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Bob Lutz on C6

Rob

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In the October 15, 2001 AutoWeek magazine, on page 5 is an article about a memo that GM Product Vice Chairman, Bob Lutz wrote to several people within GM entitled "Strongly Held Beliefs".

The AutoWeek article states:
Lutz's influence, say insiders has already amended the look of the next Corvette (due in 2004 as a 2005 model) ....
A GM engineer told us Lutz has "just now signed off on the (the new Corvette) He didn't like it at first but did sign off on it (with changes). It was a little bit of a struggle, but not too bad. I've seen worse."
 

Hib Halverson

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One of Lutz's more interesting "beliefs"?

Read this:

Most customers want a vehicle of new, fresh exciting appearance, with a
rich, value-transmitting interior. They want a great powertrain, superb
dynamics, and, obviously, safety and quality. But the thought that huge
advances in voice-recognition, or screen-technology, or multi-function
displays or ever-trickier consoles, or embroidered floormats, etc., etc.
will somehow override other deficiencies (or, worse yet, "averageness")
is wrong. What focus groups say they would "really like in their next
car" is not reliable, because they are, in the research, not really
paying for it. ("Talking car" and all-digital instrument panels received
high "want" ratings in their day.) The vehicles that are succeeding
today (Honda, Toyota, Audi, VW) are not highly-contented, or if they
are, they charge for the option packs. A "base" Camry is really base!
A-f***ing-men, Bob!!

Lutz was put in by Rich Wagoner as a GM Vice Chairman and Wagoner is totally behind him.

It just might be that GM cars with the character of some of the recent stuff Chrysler has put on the road, but with far better quality and GM's excellent powertrains are a few years off.

Go Bob, go!!!
 

Viper 10

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There isn't a better car guy in the business than Bob Lutz. Anything that comes from him, you can take to the bank. He is a real diamond in the rough, in a world full of bean counters and people trying to justify their jobs with cars like the Aztec.

I am a big fan of Bob's (since he's the guy that developed the idea for the Viper on a restaurant napkin).

Brad
 

Hib Halverson

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I take Lutz with cautious optimism. I like what he says, but I want to see if and how he applies that to GM vehicles.

While he did create the idea for the Viper, the excecution of that idea left a lot to be desired, ie: it's a very powerful car that's gained lots of attention for Chrysler but is also low-tech, lacks refinement, lacks quality and has been sold in quantities that are just a fraction of Corvette production.
 

Viper 10

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Hib Halverson said:
I take Lutz with cautious optimism. I like what he says, but I want to see if and how he applies that to GM vehicles.

While he did create the idea for the Viper, the excecution of that idea left a lot to be desired, ie: it's a very powerful car that's gained lots of attention for Chrysler but is also low-tech, lacks refinement, lacks quality and has been sold in quantities that are just a fraction of Corvette production.

Hib:

Nothing personal, but did you get this comment from the chapter in the Corvette manual on "how to criticize the Vipers when you have nothing to show"? You guys need to let it go, and realize that the Viper was never developed to compete with Corvettes (and vice versa). I suppose that you think similarly of the Prowler, 300M and the PT Cruiser? If nothing else respect the Viper for what it is, which is very different from the current Corvettes.

FYI, Bob Lutz is one of the most widely respected car people in the entire automotive industry. If I were you I would bite my tongue when talking about GM's tattered history of mediocre cars, and their fresh line up of cars like the Aztec, the stunning new Avalanche and the Suburban (which has not has a significant engineering change in 20 years). Let's not forget today's memorable car models like the Impala, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Prism, Cavalier, La Sabre, Century, Regal and the Venture. GM has a lot to brag about...

Lutz knows how to connect a company and a car's heritage to current models. Hell, before Lutz came into the picture, all that Chrysler was known for was bankruptcy and the K-Car. He was solely responsible for resurrecting Chrysler's heritage and brand identity. He's also the man responsible for Chrysler's success and re-entry into racing (from Le Mans to NASCAR).

You certainly can't give Bob Eaton any credit for Chrysler's success for their turn-around. He's the a$$hole that sold out the company to the Germans at Daimler. Since then, they have done nothing but strip the company of all of it's assets, drive all of their design and engineering talent out and cancelled every significant project they can.

