Back in January GM unveiled the highly anticipated Z06 at the North American International Auto Show. According to General Motors, the 2015 Z06 will be “the most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features.”
Corvette enthusiasts from around the world have been waiting for the reintroduction of the legendary model since production of the C6 Z06 ended, but the wait will soon be over. If you want to be the owner of the first 2015 Z06 produced, then you need to be at Barrett-Jackson’s second auction of the 2014 season, being held at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, April 11 - 13. Gary Bennett, Vice President of Consignments, has once again struck a deal with GM to auction off the very first production model of a new Corvette. At this point, the Z06 is scheduled to cross the block on Saturday, April 12.
Last year, many Corvette enthusiasts were astounded to learn that on the very same day thousands braved the winter cold and packed Cobo Hall in Detroit to catch a long-awaited glimpse of the seventh-generation of America’s sports car, Craig Jackson’s consignment team managed to not only have the new C7 on stage at their January extravaganza in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, but also were offering it to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to charity.
The C7 sold to Rick Hendrick, a Chevrolet dealer, Corvette enthusiast, and motorsports team owner, for $1.1 million. Introducing an entirely new generation of Corvette at auction was a precedent-setting event. It was, however, only typical of “raising the bar” from one year to another. At their 2012 event, Barrett-Jackson offered the first 2013 427 Convertible model, selling it for $600,000 with the proceeds going to charity, so offering the first production Z06 should not come as a surprise, especially on the heels of Barrett-Jackson’s January event in Scottsdale — their most successful auction ever.
Corvette enthusiasts have eagerly awaited the return of the high-performance Z06, which Mark Reuss introduced as “big nasty” at the North American International Auto Show in January. The legendary Z06 was unveiled after being trailered from the Warren Tech Center by the North American Truck of the Year, the Chevrolet Silverado. Appropriately, the new Z06 supercar was introduced along with Corvette Racing’s new C7.R. The similarity and resemblance to the C7.R is no coincidence — the two cars were produced simultaneously and share much of the same technology.
Clearly the Z06 is the most capable Corvette ever produced. The first time on the Milford road course it set a new track record. Reuss stated that the new Z06 could rival the performance, design, technology and visceral driving experience of any exotic car.
The new Z06 is powered by an all-new supercharged 6.2 liter LT4 engine producing 625 horsepower and 635 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the most powerful of all Corvettes will offer two transmissions: the seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching and an all-new, GM-built, no-compromise, eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters suitable for the race track. The new Z06 will offer magnetic ride control, electronic limited-slip differential, the five-mode drive selector, and the new performance data recorder.
It will be the very first Z06 to offer a removable roof panel due to the much stiffer and improved aluminum chassis.
Seeing the Z06 is a thrilling experience, but imagine what it would be like to actually own one. Deliveries are expected to begin in early 2015, but if you want to be the first to try taming “big nasty”, then you need to get your accounts in order and make your Florida reservations early.
The new Z06 is not the only benefit of being at Barrett-Jackson’s, even if you aren’t the high bidder. Besides enjoying the great Florida sunshine, you can see some outstanding collector cars. And being a bit partial to Corvettes, there will be several crossing the block in West Palm Beach, like a silver 1967 427/435 from Rick Hendrick’s personal collection.
The silver coupe has undergone a professional frame-off restoration to NCRS Top Flight Award-winning specifications. It is documented with NCRS judging sheets, ribbons, certificates, tank sticker and a photo album of the restoration.
If you prefer first-generation cars, there is an award-winning 1954 black convertible with red interior that has also been impeccably restored.
These are just two examples of several Corvettes scheduled to cross the block in Palm Beach.
One thing is for certain: the price to be the first owner of the new generation’s Z06 won’t come cheap, and if things go down like they have in the past, make sure you bring your banker with you.