Vintage Vehicles

Vintage Corvettes worth as much as $1 million damaged in Houston explosion

A Houston repair shop had 15 vintage Corvettes worth as much as $1 million damaged in a Houston area explosion.

Photo by Getty Images

The owner of a Houston, Texas area vehicle restoration shop is saying that as many as 15 vintage Corvettes may have been lost when the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing facility exploded on Friday.

Gordon Andrus, the owner of Houston Corvette Service, told CNN that his business occupies four buildings across the street from Watson Grinding and Manufacturing at 4537 Steffani Lane in Houston

The shop is a self-described "full-service restoration and preservation workshop". The company's website shows a variety of projects that the company has worked on from a 1957 Corvette Fuel Roadster to a 1972 LS5 454 Red Chevelle.

Andrus says that two of the four buildings that house Houston Corvette Service have been destroyed. "The rest of street had very minor damage, but my two buildings are flattened," he told CNN.

He estimates the loss could be as much as $1 million worth of vehicles that were in progress at the time of the explosion.

In addition to the vehicles he was servicing for clients, a few of his own vehicles are trapped in the rubble. "Every car is insured, and we're in the business of repairing and restoring cars," he said. "We will make it right one way or another."

He has already notified all the owners whose vehicles were involved in the event.

An investigation into what caused the explosion is ongoing and could take months according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

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And all-electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Earlier this year, General Motors very quietly teased its forthcoming electric full-size pickup truck. Today, the automaker is giving us a closer look with a new teaser video.

The video accompanies an announcement that says that the Silverado electric pickup will be built at the company's Factory Zero assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. The Silverado electric vehicle (EV) will be built alongside the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV, which debuted this weekend.

GM has designed the Silverado EV to be an electric vehicle from the ground up, riding on the company's Ultium Platform and keeping Silverado's capability in focus. The automaker says that the truck will offer more than 400 miles of all-electric range on a full charge.

The company confirms that retail and fleet versions will be offered.

"The vehicles coming from Factory ZERO will change the world, and how the world views electric vehicles," said General Motors President Mark Reuss. "The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true supertrucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy's loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike."

What will it be called? The teaser photo GM released was labeled "Silverado E". Stay tuned for confirmation on the name.

GM plans to deliver more than 1 million electric vehicles globally by 2025 and earn EV market leadership in North America. With the company's Ultium Platform, virtual development tools and technology, GM has reduced vehicle development times by nearly 50 percent to just 26 months.

The GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and Cruise Origin will also be built at Factory Zero. Reports indicate that a forthcoming Cadillac Escalade BEV could also be built there and be ready for dealerships around the same time as the Hummer EV SUV.

To ready for its new products, GM has invested $2.2 billion in a complete renovation and retooling at the historic GM manufacturing facility. The project is the largest ever for a GM manufacturing site. The plant's paint and body shops and general assembly area are receiving comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. The plant has expanded to over 4.5 million square feet.

Late last year General Motors revealed details about many of the new electric vehicles it has in the pipeline.

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The first 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible off the line was auctioned for charity tonight.

Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson/Facebook

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan was a double beneficiary on Friday night. Proceeds from the sale of the first production 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition and the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible benefitted the charity. The winning bid for the C8 Corvette Convertible was $400,000.

The Corvette Convertible traces its roots back to the original 'Vette - the 1953 model was only available as a rag top. The modern C8 Corvette Convertible engineered the hard top to provide a quieter cabin, increased security, and a cleaner look than previous convertible designs. It can be activated at speeds u pro 30 mpg and retracts in 16 seconds.

The roof is powered by six electric motors — a Corvette first. A body-colored roof is standard, while Carbon Flash metallic-painted nacelles and roof are optional.

A divider glass window in the middle of the vehicle can be power adjusted with the top up or down. In addition to the roof, the car as the same rear spoiler used on the Stingray coupe's Z51 Performance Package, resulting in identical drag between the coupe and convertible with the top up.

The chassis was tweaked for the convertible, giving the convertible nearly the same performance as the coupe.

Like the Stingray coupe, the convertible is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible has a $68,495 starting MSRP.

Last year, Rick Hendrick, founder and CEO of Hendrick Companies, placed the winning bid for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray VIN 0001 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. All proceeds from that sale benefitted the Detroit Children's Fund, a nonprofit focused on high-potential investments to provide Detroit school children the opportunity to receive an excellent education.

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