Corvette Timeline Tales: Aug 16, 1969, Astoria-Chas 1967 L88 Corvette Sets A/Sports Production Nat’l Record
August 16, 1969 – AHRA Summer Nationals, at the New York National Speedway, John Mahler drives the Astoria-Chas 1967 L88 Corvette to a A/Sports Production class record.
Dateline: 8.16.15 – Charlie Snyder was a car crazy Long Island teenager who came of age when Joel Rosen and Marty Schorr launched their Baldwin-Motion Phase III Supercars. Schorr was also editor of CARS Magazine, so the enterprise also got plenty of ink via road tests, how-to tech features, and advertising. Snyder bought a new Marlboro Maroon ’67 427/435 Roadster and quickly turned in into a street racer, then a drag car.
Unfortunately, Charlie was drafted and killed in Vietnam, but his friends back home fulfilled his dream by setting a national record with his “Ko-Motion Astoria-Chas” Corvette, with an 11.04 @ 129-mph run. Later, John Mahler ran a 10.47 et at a local track. Then the car was trailered to Chas’ sister’s house, garaged, and covered for the next 31 years! The car was eventually sold to businessman Glen Spielberg who was just a wee lad living on Long Island when Charlie’s car was spending lots of time at the Motion performance shop. Spielberg bought the car from the Snyder family with the promise that he would never restore or race the car. Continue reading
Here’s what’s in the August 2015 issue of Vette Vues Magazine!
Dateline: 8.15.15 – The cover story for the August issue of Vette Vues is “Victory At Le Mans!” There’s an old saying in road racing that goes, “If you win the 12 Hours at Sebring or the 24 Hours at Daytona, all of America will know. But if you win the 24 Hours At le Mans, the WHOLE WORLD will know. The Corvette Racing Team scored their eighth Le Mans win since the debut arrival of the C5-R cars in 1999. BRAVISSIMO! Corvette Racing Team!
Feature stories in the August issue include:
Circle City Corvettes Caravan to the Beach – Article & Photos by Charley Robertson
Second Annual Indianapolis Grand Prix – Story by Tom Fielitz & Photos by Dave Estes
“Eyes On Design” In Detroit 2015 Show Coverage – Article & Photos by Wayne Elwood
“Corvette Milestones: August” – Story & Graphics by K. Scott Teeters
“The John Meyerhoff and Mary Carol Plott Corvette Love Affair, Pt 2” – Story and Photos by K. Scott Teeters Continue reading
Pratt & Miller Builds One Hell-of-a Corvette Race Car!
Dateline: 8.15.15 / Story by Jan Hyde, www. RegistryofCorvetteRaceCars.com VIDEO at the bottom of this post!
A story about the # 4 Pratt & Miller C5R-006 that we Corvette race car enthusiasts hope might inspire more collectors to share the rewards by taking their cars for an outing at the track. Expert Corvette Race Car specialists Nigel Dobbie (UK), Jonny Bens (BEL), Marwin Moonen (NE) and Wayne Ellwood (CN) contributed to this story. Nigel Dobbie is the author of Corvette Racing The GT1 years published in 2010 by www.silverwoodbooks.uk .”This car was put through the wringer!” in the words of Dan Binks, Pratt & Miller?s esteemed Crew Chief.
# 4 Racing in the ALMS 2002/2003 with the Corvette Racing Team
During the 2003 season, C5R-006 in the hands of Andy Pilgrim and Kelley Collins won the GTS class in the ALMS race at Road Atlanta on June 29.
Pratt & Miller completed chassis 006 (and sister car 005) in November 2001. It debuted at Sears Point on May 19, 2002 where Pilgrim and Collins finished second in class and won at Mosport later in the year. (Chassis 005 & 006 missed Le Mans because the team needed extra time to prep, ship overseas and test, drawing older Chassis 003 and 004 back into service). Continue reading
Corvette Mike’s Beautiful Video Presentation of the 1956 SR-2 Corvette Racer
Dateline: 7.21.15 “Corvette Mike” of Anaheim, California, the car dealer that ONLY sells used, refurbished, and restored Corvettes, produced this beautiful video of the stunning 1956 SR-2 Corvette Racer. I covered this car in Part 2 of my Vette Magazine “Corvette Experimental, Prototype, Concept, and Show Car Corvettes” series that ran in the December 2014 issue. That article is republished in its entirety at the bottom of this post.
