Friday, April 12, 2013

Hangin' out in the Spa!

We all need our garages – perhaps not always to house our cars but at the very least, as a place of refuge where we know we will be able to escape the hassles of life. Yes, we still take out the garbage and with that, we need to pass through the garage once a week. But true car lovers are always inventing excuses to head into the garage – often, the deeper the better!

This week I dropped of the C5 Z06 to the Corvette Spa for a checkup and new sets of brake pads – the Hawk HP plus pads are just about shot so replacements all round are in order. But in a brief follow-up visit it occurred to me that Curt’s establishment, the Corvette Spa, has become a kind of home away from home for me – the garage I go to when I want to chat with someone (in addition to looking at cars).

The picture above is of how Curt’s garage looked this morning – a C3 and then a C4 tucked away beside C5's of various vintages and in differing stages of track preparedness. And it is a reminded too that I now no longer have the C6 – Big Blue, the Supercharged C6 auto Coupe has been sold.  Sad to have to say this but the garage back home needed the space for a new addition but losing theC6 has been offset to some extent by being able to stop by Corvette Spa.

I am still in the Vortech supercharger business and I have all the “treatments” anyone might like to enjoy – so yes, let me know. Any time! In the meantime, I think I need to head back to the Spa to talk some more about brake fluids, tires and wheels – do I need an oil change? Hope I bump into you – and if I do, let me know you read this latest post!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time to freshen up the garage ...

What happens when you start looking at new cars? Well, when the garage is full, as pictured above, the one car has to go ....

OK, so we have a red 2003 C5 Z06 Vette (foreground) that is really a nice set-up for the occasional track days we participate in and readers may recall how last year we towed it behind the company command center to tracks across the west. Alongside the C5 is the 2006 C6 Supercharged Coupe that has featured many times in posts to this blog.

Look past the two motorcycle cruisers Margo and I have enjoyed riding for many years and you will glimpse the 2008 Gen IV Viper roadster – a car we picked up used (18 miles on the odometer! Seriously!); had delivered to our hotel in Las Vegas, and promptly drove home to Boulder.
In the distance? Well, that is Godzilla of course with sunshine reflecting off it's trunk lid; a 2013 Nissan GT-R with AWD and our back-up winter driving car. Well, if it just had a little more clearance so we could drive it out of the garage following snowstorms … but no, it’s just too nice a car to get dirty although we did drive across the Sierra’s once in a full snow storm with just the summer tires mounted.

So which car will go? Well, the C6 Supercharged Coupe was “replaced” yesterday – stay tuned for more info to follow shortly. What of my love of superchargers in general and Vortech in particular (and the work Andy Green of A&A Corvette Performance does in terms of putting together the best package possible)? I am still very much a “fan” and if I were to speculate and should the business cycle uptick just a tad, there could be another Vette purchase in the future.

If you want to read my feelings about the process, check out the post made a few years back to the A&A Corvette Performance blog that can be found at:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A relief from the snow ...

As I look out the window all I can see is snow blanketing the gardens and lawns. There's been two snowstorms - the first on Sunday that was pretty substantial and the second just yeaterday that was more or less just a dusting of powdered sugar.

It would have been easy for me to throw up a snapshot looking out at the backyard, covered in snow, but I posted such a photo to my business blof Real Time View - look at the photo in the post
It’s yet another sign! Check it out.

The photo above is exactly how the blue C6 looks today - with the new wider chrome wheels fro West Coast Corvette and now shod with brand new Bridgestone Potenza "Pole Position" tires. I have come to really like the Bridgestones and now track the C5 Z06 shod with a similar tire and they work really well. Sure, I would like to run slicks but these Bridgestones give me a full season with something like 30+ heat cycles!

An open top Vette, chrome wheels and the light grey interior are an attractive package and a reminder how much fun the big Vette is to drive on sunny days. Throw in the fact that it's supercharged with 500+ RWHP (and similar torque numbers) and it's not just fun, but a blast.

