WOT Three Years Ago: Stunning ’62 Corvette Custom, Panamera Laps ‘Ring Faster Than CTS-V Sedan
July 13, 2009 – Three years ago today, the head of the Presidential Auto Task Force stepped down, a custom-built 1962 Corvette caught our eye, and the Porsche Panamera set a Nurburgring lap record for sedans. Honda turned to its F1 engineers to develop hybrid technology while Bob Lutz was still pushing to get the Pontiac G8 rebadged as the Chevrolet Caprice. Check out the stories WOT covered three years ago below.
Presidential Auto Task Force Head Steven Rattner Steps Down – Presidential Auto Task Force leader Steven Rattner stepped down after leading General Motors and Chrysler through Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filings. Ron Bloom replaced Rattner, who fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner, to oversee the day-to-day affairs of GM and Chrysler as they turned themselves around to pay back the government loans.
Stunning 1962 Corvette Wins “Street Machine of the Year” – The 1962 Chevrolet Corvette-based “C1RS” built by the Roadster Shop won the 2009 Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Nearly every part of the car was custom-made including the aluminum front end as well as the carbon fiber and billet trim. The car also had a 618-hp LS7 engine with 640 lb-ft of torque as well as large Brembo brakes hiding behind custom Forgeline wheels.
Porsche Panamera Laps Nurburgring in 7:56; Faster Than CTS-V – The Porsche Panamera Turbo laid down a 7:56 Nurburgring lap, beating the Cadillac CTS-V sedan by three seconds and the BMW M5 by 17 seconds. At the time, the Ferrari F430 was only one second quicker than the Porsche sedan while the Mercedes SLR McLaren and Ford GT were only four seconds faster around the Green Hell.
Honda Using Former F1 Engineers to Speed Next-Gen Hybrid Development – Takanobu Ito, Honda’s then-new CEO, wanted the automaker to focus on new hybrid tech because of industry trends. Instead of using diesel engines on medium and large vehicles, Honda planned to develop a hybrid system that uses two electric motors. Before long, we expect to see production-spec versions of the Acura RLX hybrid and Honda Accord plug-in hybrid.
Too Good to Waste: Lutz Says G8 May Live as Chevy Caprice; Z/28 Likely Dead – The Pontiac G8 was eliminated along with the rest of the Pontiac brand during GM’s financial woes. Bob Lutz suggested that a variant of the Holden-Commodore based G8 could return, rebadged as a Chevrolet Caprice. Now, the Caprice is offered to police fleets around the country and the rear-drive Chevrolet SS sedan is on the way.
By Jason Udy