Truly rare Corvette, EV shatters 1/4-mile record, 632 cubes for COPO Camaro
Earliest-known C2 Corvette heads to Kissimmee
Intake: Corvettes and Kissimmee go together like chicken wings and hot sauce, but this year, there’s extra buzz around one ride in particular. A 1963 Corvette Convertible with the VIN 30867S100003 will cross the block at Mecum’s big sale on Saturday, January 14. It’s the earliest-known second-generation Corvette in existence. Bought by Brian Richardson and his twin brother, Bruce, in 1976 for the sum of $1500, the car was not running when they acquired it. Over the ensuing years, Brian and Bruce completed a frame-off restoration of the car, returning it to its original Riverside Red exterior paint and reverting the interior to red as well. The car carries a presale estimate of $600,000–$800,000, but because of its historical significance to the lore of America’s Sports Car, there’s no telling what heights it may reach come auction time.
Exhaust: Hagerty gained exclusive access to the car and its backstory earlier this year, detailing the lives of Brian and Bruce—both as interesting as the car itself. Brian, who tragically suffered a fatal heart attack earlier this year, was an Olympic Bobsledder at the Albertville, France games in 1992. Both brothers became mechanical engineers and hold more than 100 patented inventions between them. Come January 14, we’ll be watching this one closely. — Nathan Petroelje
2023 COPO Camaro available with 632 big-block V-8
Intake: Chevrolet has added the monstrous, 632-cubic-inch big-block V-8 to the list of available engines for the limited-production, dragstrip-only 2023 COPO Camaro. The naturally aspirated 427 and supercharged 350 V-8s that are optional in the COPO are both based on the LT engine architecture, while the 632 will replace the 572 big-block that was available in the 2022 COPO. Chevrolet is now taking orders if you’d like to enter the dog fight that is Super Stock.
Exhaust: The NHRA had rated the 572 big-block COPO at 500 hp, the 427 was at 470 hp, and the supercharged 350 earned a 600 hp rating. So far, there’s no power rating yet for the 632, although there’s no reason to think it won’t close the gap on the successful 350. In case you’d forgotten, Chevrolet rates its 632 crate engine at 1,004 horsepower and 876 lb-ft of torque. The NHRA’s ratings are made to level the playing field among Super Stock competitors and are used with the vehicle’s weight to determine the class in which the vehicle will compete. Drag racers are an ingenious lot and can, naturally, coax far more power out of their mills than the rating would suggest. — Brandan Gillogly
Watch the mad McMurtry Spierling hit 60 mph in 1.4 seconds
Intake: It shattered the Goodwood Hill Climb record in the summer, and now this extreme electric vehicle has claimed the fastest ever 1/4 mile run as well. As part of his review for “CarWow” Mat Watson was strapped in for the ride of his life. After an initial rapid run which had him howling with a combination of fear and pure joy, Watson was told by IndyCar ace and McMurtry test driver Max Chilton that he was running with only 650 of 1000 available horses. Given an all the available amps Watson accelerated from 0-60 mph in 1.4 seconds and completed the quarter mile in 7.97 seconds. The car was geared for Goodwood so it could potentially go faster still. We’ve cued the video to the acceleration runs, but there’s a full review there as well.
Exhaust: The sensational Spierling gets incredible traction, despite putting its 1000 hp through the rear wheels only. That’s largely down to the electric fans that literally suck the car to the ground, delivering over 4000 pounds of downforce—a system also deployed on the Gordon Murray T.50. The Spierling also packs a 60 kWh battery that gives a potential range of 300 miles on the road. On track it’s said to match a GT4 class race car for lap time, but would need charging after 20 minutes at full tilt. When it reaches production expect the price to be at least $1.2 million. Rimac has some serious opposition. — Nik Berg
Range Rover Classic gets electrified by Everrati
Intake: Two more off-road icons have been given EV conversions by the U.K.’s Everrati. Having previously electrified the Series IIA Land Rover the firm is now offering adaptions for the Ranger Rover Classic and the Land Rover Defender. The technical details have yet to be revealed, although the conversion is based on the firm’s first Landies. “Everrati will stay true to the timeless quality of the vehicle yet provide a powertrain upgrade that will exceed the performance specifications of the original,” it says. Buyers will need to provide a donor vehicle and pay $280,000 to convert a Range Rover or $182,000 for a Defender, plus taxes. “Perfectly at home in London, Cornwall, Monterey or The Hamptons, these vehicles are right in the current zeitgeist; rolling pieces of art that will give their owners, who are mavens of sustainability and responsibility, a clean and distinctive and luxurious way of travelling,” adds Founder Justin Lunny. “At the same time these progressive machines will have a legacy, being preserved for generations who will be able to continue to use and enjoy them guilt-free, with zero emissions, as the automotive landscape changes around them.”
Exhaust: The Everrati cars we’ve previously tried have been beautifully-built statement vehicles for a particular type of buyer, and these iconic 4x4s will follow the same path. Think of them as “rolling pieces of art” like Lunny wants you to and perhaps you won’t miss their V-8 engines (or, more likely, dirty diesels) quite so much. — NB
Another price hike on base Ford Lightning
Intake: On the heels of an announcement that Ford is adding a third shift to the Lightning assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan, comes word of a price hike, and it isn’t the first. Ford has upped the hot-selling Lightning’s base price to $55,974, according to its online model configurator. That is for the entry-level Pro model; the XLT starts at $63,474, the Lariat at $74,474 and the Platinum at $96,874. Destination charge is $1895, plus a $645 Ford Credit “acquisition fee.” This price increase on the Pro, which is standard with the smaller battery pack, may scare off some fleet customers. The base price has increased about $16,000 since the truck’s launch; in October, the base price was increased to $52,000, without destination charge. With all the charges, the sticker on our configured base Pro is $58,514. And that’s if your local dealer is selling Lightnings for list price, which, we hear, might be very unusual. Higher priced models of the Lightning aren’t affected by the price increase — yet.
Exhaust: It’s hard to be too angry at Ford for exploiting the ultra-popular Lightning, which it got right from the word go. The original base price at launch seemed too low, and apparently it was. We would not be surprised if we see some additional price increases before the end of the 2023 model year. — Steven Cole Smith
Reuters: Suppliers to Kia, Hyundai violate Alabama child labor law
Intake: A troubling story from Reuters starts like this: “At least four major suppliers of Hyundai Motor Co. and sister Kia Corp. have employed child labor at Alabama factories in recent years, a Reuters investigation found, and state and federal agencies are probing whether kids have worked at as many as a half dozen additional manufacturers throughout the automakers’ supply chain in the southern U.S. state.” The two OEMs deny that they knew anything about their suppliers using child labor. Hyundai, in a statement, told Reuters it “does not condone or tolerate violations of labor law” and requires that “our suppliers and business partners strictly adhere to the law.” Kia issued a similar statement.
Exhaust: Reuters said its reporters “spent weeks around auto parts factories in rural Alabama” and reviewed “thousands of pages of court records, corporate documents, police reports and other records.” “It’s shocking,” David Weil, a former administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department, told Reuters. “The ages involved, the danger of what they are being employed to do, it’s a clear violation.” — SCS
The 2023 COPO Camaro’s available 632 big-block V-8 looks good and big!
I guarantee child labor is making lots of things we enjoy, especially is the CCP is involved.
Great and informative column!