Still, owning a Z06 development mule is undeniably cool.
The new Corvette Z06 is admittedly pretty neat. There's not much to complain about with a massive flat-plane V8 behind your head. But soon, a lot more people will have them. This Z06 (pictured here), however, is truly rare. It's a C6 generation and the first one that GM ever made. Because of that, it's arguably the most special Z06 made in the last 15 years.
GM built this Z06 at its Bowling Green, Kentucky factory on February 4, 2005. It is the definition of an early build, and while it has a serial number, this Z06 doesn't even have a VIN. On top of that, this development mule hit pretty much every major race track in Europe, setting lap records along the way.
Mecum, where the Z06 is up for auction with no reserve, says these tracks include the Nurburgring, Autobahn, Spa-Francorchamps, and Virginia International Raceway. You can even see stickers in the window from the car's Nurburgring stint. There, the Z06 set a lap record more than a decade ago.
At the time, having a Corvette hit a lap record on the 'Ring was truly insane, and this car was competing with the likes of the 997 generation 911 GT3 lap-for-lap. The Z06's lap time was 7:42.99, a far cry from the sub-7-minute laps we see nowadays, but a record on the 'Ring is a record on the 'Ring.
The Z06 was a high watermark for American cars at the time. When it was produced, the Z06's LT7 V8 was the highest-revving pushrod engine ever built. On top of that, the LS7 was the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine GM built. Combine that with the absurd Nurburging lap times, and 200 mph top speed, and the C6 Z06 is arguably the most influential front-engine Z06 built.
There is, of course, a catch to owning Corvette history. As with so many production mules that go up for private sale, this Z06 can't be registered with your local DMV, nor can it be driven on public roads. Still, it's one hell of a track car.