Corvette turns 70 with special edition wardrobe
Happy 70th birthday, Corvette.
America’s longest-running nameplate will celebrate the milestone in 2023 with special edition versions of its Stingray and performance Z06 models. Dubbed the 70th Anniversary Edition package, the Corvette will pop out of the birthday cake this weekend wearing an all-new wardrobe. The first model will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson in Arizona.
Seventy years young, the iconic Corvette has never been more athletic. Introduced as a 2020 model, the eighth-generation model is the first mid-engine 'Vette and has been wildly successful with some Stingray models selling on dealer lots for $30,000 over MSRP. The highly-anticipated Z06, due this summer, sports a high-revving, flat-plane crank V-8 engine — at 760 horsepower, the most powerful normally-aspirated engine made — shared with the Daytona-winning C8.R race car.
“This is extra special because of the excitement and sales success we’ve achieved with the eighth generation of America’s iconic sports car,” said Chevrolet marketing boss Steve Majoros. “Even after 70 years, Corvette still makes hearts race and kids dream of the open road.”
You’ll know the 70th Anniversary Edition Corvette by its distinct wheels with commemorative center caps. Stingray and Z06 will have different wheel designs, but they share a similar dark finish and Edge Red stripe.
The models will have distinct exterior badging, including a special Corvette cross-flag logo on the exterior and 70th Anniversary Edition logo on seats, steering wheel and sill plates. Under the rear deck glass (not visible on hard-top convertible models) will be an Edge Red engine cover and Edge Red brake calipers will glow behind the wheels.
The 70th Anniversary Edition weapons will be sheathed in of one of two unique exterior colors: White Pearl Metallic Tri-coat or Carbon Flash Metallic. The colors can be accessorized with optional stripes — Satin Gray with the White Pearl Metallic Tri-coat or Satin Black with the Carbon Flash Metallic.
Inside the digital cockpit, drivers will luxuriate in two-tone, ceramic-leather GT2 or Competition Sport seats. Red stitching will decorate the cabin on the red seatbelts, suede seat inserts and steering wheel.
Corvettes have become collectors’ items with first-generation 1953 models fetching prices as high as $3 million. Anniversary editions have been offered on everything from standard models to top-trim ZR1s. For example, only 138 version of the 60th anniversary ZR1s were offered and they retain an average value today, according to collections expert Hagerty insurance, of $71,800 (original MSRP was about $127,000).
The current, eighth-generation Corvette took a bow in July 2019 with its European-supercar mid-engine styling, sub-3 second 0-60 mph times, high-tech interior — and decidedly non-supercar price of under $60,000. Its first performance variant, the Z06, ditches the Stingray’s 495-horse, pushrod V-8 for a 5.5-liter, dual-overhead-cam V-8 that will scream like a Ferrari at 8,600 RPM. The Z06 also has distinct body panels from the standard 'Vette.
When it goes on sale this summer, the Z06 will likely sticker for some $20,000 north of the Stingray.
When VIN 001 of the 2023 70th Anniversary model rolls off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky, it will go straight to the auction block at the prestigious Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction on Saturday, Jan. 29. Proceeds will benefit nonprofit Operation Homefront, focused on helping military families.
Recognizing the birthday milestone, all 2023 models — not just the special edition cars — will come equipped with a commemorative 70th anniversary interior plaque on the center speaker grille and a graphic imprinted on the lower rear window.
More 70th Anniversary Edition Corvette packages will be available starting later this year on 2023 Stingray 3LT and Z06 3LZ trim coupe and convertible models. Buyers can check out all the options on the Chevrolet.com Corvette visualizer.
Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at email@example.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.