You should get on your knees and thank God that Lutz is on the GM team. He'll finally bring some clarity to GM's lack of direction and mediocrity. I guarantee that he'll bring the Corvette back to the dominant stature in the performance world, where it belongs.

Of course, that's JMO.

Brad
 

jbonifas

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I may not be on the same page here, but I recently saw a few pics of the new Cadillac is some mag. It was kind of stelthy, is this for real and/or is this what the C6 may come to look like?
JCB
 

Edmond

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jbonifas,
Are you talking about that Caddy that has like a 7.5 liter displacement and will pump out 700+ horses? I saw that too and that really opened my eyes. What opened my eyes more was the expected $275,000 price tag.

Getting back to the subject; I don't think Hib was trying to be so critical of the Viper. Maybe he could've refrased what he said into a nicer way. But, if you look at all the reviews, the Corvette is a superior OVERALL vehicle to the Viper. And one would have to think that Chrysler creates "artificial demand" by producing so few of those vehicles. How many Vipers do they make a year? Certainly not enough; I think they should make more available instead of making so few and keeping prices high.

I think that a lot of Viper questions will be answered in 2003 when their new generation comes out. But when all the car magazines do the test of the worlds best sports cars, it's always the European boys' cars. You have to understand that there is so much pride in every GM and Corvette person to know that the Corvette is included in those tests. They ranked the Z06 as the 4th best sports car in the world. They did tests like top speed, slalom, skid pad and 0-100-0.

I think I'm done rambling.
 

Viper 10

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BullWinkle said:
jbonifas,
Are you talking about that Caddy that has like a 7.5 liter displacement and will pump out 700+ horses? I saw that too and that really opened my eyes. What opened my eyes more was the expected $275,000 price tag.

Getting back to the subject; I don't think Hib was trying to be so critical of the Viper. Maybe he could've refrased what he said into a nicer way. But, if you look at all the reviews, the Corvette is a superior OVERALL vehicle to the Viper. And one would have to think that Chrysler creates "artificial demand" by producing so few of those vehicles. How many Vipers do they make a year? Certainly not enough; I think they should make more available instead of making so few and keeping prices high.

I think that a lot of Viper questions will be answered in 2003 when their new generation comes out. But when all the car magazines do the test of the worlds best sports cars, it's always the European boys' cars. You have to understand that there is so much pride in every GM and Corvette person to know that the Corvette is included in those tests. They ranked the Z06 as the 4th best sports car in the world. They did tests like top speed, slalom, skid pad and 0-100-0.

I think I'm done rambling.

Bullwinkle:

I guess you haven't seen some of my previous posts on this subject. First off, if you are looking for approval from a car mag, then so be it. But tell me this, how can the Viper beat the Z06 in every single category (including braking since the addition of ABS) and lose the title as best sports car?

Look at the latest article in GM High-Tech Performance (dated January 2002, Volume 8 No.1) and you will see the true numbers. They basically frame the article around the statement "Proving once again that you should never bring a knife to a gun fight". The Z06 lost in every category. If a sports car is measured on the amenities like cup holders, cruise control, climate control, vanity mirrors and the number of people that it can seat, then Vettes deserve to be compared to M3 BMW (which I think is ridiculous). The last time that I looked,the definition sports car meant bottom line performance and not how many Nordstrom's shopping bags you could haul in the trunk.

If the Corvette is the "superior sports car" that you claim, then why are 57% of the owners women? I'm am not trying to be sexist, but that's the truth. Women do not traditionally buy "sports cars". GM builds 35,000+ Corvettes a year and DC builds 1,100 to 1,400 Vipers a year. How do you compare these two cars as being on the same playing field?

Tell me why hasn't a single car magazine performance tested the Viper since the addition of ABS (in '00 models)? Do you think that it might be because the stock Viper might kick the crap out of competitors like Corvette, Porsche TT's, Aston Martin Vantage's, Acura NSX's and Ferrari's (who by the way pay huge amounts of money to these rags in advertising dollars)? I'm not talking about testing tuner cars that are made to last 2,000 miles between engine rebuilds, and can't do anything but 1/4 mile and dyno runs.

I will say that the Corvette is a much easier car to drive, and is very forgiving at the extreme ends of it's performance curves. The Viper does demand much more driver input and attention.

