We love Corvettes. Mr. duPont’s ’63 Split Window Coupe really turns heads, and with factory A/C it’s a rare find. If you want to be a Corvette owner, many pristine examples can be found in our magazine and many more online.
If you want a new C7 (for a small fee) Chevrolet will even allow you to tour the factory and watch your car’s assembly from start to finish before it is delivered at the adjacent National Corvette Museum.
The only problem is that you might have to wait at least a year. With the recent launch of the seventh generation, Chevrolet’s dedicated Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., can’t keep up with demand. Once information about the new model began to trickle onto the web, demand for the previous generation 2013 models fell off sharply. This is no surprise; who would buy a 2005 body style knowing the Stingray was on the way?
This actually helps Chevy in more way than one. As dealers stopped ordering the C6, it allowed the factory to slow production down to a few units per day. This helps clean out inventories of C6 parts and shortens the downtime needed to retool the assembly line for the new car. Chevy has told their dealers that the Z51 option package, which includes track ready goodies, such as transmission and differential coolers, could possibly be sold out for up to a year. Since the Z51 package adds bigger brakes, dry sump oiling and magnetic shocks, GM Authority reports that 75% of buyers are opting for it.
Chevy could be telling the truth. Perhaps one of their suppliers simply can’t meet this unprecedented demand. On the other hand, intentionally holding back production to a certain amount provokes more potential buyers to fork over the down payment and secure their place in line.
The Z51 handling package has been around since 1984, and among “Vette Heads” it is a giant bone of contention. Go to your local Corvette meet and you will see the octogenarian retirees who enjoy the cushy ride and compliant brakes of the base model car. The others are of the performance-minded owners who don’t mind sacrificing creature comforts for the ability to keep up with most any car on the street. Chevy has added so many great features to the new Z51 that dealers will get stuck with base model cars, which will undoubtedly begin appearing at retirement communities near you.
News like this is great for GM. It assures stockholders and creditors that past troubles are behind them and the road ahead is profitable. Whether the supply issues are real or not will be decided by the historians. As for now, we wait, thankfully knowing that the C7 Stingray Z51 is the best Corvette in sixty one years.
For more information on production dates and option packages, be sure to check out our Corvette dealers.