The Chevrolet Corvette has been an icon of the American muscle car scene for decades, and it has also been a big hit on the race track. The Corvette has racked up more than 70 wins and 8 championships in GT1 racing, and to celebrate that racing history, a new edition of the Corvette is set to premier later this month, the Corvette GT1 Championship Edition. While the GT1 looks sporty and has a racing name, don’t expect it to win you any races.
The 2009 Corvette GT1 isn’t really a GT model. The actual model of Corvette that has managed all of those wins in the GT class is actually the C6 R. The GT1 Championship Edition that is going on sale is essentially a Z51 Corvette that feeatures the cosmetics of the race car. You can choose either a yellow paint job, like the one pictured above, or black. There are a series of graphics on the car inspired by the C6 R racer, and there is a spoiler inspired by the ZR-1 edition. Also, the interior features GT1 stitching and accents.
Chevrolet is known for putting out a lot of editions of the same car, and the Corvette is no exception, so let’s go through the different Corvette packages. You have your basic Corvette and the Z06 model. The Z06 is a high performance edition that includes a much tighter suspension and provides better handling. The drawback to the Z06 is that the stiffer suspension that is great for the racetrack makes for a very hard and bumpy ride on regular roads. So, the Z51 was created to bridge the gap between the two models. The Z51 offers some of the suspension and handling upgrades of the Z06, but still keeps the ride quality fairly comfortable. The C6 name is meant to denote the generation of Corvette. For example, a C1 would be the first generation and a C7 would be the next generation to be produced. C6 R means the racing edition for that particular generation. The GT1 moniker for this special edition references the specific racing class that the Corvette is in.
So is the GT1 Championship Edition worth it? Well, if you are a Corvette collector, then there is definite appeal, but if you are simply looking to get a good Corvette, the GT1 isn’t that great of a deal. The GT1 starts at $65,000 for a coupe and goes up to $86,000 for a Z06 performance edition, which still doesn’t compare to the C6 R racing model. In comparison, you could get a well-equipped Z51 Corvette (which is essentially the GT1 edition without the cosmetic additions) for about $58,000, and a baseline Corvette starts at around $49,000. For the average Corvette driver, the GT1 Championship Edition won’t be that big of a deal, but for the diehard collector, it could commemorate a great racing history.