What other car in the world gives you 490 ft-lbs. of torque from 450 rpm idle to 5,300 rpm's? Torque is what separates the Viper from the other high performance cars, which makes the car more difficult to drive and reduces your margin for error (when making mistakes). Bone stock Vipers on a drag strip will light up the tires from 1st gear, and won't hook up until they get into 3rd gear. Traction is difficult when you have this much torque. I have seen 1/4 mile times range from 13.0 to 11.58 in stock Vipers, and it has everything to do with driver skill (and not the car's performance capabilities).

The same goes for lateral acceleration. How many cars out there do you know that can hold 1.03 g's on stock street tires? Once again driver skill is very important, because the Viper doesn't behave like a Corvette or Porsche with traction control.

As far as your question about the number of cars produced (and your artificial market), once again I think you missed the purpose of the Viper completely. The Viper is a marquee vehicle for Daimler-Chrysler. Dodge Vipers alone actually lose money for every vehicle produced. They are hand made to order (which tells you why they produce so few). The truth of the matter, the image that Vipers bring to DC, sell hundreds of thousands of Neons, Intrepids, Sebrings, PT Cruisers, and Stratus' (and even minivans). The next time you look at one of these vehicles, look at their front and rear grills. What you will see on all of them have design accents from the Viper. When was the last time you saw GM market other cars that are linked to the Corvette?

Case in point, in the recent recession that we are currently experiencing, the sales in Prowlers has dropped significantly, while sales on PT Cruisers has had a moderate drop in overall sales. The Viper has not had any measurable drop in demand. What does that say about your "artificial market"?

Your statement about overall quality is left to anyone's personal opinion (at best). Too many Corvette owners are measuring the Viper based on the quality issues that the Viper had in the first two years of production. I would put the Viper's reliability right there with that of Porsche, BMW and Corvette's (of which many of my friends own). I'm not trying to start any flame war or heated discussion on whose **** is bigger, better or faster.

Let's just agree that these are two cars, even though they are in the same category, are built for two very different purposes.

My apologies for being so long on this post. I hope that I have clarified some of the issues that have come up.

Brad
 

mxdout165

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Let's just agree that these are two cars, even though they are in the same category, are built for two very different purposes.

Well said. I agree with much in this discussion. Most importantly of all though, is that I agree that the Viper and the Vette are two entirely different sports cars.

Vette = affordable, drivable by average joe performance.

Viper = raw power, must be "driven," pure sports car.

Vette = vacation cruising, grocery getting, high class performance.

Viper = all out street racer, as far as I'm concerned. lol

Why do we always have to compare the two and say, "My car's better than your car." Why can't we just appreciate each as a beautiful, unique, addition to the United States awesome automotive history that has brought such cars as: Shelby Cobra Daytona, '71 Cuda w/426hemi. '66 AC Cobra w/427, '69 Corvette ZL-1, 429 Mustang Mach1, '66 GTO and '69 GTO Judge. You all know how big the list is.

Just my 1-3/4 cents worth. :D

T Jay...and boy would I like to have some of the cars on that list. I was born in the wrong decade. But then again, the 80's did create the Buick GNX, and technically, the ZR-1, to name a few. :)
 

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I agree with mxdout165. These two cars are diferent cars. They are not made to be the same type of cars or to compete with each other.
One thing though I wanted to say to Viper 10 is that you have to remember the Viper is a V10 and the vette is a V8. That is also how they are different and I am not comparing the two. You said the Viper out performed the Vette, which it did, I am not aruging with that. If these two cars were to compete with each other, how do you think the Vette would match up vs. the Viper if the Vette had a v10 as well. I think it would be a lot closer match. What do you think? I'm only saying this IF they were to compete with each other.
 

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Well I'm going by what the car magazine says because I will never be able to drive a $275,000 Lamborghini to compare. Answer this question: why didn't they include the Viper?

You see, the year now is almost 2002 and you would expect that a $50,000+ car would have creature comforts. That would be the equivlent of buying a $200,000 house that doesn't have central air conditioning, it's stupid.

Did you know that there are professional sports organizations for women now? You're making it sound like it's an embarassment for women to drive Corvette's.

I felt like your post was a personal attack on me. Was it?

Competition is human nature.
 

Viper 10

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Bullwinkle:

It was not a personal attack on you or anyone else. I was just addressing your points with your words. I was trying to shed some light with facts about the Viper and DC.

