Special Edition Corvettes
1978 to 2013
Each print measures 11-inches x 17-inches and is signed
$29.95 + $6.95 Shipping & Handling
Click the images below to see the larger version.
Something a little "EXTRA SPECIAL"
We are temporarily phasing out our special order Giclee prints made on Summerset heavy watercolor paper. But they will be back sometime in the Fall through our Fine Art America website store. When they are part of our Fine Art America website, you will be able to purchase your print in a variety of sizes and papers, plus get your print professionally custom framed, all in a one-stop-shopping system.
Original Price: $99.95
PHASE OUT PRICE: $49.95
1978-2011 Special Edition Montage – Three left
What is "giclee"?
Giclee (pronounced gee’clay) is a French term meaning to spray or squirt, which is how an inkjet printer works. However, it is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer.
Giclee printers use special light-fast inks, which, if kept out of the sun, will remain true for up to 25 years. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting.
A delightful gift for the home or office of that hard to buy for Corvette person in your life!
Here's the Story...
In retrospect, it’s amazing that it took 25 years for Chevrolet to offer their first special edition Corvette. Pre-’78 special edition Corvette speculation could be the topic of another article. Although the Corvette looms large in our awaremess, from GM’s perspective, the Vette was a low-volume Chevy with a shakey future. And on top of all of the above was the fact that cars of the ‘70s had a long list of concerns including emissions, safety regulations, quality control issues, plus a changing of upper management and an outdates production fascility. Just the fact that the Corvette’s new chief of engineering, Dave Mclellan was able to get a special edition into production was a minor miricle. In a manufacturing environment setup for mass production, making special editions was no small feat. So, lets have a look at the special edition Corvettes from ‘78 to ’03.
Despite all of the challenges of car designing in the late ‘70s, the 25th anniversary of the Corvette was just too big a milestone to ignore. Corvette designer Jerry Palmer came up with a silver with red stripes design. A Chevrolet was scheduled to pace the Indy 500 and at the last minute it was decided that the Corvette should be the pace car. Suddemly, the Corvette Pace Car had all the attention and the 25th Anniversary option was reduced to a two-tone siolver paint option for the bargan price of just $399. Between the new fastback roof, 60-series tires, allow wheels, and special paint, this was one sweet-looking Corvette. Of the 40,274 Corvettes produced in ’78, 15,283 units had the anniversary option. A loaded version cost just over $12,800.
When the Mako Shark-inspired C3 came out in ‘68, no one imagined that the car would last 15 model years. Despite the drop in performance, from a sales perspective, the C3 Corvette was a big success, however, Corvette fans were overdue for a new car. To celibrate the Shark’s success, the Collector Edition Hatchback option was the cat’s meow. Unlike the ‘78 Anniversary option, the ’82 Collector Edition was a $4,247 option on top of the $22,537 base Corvette. The most unique feature was the lifting rear hatch, something that should have been offered in ‘78. The complete packack included special silver and beige paint, special decals on the hood and sides, pinstriping, ’67-style finner aluminum wheels, slver and beige interior with special emblems, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and horn button, and luxury carpeting. The Cross-Fire 350 engine only had 200-HP and there was no manual transmission option - automatic only. Overall, it was a $24,800 beauty that sold 6,759 of the 25,407 units for ‘82.
Since production was shut down for ’83 to start work on production C4s, there was no 30th Anniversary Corvette. The next milestone came in ‘88 for the Corvette’s 35th birthday. Like the previous special edition, the 35th Anniversary option was paint and special features with no performance enhancement, but what an excellent package. For $4,795 on top of the $29,489 base price got a one-tone white Corvette with a white body molding, and a black B-pillar with dark-blue tinted roof pannels, and white 12-slot 17-inch wheels. The interior had white leather trimmed seats, steering wheel, and horn button, power driver’s seat and a console-mounter plaque. Also included was electronic air-conditioning controls, a lighted drivers vanity mirror, and rear window and side-view mirror defoggers. Coupes with the 3.07:1 rear axle came with the 245-HP 350 L98 and less restrictive mufflers. Convertibles and 2.59:1 axle equipped couples had the 240-HP L98 with quieter mufflers. To bring it all together as a worthy GT car, the Z52 suspension package was updated as per lessons learned from the Showroom Stock Corvete racers. A total of 2,050 35th Anniversary Corvettes were sold with a maximun price of around $25,600.
