BY SEAN SZYMKOWSKI as republished from GMAuthority.com
The phrase “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to” rings so true with the story of this C2 Corvette. Once upon a time, GM brass had the pull to have a car handcrafted to their own desires. Here is an excellent example of that.
In 1963 Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen, general manager of the Chevrolet brand since 1961, ordered a special Corvette for his personal use. But, it wasn’t to be any C2 Corvette. Bunkie had signed off on many important Corvette variants during his tenure up to 1967, something important to understand regarding this 1964 C2 Corvette’s significance.
The GM design department dreamed up a unique C2 Corvette for the boss man. The front end was entirely hand crafted, a reconfigured hood foreshadowed the 1965 model year, unique bumpers and an egg-create grille round out many of the exterior changes.
As if those design cues weren’t enough, Bunkie wanted a special exterior hue, too. Therefore, the 1964 Corvette was finished in Cadillac Du Pont Firefrost Blue. The color was mirrored on the wheels, the dashboard and the blue carpeting, which was also sourced from cousin Cadillac. Continue reading
Another famous Corvette race car makes THUNDER at RM Monterey!
Well I hope that you were able to catch some auction action, live from Monterey, California. High-end auctions, such as the RM and Mecum events draw some of the finest and most interesting cars in the world. For car lovers, these auctions are the proverbial box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.
Last year at the RM Monterey event there were five delightful Corvettes that went on the block – one stocker, a ‘60 Corvette with just 750 miles on the odometer and four Corvette race cars. For Corvette lovers, the star of last years show was the Greenwood Stars & Stripes 1969 427 ZL1 BF Goodrich racer that sold for $580,000.
This year the RM Monterey auction only had one Corvette and WOW, what’a beauty! Preauction estimates predicted that the car should sell for between $950,000 and $1,350,000! “Auctions” are arguably the ultimate expression of the economic free market. Sellers always have an idea as to how much they want for their cars, but when the gavel comes down, it’s the buyers that set the price. Granted, the economic downturn had depressed the prices of exotic cars over the last few years. Some would call it a price correction to rein in the wildly high prices of just a few years before the downturn.
One interesting factor for the Owens Corning Corvette, as compared to the Greenwood Corvette is the car’s pedigree. The Owens Corning Corvette is the winningest Corvette race car of all time with a staggering 22-straight wins! That’s like winning every race for over two years in today’s American Le Mans Series races. Could the Owens Corning record be broken? Sure, anything is possible. But it’s NOT likely.
When you watch the car auctions, there are two parts. First, the car is presented on stage with a detailed description of the car with images and sometimes video. Then the bidding action begins. Here’s how the auction action played out. Continue reading
A BIG weekend for Corvettes on the block!
It’s turning out to be a very interesting weekend for Corvettes at the high-end car auctions, with two big-time events going off at about the same time and area. I checked the RM Auctions website and saw that they have updated their home page and added a “VIEW AUCTION LIVE” link at the top of their homepage. So, they made it easy for us. Auction action starts at 6:60 PM Pacific time (9:30 Eastern Time). If you click the page link before the scheduled start time, all you’ll see is a black box where the streaming video will be. This won’t change until the event starts. After the feed begins, look for the button to Fill Screen, kick back, and enjoy!
If you’re mainly interested in the Owens-Corning 1968 L88 racer, the lot number is 141. The numbering begins with #101, a 1953 Hudson Hornet. So with 40 cars before the Owens-Corning car, it’ll be a few hours before the old war horse Corvette comes thundering upon the stage.
But if you love old cars and racing machines, the auction is a treat. Not only do you get to see the numbers ring up, but before the bidding begins, they describe the car, show photos and videos, as well as letting you get a good look at the car on the turntable. Most of the cars at the RM event are really special and have been lovingly restored and cared for. The marque almost doesn’t matter, they’re just wonderful machines. Continue reading
A stunning collection of photos of one of the toughest racing Corvettes ever!
RM Auctions is putting on 11 events for 2012 and the Monterey auction is just around the corner. Last year five Corvettes went on the block, four racers and one stocker, with all but one finding a new home. Of course, last year’s BIG star for Corvette fans was the Greenwood Stars and Stripes 427 ZL-1 #49 Corvette that went for $580,000.
This year there’s only one Corvette and WOW is it a beauty with a story. The Owens-Corning 1968 L88 Corvette was one of the fiercest Corvette racers ever. Raced by Jerry Thompson and Tony DeLorenzo, the car scored an astonishing 22 victories in a row! The team fielded two L88 Corvettes and at one point took 1st and 2nd in 14 of the 22 races won. In the March 2010 issue of Corvette Magazine, Jerry Thompson was quoted saying, “They worked. That doesn’t mean that they were easy to drive. The engines had so much torque and power that most guys were intimidated by them.”
When Corvette Repair performed the restoration on the car, Kevin Mackay and his team took the car back to its 1971 24 Hours of Daytona livery. The car has been beautifully photographed for the RM Auction catalog. RM Auction publishes a paper book/catalog for around $50, but they also publish a digital version through ZMags at no charge. Every car that’s up for auction is in the catalog with first class pictures and wonderfully written articles about each car. The catalog by itself is a delight, and you can’t beat the price.
To access the digital catalog, Continue reading
Subtitle: A Piece of Corvette racing history could be yours! How deep are YOUR pockets?
Sometimes you get a little “I wonder” thought. Yesterday I realized that the RM Auctions Monterey event would be coming up soon and wondered if there might be any interesting Corvettes going on the block. Last year there were five interesting Corvettes that were up for auction – four race cars and one one street Corvette. But the big splash was the auction of the John Greenwood Stars and Strips BF Goodrich 427 ZL-1-powered Corvette racer that went for $580,000. What’a show!
