Corvette Z06 offers special edition bearing Wil Cooksey's name

4/5/2008, 12:37 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Wil Cooksey bought the first new limited edition Corvette that rolled off the line at General Motors Corp.'s Bowling Green Assembly Plant earlier this year.

The former plant manager deserved it the 427 Limited Edition Z06 has his name on it.

"I own the first one," said Cooksey, who retired last month after 15 years.

The plant is only making 504 more of the special Corvettes, with a sticker price of $84,195.

Only 427 of them will be offered in the U.S. and Canada, with 78 more exported outside North America.

The limited edition sports car is an homage to the Stingray Corvette models of the mid-1960s that had 427 engines, according to General Motors. Each car carries a hood badge that is numbered and signed by Cooksey. The production of the 427s was announced in February.

New plant manager Paul Graham said the limited edition Corvette is a tribute to Cooksey.

"Everyone has been very excited about it. Obviously Wil has had a long history with the plant and his contribution to the Corvette and the Corvette Museum," Graham said.

A majority of the 427 models will be produced by the end of April, he said.

Besides a certificate of authenticity, the 427s feature a Crystal Red Tint coat exterior the first Z06 ever offered with a red metallic tint coat paint. Also, the vehicle has graphics on the hood and dashboard area that mimic the hood design and graphics offered with 1967 models equipped with the 427 engine.

Cooksey said he was honored by the special edition bearing his name.

"It's an awesome experience," Cooksey said. "I consider it an awesome honor to have my associates and team members and GM friends all over in the company to think enough of the work that I've been a part of keeping the legend alive and well that they would give me that honor."

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