When you own a Corvette, it seems like there is always something to do, whether it's keeping up the appearance, routine maintenance, modifications, or improvements of some sort. Fortunately, for most of us, it's a labor of love. And if you're fortunate enough to own more than one Vette, well then there's plenty to do with your cars on the weekend.

Here are 18 projects you can tackle and complete over a weekend. Most of them take under an hour or two from start to finish, and the nice thing about them is you don't have to be a master mechanic, or need a NASCAR toolbox full of tools, and you don't need a lot of cash, either.

In an effort to bring you the latest information, a listing of the top 20 custom auto parts purchased according to the SEMA 2006 Trends and Forecasts Quarterly Update for the third quarter of 2006 is on the next page.

Based on this newly released information, we selected projects that would be consistent (as much as possible) with the current industry trends as listed in this survey. For example:

* Custom wheels (No. 7)-We upgrade a midyear's stock "turbine" wheels with sexy, faux knock-off centers (you can also do this with sharks if you want to use midyear wheels).
* Exterior Lighting (No. 15)-We replace a C5's stock taillights with super-bright LED units.
* Ignition Wires/Spark Plugs (No. 9)-We upgrade to high-output E3 spark plugs.
* Stereo improvements (No. 10, 11, 13, 17, & 18)-We install a radio-noise suppressor.
* Battery/Battery Wraps (No. 20)-We install a battery quick disconnect, a computer memory-saver bypass circuit, refurbish a battery tray, and install a battery acid mat.

There are plenty of other projects that don't neatly fit into any particular pigeonhole, but are easy-to-do and worthwhile, nonetheless.

Some of these projects are generation-specific (e.g., midyear or C5), others, although shown on a particular car, apply to any year Corvette. Before we get started, however, there are a few things you may want to gather to make the going easier.

I, personally, am not crazy about getting my hands filthy, so I'm a big fan of disposable gloves whenever I'm doing "dirty" work. I also like to be comfortable, so a roll-about stool or bench to sit on may also be useful. good old WD-40, a perennial staple of my toolbox, always comes in handy for one thing or another, as well as a basic complement of tools, including screwdrivers and Torx drivers, wrenches, sockets, and ratchets. And if you enjoy listening to music, by all means turn on the radio, stereo, or iPod, and have a bottle of water or can of soda on hand. I don't advise imbibing alcoholic beverages any time you're working on your Corvette, using machinery, or anything else that requires your full attention and faculties. save the "brewskies" for when the job is done!

Top 20 Specialty Equipment Parts And Accessories Purchased By Automotive Enthusiasts
Product 2006 2005
1. Air Intake-Performance Air Filter Replacement 49.8% 34.2%
2. Exhaust Kit-Pipes/Muffler/and so on 44.4% 55.9%
3. Air Intake-Cold Air Intake Conversion 37.2% 24.5%
4. Tires-Performance 36.1% 24.7%
5. Alarm System 34.4% 26.9%
6. Window Tinting/Lamination 33.9% 32.0%
7. Wheels-Custom 33.1% 43.8%
8. Springs/Shocks/Suspension/Sway Bars 32.7% 29.6%
9. Ignition Wires/Spark Plugs 30.4% 17.7%
10. Stereo-Amplifier 28.6% 27.8%
11. Stereo-Midrange Speakers 28.0% 29.6%
12. Tires-Plus size 27.6% 8.3%
13. Stereo-Head Unit 27.3% N/A
14. Exhaust Headers 27.1% 15.1%
15. Exterior Lighting-Headlights/Taillights/Lenses/Light Kit 27.1% 20.5%
16. Floor Mats-Custom 26.8% 38.3%
17. Stereo-Subwoofer 26.8% 23.0%
18. Stereo-CD Changer 26.4% N/A
19. Gauges-Custom 26.0% 17.9%
20. Battery/Battery Wraps 25.7% N/A
Source: SEMA