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All Corvettes Are Red [Paperback]

James Schefter
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1998 Inside the Rebirth of an American Legend
No other American car carries the mystique of the Corvette, and early in 1997, General Motors unveiled the stunning fifth-generation Corvette to universal acclaim. But GM's triumph was hard-won -- the legendary sports car had nearly fallen victim to internal company politics and a squeeze on profits. In this candid and compelling book, journalist James Schefter reveals the inside story of the people who saved and reinvented the Corvette, from the drawing board to the assembly line.
For eight years, Schefter enjoyed unprecedented access to every part of GM, including areas off-limits to many company vice presidents. A true insider, he observed the new Corvette's odyssey from sketch to clay model to prototype to production vehicle. He accompanied test drivers across scorching deserts and snow-packed mountains. And he came to know the fiercely dedicated team of designers, engineers, and executives who fought and achieved their dream: a new Corvette that is better conceived, better built, and less expensive than its predecessors. The Corvette's odyssey to reclaim its glory is a thrilling testament to the endurance of American spirit.

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Washington Times Smartly written and extensively researched....Readers get to see a world few will ever know.

Joe Collins Booklist A TRUE LABOR OF LOVE....Chevy and Corvette lovers and especially sports-car enthusiasts will lap up this first-ever behind-the-scenes look at GM.

Paul Lienert Automobile Schefter traveled everywhere with the Corvette team....The result is an insider's account not just of the [1997] Corvette's birth, but of the whole agonizing and often arcane product-development process at GM.

Ken Gross Automotive Industries That Schefter persisted with the story is as much a tribute to crack journalism as the latest 'Vette is to classic sports cars.

Kirkus Review [A] fly-on-the-wall peek at General Motors....Schefter is allowed to prowl around the hallways of GM, focusing on the design and launching of he 1977 Corvette....It's the attention to insider details that makes this account interesting for Corvette enthusiasts and pedestrians alike.

Publishers Weekly A candid look at the tortuous, crazy, unpredictable process of creating a car....Crammed with an abundance of technical and engineering detail, All Corvettes Are Red will engage auto enthusiasts....

Library Journal Schefter was granted unprecedented access....A revealing tale of intrigue and the inner workings of corporate America is the result.

About the Author

James Schefter's work has appeared in such publications as Time, Life, Popular Science, Paris Match, and Reader's Digest. He lives in Park City, Utah, and spent at least two weeks a month in Detroit since 1988, researching and writing this book.