For 1993 Chevrolet offered the 40th Anniversary Corvette nicknamed, “Ruby Red” for its unique dark metallic red paint. While distinctive-looking, this package wasn’t as loaded with extras as the previous anniversary Corvette, thus was priced at just $1,455 and was available on all model Corvettes. Featured included special paint, emblems, Ruby Red leather sport seats with anniversary embroidery, a power drivers seat, and special wheel centers. The 300-HP LT1 engine was improved to reduce noise but there was no power increase. A maxed out coupe version cost just over $42,500 while the ZR-1 version was a whopping $74,150! For the year, 6,749 units were produced.
After the 15-year C3 production run, no one expected the C4 to roll on for 13 years. Considering where the Corvette was in ‘82, the C4 was an astounding success. To wrap up the C4 production run, two special editions were offered - the $1,250 Collector Edition and the $3,250 Grand Sport. Harkening back to the ‘78 25th Anniversary Edition, the Collector Edition was strictly paint and minor trim. The Sebring Silver paint was coordinated with silver-painted 17-inch ZR-1 5-spoke wheels and dedicated badges. Brake calipers were black with silver “Corvette” lettering. The interior was available in black, red, or gray, with embroidery on the headrests. of the perforated sport seats. There was no power enhancement on the 300-HP LT1, but the optional LT4 had an extra 30-HP from an assortment of hot rod tricks. A loaded coupe cost around $44,300 and a loaded convertible cost just over $53,200. A total of 5,412 units were produced
But the big doggie for ‘96 was the Grand Sport. This package was available on the coupe for $3,250 and $2,880 on the roadster. production was limited to just 1,000 units - 810 coupes and 190 roadsters. This was the first time Chevrolet officially used the moniquer “Grand Sport” on a Corvette and with limited production, the car caused quite a stir. The car was loaded with every performance option available on a C4. The Admiral Blue paint with the red driver’s side front fender hashmarks and black spoke ZL-1 wheels created a beautiful yet serious look. Under the hood was the last iteration of the famous small-block Chevy engine, the 330-HP LT5. With aluminum heads and every hot rod trick that Corvette engineers could stuff into a production Vette. To plant the extra power to the ground the Grand Sport was shod with big ZR-1 P315/35ZR17 tires that necessitated the use of the little-known export rear render flare. Since the roadster didn’t have the same chassis rigidity, regular size tires were used on the roadster version. The interior was available in either all-black or black with red trim. The perforated sport seats and floor mats had Grand Sport embroidery. To complete the package, all grand Sports had separate serial number sequences. A loaded Grand Sport cost almost $45,000.
The C5 Corvette was arguably the most complete performance “new” Corvette to ever hit the market. between the arrival of the Z06 in ‘01 and the racing success of the C5-Rs, suddenly, it was 1970 all over again. Anticipation of the 50th Anniversary car was as high as the first ‘78 Pace Car and many were disappointed because they felt it shoud have been more. But with the C6 already in development, the 50th car was destine to be a trim package offering. The $5,000 option got buyers every creature comfort Chevy had on the shelf. The option package included; heads Up Display, poweer telescoping steering column, electrochromic mirrors, memory package, the twilight sentenel, and the F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control option. The car was painted with Anniversary Red “Xirallic Crystal” paint and was dressed up with unique emblems. The five-spoke aluminum wheels were painted champage. The Shale interior had light gray-beige seats and carpeting with darker gray-beige on the console, instrument panel, and door panels. The seats and floor mats were embroidered with the 50th Anniversary logo. From a performance perspective, the most disapointing part of the package was that it could not be ordered with the Z06.
The logistics of modern automobile manufacturing is a mind-numbing enterprise. And coordinating special edition versions is a no small feat. Fortunately, Corvettes inspire designers, product planners, and line workers to build special versions of an already special car. - KST
Here's the Story...
Unlike earlier efforts that sonsisted of meger assistance for a few cars and teams, the C5-R was a serious, long-term effort. After a year or so of sorting out the new car and team, the C5-R quickly became a doninent force in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In sports car racing, there’s an expression that goes something like this, “You can win at Daytona and hardly anyone will notice. But win le Mans, and everyone notices.” The C5-R team took GTS class at Le Mans in ‘01 and ‘02, with a runner-up finish in ‘03. From ‘01 to ‘03, the C5-R Corvettes won first place 8 out of 10 races in ‘01, 10 out of 11 races in ‘02, and 5 out of 10 races in ‘03!
