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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

Spring Mountain makes 200 MPH Speed Run Attempt March 10, 2010

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Auto Racing, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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Our friends at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch decided to make a high speed run on a dry alke bed in an effort to run a factory ZR1 to 200 MPH.  The lake bed had some standing water that only allowed them 3 miles of running room.  This factor coupled with 15 MPH headwinds limited their attemp to a 190MPH run.  Dave Petrie, the Track Manager, was the driver.  They have vowed to return!

I have been to the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch and it is a first class facility.  It is a place where all the staff are extremely couteous and professional.  You feel as if your are under the care of a well run efficient and safe private institution but at the same time you are among a group of best friends!

Dave Petrie, Victor and “Ricky Bobby” along with their team are superb.  If you have “driving a Corvette on a track” on your bucket list, these are the fellows to contact.  Sign up for the Ron Fellows Driving School and you will be hooked;-))

The Chevy Enthusiast

2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition March 10, 2010

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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FRont view of 2011 Carbon Z06 Limited Edition Corvette

Rear 3/4 view of 2011 Carbon Z06 Limited Edition Corvette

General Motors has just released the information concerning the 2010 Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition.  This is the Corvette Z06 that the “Track Rats” have all been dreaming about.  Features such as the ZR1 brake package, blacked out wheels, ZR1 style magnetic ride are dream features for high performance driving fans!  Couple those features with carbon fiber hood, splitter, rockers and roof panel and you have a ZR1 with the heart of a Z06.

Chevrolet has seen the need to offer certain features of this combination seperately.  Since some Track Rats may only want the performance features, they have resurrected a Z07 Performance Package code to offer the mechanical upgrades on a standard Z06.  Equally cool is the fact that you can order a CFZ Z06 that will give the client all the carbon fiber features on a Z06 without having to opt for the mechanical upgrades.

The Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, Z07 and CFZ Z06 option packages will be available in August 2010.  As a Track Rat myself, I cannot wait.

Here is the official GM Press Release

DETROIT — When the 2006 Corvette Z06 was introduced, it represented the closest connection to the Corvette race cars ever. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 closed the gap between racing and production even further. This year, Corvette continues its tradition of track-to-street technology transfer with the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition.

  “Designed to further incorporate technology developed through racing, the Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first race in the 24 Hours of LeMans,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet General Manager. “With a limited production of 500 units, this car is a must-have for the true Corvette collector and driving enthusiast.”

 The Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is another example of the expanded Corvette line-up. Five years ago, customers had the choice of a Corvette coupe or convertible. With the addition of the Z06, Grand Sport coupe and convertible and ZR1, Corvette enthusiasts now have more choices than ever.

 “For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. “For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time.”

 This limited edition Z06 will boast Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with specific dark gray metallic calipers. These powerful brakes were first introduced on the ZR1.  Black 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels complement the car’s Michelin PS2 tires. Other mechanical features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06 and enhanced cooling. The car also features a special carbon pattern engine cover.

 The Corvette Z06 Carbon will be available in two colors: Inferno Orange and the all-new Supersonic Blue. Black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body color spoiler, body color door handles, carbon fiber raised hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter enhance the Z06’s dynamic design and reduce mass and aerodynamic lift. For track events, customers can also install the Euro-styled racing numbers that come with each car.

 The Z06 Carbon’s ebony leather and suede interior is complemented by blue or orange seat stitching to match the exterior color chosen. Other features include a unique steering wheel emblem, sill plate and logoed headrest. The suede used on the steering wheel, shifter, seat inserts, armrests and doors add to the luxury of this limited edition Z06.

 An optional Z07 performance package that includes the mechanical upgrades introduced on the Z06 Carbon can be added to a regular 2011 Z06. This package also includes Competition Gray 20-spoke wheels and all the chassis and cooling upgrades.

 The CFZ Z06 carbon fiber package includes black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler. It can also be purchased with or without the Z07 package on regular Z06 models.

 The 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, as well as the new Z07 and CFZ Z06 option packages will be available in late summer.

Danica Patrick goes Nascar in a Chevrolet December 9, 2009

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Auto Racing, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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Danica Patrick, the stellar Indy car driver has signed a deal with JR Motorsport to drive in the NASCAR Nationwide Series starting this February 2010.  The Chevrolet race care is co-owned by Dale Earnhart Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports.

Having recently resigned with the Andretti Autosport to run the full 18 race season in the Indy Car series for 2010, she will be adding the NASCAR Nationwide Races to her schedule starting with the ARCA Race on Feb 6, 2010 in Daytona.  She will continue to be sponsored by Godaddy in both campaigns. Being the only woman to win an Indy Car Race, there will be a lot of people watching her progress in the #7 Chevrolet race car as she actively competes in NASCAR.