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John Cafaro's secret room opened in August 1988. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
I was greatly disappointed with this book. While I applaud the detail which Mr. Schefter provides regarding the complete makeover of the Corvette, on the other hand he simply throws pages and pages of dry rhetoric without adequately exploring the people behind the scenes. As with any corporation, GM has its share of room-filling egos and "All Corvettes are Red" showcases many of the windbags at GM, but the book doesn't go far enough to show just how these powerful, influential people are swayed by their own opinions and beliefs about how to rebuild an American icon. The reader is treated to situations that pop up out of thin air without regard to origin, such as when GM was considering killing the Corvette altogether. Schefter stumbles and mumbles about "costcutting" and other economic realities without really looking at the people pulling the strings.
This book could have been much more exciting and engrossing if it had been told from the standpoint of the people involved, rather than simply an empirical view of a car being built out of thin air.
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By A Customer
I will really keep this short: "if you are a car guy/girl, a banker, an ad-maker, an executive with any large company, an accountant, or just someone who likes to see how American industry "really works" and makes decisions...this book is a MUST." Put it this way, if you read BusinessWeek or Road & Track...you gotta read this great book. Corvette was almost killed by GM for sound business reasons in the early 1990s. They brought over Dave Hill from Cadillac to run the re-birth project, and his standards of quality control and planning allowed the new Vette (the 1997-98 "c5") to rival Porsche and other exotic euro-cars. In fact, I keep a little photo of a red c5 on my desk at work to remind me of all the business lessons learned from Hill and his Corvette team. I am a major Fortune 500 banker with an MBA, but so many of the lessons I learned in the book made sense to me in a way MBA courses don't. For me, this is one of the best stories about saving an American icon. So many of them are being lost and we will soon lose (in 2001 or so) the Camaro/Firebird (f-bodies) according to industry insiders. Read "ACAR" and see how close the country came to losing its beloved Corvette. Enjoy it...even if you never buy a Vette. Personally, I'll buy the poor-man's Vette, the Camaro, which was also designed I learned in the book, by John Cafaro, the c5 designer. See you...on the road! (The story of the "All Corvettes Are Red" title is also priceless, but too long to tell here. Buy it and see!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rare inside view of GM and the auto industry July 21 1998
Being a two-time Corvette owner, I anxiously awaited the publication of this book, and had my copy on pre-order with a local bookstore. I had it read in under a week. I was not disappointed. Rather I was quite surprised.
"ACAR" is the story of the Fifth Generation of Chevrolet's Corvette, nicknamed C5. The author was given access to behind-the-scenes meetings during the entire development of the C5, albeit under gag orders until publication and until the C5 actually made production. In fact, James had access to parts of GM that some VP's couldn't even get to.
The book is a great read. The C5 was nearly cancelled on several occasions, mainly due to money problems with a struggling GM. You learn about GM culture, especially in management, that helped cause many of these problems. You learn a lot about what it takes anybody to create a new car. And you learn the dedication of a few engineers and managers who risked careers to keep the project going.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book But Lacking Chronology May 14 2002
I am a Corvette owner and lover and hence was amazed at the insider details covered in this book about the car I love. But I can't rate it higher than three stars because I find that the author has an annoying habit of parenthetically shifting forward and backward in time. I had a very difficult time following what happened when.
Often he mentions a name in the middle of a story then proceeds back in time ten years (or longer in some cases) to give you this person's life history. By the time you return to the story, you can't remember who, what, or where you left off from. I found this so annoying that I had to read the book in small sessions and, quite frankly, gave up on trying to understand the chronology of the events depicted.
On the flip side, if you're a Corvette lover like me, I don't think you will find a more accurate description of what happens behind the scenes in the design, engineering, and production of America's sports car.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, but tiresome in others May 19 1999
By A Customer
This book is really good at depicting the in and out, day to day struggles that go along with making a car. It is also, however, at times nothing more than a breathless fluff piece for Corvette. It seems that every chapter has at least a paragraph describing the raw sex appeal of a Corvette. That's fine to a point, but it got tiresome by the end including chapters devoted to Corvette lovers, their Corvette shows and museums (the chapters in this book are pretty short, though).
The detail paid to the problems that came up was interesting and it's impressive to see all that goes on.
I think a better car book is "Car" by Mary Walton that discusses the '96 Taurus. Better written and less gushing (but then, how much gushing could be done for a Taurus anyway?).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book!
All Corvettes are Red has to be one of the finest books ever written on the subject of what it takes to create a car. Read more
Published on May 20 2007 by Michael D. Nicola
5.0 out of 5 stars Amaizing inside information on the C5 development
Even though I don't own a C5 (yet) it was very interesting to see how the C5 was born from the C4 (which I own) and many of it's short commings were over come. Read more
Published on March 30 2003 by Phillip Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars American Muscle (and I don't mean just horse power!)
This is a great book. In depth, behind the scenes, look at how the C5 became America's greatest sports car. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2001 by Steve Teglovic
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an insightful book about the rebirth of the dying ca
This book gives us an insight as to how to revive or restructure the flattered product or economy. It should be studied carefully to gain a vision of why C5 is so successful and... Read more
Published on July 6 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - Buy a C5 Today!!
As an avid vette fan since my teens, I finished this book in less than a week (I usually take months to read a book cover to cover). Read more
Published on June 24 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to put down.
Expecting a book about a car? Wrong. This one is about people reinventing a car and it's loaded with heroes, villains, and characters that you'll both respect and detest. Read more
Published on March 10 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep into C5 Corvette's birth, and all of GM's warts.
This is the real story of the 5th generation Corvette, told by the guy who was the 'fly on the wall'. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 1998
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