Machinedesign 6689 G 3 1963 Z06 Corvette 1 0

Legendary Corvettes Throughout the Years

Nov. 13, 2014
A look at some of the most legendary Corvettes throughout history.

Read the full article, "The LT4: Another Legendary Corvette Engine," here.

1963 Z06

The RPO Z06 race package was a $1,818.45 option on 1963 models that cost about $4,250. It included a fuel-injected 360-hp 327-in3 V8, the L84, under the hood. The Z06 was also outfitted with a 20% larger diameter front antiroll bar, vacuum brake booster, dual master cylinder, sintered-metallic brake linings inside power-assisted drums cooled by front air scoops and vented backing plates, and larger springs and shocks that were almost twice as stiff as those on the stock Corvette that year. The roadster also carried a 36.5-gal gas tank for longer races, such as the 12-hr Sebring and 24-hr Daytona races. Only 199 Z06s were sold in 1963, and they currently sell for $185,000+.

1971 ZR2

The ZR2 race package added about $1,750 to the price of a standard Corvette, which cost nearly $5,500. It also added a 454-in3 LS6 engine, the only Corvette engine not detuned to run on low-lead fuel that year. As a result, the massive V8 cranked out 425 hp. It also came with racing gear as part of the ZR1 package: a heavy-duty four-speed transmission, power brakes, aluminum radiator, and upgraded springs, shocks, spindle-strut shafts, and stabilizer bar. Only 12 ZR2 were built, and they sell for over $400,000 today.

1990-95 ZR1

For the 1990 ZR1 Corvette, GM called in engine designers from Lotus Engineering, which GM owned at the time, to revamp the push-rod V8 Corvettes had long used. They developed the LT5, a 349 in3 V8 with DOHCs, 32 valves, and an intake and fuel system that maximized power at full throttle. In 1990, the LT5 generated 375 hp, but by 1993, that had climbed to 405 hp. Over five production years, GM built 6,939 ZR1s. In its last year, a ZR1 commanded a price of $72,200, almost twice the cost of that year’s LT1 Corvette, which listed for $37,825.

427 Limited Edition 2008 Z06

The 427 Limited Edition Z06 Corvette in 2008 was powered by an LS7 engine, a 427-in3 (7-liter) V8 that put out 505 hp. It also came with an exterior package that included special chrome wheels, a custom paint scheme, and the autograph of Wil Cooksey (retired Corvette plant manager) on the armrest. The Z06 package and extra horsepower added $13,000 to the standard Corvette’s $71,000 sticker price. Only 505 were built, and they cost about $13,000 more than the standard Corvette’s $71,200 price tag.

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