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Callaway Competition strikes again! October 9, 2015

Posted by wilsonniblett in Enthusiastic Commentary.
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C7 GT3 logosCallaway Competition has done it again!

The Callaway Corvettes have successfully dominated the ADAC GT Masters with 23 victories with the C6 based platform.   Now Callaway has released their C7 based Corvette CT3R version.  They have poured their engineering expertise into this race car.   With large amounts of carbon fibre blended into the body shape designed by Paul Deutschman in collaboration with Giovanni Ciccione and Ernst Wohr.   Powered by a Chevrolet 6.2L V-8 engine with 600 hp coupled to a 6 speed sequential gearbox with paddle shift.   This FIA legal racer will surely make it’s mark on the series!

As if the Callaway engineering Corvette is not enough of a threat itself, Callaway has aligned with Whelen as a sponsor for this years campaign and hired accomplished drivers Boris Said and Eric Curran!

This will be a great team!



Chevrolet announces two 2015 Corvette Special Editions April 25, 2014

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News.
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Here is the official press release from our friends at the National Corvette Museum

Friday, April 25, 2014

2015 Corvette Offers Atlantic, Pacific Design Packages

Chevrolet announced today the 2015 Corvette Stingray will be available in two new Design Packages: the Atlantic luxury convertible and the Pacific performance coupe. They go on sale later this year with the rest of the 2015 Corvette Stingray lineup.

“One of the design goals for the Corvette Stingray was to provide customers with the flexibility to tailor the car to their personality,” said Kirk Bennion, Corvette exterior design manager. “The Atlantic and Pacific Design Packages were originally designed to showcase how the Stingray could be configured as a luxury sport GT car or as a high-performance motorsport car.”

The Corvette Stingray Atlantic convertible and Corvette Stingray Pacific coupe concepts were introduced last fall at the SEMA Show. A strong response from enthusiasts helped influence production. They are the latest Chevrolet concepts from SEMA that made concept to reality. Several Camaros, such as the Hot Wheels edition, and the Sonic Dusk are now in production.

“We plan to make news with the Corvette Stingray every year, in part by offering special-edition models that offer a unique, personal ownership experience,” said Todd Christensen, Corvette marketing manager. “Our customers have told us they appreciate these limited-edition models, which have become an important part of the Corvette’s legacy.”

Luxury GT-focused Atlantic Convertible
The 2015 Corvette Stingray Atlantic Design Package is inspired by the luxury and performance of private jets seen at European vacation destinations. Offered exclusively on Z51-equipped convertibles, it is available in 2LT or 3LT trims, with the following unique features and content:

  • Front Z06-style splitter
  • Shark Gray exterior vents, hood “stinger” graphic and tonneau inserts
  • Chrome Torque wheels with Stingray center caps
  • Stingray underhood liner and floor mats
  • Custom splash guards, rear license plate frame and logo valve stem caps
  • Custom luggage.

The Atlantic Design Package is available in all colors offered on the Corvette Stingray.

Track-focused Pacific Coupe
The 2015 Corvette Stingray Pacific Design Package is inspired by West Coast drivers who attend weekend track events. It is offered exclusively as a Z51-equipped coupe, in 2LT and 3LT trims, with the following unique content:

  • Color choices of Torch Red, Black, Arctic White, Blade Silver and Shark Gray – a new color for 2015
  • Satin black full-length racing stripes
  • Satin black Z51 wheels with red stripe and Stingray center caps
  • “CFZ” carbon fiber ground effects package and visible carbon fiber roof panel
  • Carbon Flash rear spoiler, outside mirrors and exterior badges
  • Red brake calipers
  • Competition Sport Seats in red or black
  • Carbon fiber interior trim, Stingray sill plates and Stingray floor mats
  • Custom splash guards and rear license plate frame
  • Indoor car cover (gray).

As with other 2015 models, Corvette’s new Performance Data Recorder is available on the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as an all-new eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. A seven-speed manual transmission is standard.

The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level telemetry system. With included software, users can analyze their laps to improve their driving and lap times. The system includes a high-definition camera integrated into the interior’s rearview mirror assembly.

