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Yet another episode of Jay Leno’s Garage has hit the comedian’s YouTube channel and this one is all about the details. Jay and his Corvette -expert friend Mike McCluskey take a deep dive into the rare 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray that Mike painstakingly restored to factory specifications. Everything from the radiator hoses to the flat-top bolt holding the master cylinder’s lid on tight are talked about.

As it turns out, the 21,000 1963 Sting Rays made were nearly hand-built and each car can almost be considered a concept car . The 1963’s parts differed so greatly from the previous generation that the designers and engineers essentially designed it as they went. Then in 1964, the car’s assembly process was smoothed out, making them easier to build. The ‘63’s hubcaps, for example, are comprised of 17 separate pieces rather than the single stamping piece used from ’64 on.

Besides the 1963’s rarity, especially for its one-year-only split-window design, the car also helped mark the beginning of fuel injection in American cars. Until that time, only a select few European cars came equipped with such a fuel delivery device. Jay’s particular Sting Ray is powered by a 327-cubic-inch small-block making 360 horsepower. That’s an output rating well beyond what other performance cars of the era were making.

Though it’s 22 minutes long, the video holds your attention with facts and interesting tid-bits that only make the C2 Sting Ray that much more special to today’s car culture.

Happy Thursday, welcome back to the TopSpeed Podcast .

This week’s show includes talks about Justin’s time with the BMW 435i , Mark’s experience with the Toyota Avalon , and I talk about the insanity that was the American leg of the Gumball 3000 .

We continue the supercar talk with Mark’s take on the American trio of Viper, Corvette and Z/28 , and you get to hear our thoughts on the crazy diesel powered BMW X6 M50d .

We also spend some talking about the tragic events surrounding the injury of comedian Tracy Morgan , and we talk about just what GM’s "Zora" trademark could mean for the future of Corvette.

After all that, we give our answers to your questions and no episode of the TopSpeed Podcast would be complete without Own, Drive, Burn. This week features a trio of classic muscle.

If there is something special you want to see us talk about, drop us an email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com, hit us up on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast — we follow back – or leave us a comment below.

We want to send out an extra-special thank you to those of you who watched our shenanigans live earlier today. Have a safe weekend, and we will see you next Thursday.

There are few cars that are as important to the world stage, and the development of the American sports car than the Chevrolet Corvette . Of the thousands of people who have worked to create this iconic nameplate, arguably none have been more important than Zora Arkus-Duntov. With the news that Chevrolet has just trademarked the name “Zora,” my mind has been running away with what this may mean.

Is there going to be a special-edition Corvette? Is this going to be an entirely new model line? Is Chevrolet just trying to give me an aneurysm by making my mind run wild with anticipation?

Whatever the reason, I have compiled a collection of what I think it could mean. From the likely candidate like name protection, to the outlandish like an entirely new lineup of cars, there is lots for you to see and think about. When you get finished, make sure to hit the comments and let me know what you guys think.

Forget what they say, these are the glory days of muscle. Sure, carburetors and glass packs are out, but direct fuel injection, variable-flow exhaust pipes, and computers have revolutionized the way modern street and track fighters do battle. We’ve pitted three of the most purpose-built machines together to see not only which car would win on the track, but which car would be the easiest to live with on a daily basis.

The competitors all hail from the U.S. of A. and sport snarling engines making huge amounts of power, all sent to the rear wheels though a manual transmission. They’re brash and unapologetic, unforgivably fast, and diabolically cool. Though they’ve all got the performance creds, do they have what it takes to impress the missus enough for a purchase to occur?

Our three contenders are the SRT (now back to Dodge) Viper, the Chevrolet Corvette , and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

In order for this to be a fair fight, we’ve got to price these cars correctly. Starting with the Viper, its base MSRP is comes in at $102,485 — well over that of the Vette and Z/28 — but considering the hard time Dodge has had selling the sultry snake, there are dealer incentives to be had. According to a few price-checking websites, a 2014 base Viper can be had in the mid $90,000 range.