With the C6 scheduled for release in ‘05, Corvette product planners decided to celibrate the C5-R’s success with a special edition package that, unlike the ‘03 50th Anniversary Edition, would be availble on all ‘04 Corvettes, including the top dog, Z06. Almost all special edition Corvettes get critized for not being “enough” in the performance department. We should point out that as advanced as the Bowling Green plant may be, they are not in the business of building exotic, low volume cars. From a mass-production perspective, special editions are a nightmare. Fortunately, passions in the Corvette development group are enough to overcome production challenges.
The 2004 Commemorative Edition Corvettes was such an aluring package that 20-percent of all ‘04 Corvettes were built with the special package. The price for the coupe and convertible package was $3,700 and $4,335 for the Z06. Production totals for the coupes was 2,215, 2,659 for the roadster, and 2,025 units for the Z06, with a total of 6,899. The package included dedicated LE Mans blue paint with silver and red strips that started on the hood and ran over the roof and onto the rear deck. All cars had special badges and wheel centers. The Z06 version featured the first north American production car to use a carbon fiber body part and the standard Z06 wheels were polished. Coupes and roadsters received special two-tone shale interiors and Z06’s had all black interiors. The package included the top-level option package that included heads-up display, power telescoping steering column, auto dimmer mirrors, memory package, and twilight system. The Z06 version ran the Nurburgring track in just under 8-minutes, the unofficial supercar benchmark. The C5 Corvette didn’t get any better than this.
Getting a completely new car into production in a monumental task. The C6 Corvette hit the street in both coupe and raodster versions in ‘05, with the Z06 blowing everyone away in ‘06. So, ‘07 turned out to be something of a breather year. But leveraging the success of the C5-R and now C6.R racing Corvettes, plus previous special editions, Chevrolet release its first special edition C6, the ‘07 Ron Fellows Z06.
Not only did the Canadian team driver take two class wins at Le Mans, three ALMC championships, he was voted most popular ALMS driver in ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, and ‘07! To celibrate Ron’s success, Chevrolet released the very limited edition, 2007 Ron Fellows Z06 Special Edition. This was the most limited edition Corvette to date, with just 498 total units built - 399 for domestic sales, 33 for Canada, and 66 for the rest of the planet. Ron signed every car, making this the first signature series production Corvette every offered. The C6 Z06 was still spinning heads, so there was no need for any performance enhancements. Priced at $77,500 ($11,035 over the base Z06) this was the most expensive Corvette since the ‘95 ZR-1. Unique to the car was the Artic White paint and Grand Sport-inspired red front fender hash marks with subtle Canadian maple leaf graphics. Sporting a full-width rear spoiler and a unique windshield banner, this super-sano Z06 was a real head-turner. The 2LZ option package added every creature comfort option except for the OnStar Navigation System., making this a 505-horsepower, quasi-track, GT car.
By this time, Bowling Green was getting good at building special edition Corvettes and fans were beginning to expect “special” Vettes. The ‘04 Commemorative Edition was the last to the high-volume special edition Corvettes. From ‘07 to present, production numbers for special edition Corvettes were in some cases, very low.
For ‘08, Corvette product planners once again pressed the powerful Z06 into special edition duty with the brilliant 427 Limited Edition Z06. Even though the Z06’s LS7 is a small-block configuration, it does posess those magical numbers, “427.” Thanks to computers and advanced technology, the C6 Z06 has more grunt that any of the old big-block Corvettes stump-pullers. Most obvious with this special edition is the electrified Crystal Red Tintcoat paint with its contrasting, Stinger-inspired black hood stripes with classic 427 badges, and all-new spyder-styled chrome wheels. On a bright, sunny day, the car is almost hard to look at. Inside the dark titanium interior, every armrest was signed and numbered by retiring Bowling Greem plant manager, Wil Cooksey. And like the Ron Fellows ‘07 Z06, the 3LZ option package included everything but the Bose Navigation System. The 3,162-pound Z06 ran 0-to-60 in just 3.7-seconds, the quarter-mile in 11.7-seconds and had a top speed of 198-mph. This car had the brute force to back up it’s stunning good looks.
