April 2016. The Corvette Issue, Behind the Scenes

Welcome to the all-Corvette issue of Chevy Classics magazine! We had a blast working on this one, and I must say, to quote John “Hannibal” Smith of the 1980’s TV hit The A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

My original pie in the sky vision for this issue was to feature cars from each generation (C1 through C7), but given time constraints and owner’s individual schedules, that quickly proved elusive. I soon learned that C5, C6 and C7 owners tend to be working stiffs with not a lot of extra time on their hands. Next thoughts were to narrow the scope and pick some earlier (mostly ’60s) Corvettes that we could get down and dirty with. This was, I believe, the way to go.

What we’re presenting over these pages is much more focused than the aforementioned “all gen” concept. We have a good representation of C1, C2 and C3 gens here – important cars that aptly showcase some rare and highly collectible examples of the breed.

We’re kicking things off with a very clean, mostly unrestored Polo White ’54 Roadster. In its second year of production, Chevrolet offered the ’Vette in more colors than just white (3 more, to be exact), but the vast majority of them (3,200) were sprayed in this color. Learn more about the ’54 – beginning on page 6.

Next up, on page 10, is a Nassau Blue ’65 Sting Ray. When I first laid eyes on this car, I knew it had to be in this issue. Important mostly because 1965 was the first (and only) year the big-block 396 cubic-inch Mark IV engine would reside in a Corvette.

Starting on page 14 you’ll find a Mosport Green ’66 Sting Ray; a 427-equipped one at that. 1966 was the first year the 427 appeared in Corvette, and this one, a slick convertible, easily made the cut.

Check out page 18. What’s this you say? Another ’66? Yes, but for good reason. This car is one of just 66 “Big Tank” Corvettes produced that year. Yes, 66 in ’66. If you don’t know much about the Sting Rays equipped with RPO N06, you’re about to learn a whole lot more.

Then, more big-block firepower – a lot more firepower, actually. Starting on page 22, we have an honest-to-goodness 1968 L88-equipped Corvette. Exactly 80 of these were built that year. The L88 427 was an ultra-high compression big-block with aluminum heads and a Holley 850 cfm carburetor. Dynos have them pegged at 560 horsepower. Mega dollar muscle!

Our final feature car this issue is our centerfold beast – an Ermine White ’67 Sting Ray, also ordered with RPO L88. Why jump from a 1968 model back down to a ’67, you ask? Only 20 Corvettes got the L88 treatment in 1967, making this car the rarest and most valuable of our incredible line-up this issue. Hence, the centerfold spot!

Switching gears (but still in ’Vette mode!), we asked six Eckler’s employees what their favorite all-time Corvettes were. Thought you’d enjoy the responses here…

“My pick would be the one I own now – a 1967 roadster, big-block, 4-speed, Tri-Power. It’s the epitome of a muscle car. Just brute power, no frills. It’s what helped create muscle car legends, and why they’re so popular today. I’ve owned it for 43 years, and it’s still exciting to drive!” – Mike Boffo, Senior Tech Manager

“1967 coupe, 427/435 horse. Since owning one, it has been my favorite Corvette and most enjoyable to drive. Plenty of power, great looking and represents the Corvette brand.” – R.J. Schmieder, Senior Corvette Brand Manager

“Hard to pick just one, but if I could afford it – a red 1969 L88 convertible. I love the C3 body and the L88 had something like 560 horsepower, even though it was rated at 430. Can’t beat a big-block with a ton of power.” – Tom Whytas, CFO

“My pick would be a 1965 convertible with a 396/425 horse engine. This was the first year for a lot of cool standard upgrades and the first big-block 396/425 horse motor, and standard 4-wheel disc brakes.” – Justin Whitten, Strategic Sourcing Manager

“The 2012 Centennial Edition ZR1…rare, the fastest top speed of any production Corvette, and it’s the supercar you can drive daily.” – Scott Carpenter, Corvette Brand Manager

 “Since I am not as old school as some of the other Corvette guys here, I would say my 2016 Stingray would be my Corvette of choice. As much as I love the classics, this car has the best lines and high end sports car look of all the Corvette generations.” – Tom Holodak, VP of I.T.

How about yours, dear reader? Let me know what your dream Corvette would be (or is!). Shoot me an email – colin.date@ecklers.net

There are plenty of great Corvette stories and features in this issue, so feel free to dig in!

Until next time,