It’s almost like Christmas in July (except for the 90-degree temperatures) as the 2017 Corvettes began shipping on Monday, July 25 from the GM Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The latest model to join the Corvette line-up is the 2017 Grand Sport, carrying the racing spirit of the original 1963 model with a LT1 6.2L engine, paired with a lightweight chassis and aerodynamics package.
The Grand Sport was first revealed in Geneva – a Collector Edition (RPO Z25) in Watkins Glen Gray Metallic with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length dual racing stripe package, Grand Sport black 19” front / 20” rear CUP-style wheels, a unique two-tone Tension Blue full leather and suede-wrapped interior, carbon fiber instrument panel trim, Collector Edition sill plates, premium carpeted floor mats with Grand Sport logo, Carbon Flash Badge Package, interior brushed aluminum hash marks and seat and steering wheel emblems. A three-dimensional representation of an original Grand Sport race car is embossed in the headrests and that shape is also used on an instrument panel plaque that carries a unique build sequence number. That same car was on hand at the Museum’s NCM/Michelin Bash in April, marking the first opportunity for people to touch and sit in not only the beautiful Collector Edition, but several other examples of the newest model. The Collector Edition will be available mid 2017 model year.
While many may envision an Admiral Blue Grand Sport with red fender hash marks and white center stripe, a throwback to both the 1963 and 1996 Grand Sports, with the seventh generation there are 360 possible color combinations to choose from. Chevrolet debuted four new exterior colors at the Michelin Bash and joining the Admiral Blue were Black Rose, Sterling Blue and Watkins Glen Gray. The carry-over colors from 2016 include Long Beach Red, Arctic White, Blade Silver, Black, Corvette Racing Yellow and Torch Red.
The Heritage package boasts six available colors for the hash-mark fender graphics (Hyper Green, Yellow, Volcano Orange, Torch Red, Gray and Carbon Flash Metallic), while the full-length stripes are offered in five colors (Satin Black, Red, Gray, Blue and White). The Grand Sport Heritage Package (RPO Z15) includes interior brushed aluminum hash marks, floor mats with Grand Sport logo, and exterior hash marks. This is joined by the available Z07 package, five wheel choices and available carbon fiber ground effects. The Twilight Blue Design Package, Spice Red Design Package and Black Suede Design Package are also available on the 3LT Grand Sports.
Production for 2017 began on June 23, 2016 and approximately 48 units were completed prior to the GM Corvette Assembly Plant’s two-week summer shutdown on June 24. Last week General Motors hosted a media test drive event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and reviews that have been coming in are extremely positive.
The mass production VIN #1 had the selectable VIN option (PIN) and was a Watkins Glen Gray Grand Sport Coupe with Black/Adrenaline Red interior. It featured a Carbon Flash center stripe and fender hash marks.
“Based on assigned VINs we estimate that the plant has produced up to 2000+ Grand Sport and Stingray Corvettes so far,” said Shane Webb, Museum Delivery Department Manager.
The Museum received their first seven 2017 Grand Sports on Tuesday, July 26 and the lucky R8C Delivery Customer to be the first official C7 Grand Sport Delivery at the Museum is John Colle of Vancleve, MS with an Arctic White Coupe. His delivery is on Monday, August 8.
“Right now I’m tracking about 50 total Corvettes, a combination of Stingrays and Grand Sports,” said Shane. “Not surprisingly the Grand Sport has been a very popular model and our customers have been selecting an array of color combinations for their cars.”
Shane added that 2017 is already looking to be a busy model year and Z06 production will start the first week of September. According to Harlan Charles, Chevrolet Corvette Product Manager, 2016 Corvette production was the highest since 1984.
“If you are in the market to order a new Corvette we hope you’ll choose option R8C and let us roll out the red carpet for you,” added Shane. More information on the Museum’s delivery programs is available online at corvettemuseum.org.