The Camaro Z/28, on the other hand, starts out at $73,300 — but that’s bare-bones stock without air conditioning. Another $1,150 makes the car livable in the summertime. Its total cost comes to $76,150 after destination and the gas-guzzler tax.

The Vette represents the bargain of the bunch, coming in at $70,985 in its top-line, 3LT trim fitted with the Z51 Performance Package, Magnetic Ride, Performance exhaust, and Competition Sport seats. It may be the highest equipped here, but will its least-powerful engine be able to keep up?

Click past the jump to find out.

It’s been less than a year since the redesigned C7 Corvette reached its first customers, and the latest iteration of the sports car is already available in a couple of special-edition trims. The extremely cool, 650-horsepower Z06 is already on its way and the new-generation Corvette is shaping up pretty nicely for the 2015 model year.

But expect more to follow, even if Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter hinted that a new-generation ZR1 is not very likely. With that out of the way, we might be looking at new special-edition models as early as 2016, maybe even a Grand Sport revival. It’s a long shot right now, but we have reason to believe Chevy is pondering a back-to-the-roots "Zora" Edition to celebrate famed engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov.

What makes us think about a tribute car to the man known as the "Father of the Corvette" is a trademark request for the "Zora" name General Motors filed with the United States Patent Trademark Office. The application is currently filed under the category of "Vehicles and Products for locomotion by land, air of water" and strongly suggests its automotive-related purpose. And since Arkus-Duntov’s career is strongly related to dropping Chevy’s legendary small-block V-8 into the second-generation Corvette , we can’t think of anything else but a special edition C7 Vette with a "Zora" badge on its fenders.

Click past the jump to learn more about what this trademark could mean.

There was a time when Mopars hit the drag strips with HEMI engines under the hood and Chevy Bel Airs did burnouts using stroked 4.6-liter V-8s. Back in the day, no one was crazy enough to swap a HEMI with a Chevy small block or do the other way around.

Well, not anymore. The good ol’ days of racing are long gone and it seems that running a Detroit muscle car fitted with an engine taken from a rival company is no longer a big no-no. And to prove it, we bring you a Pro Mod dragster based on a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air that has a blown HEMI mounted behind its front wheels.

Although it comes with a big hefty amount of weird attached to it, the dragster makes a case for its strange configuration once it charges toward the finish line. With the rear wheels motivated by that huge, 8.5-liter HEMI, the Bel Air completes the quarter mile in just 6.04 seconds at 237.5 mph. When you’re that fast, you don’t have to explain why your Chevy-badged car hosts a Chrysler-built mill.

There’s no word as to how many ponies are coming out of than blown engine, but judging by the six-second pass we’re probably looking at way over 1,000 horsepower. The vehicle is still in its test phase, so we’re guessing it can run five-second quarter miles too.

The time is drawing nearer to when Apple’s CarPlay finally hits the streets in consumer vehicles. At the company’s recent 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, USA Today got an up-close look at the new in-dash iOS operating system inside a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. This in-car demonstration shows just how familiar the software is to the usual iOS-powered devices.

Interestingly, Chevrolet has not made an official announcement concerning when CarPlay would be introduced into its product lineup. Chevy is listed as a “committed partner” with Apple in bringing the software to market, but the automaker has yet to announce any word on what vehicles will receive the system or what the roll-out timeline looks like.

Though it is possible Chevy will incorporate CarPlay into the Spark and other models late into the 2014 model year, it’s more likely the new technology will debut for 2015. We’re expecting General Motors to make quite the hubbub about the news once things are all confirmed.

Chevy will be joined by Ferrari , Volvo , Hyundai , and Mercedes as the first crop of automakers to sell cars with hardware capable of running the iOS software. What’s more, from the video above, it appears the software will also allow owners to access tailored vehicle-specific menus. In the Spark’s case, it has a “My Chevrolet” application on its home screen.

For those with older vehicles, companies like Pioneer are developing CarPlay-compatible head units that work with nearly every vehicle. A 1965 Ford Mustang was on display at Apple’s WWDC to showcase the aftermarket potential.