The new paddle-shift eight-speed is designed to deliver world-class shift times that rival the best dual-clutch designs, and is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared to the previous six-speed automatic. EPA estimates are pending.

2014 Camaro Z28 unveiled. A “heavyweight” track/street car in a light weight package! March 27, 2013

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Auto Racing, Enthusiastic Commentary, Wilson Niblett.
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2014-Chevrolet-CamaroZ28-009-medium 2014-Chevrolet-CamaroZ28-002-medium 2014-Chevrolet-CamaroZ28-005-medium 2014-Chevrolet-CamaroZ28-007-medium

The much awaited 2014 Camaro Z28 has been unveiled today at the New York Auto Show.  While we enthusiasts will not see this stellar Camaro until 2014, it is still exciting news.   Camaro fans have long been clamoring for a real hard nosed version of the Z28.  A car that the hard core drivers and enthusiasts could get their teeth into.  Something that still fits the mold of the early 1967 to 1969 Camaro Z28 models that became legendary in the SCCA Trans Am Series from that era.

Track enthusiasts have always wanted a Camaro built under the premise that any part of the car you throw into the air that comes back down, is too heavy to put back on.   Brakes should be spec’d to much more than required.  Suspension should give the best level of handling, not just adequate.  Cooling components should be overbuilt.   In essence, if it does not make the car faster, lighter or more reliable….it should not be in the design!

This enthusiast is completely ecstatic that they have released the new 2014 Camaro Z28 built just as it should be.   The way the engineers dreamed of doing it.   The way the hard core drivers wanted it.   Only the “good stuff” is built into the new Z28.  Recaro seats with light weight manual adjusters, half thickness back glass, aero package, lighter rear seat, dry sump LS7 427 engine, Tremec TR6060 6 speed manual trans, helical gear limited slip differential, adjustable Performance Traction Management. Air conditioning is not standard, you have to order it on purpose!

There is much more to the street/track Camaro that is destined to become as legendary as the Gen 1 Z28.   We cannot wait to have one out at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for a shakedown.

Instead of me listing all the features of this 2014 Camaro Z28, I have attached the original General Motors Press Release to properly cover all the aspects of this great Camaro

What do you think about the 2014 Camaro Z28?

The Chevy Enthusiast



2012 Corvette changes have been released April 28, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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This is the time of year that we are all eager to get our Corvettes out of storage and start to enjoy them.  During the winter months, most of us go through “Corvette withdrawal”.  Some of us combat that with doing maintenance or upgrade projects on our cars, while others just embrace other hobbies or activities during that time frame.

Most Corvette afficianados cannot wait to find out what will be available for the coming model year!  Will there be better performance, changes to the style, what new colours or any interior changes?  Traditionally during the C5/C6 Bash at the National Corvette Museum, Harlan Charles, Tadge Jeuchter and Kirk Bennion will release some of the coming years additions to the enthusiasts in attendance.  This year will be no different!

Chevrolet has also sent out a press release to help spread the word to those of us that could not attend this year.  I will not paraphrase the complete press release for fear of losing some of the quality of the information and explanations.  I will say that the majority of the changes prove that GM has been listening to the enthusiasts and have fired a volley of changes that will be well accepted by the Corvette fans.

As a World class automotive performance icon, it is only fitting that the majority of the changes will be focused on performance.  These changes lean heavily toward the “Track Day” enthusiasts.  This growing activity has been called the “new golf” , with many fans spending more time at the track than on the links!  PDE Days (Performance Driving Education) are a terrific way to learn everything that your Corvette can do, while quickly learning how much fun it is to learn to drive properly!

I cannot wait to start ordering my dream Z06 for next year!!

The Chevy Enthusiast

(See the full press release below for a clear explanation)

DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that it will once again elevate Corvette’s performance capabilities with a series of improvements for the 2012 model year that improve on-track performance and on-road comfort. They include enhancements to the high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models as well as interior upgrades across the Corvette lineup.

Sports car fans will get their first look at the 2012 models – including the racing-inspired appearance of the Chevrolet Centennial Edition  – at a special event this weekend at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Production begins in July.

