1978 – Bill Tower, of Plant City, Florida buys Grand Sport #005 from Dave Erwin
by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 24, 1978 – Bill Tower, of Plant City, Florida
buys Grand Sport #005 from Dave Erwin
Dateline December 2015: Duntov’s Grand Sport program is arguably one of the most beloved Corvette stories of all time for several reasons. It was the ultimate “could have been” Corvette program. The basic design of the Grand Sport was fine for 1962, when pencil was first put to paper to create Duntov’s beast. But road racing was developing at such a fast pace that by the time Roger Penske owned one of the Grand Sport Roadsters and raced at Sebring in 1966, the car was seriously outdated.
Fortunately, the cars were not sent to the crusher and all five were eventually sold to privateers. By the mid-1970 hardly anyone knew the whereabouts of the Grand Sports and like most used racecars, the Grand Sports were modified, chopped up, changed, and basically left as old Corvette relics. But here’s the miracle part. Gradually all five Grand Sports found their way into the hands of people who knew what they had and how important the cars were to the history of the Corvette.
Bill Tower was one of the first to buy a Grand Sport and bring it back to its former racing glory. Tower was the man, not only is he a former Chevrolet engineer, he drag raced the American Bandstand Top Fueler “Rat Trap, and worked on the Space Shuttle launch program. All five grand Sports are restored, alive, well, and still make thunder. In 2003 all five cars gathered at the Amelia Island Concours in Florida.