I know many of you are looking forward to warmer days and are already thinking about projects for Spring - so don't forget, drop me a note if you want to upgrade to a blown Vette and a fun day at the Corvette Spa!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How far will you be travelling ...

Yes, this is a big picture but the big picture here is that we are headed to Australia in October. We plan on catching up with family and in particular, with my elderly Mom (Mum) who we haven't seen since late 2009.

If you read my latest post to Buckle-Up-Travel,
On the road, again! Again? you can just make out this map, turned sideways under Margo's drink. We were unable to rent Corvettes so instead, we have rented the longer wheelbase version of the Aussie V8 Supercars - a V8 Statesman built on the venerable V8 Commodore station wagon.

While in Australia, we will (unfortunately) miss both V8 Supercar events held in Bathurst and on the Gold Coast but plan on driving “parade laps” around both circuits as they utilize public roads and are open to the public at large to drive. And yes, we will pick up the mandatory “track decals” so beloved by many and sure to raise an eyebrow or two when affixes to the rear window of our Vettes. Alongside similar decals we picked up from our time in 2010 on Germany’s famous Nurburgring – check out the earlier post to Buckle-Up-Travel,
Respect the ‘Ring!

For those who haven’t seen the latest copy of Vette magazine, starting on page 58 there is the article, Beauties by the Beach where a bevy of Corvettes are on display across several public car parks adjacent to North Wollongong beach, Australia. All modified to drive on the left – with the steering wheel on the. As we look forward to our trip back to Oz, we sure hope we have the opportunity to check out as many Vettes as we can … and I have to wonder, how many of them will be as modified as ours! Likely, most of them, I suspect!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

How low will it go ...

Yes, you are reading it correctly - $1.799 for one US gallon! And from the reflection astute readers will recognize it is the trusty Cadillac Escalade that is the recipient this time of the cheap gas even though pouring in 22+ gallons, too, may be a clue. I emailed this photo to friends in California as soon as I took it as stories were circulating overnight that California drivers are going to see prices climbing past $4 a gallon.

But this does lead me into the question of gas consumption when it comes to modern day Corvettes, a conversation I have had several times with Curt of Corvette Spa. Not sure which party within GM isn’t keen on marketing the news more widely, but Corvettes post C5 easily see 30mpg on the highway. And it doesn’t take a team of specialist drivers to realize such returns. For both the C5 and C6 I have experienced such numbers myself. Several times, mind you!

And the point? Even as we now know a little more about the C7 and of the merits / strengths of the new LT1 engine (6.2 liters) and see in it a platform that will be the basis for a lot more power to come (did you see work that’s gone into the crank and the pistons to handle higher loads?) – it’s still an awful lot cheaper to FI current C6s than take one of the early C7s. Yes, the old adage will still apply – skip the first two years if you really want to get a true example of the C7. Remember, the C6s of 05 – 07 with the LS2 were no match for the 80s onwards with the LS3! So, will there be an LT1?

No, hang onto those C6s particularly with the LS3s, check out our “Spa treatments” for FI, and wait for more to come from the engineers at GM!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vettes in Winter

It is rather hard to take but it's winter. The roads are frozen. The conditions are rather hostile with no way to know who might run into you. So discretion being the better part of valor, the two Vettes remain in the garage on battery trickle-chargers.
After a brief break in southern California where we had hoped to catch some sun, all we have returned with is the flu and it's hanging around for much longer than we care for - yes, Margo and I are under the weather with no idea how long it will be before we shake free of the flu's symptoms.

While in California we compared calendars with good friends Brian and Jan and it looks like we will be participating with them at a NoCal NASA event at Infineon in early June, followed by their visit to us in July for a weekend at HPR with Rocky Mountain NASA and then in August, a return to SoCal NASA as it runs a weekend of activities at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

All the same, it’s sad to see the Vettes idle in the garage when we just know they would like nothing more than to be back on the road …. Any road!