“We constantly strive to make the Corvette a better car on the road and the track,” says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. “For 2012, the Corvette lineup achieves its highest performance level ever, while at the same time being easier to drive and enjoy thanks to several changes and new features inside the car.”

New Michelin Cup ZP tires elevate Z06/ZR1 performance

Corvette’s greater performance for 2012 begins with the new, optional Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, which are available on the two highest-performing models, the lightweight, 505-hp (377 kW) Z06 and the maximum-performance, 638-hp (476 kW) supercharged ZR1. They are competition-oriented tires, optimized for warm, dry conditions to increase cornering and handling capability.

When combined with the Corvette’s exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires are expected to help set new benchmarks for Corvette performance. Engineers estimate an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to more than 1.1g, and improved braking distance. Testing at Virginia International Raceway has demonstrated improvement of approximately three seconds per lap.

The Cup ZP tires were developed by the same Michelin engineers who develop tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. They are included in the optional Z07 performance package on the Corvette Z06 and a new PDE performance package on the ZR1. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel offered in 2011.

Performance Traction Management (offered on the Z06 for the first time in 2012) is an advanced system that optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. The system also integrates traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems to enhance race track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.

A full-width racing-style spoiler for improved aerodynamics is also included in both the ’12 Z07 and PDE packages. The Z06 model will now offer Magnetic Selective Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension technology – an innovation Corvette pioneered several years ago. And as before, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes will be a part of the Z07 chassis package (they are standard on ZR1). Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires remain standard on the ZR1.

A carbon fiber hood will be an available option on 2012 Z06 models, while the standard manual transmission for ZR1 will include taller gearing in fifth and sixth gears, for a 2-mpg improvement in highway fuel economy.

Interior and feature changes

All 2012 Corvette models will include a new seat design and a new steering wheel. The seats feature larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas, which provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving while remaining comfortable for daily street driving. Microfiber suede seat inserts are optional and improve tactile feel, as well as add additional support.

The new seats are complemented by the revised steering wheel, featuring model-specific badges, streamlined switch trim and wrapped spokes. Padded center console and armrests for all models are now included for 2012. An additional visual touch inside the car is contrasting color stitching – in red, blue and yellow – which is available with the custom leather-wrapped interior.

Also coming in 2012 is a new Bose uplevel audio system, which includes nine speakers (compared to seven in 2011) for improved audio quality that is more precisely tuned to the cabin’s acoustics. New tweeters located in the instrument panel and improved Bose Nd next-generation bass performance is the main benefit that Corvette drivers will hear.

A new Technology Package (2LT trim level) brings together many of the Corvette’s popular infotainment features and makes them available for more models. The package’s equipment includes the navigation radio, head-up display, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and a USB port.

Wrapping up the new features for 2012 is the availability for customers to select brake caliper colors, for more personalization of their Corvette. The calipers are offered in the red, yellow, silver or gray.

Z06X Corvette “Track Car” Concept Canadian Debut March 24, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Auto Racing, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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Corvette enthusiasts have long been enamored with the style of this iconic sports car over the decades.  However, it is the performance of the breed that keeps most of them fiercely loyal to the brand!

Many Corvette owners have raced their cars on drag strips, autocross tracks, road rallies and road courses.  These owners want to enjoy every bit of power and handling that these cars will provide.  As the technology of the Corvette has advanced over the years, drivers have realized that they have a formidable machine right out of the box.  While that is true, there are many modifications that owners must do to meet competition association rules for increased performance and above all,safety !

As the lineage of the incredible marque has evolved into the performance icons of today, such as the Z06 and the ZR1, there have been more owners heading for road race tracks to test their skills and experience the rush of on track driving.

Chevrolet has been involved with the enthusiasts and racers for decades, with many of the corporate staff being “TrackRats” themselves.   The Corvette Racing Team and it’s success has been an integral part of the development of the current Corvette.  So it is no surprise that Chevrolet has created a Z06X Concept Corvette that just screams “Take me to the nearest road race track!” written all over it;-)

While this stellar concept was unveiled at the last SEMA Show, it will make it’s Canadian debut at the 11th Annual Corvette Tech Session at Wilson Niblett Motors on Saturday March 26th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.   If you are in the area, drop in and check it out.  You can register at http://www.corvettecanada.ca

We have added a short video of  the Z06X at Spring Mountain just to get you excited!  See you there!