Your comment about women's racing organizations has nothing to do with my reply. Of all of the driving schools and track events that I have attended (which is pretty regularly), women and women in Corvettes are very rare. In fact I will say that women make up about 1 or 2 percent of people attending these events. I can also say that the women who drive Corvettes that I know in Southern Cal Corvette Clubs are not racer types (that doesn't mean that they don't exist).

By the way, come to Manhattan Beach and you will see $1 to $5 million homes without air conditioning. I don't understand your comment about amenities. Take a look at the McLaren F1 and see what kind of amenities it has. I have fortunate enough to have driven Lambo's Porsche Turbo's and Ferrari's and I must say that your statement doesn't hold true to those cars either. Creature comforts and amenities are rare, but technology to keep these exotics stable and drivable at the extreme ends of the performance curves is plentiful.

Your magazine comment is a little odd. When did a magazine ever compare a Diablo to a Corvette? I was alluding to sports car and high performance car shootouts in general. By the way, the Viper can more than hold its own against a Diablo.

Well I guess you answered my question about how much truth and credibility you put into car rags. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the truth is that they are high paid advertising for manufacturers like GM, Porsche, Lexus and BMW. Very high priced propaganda. Have fun debating with the BMW M3 owners about why the Vette got shafted (and the Viper wasn't even invited).

You can take this any way that you like, but I have nothing against you personally. I was also trying to give you something to reply to, to make this discussion interesting.

Sorry that you took it personally. If I did choose to attack you, you can ask our moderator Ken about what happens (because civility gets thrown out of the window). Debate is fun as long as it doesn't cross over into the personal realm.

Brad
 

mxdout165

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Brad,

I know this is a little off topic, but I was just curious as to how, I think it was 1000hp, Viper is coming along. I looked a little for the original link, but my computer is acting up and shutdown on me before I could find it. I would really like to see that page again.

T Jay
 

Viper 10

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mxdout165 said:
Brad,

I know this is a little off topic, but I was just curious as to how, I think it was 1000hp, Viper is coming along. I looked a little for the original link, but my computer is acting up and shutdown on me before I could find it. I would really like to see that page again.

T Jay

T:

I am no longer working with the people at Grant's Performance in the development of their twin turbo Viper. I understand that they have basically twin turbocharged the TNT engine (that the customer had brought to them to fix), and added new intake and exhaust. I don't think that it will be producing the numbers that they originally planned (which was 1,500 HP).

I broke off from them because of some major philisophical differences. In the meantime, I am in the process of starting our own exotic tuning effort that will concentrate on chassis/suspension tuning, traction control systems, and other engineering that will make our cars much safer, drivable and more reliable than other tuner cars on the market today. We will begin by shipping carbon fiber body panels and aerodynamics by the end of this year or first quarter next year. The one thing that our vehicles will not be are 1/4 mile and dyno queen cars (as most tuner cars are today).

There are plans down the road to develop intercooled forced induction systems that are engineered for street and road racing applications (versus drag strip applications).

Thanks for asking, and sorry that I cannot give you more details on the twin turbo Viper.

Have a great day.

Brad
 

mxdout165

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That's okay about the TT Viper, I was just curious anyways. Seeing the pic of your Viper just reminded me of it. Sounds like you've got your hands full with the new biz. Good luck with that. I'll have to find my mag at home with the TT F50 and TT Testerossa, I'm all worked up about turbo's again, lol.

T Jay
 

Viper 10

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T:

Just remember that with all of the power that a TT or a blower can add to your engine, it doesn't mean a thing if the car's chassis and suspension can't handle it. You pretty much reduce your car to a straight liner that can barely keep itself on the track.

The other thing that you need to remember is that if you build engines that approach of exceed 1,000 HP, that the durability of the engine is reduced dramatically. I have heard that those cars need to be completely rebuilt every 2,000 miles. To me that seems like a waste of someone's money (no matter how much you have).

That's the reason why we think that there is room for our approach to tuning exotics. We'll keep you posted on how we are progressing.

Take care and be safe.

