General Motors has raised $2.325 million for charity, although the automaker didn't do it all on its own. It had a little help from none other than George W. Bush, plus auction house Barrett-Jackson.
The former president attended a Barrett-Jackson auction on Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona and personally dropped the hammer on the first retail 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition. The car was being sold to raise funds for the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, which helps rehabilitate post-9/11 veterans and their families.
Bush also signed the car for the buyer, who in this case was John Staluppi, owner of Atlantic Automotive Group. He paid a total $1.4 million.
George W. Bush helps sell 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition at Barrett-Jackson auction
GM also sold on the day the first retail 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. It went for $925,000, with the final bid coming from Rick Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group and owner of NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports. He's a regular at these auctions, having previously snapped up the first retail examples of the 2017 Acura NSX, the 2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE, and a handful of other cars.
The sale of the ZR1 benefited the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which works to support wounded veterans and builds mortgage-free smart homes through its Building for America’s Bravest program. The homes also help the most impaired veterans regain some independence.
The ZR1 is the current flagship of the Corvette range. It's available as either a coupe or convertible, and is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 delivering 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. The Carbon 65 Edition is an even more exclusive model. It can be ordered as either a Grand Sport or Z06, and only 650 will be built worldwide. Only one of these will have the signature of a former president of the United States, however.