 130. Everybody is trying to buy inventory right now but the prices are so high it’s hard to get your hands on them.”

Prices through the roofUsed car prices climbed a staggering 30% while new car and truck prices climbed about 5% over the past year through June according to the Consumer Price Index report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Rocky Dehmlow, owner of Rod Dehmlow Auto Sales & Services in Prior Lake, said the surge in prices is affecting sales due to not having enough product to sell and used car prices being too high. He said most of the used autos he sells are in the $23,000 to $28,000 range. A used car that would normally cost $20,000 is now higher in value by $4,000 to $6,000.

“I’m also just running low on inventory,” Dehmlow said. “We have about 25% of what we normally would have in stock. This is bad for the consumer as well because people are having to pay way too much for a vehicle. It is what it is if you have to get one, but much like the housing industry, it’s a little bit frustrating. You feel like you’re paying premium plus money.”

Joe Heim, store manager of Drive Appeal in Shakopee, has also seen an increase in prices over the course of the pandemic

“The average price for a new car is over $30,000 and $20,000 to $25,000 for a used car. A couple months ago sales smashed the national average record for average price of a used car,” said Heim.

Dehmlow added that the microchip shortage is worsened by a strong demand for chip manufacturers to supply chips for personal electronics — such as phones and laptops — as more people worked from home during the pandemic.

Thinking outside the boxWith this said, local auto dealers are thinking outside the box trying to sell anything they can. Some dealers are calling and emailing former customers offering to buy back cars they sold a year or two earlier because demand for used vehicles is as strong as it is for new cars.

“We’re just trying to buy vehicles that we can. We’ve been buying more vehicles off of customers that call and want to sell their vehicle outright,” said Sjulstad. “We’re just trying to keep the inventory as much as we can and trying to see what we can get.”

Dehmlow is also looking into different ways to add and sell more inventory at his dealership.

“We’re working harder to get vehicles in trade when someone does come in to buy a vehicle,” said Dehmlow. “We’re really trying all different things, trying to handle a little bit more specialty stuff than what we usually do and something a little different that not every dealer has got.”

Despite soaring prices, auto dealers and analysts say it’s still a seller’s market.

“It’s not really affecting us, it’s affecting the customers because they’re paying more money because the values in cars are getting higher. We just go with what the market is,” said Jose Rubio, owner of Quality Motors Sales in Jordan.

Heim, at Drive Appeal in Shakopee, said costumers are more willing to jump the gun and buy whatever inventory is available.

“People are willing to pull the trigger a lot quicker if you have something they want because they might not be there tomorrow,” said Heim. “I would say find what you want if you need a new or used car but make sure you’re not overpaying because we won’t try and pay the ridiculous high prices and then make it up selling the car overpriced. We’re still trying to maintain reasonable prices. It’s just tough.”

Is there a silver lining?Sjulstad, at Velishek Auto Sales in Prior Lake, said a return to normalcy rests on the microchip manufacturers.

“It all depends when they can start making new chips for Chevy, Ford, Toyotas, etc. As soon as they start making some chips I think there will possibly be some more inventory,” said Sjulstad.

Dehmlow said he is hopeful that within the next 60 or 90 days things will start to turn around a little and start looking like it should again.

“We’re telling people about this every time they come in when they’re asking why we don’t have any cars in stock,” said Dehmlow. “I’m telling people, if you don’t absolutely have to buy a car then wait it out a little bit, you’ll get a better deal.”

Rubio said some customers have no choice but to buy a car even though they know they are expensive at the moment.

“I’m just trying to keep my prices the best I can so people can buy, that’s all we can do right now,” said Rubio.

Although Dehmlow said he thinks things will turn around within the next few months, some analysts and local dealers say it could stretch until 2022, but it will eventually resolve — it’s just a matter of when.

“I heard it can be up to a year before the microchip shortage is resolved,” said Heim. “However, the new car manufacturers have been still building the cars and setting them aside waiting for the microchips. So, I feel when they catch up they’re going to have to implant a lot of new vehicles to make room for 2022 models. I guess the outlook would be that it will kind of crush the high used car values that’ll drop pretty rapidly because people will be able to buy a brand new car for not a whole lot more than what they can get a used one for.”

As far as solutions go in the meantime, Heim said there really are none at the moment, all they can do is hope for the best for both auto dealers and consumers.