She has had a varied career during her Indy Car years and has earned 2005 Rookie of the year, Most Poular Driver 2005-2007 and won the Japan 300 in 2008

She certainly has talent and is not reserved.  This should turn out to be a great season to watch!


The Chevy Enthusiast

Donna Mae Mims October 16, 2009

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Auto Racing, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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Donna Mae Mims

Donna Mae Mims

Donna Mae Mims passed away on October 6th this year at the age of 82 after complications arising from a stroke.  She was a free spirit that will be missed by all the people that she met or influenced in her life.

She started out racing a  fuel injected Corvette in SCCA competition back in 1960.  She had purchased the Corvette from the famous Yenko Chevrolet where she worked as an executive secretary.  Ms. Mims later became deeply involved in the Yenko Performance Division of the organization.  Many of her later racing accomplishments were at the wheel of various Corvairs, MGs, TR3 and her famous Austen Healy  Bugeyed Sprite.

Donna Mae Mims was the first woman to win an SCCA Championship. She also competed in the Daytona 24hr and Sebring 12hr endurance races with team mates Janet Guthrie and Suzy Dietrich driving a Sunbeam Alpine.  Notably she competed in the Brock Yates’ much heralded Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in a pink ’68 Cadillac Limo with co-drivers Judy Stopus and Peggy Niemcek.  Even after her active racing career, Donna Mae could be found volunteering at SCCa racing events.  Her favorite colour was pink and her cars, racing suit and clothing was always pink.   Her latest 1979 Corvette has an airbrushed image of Marilyn Monroe on the hood.

Her love of Corvettes brought her to be involved in Corvette Club of Western Pennsylvania, Steel Town Corvette Club and the Three Rivers Corvette Club.

Her love of motorsports and the people attached to the automotive hobby was so great that her request was to be displayed in her Corvette in the funeral home.  The funeral home was able to fit the car in for the funeral and there were over 50 Corvettes and many club members that participated in a procession to the funeral home.

 http://kdka.com/video/?id=63814@kdka.dayport.com      Click on the link to see the details

One thing is for sure, she lived her life to the fullest …passionately all out!

The Chevy Enthusiast

Corvette Racing Wins GT2 at Mosport September 1, 2009

Posted by wilsonniblett in Auto News, Auto Racing, Enthusiastic Commentary.
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2009 ALMS GT2 Winners at Mosport

2009 ALMS GT2 Winners at Mosport

The Ollies 3rd Place Corvette at Mosport


Jan & Johnny's GT2 Winning Corvette in Mosport Winners Circle

Jan & Johnny's GT2 Winning Corvette in Mosport Winners Circle

Any Corvette race fan that did not attend the ALMS Race at Mosport or has not seen it on video, is missing one of the best races of all time!  I was lucky enough to attend this race in person as a participant in the Corvette Corral.  There was already an electricity in the Corral right from the beginning of the event.  All Corvette Racing fans were very excited about the move to GT2 by the Corvette Racing Team and bouyed by the team’s recent podium finishes at previous races.

Jan Magnussen held off the Ferrari for the Win after Johnny O’Connell had run the #3 Corvette for the first part of the race.  This was the very first win for the Corvette Racing Team since switching to GT2 this year.  Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta took third place making this the first double podium finish for the team in GT2.

The weather at Mosport was the usual turbulent variable extreme example.  Going from sunny to heavy rains then deep fog changing to high winds and cold temps.  Many fans believe that Mosport has it’s very own weather sytem!  Race day was windy and cool.

The Corvette Racing team arrived thursday with their three trucks and set up with their usual precision and efficiency.  This group comes ready to race.  Racing is not a game.  Their “Jake” logo and “Take No Prisoners” motto are just the tip of the iceberg as to how this team approaches ALMS Racing.  Teamwork, expertise and professionalism are the hallmarks of Corvette Racing and the Pratt & Miller organization.  However, no group of this size, that has worked together this hard for a decade can survive without deep respect and camraderie within the organization.  Make no mistake, Corvette Racing is made up of wonderful team members that are closer to a family than a team.

The other aspect of the Corvette Racing organization, that is not lost on the fan base, is their belief in the Corvette enthusiasts!  The team members and the drivers are always very accessible and extremely polite and courteous towards the fans.  They are eager to share their excitement and knowledge in response to any fan’s request.  Pratt & Miller are fully aware of the impact that all Corvette enthusiasts have on the hobby.  After all, they are major Corvette fans too!

All this hard work and energy has resulted in a legacy of winning in GT1 for a decade and now is forging ahead in the highly competitive GT2 Class.  After the fantastic 2009 Mosport ALMS Race resulting in a double podium finish of 1st and 3rd, all the fans will be eagerly awaiting the next two races this year!

If you are a Corvette fan, then support Corvette Racing…………after all, they are fans too;-)

The Chevy Enthusiast