The 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition unveiled today by GM is the fastest, most capable convertible in Corvette’s history. Still, this was not the only surprise that came from GM, as the American manufacturer also unveiled the 60th Anniversary Package that will be available on all 2013 Corvette models.
According to GM, the new Corvette 427 Convertible borrows elements from both the Z06 and ZR1 models.
Let’s begin with its heart: the car is powered by a 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06 delivering 505 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), making it the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible. This engine is available only with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 427 Convertible sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, runs the quarter-mile performance in 11.8 seconds and has a top speed of more than 190 mph.Moreover, we find a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control and standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires.
Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels are available as standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.
Regarding its design, the Corvette 427 Convertible comes with a carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition), carbon fiber Z06-style fenders, carbon fiber floor panels, and a new optional “CFZ” carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels. The 427 Convertible is available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.
For the first time, the public will get a chance to own a Corvette 427 Convertible at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector auction to be held on Saturday, January 21. The car will be awarded to the highest bidder at this event, which is made possible by Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports. Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick will grace the auction, which is for the benefit of AARP's Drive to End Hunger initiative.
Drive to End Hunger is a program created in response to the increasing incidence of hunger among elderly Americans. It is one of Gordon’s sponsorship obligations as the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet.
The Heritage of 427-powered Corvettes
The first 427-powered Corvettes, especially the convertibles produced from 1966 to 1969, are among the most in-demand Corvettes among collectors.
Corvette’s 1966 model year featured the introduction of the 427-powered Corvette. There were two versions: the L30 and L72, which had 390hp and 425hp engines, respectively, both rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.
The following year, in 1967, two options were added to the 427 engine range: the L71 and the L88. The L71’s engine featured a new triple-carburettor induction system which increased power to 435hp. Collectors refer to these models as "427/435" cars. They are highly coveted, particularly the convertibles.
The L88 had a single four-barrel carburettor and racing-tuned aluminium heads, helping produce 430hp. This engine was designed for Corvettes that customers wanted to customise for racing. Only 216 of the Corvettes produced between 1967 and 1969 were installed with the L88.
1969 saw the introduction of the L89 427 engine, which adapted the L71's induction system and the L88's aluminium heads. It resulted in maximum horsepower, but was roughly 100 pounds lighter compared to that of conventional iron heads. That same year, Chevrolet also produced two 427 Corvette coupes powered by another new engine, the ZL1. This was basically an L88 made with all-aluminium construction (including the cylinder block and heads), thereby ensuring an outstanding weight advantage for racing. These engines were also available to racers as crate engines.