“Our hands are tied and it’s a competitive business. So, everybody is looking to do the same thing by getting cars as cheap as they can,” he said. “It’s just a matter of sourcing and being smart about what you pick and choose and not overpaying. That’s all we can do at the moment. The solution really isn’t in our control at all.”

Here's your chance to win a 2021 Corvette Z51 and a trip to the Indy 500

Here’s your chance to win a 2021 Corvette Z51 and a trip to the Indy 500

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. See official rules on Omaze.

The C8 Corvette was one of the most anticipated cars of the past decade, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a V8-powered, mid-engine sports car with nearly 500 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque, a dual-clutch transmission and head-turning looks, all for under $60K when it was released. You’d be hard pressed to find that kind of performance bargain anywhere else. As good as the price was, winning one from Omaze sounds even better.

Win a 2021 Corvette Stingray – Enter at Omaze

This particular Corvette comes in Arctic White and has a value over $90,000. Here’s what’s included, according to Omaze: “Z51 performance package; 3LT trim; carbon fiber roof; Front Lift adjustable height with memory lifts the front end to clear driveways, speed bumps and remembers those locations to automatically lift when returning; 19”/20” Carbon Flash wheels, red brake calipers, red engine cover with carbon fiber engine bay accents, fully digital gauge cluster with head-up display, 8” HD color infotainment system with touchscreen and navigation, driver-focused cockpit with two-spoke, squared-off racing-inspired steering wheel, 14-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system.”

Plus, if you enter to win this giveaway between now and June 22, you’ll also be entered to win a two-person VIP Indy 500 experience including flights, hotel, a ride in the festival parade and a tour of the garages and the pits before the race. If that’s not enough, you’ll also be watching the race from the VIP suites. Don’t wear yourself out too much on race day, though, because the following day you’ll hit the track for a hot lap.

Here’s what we said about the mid-engine Corvette in our first-drive review:

“The Corvette Stingray we drive at Spring Mountain, pictured above, is equipped with the Z51 track package. It adds an electronic limited-slip differential, larger Brembo brakes with four-piston monobloc calipers, enhanced cooling, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, a specific axle ratio, the performance exhaust, front splitter and two-piece rear spoiler that together add up to 400 pounds of downforce, and the track-tuned FE3 suspension (the base is FE1 and there is no FE2) that alters the springs, sway bars, dampers and electronic calibrations. You can enhance all of that with the optional $1,895 FE4 magnetic suspension, a bigger wing and a pair of upgraded seats. While we didn’t get a chance to try the $1,495 mid-grade GT2 seats, we’d recommend trying out the $1,995 top-of-the-line Competition Sport seats before placing your order — both of your Autoblog test drivers are on the slender side and found the seat bottom uncomfortably pinchy. The standard GT1 seats (pictured below) were fine in that regard and still provide adjustable side bolsters that kept us sufficiently in place on the track. The low roof and roll structure also caused headroom issues for this pair of 6-foot-plus drivers, especially with helmets on the track.

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“Much has been made that the C8 is not available with a traditional manual transmission, but it doesn’t have a traditional automatic, either. Frankly, both would be out of place in what is effectively a mid-engine supercar capable of blitzing from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. On the track, the new eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual developed by GM and Tremec is smart enough to shift at the right time most of the time, but there were nevertheless a few odd downshift choices and moments when pulling a paddle was needed. That virtually never happens when using the most aggressive settings of Porsche PDK or Mercedes AMG’s automated manual, but this is a critique concerning degrees of excellence. GM and Tremec should be applauded for their effort.

“So too should the Z51 package’s fat Brembo brakes that took lap after lap of pounding while maintaining their reassuring pedal feel. That pedal itself is also nicely placed for left-foot braking, which can’t be said for Porsche’s.”

You’re probably asking yourself, what does it take to win? First of all, according to Omaze, “no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.” $10 will get you 100 entries, while $50 will get you 1,000 entries and $100 will get you 2,000 entries.

The donations themselves benefit The 500 Festival Foundation. According to Omaze, “The 500 Festival Foundation supports the 500 Festival in its mission to produce life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500, fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. Your generosity can ensure everyone has access to the 500 Festival’s free youth education, health and fitness, and leadership development programs.”