Brad
 

Hib Halverson

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Nothing personal, but did you get this comment from the chapter in the Corvette manual on "how to criticize the Vipers when you have nothing to show"? You guys need to let it go, and realize that the Viper was never developed to compete with Corvettes (and vice versa). I suppose that you think similarly of the Prowler, 300M and the PT Cruiser? If nothing else respect the Viper for what it is, which is very different from the current Corvettes.
(giggle)
"Nothing personal?"
Ok.
However, I must offer this observation: so often on I'net forums, I read those words when
people mean exactly the opposite. They get "personal" when they have a weak argument or don't like being disagreed with, but say "nothing" personal presumably to somehow lessen the impact or release themselves from some unknown guilt. This is not directed at you personally, but is simply a general observation about I'net forum "society." ;)

The Viper concept was created to promote Chrysler as a manufacturer capable of putting a world-class performance sports car on the road and to make the point that Corvette is not the only American sports car. In those senses, the Viper was intended to compete *directly* with Corvette and was reasonably successful in achieving that goal. The product development of that concept, the results of which we see in the Dodge Viper, is certainly different than the Corvette in some ways but similar in others.

As for the Prowler, 300M, and the PT, well---I don't much care for the Prowler and the PT, but there are people who do and that's fine. I appreciate the process by which Chrysler responded to what it believed were markets for vehicles such as those. I'll add, however, that neither are proving to be products/concepts with sustained high demand. Not many Prowlers were sold and it appears the Chrysler may have overestimated demand for the PT. As for the 300M? Now there's a product with some longevity. If it had a little better performance and quality, it'd be a homerun.


He's also the man responsible for Chrysler's success and re-entry into racing (from Le Mans to NASCAR).
I'll buy the part about road racing. Lutz certainly placed the right bets, there. As for NASCAR? Chrysler needs to perform better before I and many others will agree it has succeeded. I'm not saying it won't, but I am saying it's not there, yet. So far, Ray Evernham has shown he's bitten off more than he can chew.

FYI, Bob Lutz is one of the most widely respected car people in the entire automotive industry.
I love it when people say "for your information".
I'd say Bob Lutz *is* the most respected car guy in the industry today but at Chrysler he was only one of several with their guiding hand on the Viper project.

If I were you I would bite my tongue when talking about GM's tattered history of mediocre cars, and their fresh line up of cars like the Aztec, the stunning new Avalanche and the Suburban (which has not has a significant engineering change in 20 years).
Ok.
Let me get this straight: you meant nothing personal, I needed to be informed and now I need to bite my tongue.
(ouch)
B, b, butt...(hard to talk with my tongue hurting) you are the one bringing up the issue. Of course you are zeroing in on some of GM's biggest recent failures, the butt-ugly Aztec and it's near-as-ugly but more overweight cousin, the Avalanche. But the statement that the Suburban hasn't had a significant engineering change in 20-years clearly demonstrates your ignorance. What's platform that's lacked progressive engineering under an, admittedly, leading-edge exterior? Try Chrysler's full-sized trucks---including the "new" one.

No doubt, GM's made mistakes in the last generation and that has cost its once dominating market-share. The other side of that coin is Chrysler, which as you point out, was virtually destroyed by Eaton's sale of it to the Germans. American consumers buying Chryslers get cars that look great---stunning, even---but, with the exception of the Viper, are mediocre performers, have quality that sucks and a dealer network that has a hard time providing good service. Heck, for a time, after Chrysler's financial arm ran out of money this summer, those dealers couldn't even provide dealer financing to sell the cars---that would subsequently break-down and provide their service departments with work.

I have a friend who owns a PT. He loves the look and ambience presented by the car, but he hates the quality. Among other problems, shortly after he bought it, the engine computer failed such that the car had to be flat-bedded to the dealer for warranty repair. There it sat there for weeks with the parts people telling my friend Chrysler had no replacement computers available--anywhere. Finally, because of his complaints, the dealer found a wrecked PT in a salvage yard (lucky find, I'd say considering the product's newness) and pirated its computer to put in this guy's sidelined car. Amazing.

I talk to Viper owners at shows, occasionally. Some have told me they love the car's mystique, style and performance but they are irritated at it's poor ergonomics and abysmal quality. One Viper owner I met, who is also a pretty knowledgeable DIY service tech., gave me a walk around of the car and pointed out a number of components used by Chrysler on low-end models that were adapted to use in the Viper...a K-car switch, here; a Neon component there, etc. He also told me there are quality issues with the V10s in those cars. I've heard from others who've worked on the engines that Chrysler doesn't have very good block machining processes. It uses different thickness main bearing shells in the same engine to compensate for poorly finished main saddles. Sheesh. If that happened at GM Powertrain, the engineers responsible would be looking for work---at Chrysler. :)

The Viper, like the 300M and other Chrysler exterior-design standouts, cuts a stunningly attractive and seductive profile. It's reasonably light, the newer units handle extremely well and it's got an extraordinary amount of power but, its chassis construction methods are only a few steps beyond those for a kit car, it's got awful quality, it's uncomfortable, until recently it lacked ABS, it's engines are inconsistent in quality and performance--some Chrysler alum. V10s run hard others need a lot of tuner help and blueprinting (ie: finish the job Chrysler couldn't)-- to get them to run well.