VIDEO HERE: Continue reading
The 1974 C3 Corvette IMSA ‘Spirit Of Sebring’ Racer To Cross Block at Mecum Monterey Auction.
Editor’s Note: The Mecum Monterey Auction at the Hyatt Regency Montery, CA Hotel is August 13-15, 2015, Lot #R436
by Sean Szymkowski as republished from GM Authority.com
Dateline: 7.19.15 There are plenty of historic, and iconic, Corvettes roaming the lands, but when it comes to endurance racing, the 1974 C3 Corvette Spirit of Sebring race car is one of the most iconic Corvettes there is.
The 1974 C3 Corvette sees a unique wide body kit applied for aero duties, and is powered by the legendary L88 big-block V8 engine. But the engine wasn’t the only legendary piece to this vehicle. The 1974 Corvette IMSA racer was driver John Greenwood’s personal favorite, and was the only Greenwood vehicle to be raced under the team name. Continue reading
SPECIAL OFFER For John Greenwood Fans
For a limited time, we are offering 12, 11-inches by 17-inches art prints of the late John Greenwood’s racecars, as seen in my “Illustrated Corvette Series,” Vette Magazine monthly column.
Dateline: 7-19-15 The Illustrated Corvette series has been in every issue of Vette Magazine since the spring of 1997, with over 220 installments. In the 18 years the column has been running, I have written and illustrated stories about John and Burt Greenwood’s cars five times. We offer two print versions of each story: one with the story copy and one without. Then I created two single image layouts for a total of 12 prints. Continue reading
A Brief Tribute to Corvette Racing Legend, John Greenwood
Dateline: 7.13.15 (There are four videos at the end of this post)
The Corvette community lost another legend last week. On July 7, 2015 John Greenwood died. During the 1970s John and his brother Burt arguably made more of an impact of Corvette racing than anyone in their time.
Their most stunning legacy was the development of the Corvette wide-body, also known as the “Batmobile.” The wide-body kit was the last of what was unofficially known as “Duntov’s Racer Kit” series of Chevrolet engineered parts for road racing Corvettes.
By 1974 racing tires had almost quadrupled in width from those of the early 60s and were beyond the L88 fender flares that had been out since 1968. Racers were also learning about and making better use of air downforce. Chevrolet designed the wide-body kit and Greenwood developed and marketed the parts into a huge aftermarket enterprise, along with building all-out racing Corvettes for customers. The Greenwood brothers engineered suspension parts and setups and made them available to customers.
The wide-body look was so popular that complete street versions were offered by Greenwood and privateers could build their own street versions by purchasing the body kits. John and Burt also made body kits for C4 Corvettes, but the term “Greenwood body” will forever be linked to what it undeniably the wildest Corvette look ever
Below is a tribute to John Greenwood written by Registry of Corvette Race Cars and Vette Vues contributing writer/photographer, Wayne Ellwood that was published on July 13, 2015. Many thanks to Wayne Elwood for his brief overview of John Greenwood’s racing career. Condolences to the Greenwood family. – Scott
John Greenwood, Innovator and Influencer
Died on July 7, 2015 age 71
Greenwood held sway in Corvette racing for a decade
By Wayne Ellwood
The son of a GM executive, John Greenwood began drag racing as a teenager on Detroit’s famed Woodward Ave strip. A few years later, he caught the road-racing bug after entering his new 1968 Corvette in a parking lot solo event. That was enough. When he took his big block Corvette to Waterford Hills it marked the start of a remarkable career in SCCA and IMSA, a full-blown race shop, a sponsorship program with the BF Goodrich Tire Company, a thriving cars and parts business, and three trips to the 24 hour race at Le Mans, France. Continue reading
The Illustrated Corvette Designer Series No. 218
Words and Art by Scott Teeters as republished from Vette Magazine’s SuperChevy.com
The original Z06 was Zora Arkus-Duntov’s “racer kit” for the then-new 1963 Sting Ray. Unlike modern Z06s, there was no flash to the first Z06, it was strictly hardware designed for the racetrack—no badges, special body panels, or designations at all! But considering the official “we don’t race” policy of GM, 199 1963 fuel-injected Corvettes with heavy-duty brakes and suspension wasn’t anything in GM’s big picture. But, if you wanted to race your Corvette in 1963, it was everything, and Duntov made sure you got what you needed.
