An anniversary with a bang! Chevy announces 60th Anniversary Corvette

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette, America's most loved sports car. Since 1978, Chevrolet has marked significant milestones for the Corvette. And for 2013, a new special edition will join those ranks. The 2013 Corvette 427 collector edition convertible will hit showrooms later this year when the 2013 model and final year of the "C6" Corvette goes in to production. However all 2013 Corvettes will be marked and badged as 60th Anniversary Corvettes, but there will be a separate 60th Anniversary Edition.

If you can't wait until then, you can head out to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ next weekend and bid for your chance to own the first one when the car makes it's public debut.

For the 427 collector edition, Chevrolet is blending elements of the Z06 and ZR1 in to one car and it will also mark the fastest convertible in Corvette history. It hasn't been announced exactly how many Chevy plans to build, but it will likely be a couple thousand.

Outside, the car will receive a carbon fiber hood, fenders, and floor boards as well as a carbon fiber front splitter. Several wheel choices will be available in 19 inch front and 20 inch rears.  

Performance wise, the car will carry the 7 liter, 427 cubic inch LS7 used in the Z06. This motor will have 505 horse power with 470 lb. ft. of torque and will be backed by a 6 speed manual transmission. No automatic trans will be available, even as an option. All anniversary edition cars will be painted Arctic White  with a Blue Diamond leather interior featuring suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top. And  anniversary edition cars will have special badging and embroidery and a special stripe package.

Pricing for the 2013 Corvettes has not been announced yet, but the first 427 Collector Edition can be yours when it rolls across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Saturday, January 21st with all proceeds from the sale going to Drive to End Hunger food relief program.

Source & Photos: General Motors/Chevrolet.

Official press release:

DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition – the fastest, most capable convertible in Corvette’s history – as well as a 60th Anniversary Package that will be available on all 2013 Corvette models.

“The 2013 model year will be historic for Corvette, marking its 60th Anniversary and the final year for the current ‘C6’ generation,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet. “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”
The 60th Anniversary Package and 427 Convertible will make their public debut at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan 21, and will arrive at U.S. Chevrolet dealers early this summer.

Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
The Corvette 427 Convertible blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history.

Its heart is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06. Rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible – and, like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.

The LS7 was co-developed with the Corvette Le Mans-winning GT1 engine and features lightweight titanium connecting rods and intake valves, as well as racing-inspired high-flow cylinder heads and a dry-sump oiling system. It is assembled by hand at GM’s Performance Build Center, where customers who purchase the 427 Convertible Collector Edition can purchase the Corvette Build Experience option and assemble the engine that will power their new car.

Supporting performance elements in the Corvette 427 Convertible include the driveline and rear axle system from the Corvette Z06, a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels – introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages – come standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.

The 427 Convertible also features several carbon-fiber components that help reduce weight, including:
  • Carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition)
  • Carbon fiber Z06-style fenders
  • Carbon fiber floor panels
  • The “CFZ” carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible, and included with the 60th Anniversary package
The weight reduction brings the 427 Convertible’s curb weight to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 – or one horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass. That’s better than:
  • Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
  • Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
  • Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
  • Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31
The combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph.

The 427 Convertible is available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.

Corvette 60th Anniversary Package
All 2013 Corvette models, including the 427 Convertible, will be available with a 60th Anniversary Package, featuring an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top.

Additional content includes a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers and the “60th” logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top, extending the graphic theme over the roof.

For 2013, all Corvettes will feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias and the “waterfall” panel on convertible models, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.

Charity Auction at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
The first Corvette 427 Convertible offered to the public will go to the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction, on Saturday, Jan. 21. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Drive to End Hunger food relief program.

Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports are teaming up for the auction, including Hendrick team driver and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon. Team owner Rick Hendrick helped launch the Drive to End Hunger program with AARP and the AARP Foundation.

The Drive to End Hunger is part of a multi-year sponsorship for Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet. It calls on racing fans, corporations and charitable organizations to raise money, build awareness, and engage Americans who face the threat of hunger.

A legacy of 427-powered Corvettes
Early 427-powered Corvettes, particularly convertibles, offered from 1966 to 1969 are some of the most-coveted and collectable Corvettes ever produced.

The first 427-powered Corvette rolled off the assembly line for the 1966 model year. Two performance levels of the 427 were initially offered – an “L30” version rated at 390 horsepower and the “L72,” which cranked out 425 horsepower. Both were rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.

The range of 427 engines grew in 1967, with the addition of the “L71” and “L88” options. The L71 added a unique triple-carburetor induction system that helped boost output to 435 horsepower. Known to collectors as “427/435” cars, these ’67 models – especially the convertibles – are especially sought-after collector cars.

The “L88” delivered 430-horsepower (with a single four-barrel carburetor) thanks to racing-tuned aluminum heads. Intended for customers who would immediately transform their new Corvette into a race car, the L88 was installed in just 216 production Corvettes between 1967 and 1969.

In 1969, a special “L89” 427 engine combined the L71’s induction system with the L88’s aluminum heads, offering maximum horsepower with an approximately 100-pound weight advantage over the standard iron heads. Also in 1969, Chevrolet built two “ZL1” 427 Corvette coupes. The ZL1 engine was essentially an all-aluminum version of the L88, with the aluminum cylinder block and heads offering a tremendous weight advantage for racing. More of the engines were sold as crate engines to racers.

By 1970, the big-block engine grew to 454 cubic inches, just as the trend in high-compression, high-performance engines was beginning to wane. The four-year run of 427 Corvettes was already established as the golden era of performance

Commemorative Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition models
Rare and low-production examples of the Corvette have been around since its 1953 introduction, but Chevrolet didn’t begin building commemorative models until 1978, when the 25th Anniversary model – also known as the Silver Anniversary Corvette – was offered. The Corvette was in its third generation then and at the close of that epoch in 1982, a Collectors Edition was offered, as well.

Those special models launched what has become a tradition for the Chevrolet Corvette, which has offered milestone anniversary and generational collector-edition models ever since. The 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible represents the first time a Collector Edition and Anniversary Edition are being offered in the same year – and available on the same car.


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