Usually, the cars are carefully pushed on the revolving stage, but for the Greenwood Corvette, the big ZL-1 was fired up off stage, sounding like an approaching thunder storm, and driven on stage. “Seven hundred horsepower, ladies and gentlemen!” said the auctioneer. And the crowd went wild! Yea, it was FUN.
So I checked in with the RM Auctions Monterey website to see if any Vettes were going on the block. But alas, I only found one (as of this date), but what’a beauty. Here’s your chance to buy one of the all-time great Corvette race cars, the ‘68 Owens-Corning Fiberglass L88 A/Production Corvette. This car won 22 consecutive races, qualified on the pole in most of its races, and scooped up the A/Production Championship two times!
The car is currently owned by John Thompson (no relation to race car driver, Jerry Thompson). In ‘07 Thompson sent the car to Corvette Repair for a restoration back to its Daytona ‘71 configuration. Kevin Mackay and his expert team completed the work in ‘08. In ‘09 the car won the NCRS American Heritage Award and was later one of the Chip’s Choice cars on display at the Corvettes at Carlisle Show. Continue reading
The once obscure L88s are now highly valued Corvettes!
It’s always an exciting thing when the heavy guns from the Corvette’s past go on the auction block. Auctions can be a quirky thing, be it a local farm auction or a high-level exotic cars auction. On one hand, the final sale price is a direct reflection of what the market place is willingness to pay. On the other hand, two people can get caught up in the adrenaline of the auction experience and drive up a final sale price. Either way, they’re always fun to watch to get a sense of the market value of Corvettes.
Keith Cornett at www.CorvetteBlogger.com does an excellent job of covering Corvette auction action. Well, it seems that there’s an interesting trend developing in the Corvette world over L88 Corvettes. L88s with the appropriate petegree are getting just just north of $600,000! That’s VERY impressive, considering that new, the cars cost in the neighborhood of $6,500 back in the day.
The L88 option was Mr. Duntov’s gift to his beloved Corvette racers. Just because GM didn’t want to go racing didn’t mean that Duntov couldn’t design and develop parts for independent racers to use. The L88 package was the ultimate racer kit for its day. On paper and in person, the L88 didn’t look all that spectacular. The only visual clue as to what lurked under the car’s body was the special cold-air-induction hood that was essentially a dome on top of the big-block hood’s dome. That was the ONLY visual clue. On paper the L88 was grossly underrated at just 430-horsepower. The real power number was never “officially” published, but it was estimated to be in the high 500horsepower range. Continue reading
Here’s the latest installment from the Illustrated Corvette Series VETTE Magazine Column
It was early last July that Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair sent me a link to the RM Auctions online version of their Monterey Auction Catalog. Kevin and I have had many conversations about early Corvette race cars, so he knows that I’m a big fan. Any time a Greenwood Corvette goes on the block it’s big news, so I posted a story about the auction right away. For the next 6 weeks or so, the car magazine and Corvette blogs were on fire in anticipation of the auction. RM Auctions broadcasts their auctions online, so I stayed up and watched the coverage and sale of the Greenwood ZL-1. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun. Here’s the post of the auction coverage.
Since the car has so much historical importance, I decided to cover the car in my VETTE Magazine monthly column, “The Illustrated Corvette Series.” The January 2012 issue of VETTE just came out, so I’m sharing the story and art with you below. Enjoy! – Scott
Illustrated Corvette Series No. 175: #49 Greenwood ‘69 427 ZL-1 Racer
“Stars and Stripes On The Block!”
Expectations were high when it was announced that the No. 49 Greenwood BF Goodrich “Stars and Stripes” Corvette was going on the block at the 2011 RM Auction Monterey event. Some estimated that the car would sell for $750,000 to $950,000. In ‘09 the Gulf One ‘63 Z06 Corvette racer went for an astonishing $1.113 Million! So there was quite a buzz in the Corvette community.
John and Burt Greenwood knew all about Duntov’s “racer kits” and like many others, took maximum advantage of the special hardware. The Greenwood boys had another advantage. Sr. Greenwood had been a WW II fighter pilot and worked at the GM Tech Center. Their Dad would sometimes take young John and Burt to work on Saturdays, to let the lads see the experimentals and prototypes. It was better than an invitation to Elvis’ house! Continue reading
Greenwood Stars and Stripes ‘69 Corvette Racer & Four Other Corvettes Go On the Block at RM Auctions Monterey Event 8.19.2011
Hot Vette Race Car Auction Action in Monterey!
It’s the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week in Monterey, California. On Friday, August 19, 2011 five Corvettes will be going on the block at the RM Auctions Monterey event.. Of the five cars, four are race cars, with the most prominent being the John Greenwood 1969 427 ZL-1 BF Goodrich “Stars and Stripes” race car. The other race cars include a ‘59 Fuelie, a ‘61 Fuelie, and a ‘73 SCCA/IMSA Coupe. The lone stocker is a black ‘60 Corvette.
If it happens that you will not be attending the event, fret not! You can watch the auction action LIVE! If you go to the RM Auctions homepage, HERE. Look for the “VIEW LIVE AUCTION” link with the green button with the triangle in the middle. The auctioning fun begins at 6:30 Pacific time and will run for four to five hours. Of the five Corvettes that will be going on the block, the Greenwood car will probably get the highest bids. Pre-auction expectations are that the car will go off for between $750,000 to $950,000! With the current economy, it will be interesting to see how high the numbers go.
Here’s a review of the five Corvettes…
The Greenwood car is Lot #144. For full details, CLICK HERE.