Corvette Racing Legend, Dave MacDonald Inducted Into National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame
Dateline: 9-27-14 Auto racing legend Dave MacDonald was inducted into The National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame on August 28, 2014, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. MacDonald’s induction took place 50 years after the extremely talented young driver was tragically killed in his rookie race at the 1964 Indy 500 that also claimed the life of driver Eddie Sachs. After the race, an investigation determined that there was, “No driver error.”
MacDonald learned his driving skills in Southern California behind the wheel of several championship-winning first generation Corvettes. A gentle, quiet family man off the track, MacDonald was known as “The Master of Oversteer” and a fierce competitor. His driving skills were such that they attracted the attention of two other legends in auto racing of that time, Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and Carroll Shelby. MacDonald drove prototype test cars for Duntov and was eventually hired by Shelby to drive Cobras professionally.
His induction into The National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame was well deserved and more than a little overdue. Regardless, Dave MacDonald now has a prominent and permanent place in Corvette history.
I have written extensively about the life and times of Dave MacDonald and have had the pleasure of getting to know the MacDonald family. I have Dave MacDonald’s younger brother Doug to thank. Many years ago I created a piece of line art for VETTE Magazine as a column filler “spot art” illustration. Later I included the illustration as an art print on my IllustratedCorvetteSeries.com website and mistakenly titled the print, “Dave MacDonald’s 1961 Corvette Racer.”
The 2014 National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame inductees included, left-to-right: Automotive Journalist and Author Jerry Burton, Corvette Engineer and Race Car Driver John Heinricy, and Race Car Driver Dave MacDonald.
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 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
When it comes to widebody Corvettes, it’s all about BIG tires.
Check out the wide body Corvette prints at the bottom of this post.
On March 16,2012 GMAuthority.com announced that for the 2012 racing season, the C6.R ZR1 Corvette would be wearing a new suit. We’re not talking about the livery, it’s still Competition Yellow with black graphics that seems to change every few races.
No, we’re talking about actual body parts. It was only six years ago that the production widebody C6 Z06 gave the new C6 that big, broad shoulders look that we love so much. It wasn’t long before lots of regular Corvettes were wearing Z06 outfits, and why not? It looks great, almost as if that’s the way the C6 should have looked in ‘05. But things evolve and we go from there. It wasn’t just a fad either. Chevrolet certainly noticed and and in ‘10 dished up the Grand Sport model, wearing Z06 cloths and a new set of front fender vents. The new look struck a chord, because in ‘10 the Grand Sport Corvette made up 49.5% of total sales and in ‘11 Grand Sports accounted for 58.7% of sales! That’s very impressive and the Corvette planners deserve credit for picking up on the widebody trend.
But when ‘12 Corvette Racing season began, the ZR1-based race cars were wearing an even wider, wider body. And just like the original ‘70s widebody Corvettes popularized by John and Burt Greenwood, it was all about tires. Race car tires are a whole other interesting topic. If you go all the way back to the earliest Corvette racers, you can’t miss those painfully skinny tires. These were stock tires that were sometimes shaved a little. When you got into the late ‘60s tire sizes began to grow and L-60 series tires were considered enormous. Continue reading
“Corvettes and Racing” A Wonderful Marriage!
“Corvettes and racing” have been perfect together since 1956. Without the influence of racing, I’m sure that the Corvette would have morphed into something else and been gone long ago. The other day CorvetteBlogger.com posted a story about a 2011 C6.R Le Mans Winning tribute Corvette that’s For Sale. The car looks as if it was just rolled out of the transport and is ready for a few hot laps, but this is a street machine sporting a brand new LS7 crate engine and a host of delicious racing goodies. The car has 52,000 miles on the odometer and the asking price is just $55,000. Almost begs the question, “So what’s wrong with the car???”
Seeing the car got me to thinking about earlier Corvette street machines with a powerful visual racing reference. Arguably the most over-the-top race track-influenced Corvettes were the ‘70s wide-body IMSA Corvettes. The wide body design was the last of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s “racer kit” Corvette parts program and first showed up on John Greenwood’s Corvettes around 1974-1975.
Previous Corvette racer body parts were limited to the functional L88 hood and fender flares. The fender flares were pretty big, but as tires got wider and wider, something else had to be done. Corvette stylists came up with a wild-looking and functionally aerodynamic full body kit that not only cover up the Can-Am-size racing tires, but improved the car’s aerodynamics. In full battle regalia, Greenwood’s IMSA Corvette looked like “the future” and was quickly nick named, “The Batmobile.” Continue reading
The second time was the charm as the Corvette Daytona prototype STOMPS the competition in Hotlanta!
