Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition
1 of 200 Corvette Z06 1953 Commemorative Edition LS6
With a roster of lethal powertrains and a list of razor sharp suspensions, the Corvette has been a scrappy, unapologetic symbol of American performance for almost 60 years. In 2003, when the venerable nameplate turned 50, many enthusiasts wanted a big celebration. However, in typical GM fashion, an attractive paint and emblems package was the only thing ever approved for production. Frustrated with the lackluster factory offering, a small company named Advanced Automotive Technologies out of Rochester Hills, Michigan began producing this 1953 Commemorative Edition appearance package. Wrapping retro C1 styling around a customer supplied 2001 Z06; this awesome 8,049 mile garage queen is one of only 200 C5 Corvettes and one of only SEVEN C5 Z06s to be converted into 1953CEs. If you love the looks of the original Corvette; but aren't too fond of its outrageous collector car price and outdated technology, this 405 horsepower 1953CE which mixes the best of Harley Earls classic design with some of Bowling Green's most innovative modern hardware, is the perfect compromise!
Originally penned by Canadian-based auto supplier Magna Steyr, and marketed to General Motors as an OEM package which celebrated the Corvettes 50th anniversary, the 1953 Commemorative Edition blends the classic styling of 50s Americana with the performance, comfort, and technology of the 21st century. Despite moderate interest, GM wasn't keen on the idea of producing the vehicle, and it was essentially shelved until Steve Pasteiner of Advanced Automotive Technologies purchased the rights to assemble it as a kit. If you're thinking that name sounds familiar, Mr. Pasteiner actually worked at General Motors Design for over 20 years and eventually founded Advanced Automotive Technologies in 1988 to create styling concepts and design solutions. AATs most well-known effort is GM's own spectacular Buick Blackhawk show car which has delighted car enthusiasts around the world and proven that Pasteiner is more than just a garage bay tuner. This 1953CE's build began with a spotless Torch Red 2001 Z06 which was stripped of everything but its doors and roof. All-new heritage inspired front and rear panels were installed using factory attachment locations, and a small recess was cut into the inner fiberglass of the rear trunk to clearance a re-contoured decklid. Once the new fiberglass panels were professionally fitted and color-matched, new lights and real metal accents were added to complete the transformation. The result is a stunning and convincing retro Vette which exhibits OEM quality fit and finish, maintains its original factory structure and still carries all of its safety related items 100% intact.
Sporting a solid 104.5 inch footprint, this Corvette Z06's low slung chassis gives the car a killer stance which bodes well for its new heritage inspired bodywork. At the front of the car, a C1 inspired chrome grille centers a matching chrome tag bracket between bullet-style LED parking lights. At the sides of those parking lights, real metal accents that perfectly mimic the corner trim on a '53 Corvette, sit below combination HID and halogen headlights which are protected by real metal gravel guards. Between those headlights, a C1 inspired Corvette emblem is perfectly integrated at the front of a custom contoured hood which flows to clear, factory glass and a factory double-bubble roof. At the sides of the car, custom front fenders hold real metal accents behind redesigned marker lights, factory doors hold body-matched sport mirrors above real metal moldings, and custom rear fenders ride above factory rockers which still house functional Z06 brake ducts. At the back of the car, a custom trunk lid sits between clear, chrome trimmed tail lights which hang above more C1 Corvette inspired corner trim and faux tail pipes that cleverly house the cars reverse bulbs. At the center of the trunk, a chrome tag bracket sits above a broad, real metal trim spear and great looking stainless exhaust tips which are a huge upgrade from typical factory-black C5 pipes. This 1953CE isn't some generic Corvette that's had a few whimsical retro parts bolted on; it was built from day one to be an OEM quality conversion which pays tribute to 50 years of American performance.