If you want all 495 of these mid-engine horses in your driveway, enter here. The deadline to enter is August 18, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Why used cars are so pricey right now

BY KATHY A. BOLTEN, Senior Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 11:23 AM

We got a call the other day from someone at a local auto dealership asking whether we were interested in selling our decade-old truck. The sight-unseen offer was higher than Kelley Blue Book’s suggested resale price. It made us wonder why such an attractive offer. Zachery Crockett of the Hustle supplied an answer. Since last summer, the average price of a used car has soared 45%, Crockett writes. Used vehicles accounted for one-third of all price inflation in the U.S. over the past year. Why? Because new vehicles contain more than 100 semiconductor chips that power everything from infotainment systems to transmissions and most things in between. When the pandemic hit, new vehicle sales dropped more than 50%, causing automakers to halt orders of semiconductors, writes Crockett. Demand for new vehicles picked back up but now there’s a shortage of semiconductor chips because manufacturers are backlogged with orders for other goods like smartphones and laptops. Crockett writes that the lead time to get the chips is now five to seven months. By the way, we didn’t sell the truck. There aren’t many new ones on the lots with which to replace it.

Tuo Chiang-class corvette

Taiwanese Navy Receives Second Tuo Chiang-Class Stealth Corvette

The Taiwanese Navy received its first fast missile corvette of the Tuo Chiang class on Tuesday.

The handover ceremony was presided over by Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng at the Suao Naval Base in Yilan County, eastern Taiwan.

The corvette, named the Ta Chiang, has better stability and stealth capabilities than a predecessor launched in 2014, according to the navy.

The ship is equipped with Taiwanese-made weapon systems such as the Hsiungfeng II and III anti-ship missiles and Sea Sword II air defense missile system. It also features a 76 mm cannon and Phalanx weapons system.

Asymmetric Counter to Chinese Navy

The first Tuo Chiang-class vessel was delivered to the navy in 2014. The 60.4-meter (198-foot) ship has a maximum speed of 30 knots (55.56 kilometers or 34 miles per hour), displacement of 685 tons, and an operational range of 1,800 nautical miles (3,333 kilometers or 2,071 miles).

Taipei is building the Tuo Chiang class of vessels as an asymmetric counter to the amphibious capability of the Chinese Navy.

The navy expects a total of six indigenous ships of the class before 2023. Five additional vessels could be built thereafter, according to Janes.

New Details Found Underneath Corvette Z06 Prototype

New Details Found Underneath Corvette Z06 Prototype

Other spy videos have also shown the Z06 will have central exhaust tips like the C8.R. This isn’t the only similarity the Z06 will share with the CR.R either.

As we heard in Chevrolet’s official teaser video, the Z06 will be powered by a modified version of the C8.R’s 5.5-liter flat-plane V8. In the CR.R, this unit generates 500 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, but the Z06 is expected to crank it up to around 600 hp. This will make the Z06 significantly more powerful than the C8 Stingray, which generates 490 hp and 465 lb-ft from a 6.2-liter V8. More details will be revealed when the new Corvette Z06 debuts this fall.

There’s never been a worse time than right now to buy a used car in Canada

There’s never been a worse time than right now to buy a used car in Canada

One of the least pleasant aspects of buying a new car is being lectured by used car zealots about what a fool you are. There’s always at least one person there to lambaste you for your spendthrift ways. They have their speeches at the ready. To hear these folks talk, you’d think that there was nothing else in the world they enjoyed more than deflating the joy of a driver who’s just bought a new car.

They’ll say:

“You know, the moment you drive a new car off the lot, a coven of devils will beset you and torment you and also the car will depreciate by up to 40 per cent.”

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“Used cars are cheaper. You could spend the money you save on a three-star all-inclusive holiday where you can drink your weight in cheap rum.”

“If you buy a new car, hailstones –­ each weighing about a hundred pounds ­­– will fall upon it, but, if you buy a used car you will pay less in insurance and angels will sing.”

For some reason they’re never convinced by the argument, “Yeah, but I like new cars.”

Well, guess what, smarties? Those days are over.

There has never been a worse time for Canadians to buy a used car. Never in recorded history. In the United States, the average price for a used car with a little under 110,000 kms on it is $31,426 Canadian. For months now, used vehicles have been selling for the same cost as new ones.

Meanwhile, the thirst for used automobiles remains unquenched. Canadian drivers who have spent their lives swearing by the used car mantra – buying cars that are between one to three years old – remain ardent in their quests for previously owned wheels. After all, they say, such used vehicles are cheaper, there’s no depreciation, and you still get that new car feel.

