GM have come up with a winner. If you're in the market for a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1, they're now offering a unique owner experience; you can help assemble your vehicle's own engine yourself. They call it their Build Your Own Engine program, and it'll set you back a lofty $5,800 for the priveledge. Interesting, because - isn't that their job? I mean when you pay for a new vehicle, you're paying for all of it. Surely if you're getting to do some of their work for them, they ought to discount the price of the car?
The program is possible because the engines for those two models are hand-assembled rather than put together by robots. This means you can get down and dirty with their technicians and get hands on with the engine that will power your own car. You even get a special nameplate.
There is an aspect of this story that hasn't been discussed yet though. Two actually. First - the warranty. If anything goes wrong with the engine, will GM cover it or will they simply say "well you built it - not our problem"?
And second - resale value. Would you buy a Corvette with an engine built by the previous owner? Didn't think so.