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Corvette celebrates 60th anniversary: First 427 convertible sells for $600,000

We know it’s hard to believe, but Corvette will celebrate its sixtieth birthday with the 2013 model year. The great thing about Corvette birthdays is that, while General Motors does the celebrating, Corvette fans get the presents. For 2013, Corvette will offer a new 427 convertible and a 60th Anniversary Package available on all Corvette models. The 60th Anniversary Package and 427 Convertible will arrive at U.S. Chevrolet dealers early this summer (2012).

2013 Corvette 60th Anniversary Edition 427 convertible with 1953 Corvette.
2013 Corvette 60th Anniversary Edition 427 convertible with 1953 Corvette.GM Photo
2013 427 Corvette convertible with 60th anniversary package
2013 427 Corvette convertible with 60th anniversary packageGM Photo

Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
“The 2013 model year will be historic for Corvette, marking its 60th Anniversary and the final year for the current C6 generation,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet. “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”

The 427 Convertible Collector Edition is powered by the same hand assembled LS7 engine used in the Corvette Z06 which is rated at 505 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. It is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible and, like the Z06, is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.

Other goodies in the 427 Convertible include the driveline and rear axle system from the Corvette Z06, a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. Lightweight machine-face wheels – introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages – come standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.

Chevrolet engineers put the 427 Convertible on a weight loss diet thanks to several carbon-fiber components, including:

  • Carbon fiber raised hood, introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition
  • Carbon fiber Z06-style fenders
  • Carbon fiber floor panels
  • The “CFZ” carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible and standard on all Corvettes with the 60th Anniversary Package

The combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph. If you’re on a race track and feel compelled to try to find the top speed, make sure you have the top up, or use lots of hair spray!

The 427 Convertible will be available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number (VIN) sequence similar to the ZR1.

Corvette 60th Anniversary Package
All 2013 Corvette models, including the 427 Convertible, will be available with a 60th Anniversary Package, featuring an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top. Additional content includes a ZR1-style rear spoiler, gray-painted brake calipers and the “60th” logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top, extending the graphic theme over the roof.

All Corvettes will feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias and the “waterfall” panel on convertible models, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.

First 427 Convertible Sells for $600,000
The first 427 Convertible sold at Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. on January 21, 2012 as Ron Pratte of Chandler, Ariz. raised his paddle with the winning bid of $600,000. Ron is a noted car collector who, in case you’ve forgotten, was the winning bidder a few years back for the GM Futureliner bus at $4,300,000 and Carroll Shelby’s Supersnake Cobra at $5,500,000.

All of the proceeds from the sale of the 427 Convertible will go to benefit the AARP Drive to End Hunger initiative which addresses the growing problem of hunger among older Americans. It should be noted that Ron Pratte is more than just a car collector as the proceeds of many of his purchases have gone to a variety of charities. Please check the Drive to End Hunger web site for ways that you can help.

Shortened Production Schedule
According to Montana Chevrolet dealer Ken Fichtner, via the Corvetteforum.com, production of the 2013 Corvettes is scheduled to begin in May of 2012 and is expected to run for only 9 months. The shadow of the upcoming C7 is looming over the Corvette world and its introduction date will effectively control the production time for the 2013 models. GM will invest $130 million to prepare the Bowling Green assembly plant for C7 production, and that preparation will require the plant to shut down completely for several months. Autoweek’s Dale Jewett is estimating that the shut down may last for six or seven months, which coincides with the rumored introduction of the C7 in the fall of 2013 as a 2014 model year car.

If you’re interested in the 427 Convertible, or any 2013 Corvette with the 60th Anniversary Package, now is the time to start shopping. Remember, 2013 Corvette production is expected to stop in February, 2013. All of these dates are estimates and the actual production could end sooner – don’t wait until the last minute and risk being disappointed. This is your last opportunity to enjoy a brand new C6.

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© January 2012 by Bruce H. Troxelll

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