The Chevy Enthusiast

Volt – Discovery Game Day advert February 4, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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What more can I say.

This is a very cool advert that sums up how technology has evolved over the years.  There are always discoveries and new directions to take.  The important thing is that somebody takes the risk. Place your faith and energy into the belief of what you need to do and grow in that direction.

We are in a time of great change.  One directional step at a time!

The Chevy Enthusiast

Transformers Chevy video February 3, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Enthusiastic Commentary.
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Once in a while there is a terrific advertisement that catches your eye.  This is one of those great videos.

I agree with the message.  Chevy is changeable, strong …and I want one just like this;-)   Don’t mess with the Chevy!

The Chevy Enthusiast

2011 Camaro SS Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car January 21, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Enthusiastic Commentary.
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We are very excited about the latest Indy 500 Pace Car since it will be the 2011 Camaro Convertible.  The classic white paint with Orange Stripes pays homage to the 1969 Camaro Pace Car.  Instead of paraphrasing the GM Press Release, I have included it below in this post.  I think it looks terrific!  What do you think?

The Chevy Enthusiast


Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500

  • New Camaro SS convertible in white with orange stripes and orange leather-trimmed interior evokes classic 1969 Camaro pace car model
  • One of the 50 Festival Committee cars will be auctioned for charity at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction on Jan. 22
  • 2011 is the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500

DETROITA special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible will serve as the official pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials made the announcement at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction, where a bidder will have the opportunity to purchase the first of 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars.

The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing®” and the seventh Camaro. Adding to the rich heritage is the fact that 2011 will mark the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500, as well as the centennial year of Chevrolet.

Chevrolet will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation, a charity devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization in his native Canada.

The pace car, along with the matching festival cars, features a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.

The color combination is similar to the design used on the 1969 Camaro Indy pace car – replicas of which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.

“It’s an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, especially during this landmark year,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This is also a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro’s strong momentum, while supporting an important charity.”

The auction for the commemorative edition pace car takes place Saturday evening, Jan. 22, during SPEED’s live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson event. The vehicle carries lot number 1284 and bids can be submitted at the auction in person or online by clicking this link for a 2011 absentee bidder registration packet:

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet name have long been associated with one another beginning with Arthur, Louis and Gaston Chevrolet’s participation as competitors in the Indianapolis 500,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus. “It is fitting in this 100th year for both brands that we reinforce that relationship through this year’s Camaro pace car, which resembles what many argue is the most famous pace car in IMS history, the 1969 Camaro. We are looking forward to seeing this car on track, pacing the greatest 33 drivers in the world on May 29.”

Pace car details

Equipped with a 400-horsepower (298 kW) V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the actual pace car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in front of the racing field.

All 50 of the Festival Committees cars will be SS convertible models fitted with the 2SS equipment package, offering the following standard features:

  • Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic assist
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control
  • Competitive/sport mode that enhances on-track performance
  • Performance Launch Control (with the manual transmission) that optimizes hard-acceleration launches for quicker, more consistent performance
  • Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels and performance tires
  • Head-up instrument display
  • Center console with auxiliary gauge package.

Along with the 2SS equipment, the cars feature the RS package, which includes HID headlamps and unique tail lamps.

Convertible refinement

The Camaro Convertible delivers coupe-like driving dynamics, with the unmatched fun of open air driving. The Convertible model contains an enhanced structure designed to eliminate the traditional compromises of open cars, such as cowl or steering wheel shake. The goal is a convertible that drives like the coupe. All the powertrain and suspension elements of the existing Camaro Coupe carry over unchanged in the convertible. The top has a smooth, tailored fit, with acoustical foam in the headliner that helps deliver a quiet ride with the top up.

Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to eliminate common convertible maladies of cowl and steering wheel shake. They include:

  • A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
  • A transmission support reinforcement brace
  • Underbody tunnel brace
  • Front and rear underbody “V” braces.

The power-folding top retracts in about 20 seconds. It is built in partnership with the same manufacturer as the Corvette convertible top, and operates in a similar manner. That means it folds in a simple “Z” pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of the windshield header. Other convertible models in this segment still offer convertible tops with dual latches, forcing drivers into two-hand operations reaching across the car.

The regular-production versions of the 2011 Camaro Convertible will begin arriving in Chevrolet dealerships in February, opening a new chapter in the Camaro’s ongoing 21st century rebirth. Even before the introduction of a convertible model, Camaro ended 2010 as the sales leader in its class in the United States for the first time since 1985.

Chevrolet’s pace car heritage

Louis Chevrolet, who founded the brand with William “Billy” Durant in 1911, was a racer, mechanic and pioneering engineer. He raced in the early years of the Indianapolis 500, which also started in 1911, and served a luminary of the event in the years after he retired his racing helmet. That included driving the official Indianapolis pace car, which was developed by Indy 500 founder Carl Fisher, who believed a rolling start was safer than a standing start. The first Indianapolis 500 featured a pace car driven by Fisher.

The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six. The brand would go on to lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer. The list of Chevy pace cars includes:

  • 1948 Fleetmaster Six
  • 1955 Bel Air
  • 1967 Camaro
  • 1969 Camaro
  • 1978 Corvette
  • 1982 Camaro
  • 1986 Corvette
  • 1990 Beretta
  • 1993 Camaro
  • 1995 Corvette
  • 1998 Corvette
  • 1999 Monte Carlo
  • 2002 Corvette
  • 2003 SSR
  • 2004 Corvette
  • 2005 Corvette
  • 2006 Corvette
  • 2007 Corvette
  • 2008 Corvette
  • 2009 Camaro
  • 2010 Camaro
  • 2011 Camaro

LSX454R GM Performance Parts “Racer’s Dream in a box” January 21, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Enthusiastic Commentary.
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The desire for more horsepower and torque than all your friends started 15 minutes after the second automobile ever rolled off the assembly line.  This competitive desire has let to many forms of motorsport over the decades.

Many speed equipment manufacturers sprang to life to feed the need for speed.  At various times, the auto manufacturers themselves became seriously involved in many forms of racing.  During all this time, if you wanted a very fast engine other than what came in the current production line vehicles, you had to turn to the speed parts business.  You either went to a well known machine shop and had them custom build you and engine or you and your buddies built it yourself.

There is no denying that the racing industry has done an incredible amount of R&D along with factual experience to back up their knowledge base.  The manufacturers have kept pace with this industry and have worked closely over the last century.  Nobody can deny the vast amount of shared knowledge that has resulted from this mutual association.

The folks at GM engineering have long been experimenting with many powerplant  variations to extract power, reliability and fuel efficiency.  Dr. Jamie Meyer of GM Performance Parts, is the resident gearhead that is bringing a fresh face to the GM Crate Engine program.  The latest engines to come straight from GM are fantastic.  Now instead of going to a specialty shop, anyone can call their nearest GM Dealer and order any engine combo that might fit their needs, whether it is to repower their ride or go racing!

The LSX454R is one of the crown jewels to come out of this new mix.  Officially rated at 720HP and 720 lb ft, they admit that it produces much more.  Earlier marketing info showed 750+ HP, but we have heard claims of 800 HP dyno tests!

The first engine is to be auctioned off at the Barrett Jackson event.

Now, all we need is a lightweight Super Comp dragster chassis, and we can start to do some of our own “testing”;-)

The Chevy Enthusiast

January 19, 2011

Posted by wilsonniblett in Enthusiastic Commentary.
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Did any of you go to the Detroit Auto Show this year?   What did you think of the Supersonic Blue colour on the ZR1 Corvette that was on display?

I have not seen it in real life yet, but by all accounts it is a great colour with terrific visual impact.

We have a 2011 Callaway SC652 Z06/Z07/CFZ  on order with the same colour on it and I cannot wait to see it!

The Chevy Enthusiast