There was one other special edition Corvette that could only be rented or purchased as a used car. Hertz Rent-A-Car’s history of offering rental performance cars goes all the way back to the ‘66 Shelby Mustang. As part of the Hertz Fun Collection, 500 special versions of the ‘08 Corvette coupe and rtoadster were built. Thanks to the Velocity Yellow paint, bold black stripes, rear deck spoiler, and 7-spoke chrome wheels, you can not miss this Corvette. And for around $150 a day, you can cruise or blast around in a loaded, 436-horsepower ‘08 Corvette! Available only with the paddle-shift 6-speed automatic and the Magnetic Selective Ride Control System, and a Sirus Satellite Radio, this is one classy cruiser with plenty of scoot. Used ZHZ cars are not easy to come by.
2009 was not a good sales year for Corvettes. When Corvette product planners were conceiving the ‘09 Competition Edition Corvettes, they had no idea that the bottom would fall out of the Corvette market. After all, 40,561 ‘07 and 35,301 ‘08 Corvettes were produced, so who knew? Riding the wave of Racing success, the Competition Edition cars were built to offer owners that like to attend driving schools and track events with some extra racing trim. Available on the performance Z51 equipped and Z06 Corvettes, these were very reasonably priced, as special editions go. The $55,655 Z51 cars received the differential cooler, Dual Mode Exhaust, and heads-Up Display options. The Z06 was already loaded, so no additional hardware was included. Visual enhancements included a wide Z06 rear spoiler (on the Z51 version), racing stripes, a yellow windshield banner, painted red brake calipers, a special engine cover, and Jake badges. The Z51 cars were available in either Artic White or Blade Silver. The Z06 cars were available in black or Blade Silver. Interiors were trimmed in Ebony with titanium embroidery, a Jake shifter knob, and Corvette Racing pedals. Owners could even get special designed racing numbers. As racy and cool as the package was, the market wasn’t in the mood, as only 72 cars were built, making them the rarest of all special edition Corvettes.
Also available for the dismal year of 2009 was the GT1 Chanpionship Edition. Designed as a salute to 10 years of Corvette racing success in the ALM Series, this special edition was available on the coupe, convertible, and Z06. In the 10 years since the first C5-R, Corvette Racing racked up 70 victories, 8 GT1 Manufacturer Championships, and five Le Mans GT1 class wins! Based on Velocity Yellow or black paint, the yellow cars received black stripes with silver trim and the black cars featured yellow stripes with silver trim. Included on the hood graphics was a ghosted image of Corvette Racing’s “Jake” mascot. In the silver trim area on the roof, the years of championships and driver’s national flags were included. The coupe version went for $65,310, the convertible cost $71,815, and the Z06 totaled $86,385. As good looking as these special editions were the market wasn’t buying and only 125 of the planned 600 units were produced.
The latest special edition Vette to be offered is the ‘11 Carbon Edition Z06, marking the 50th anniversary of first Corvette appearance at Le Mans with John Fitch and Briggs Cunningham. . The ZR1 caused so much excitement, the Z06 seemed like a distant second place. No so! While the ZR1 is the pinicle of Corvette performance, the Z06 is only a few ticks off the ZR1’s pace and costs almost $30,000 less than the Z06 in ‘09. The ‘11 Carbon Edition is a hint at the possible direction of the C7. Essentually, this is a Z06 with the ZR1 chassis and some of the ZR1’s carbon fiber body parts.
Available in either Supersonic Blue or Inferno Orange, painted black ZR1 wheels, front splitter, and side rockers,this is one smokin hot Vette. The ZR1 suspension and big Brembo brakes allows the Z06’s LS7 engine to flex it’s muscles even more on the track. To keep the expense down, all of the carbon fiber parts (hood, splitter, side rockers and roof) are painted black, rather than the super expensive clearcoat. Black headlight surrounds and side mirrors add to the car’s sinister looks. The interior is trimmed in all-black leather and suede for an all-business look. While there’s no overall weight reduction, redistributing the weight improves the overall handling characteristics, such that the car posts a 3-second quicker lap time at Laguna Seca.
As we’ve seen, special edition Corvettes are premium cars and as of this writing, no price has been announced, but speculation puts the figure between $85,000 and $90,000. Proposed production is set for 500 units, but given that the closing sales fugures for ‘10 Corvettes was just 12,194, off 4,762 from the not so good ‘09 figures. So, we have to wait an see how well received Chevrolet’s latest special edition Corvette will be.
Everyone always wants more of whatever is offered - Corvettes are no different. The Corvette Musuem Delivery option R8C has been available since ‘01 and provides owners a unique ownership experience with special documentation. My only suggestion to Corvette planners is to include option R8C with every special edition Corvette. - KST