Most of us dream of how proud we’d be to own a Corvette, no matter what year it was. Imagine your pride if you owned not one but three ... and each was a different generation.
Mike Bell is one such proud owner of three Corvettes. When looking at his cars, not only are you eyeing three different decades of America’s most famous sports car, you’re looking at more than $250,000 of high-performance sports car muscle.
The generations represented are a 1996 Grand Sport coupe, a 2015 ZO-6 and a 1963 Stingray Cobra Killer.
Mike has owned the Grand Sport for 18 years, the Stingray five years, and he purchased the ZO-6 brand-new last year. He is a 38-year member of the National Council of Corvette Clubs, the SCCA Corvette Club of America, Hoosier Corvette Club and the Murat Shriners Corvette Club.
The Grand Sport is rare C4 fourth-generation Corvette, and Mike’s is even rarer. There were only 1,000 produced, his was No. 723. The car featured the LT4 engine and an Admiral Blue paint job with white stripes and red hash marks on the front fender. It also included black five-spoke wheels. Of those 1,000, 90 were convertibles – all with Torch Red interior.
Only 80 coupes like Mike’s came with a Torch Red interior. 1996 was the first year for Chevrolet’s new 330 horsepower LT4 350 cubic-inch engine, and it only came with a six-speed manual transmission. It came with every available option and is in all-original condition. He’s displayed it at several car shows, winning two Best of Shows.
The ZO-6 is a C7 seventh- and current generation Corvette. It has the new LT4 supercharged 6.2 liter (378 cubic inches) V-8 engine, which is certified at 650 horsepower. Mike has installed a Granatelli supercharger cooler, which boosts his horsepower to 700.
The ZO-6 is the most powerful production car ever from General Motors. It has a seven-speed manual transmission and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and slows from 60-0 mph in 99 feet, the best of any production car by GM. Mike installed ground effects and a front spoiler.
The Stingray is a C2 second-generation Corvette, and Mike’s is a replica of the Cobra Killer – Miss Blue Bell – of which only five were built. Mike calls it “old-school, modern tech.” It’s an authentic 1963 Stingray body on an all-tube chassis frame. The car was totally gutted and rebuilt from the frame up.
It has a 1989 Corvette ZR-1 active-hydraulic suspension and an 18-point roll cage and hydraulic adjustable air-brakes with the adjustment knob on the center console. The cars came with two available racing hoods, one called the European, which featured a raised hood with louvers; or the Daytona hood, like Mike’s, with the raised hood and air-induction scoops. It has a DART SB big block 427 Stroker engine with Hogan sidetrack fuel-injection intake. It has a Merrimack six-speed transmission with DANA 3:73:1 rear gear. It’s street legal but race-ready and runs on 93 octane gasoline. This car has won numerous awards in several categories.
Mike regularly displays his cars at shows and cruise-ins throughout central Indiana, and he drives all three on a regular basis … just as they were meant to be.