Click past the jump for more about the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

If you’re one of those lucky people enjoying a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on a daily basis, then you’d better pick up the phone and call the GM recall hotline. The company has found an issue with the supercharger sitting atop the muscle car ’s 6.2-liter, V-8 engine and needs to check all models sold for the 2012 and 2013 model years.

The manufacturer says the defective superchargers may not perform as intended and, if left unrepaired, a contamination of the internal bearing shaft grease could cause the bearing to rattle when the engine is idling. In more extreme cases, the issue is known to cause bearing failure and severe damage to the point where the engine will no longer start.

The good news is that GM is replacing all affected superchargers at no charge to customers, a campaign that will cost the company $2,095 and additional labor hours per car. What’s more, General Motors is extending the warranty coverage on the 2012 and 2013 Camaro ZL1s to 10 years or 120,000 miles.

In addition to the aforementioned Chevys , GM is also recalling all 2009-2013 Cadillac CTS-V models, which are equipped with the same engine and blower as the ZL1. The affected Caddys benefit from the same no-cost supercharger fix and extended warranty.

So far, there is no official recall from the NHTSA, so it appears as if this is GM showing that it is on the ball following that ignition switch mess.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Only two years after the release of the C7 Corvette Stingray, Mark Reuss, GM’s global product chief, says the automaker is already working on the next generation of Corvette, though deeper details are nearly non-existent.

The news comes at the tail end of a Detroit Free Press report regarding the growing positive corporate morale within the company’s ranks. Despite all the bad press surrounding General Motors’ ignition switch recall fiasco, CEO change-up, and continually growing list of non-related vehicle recalls, Reuss says morale is higher than it was in 2012, when GM employees were last surveyed. He attributes the growth to a greater emphasis on transparency within the company as a result of the recent recalls.

Besides the news of happy employees, fans of GM’s high-performance halo car can widen their smiles as well. The next generation of Corvette is already on the drawing board. This means The General may shorten the lifespan of the C7 Vette, keeping the iconic Corvette nameplate fresh and competitive in the world’s arena. Unlike the C6 Corvette, which grew stale after an eight-year production run, the C7 may find itself replaced sooner. With competitors like Ferrari generally on a tighter and shorter shelf life, GM would be wise to adopt such a strategy.

Vehicle development these days is a long and exhausting process with years of design work done before the first prototypes are constructed. Considering that, the C7 will definitely enjoy several more years as the latest Vette, but we’d suspect GM will introduce its replacement by 2020, six years after the C7’s 2014 introduction.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Hennessey Performance is widely known for adding crazy amounts of horsepower to factory fresh vehicles already laded with respectable amounts of horsepower. This Corvette Stingray Z51 is no exception. Coming from Bowling Green with 460 horses and 465 pound feet of torque under the hood, this C7 gets a generous power increase thanks to Hennessey’s HPE650 Supercharger upgrade.

The specialized kit includes a high-flow supercharger with Hennessey’s HPE air induction system, a custom pulley for the blower, an upgraded 160-degree thermostat, and specific recalibration of the car’s engine management system. The extra air forced down the 6.2-liter V-8’s throat helps produce 650 horsepower at 6,300 rpm at the flywheel.

On the dyno, the car turns in 532 horsepower and 539 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. That’s an increase of 72 horses and 74 pound-feet compared to Chevrolet’s performance output numbers. Compare them to Hennessey’s baseline dyno results of the stock C7, and the difference is even greater. The stock car only put down 399 horses and 400 pound-feet to the rear wheels — though with its dealer license tag still tapped on, it’s possible the car wasn’t broken in.

Compare Hennessey’s before and after numbers, and the Vette gains an extra 133 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Impressive stuff.

Also added to the car are several Hennessey badges, premium floormats, carbon fiber doorsills, and Hennessey’s 3-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty. The Texas-based company also offers plenty of other interior and exterior accessories with the package, at a slight extra cost.

If you find yourself wanting a Corvette Stingray HPE650, you’d better act fast. The company is only building 100 examples for the 2014 model year, though more will likely be available for 2015 and beyond.


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