Top-25 All-time Greatest Corvettes (Part 3 of 5)
Phew, sorry for the delay in getting the Top-25 Corvette list back up and rolling, The Detroit Auto Show was a rather busy time for us, as you likely already know.
Well, we have witnessed the unveiling of the 2014 Corvette, which GM unfittingly dubbed the Stingray, and we must say; sans the resurrection of the classic moniker, we love the new `Vette. A refreshing new body style, all-new components and, best of all, the elimination of those quad-circle taillights that have been a staple on the Corvette for way too long. To not stray too far from the Corvette’s history, GM replaced the circular headlights with more rectangle-shaped quad lights – a nice touch.
But, we’re not here to talk about the new Corvette. We are here to talk about numbers 14 through 10 on our top-25 countdown.
As we get closer to the top-10, our decision process is getting harder and harder, so let us know what you think in the comments.
Click past the jump to rear our choices for numbers 14 through 10
No. 14: 2003 Guldstrand Signature Edition 50th Anniversary Corvette
Often lost in the long and storied history of the Corvette is Dick Guldstrand and his contributions to the iconic American sports car through its years. Also oft forgotten is the 2003 special-edition model that he and GM created that was dubbed the Guldstrand Signature Edition 50th Anniversary Corvette. This not only marked the return of the 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine to the Corvette, but it also marked one of the rarest production model Corvettes to roam the roads – only 50 were produced. This beast featured 500 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque to go along with a one-inch-lower ride height, beefier anti-roll bars and a special set of alignment specs. Sure, it’s gold and blue paintjob is a bit of an eyesore, but it’s a sick and rare model nonetheless.
No. 13: 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Competition Sport
The Competition Sport special edition sat atop either the Z51-equipped coupe or the Z06 platform, and the add-on ran a healthy $3,350 and $2,750 respectively. The exterior additions were subtle, but awesome, and they included an ebony and titanium racing stripes, and custom wheels. There were no real performance upgrades to speak of, so you got either 436 horsepower (Z-51 model) or 505 horsepower (Z06), but the money really falls in the rarity of the car, as only 72 models were sold in 2009. Notice we said “sold” and not “produced.” That’s right, there were no limitation to the number of models that GM would build, making this a naturally rare care, which is even cooler. You are in an even more exclusive class if you happen to get your hand on a black Z06 model, as only 10 of them roam the streets.
No. 12: 2007 Chevrolet Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06
Its long name alone is enough to make even an auctioneer’s tongue become tied, but this is one of the rarest and coolest Corvettes ever built. Sure, it didn’t have any performance upgrades, so it retains the same 7.0-liter V-8 engine with 505 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Chevy did add in was a set of chrome wheels, a low-profile rear spoiler, a windshield banner and an exclusive paint scheme that included am Arctic White base coat with red and silver stripes on the front fenders. Inside the `Vette, Chevy added in “tech pattern” accents to go along with red leather seats and an exclusive red armrest. The package added a total of $7,500 to the base Z06 and Chevy only offered up 399 of these beauties.
No. 11: 1984 “Hugger Orange” Corvette
The 1984 “Hugger Orange” Corvette is one of the lesser known special-edition models, but the fact that only two of them exist makes gives it a cult-like following. The story behind this rare Corvette is that Jim Gilmore, the owner of Abraham Chevrolet, put in a special request to Chevy GM, Robert Stemple, to have two Corvettes painted in a bright orange, called "Hugger Orange," and loaded with every possible factory-installed option. Stemple approved the project and delivered the two Corvettes. Gilmore kept one for himself and the other one went to A.J. Foyt. Last time we saw the “Hugger Orange” Corvette was in 2009, when Gilmore’s model was raffled off. The only issue with this model is the fact that there are tons of replicas floating around.
No. 10: 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
In 1996 the Corvette was well on its way to returning to its top spot in the American sports car realm and, but the deletion of the ZR-1 put a damper on the progress. To keep this progress going, GM released the Grand Sport package, which added in the LT4 350-cubic-inch V-8 engine, netting it to 330 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque. Also slapped on this special-edition `Vette were 275/40ZR17 tires up front and massive 315/35ZR17 pieces of rubber on the rear. For the era, the Grand Sport was a rather feared sports car, hitting 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds and finishing the quarter-mile in just 13.7 seconds at 105.1 mph.
The limited production of the Grand Sport model also puts it on our list, as only 1,000 models were actually manufactured. The package was a surprising bargain too, costing only an extra $3,250.