Sharing it's basic all-aluminum architecture with GMs revolutionary LS1 Generation III V8, the LS6 under this 1953CE's hood utilizes a revised oiling system, a higher lift and bigger duration camshaft, aluminum alloy flat top pistons, sodium filled valves, a high performance intake manifold, larger fuel injectors, a high flow mass airflow sensor, coil near plug ignition, and a Vortex cold air induction to create serious 10.5:1 compression and a stout 405 horsepower. As one of the sweetest small blocks ever designed, GMs Generation III V8 revs easily, pulls to redline effortlessly, and is perfectly happy trundling around town at 1000 RPM. I know a few purists will disagree, but I think the LS engines are probably the greatest motor GM has ever produced. Despite consistently delivering blistering track performance, this LS6 passes all emissions tests, drives like a commuter car, and still pulls down 28 MPG on the highway; what more could you ask for? From its traditional red fuel rail covers to its pristine wiring and fresh belts, this Corvettes LS6 has been fastidiously maintained and likely hasn't seen any inclement weather during its entire 10 year existence. The ultra-clean components throughout are proof of the easy, weekend cruiser life the car has led. And after the detail job we gave it here at RK Motors, it probably even looks better than it did on the showroom floor!
Take a look under this Corvette and you'll find a hydroformed chassis and well-maintained suspension which benefits from the addition of GMs second generation Active Handling system. Active Handling is a stability control feature which works in conjunction with the vehicle's anti-lock brakes and traction control system to measure lateral acceleration, yaw rate and steering wheel position to prevent understeer and oversteer. The suspension hardware itself is a tried and true double A-arm front and transverse leaf rear set up which provides a compact and lightweight skeleton; and at the corners, giant vented rotors are clamped by multi-piston calipers which have been coated in bright red paint and stamped with modern “Corvette” scripts. Like most modern Corvettes, this car strikes that perfect balance between bone shaking firm and Lexus soft, yet still provides amazing grip which would be right at home under a purpose-built track car. Power flows through a Z06-specific Tremec T56 M12 6-speed manual transmission to snappy 3.42 gears which ride a Getrag differential at the back of the car. Spent gases are handled by free flowing LS6-specific manifolds which rumble through a great sounding Corsa cat back exhaust system. Rolling stock consists of like-new 17 inch front and 18 inch rear chrome 10 spoke Corvette wheels which wear 265/40 and 295/35 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 extended mobility tires.
Inside the car you'll find a durable and impressive Ebony leather interior which is clean and to the point. All the plastics are fresh, cohesive, exhibit none of the trademark thinning and cracking of most 'big window' GM cars and fit well against the cars thoughtfully placed controls. Inside the dash, easy to read gauges sit above a strong dual-zone climate control system and a standard Delco AM/FM/CD player which shoots tunes through big Bose speakers. The “Z06” branded leather buckets are power-adjustable and extremely comfortable for long hauls, but they might be a little slippery if you're going to put this car on the track every weekend. Below the seats, like-new carpet, which displays no thinning or staining, is protected by carpeted mats; and above the seats, a tight black headliner stretches across the bubbled roof from door to door. In front of the driver, a pristine factory steering wheel sits between a factory shifter which has been topped with a white cue ball knob and a nice set of billet aluminum pedals. And behind the driver, the cars clean carpeted trunk provides adequate room for an overnight get-away.
Naturally, all the cars appropriate documentation and accessories are included with the sale. The new buyer will receive the original owner's manual, paperwork for the Corsa exhaust system and the cars two original keys and fobs.
In terms of bang for the buck, you just can't beat a Corvette Z06. They're faster than 95% of the cars on the road, they have killer handling, they're durable, comfortable, and hell, they even get good gas mileage. And when you throw in a killer OEM appearance package like the 1953CE, it adds a level of appeal and exclusivity that simply can't be beat. No, this Corvette isn't a 'put it away forever' collector piece; it's a car that you can, and should enjoy every chance you get, because it'll make even the most boring commute an absolute blast!
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What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!