So now we come back to one of the core issues here---does the Viper compete against the Corvette?

Sure it does, not directly on all fronts, but it does compete in concept and mystique, two of the key attributes that make great cars. Anyone who says it does not is really just making up an excuse that diverts attention from the fact that the only places the Viper has convincing advantages over Corvette is in its brute horsepower and slutty, whips-and-chains look. After that, Corvette has better quality, better ergonomics, a more efficient powertrain, better value and is built in greater numbers.

Oh yeah---Corvette's been around for almost half a century. The Viper? Not even ten years.
 

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Hib Baby:

Sorry that I have not replied to your wonderful post, but I have been out with a sinus infection. Being an internet writer and automotive expert, you obviously know more that everyone around here and the rest of the Corvette and GM world. You also seem to think that you know more about the Viper than anyone else. The way that you present things, doesn't leave much for discussion.

We can go back in the history of these companies and spout off everything about GM's and Chrysler's successes and failures (until the cows come home). The reality is that no one will win, because it's a matter of opinion.

At this point, I don't think that there is anything productive that could come out of addressing each of your points and how you have grammatically worded something to mean smething else (with any subliminal meanings hidden behind them).

You seem to be a Chevy and Corvette fanatic, and that's fine. But there are a couple things that you cannot deny; and that is the Team Viper kicked the living crap out of the Goodwrench Team (and everyone else in the GTS Class) for 2 3/4 seasons on the Le Mans and ALMS circuits. The only way that GM could even be competitive was to come in with a bored and stroked version of their engine (that is not even offered as a production displacement),, and cry and stomp their feet until the regulating bodies penalized the Vipers right out of the series. For the firsttime in history, an American car company brought home 3 consequetive Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring victories. Healthy competition makes everyone better, but this was not an example of it.

You also cannot deny that Chrysler (until the recent unfriendly takover by Daimler) had come a very long way from bankruptcy, government bailout and the freaking POS K-Car; to being a formidible competitor on many car fronts (including the high performance car market). I don't care if you like them or not, but put credit where it's due (and by the way back to the subject, Bob Lutz had a large role in Chrysler's recovery).

I commend the Goodwrench Team for it's run over the last season, and I love the fact that an American car is on the podium. From the gist of your replies and comments, you seem to have no respect for ANY car that doesn't wear a GM badge, or anyone else who is not a GM fanatic. Your commentary and attitude gives me a bad taste about being a Corvette owner. I absolutely love Corvettes (as well as Ferrari's, Porsche's, Aston Martin's and other high performance exotics) because I am a car enthusiast.

I'm going to end by saying let's just agree to disagree, and leave it at that.

Brad

Ps: Ken, if you and the other moderators consider this an personal attack on Hib baby (or I have ventured beyond the realm of political correctness of CAC), just blow my post away.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,237
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
I just don't see the point of all this.

Mine's...

Your's...

I've...

You've...

:eyerole
 

Rob

Site Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,543
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
The point is that it's basically healthy discussion and a disagreement of opinions. I don't see personal attacking going on...yet.

However, with that said, there is one thing I do need to chime in on and that is :
But there are a couple things that you cannot deny; and that is the Team Viper kicked the living crap out of the Goodwrench Team (and everyone else in the GTS Class) for 2 3/4 seasons on the Le Mans and ALMS circuits.

Brad....I'm not sure I can agree with that statement. The C5-R was no contest to the Viper when it first started racing because the car was brand new, they didn't have the experience of racing behind them like the Viper team did and they didn't have the displacement. Each year the C5-R got better and better and although they didn't win over the Vipers until the (correct me if I'm wrong) last race, before Chrylser pulled the plug on the Viper's racing campaign. They did hold their own against the Vipers.
I wouldn't exactly call that "kicking the living crap out of the Goodwrench team". Just my opinion...
 

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