Like a comet, a blue moon or an eclipse, the current rush for used cars is a rare event and the product of an extraordinary confluence of events. There is less new stock available because when the pandemic hit, manufacturers shut down production for two months. According to Associated Canadian Car Rental Operators, at that time Canadian rental companies unloaded 30 to 40 per cent of their vehicles and flooded the market. Now that the domestic travel has rebounded, Global News reported, these same companies are holding on to their fleets. The biggest factor in pushing up prices is the continued shortage of microchips. There are fewer shiny new cars rolling into the market.

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This leaves those who can’t wait and need to buy a car now – those who can’t wait a few months until the madness passes and production returns to normal – getting used and abused.

What the used car crowd doesn’t always understand is that new car buyers come in many shapes and rationales. My first means of transportation, as a kid, was bicycle and horse. It was public transit exclusively for years, especially when I lived in big cities like London. Today, if I lived in a city that had decent public transit, I probably wouldn’t own a car. I don’t. I live in Toronto.

I didn’t buy a new car until I was in my forties. I couldn’t afford one. I drove old beaters. When our kids arrived, however, I wanted the reliability and safety of a new car (okay, a Dodge Grand Caravan). The new sticker price was just a little more expensive than the used. I knew then, as I know now, that this was all part of the dealership leveraging buyers into going for a new car. I knew and I didn’t care.

I bought my most recent ride new as well. Safety and reliability were a factor, but the big reason was I simply wanted a new car. I’m a car guy and I felt like I’d earned it. I can’t defend this stance. It’s crass, shallow and materialistic. It says a lot about the kind of person I am. Make of it what you will. All I know is that, when I go for a drive, I’m the kind of person who is driving a new car.

Used car zealots should not lose heart. This used car world-turned-upside-down can’t last forever. It will right itself and soon, you can sing your sanctimonious songs once again. In the meantime, close your eyes and think of the depreciation.

School Bus

Discussing the upcoming fall semester, Ontario Premier Doug Ford told the media, “We’re going to make sure the kids are going back to school in September. They’re going to be in class. I want to repeat that they’re going back. Even if I have to hop in that school bus and drive it myself.”

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It’s hard to know what is more disturbing about Ford’s statement. That he thinks all you have to do is “hop” in a school bus and “drive it,” that he thinks driving a school bus “myself” is somehow unique (as if most people drive school buses in tandem) or that he thinks he can fit all two million Ontario students in a single bus. Has Ford driven a Ford lately?

Shopping for a new car? Check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

$2,495 Carbon Side Skirts Make C8 Chevy Corvette Sport a Tasty “Wingless” Look

$2,495 Carbon Side Skirts Make C8 Chevy Corvette Sport a Tasty “Wingless” Look

Because the eighth iteration of “America’s Sports Car” has proven so darn successful, its popularity has attracted the attention of just about every player from the aftermarket realm. As such, one can take the C8 Corvette and make it their own with just about anything, from extreme Liberty Walk, builds to subtle and tasty carbon fiber enhancements.

Some like to have the C8 Corvette stand out in any crowd… and not necessarily for the right reasons. Others believe the mid-engine sports car needs a little more personality, but without breaking the bank or becoming the talk of everyone. As such, little companies such as RSC (aka Racing Sport Concepts from Columbus, Ohio) probably think the ‘ Vette can also be enhanced and then become the focus of discussions between knowledgeable fans.

It’s not the first time we have seen something tasty and carbon fiber from the company for the C8, as RSC has quickly come up with a wide range of parts. The Corvette can have either new brakes or enough pieces to assemble a very cool (yet thoroughly subtle) C8 carbon fiber aero kit. Among things like the RSC Carbon Fiber High Wing, the engine intake side and hatch vents, front intake vents, mirror covers, or front splitter and rear diffuser, there’s also the $2,495 carbon fiber side skirts.

These can easily change the looks of the C8 Corvette (preferably in combination with the rest of the carbon fiber parts) and their “wingless” appearance certainly makes a case for considering the Chevy for an unofficial GTC (Grand Touring Corvette) title. The GT styling of the parts is probably self-consciously infused by the company, as the hero C8 is a white example that proudly wears the carbon fiber additions with elegance and poise.

Now, all that’s left is to make the necessary calculations and figure out that adding most parts will not come cheap – if one chooses the ducktail spoiler instead of the high wing the aero kit will come out at no less than $12,660. But we think it’s well worth the investment considering the exclusivity of the carbon fiber parts as well as the subtle styling.