Congrats, Kudos, and Three Cheers to the Corvette Daytona prototype team’s first win! When the flag came down it was the electric blue Spirit of Daytona Corvette prototype to took the checkered flag at the Porsche 250 race at the Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama. Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia drove the car 103 laps with a best time of 1:22.245.
The next race will be the Grand Am Rolex Series Grand Prix in Miami on April 27-29. For more info about the team’s first big win, CLICK HERE.
And for AutoWeek’s coverage of the race, CLICK HERE.
NOW Feast your eyes on this beauty!
The Civilized Grand Sport Corvette Replica – Sort of…
Today you can go to your local Chevrolet dealer today and buy a Grand Sport Corvette to your liking. Almost 50 years ago, there were only five Grand Sport Corvettes in existence and they were NOT for sale. “Unrealized potential,” “the ultimate could’a been Corvette” and many other expressions tell the original Grand Sport Corvette story. Unlike today’s C6 Grand Sports, the originals were all-out racing Corvettes, designed to give the Cobras a good run for it.
But GM had a completely different attitude about racing back then that can be nicely described as “backward.” Fortunately, all five original Grand Sports are still around. Along the way, there have been numerous companies that offered Grand Sport replicas – some, better than others. But today there is only one “officially licensed” by GM, Grand Sport replica, and that is the Duntov Motors Grand Sports.
Dateline: 3.2.12 –
A Timeless Corvette Beauty
Every so often a car design comes along that is “perfect.” It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you end up stopped dead in your tracks. You find yourself almost unable to STOP looking at the car’s shape. For me, the 1959 Stingray Racer is such a car. The 1959 Stingray Racer was an outgrowth of the dead-on-arrival 1957 Q-Corvette, which never made it past the full-size clay model stage. But the pint-sized concept had a nuclear-powered punch because it set in motion a design process that is still with us today. Consider the lineage…
Q-Corvette leads to…
1959 Stingray Racer leads to…
Mako Shark I show car leads to…
1963-1967 Sting Ray leads to…
Mako Shark-II-inspired C3 “shark” Corvette… that leads to…
C6 Corvette (look closely at the front and rear fenders of the C6 – there’s a C2 Sting Ray in there).
Back to the timeless ‘59 Stingray. Clearly, Bill Mitchell wasn’t done with the design of the proposed Q-Corvette. So, with a borrowed chassis from the aborted ‘57 Corvette SS racer (1957 was a VERY GOOD year for the Corvette!), Mitchell designed a roadster version of the interesting Q-Corvette around the small, lightweight birdcage tube chassis from the mule version of the Corvette SS project. Continue reading
While Zora never got a custom Corvette, he still had some very cool Corvette toys!
Zora Arkus-Duntov Birthday Weekend continues here at CorvetteReport.com. Over the last few months we told you about several of the customized Corvettes that were built for Chevrolet executives. But to the best of my knowing, the man that found the Corvette’s Mojo never got a full-out Chevrolet styling department customized Corvette. He did buy a ‘74 Corvette coupe upon his retirement and by all accounts it didn’t have any performance enhancements, but it did get a unique stripe paint job.
So, Why didn’t Duntov get a custom Corvette? Maybe he wasn’t high enough up on in the GM corporate food chain. We’ll probably never know. Not that Zora didn’t have his toys. Zora’s Corvette toys were often all-out racing optioned Corvettes. Along the way of developing his various “racer kit” packages,he built an interesting array of mule Corvettes. These were cobbled together cars that were never taken out of the Chevrolet R&D center or test track.
I covered Duntov’s mules in a two-part story in my VETTE Magazine Continue reading
The Most Affordable C6.R Corvettes!
Last September I took you through a behind the scene look at the delightful “You Build Your Ride” toy line of cars from RideMakerz, plus my personal experience of working on the body styling of many of the first wave of RideMakerz cars. Unfortunately for me, by the time RideMakerz secured the license for the C6.R body shape from General Motors, my art director and designer friend at Scrambled Eggz Productions in Medford, New Jersey, Don Amadio, had the time to do the styling on the C6.R Corvette himself.
The toy concept was essentially Build-A-Bears meets Cars and Trucks. Each toy was available either online or at specific RideMakerz stores where Dad and Junior could go, pick out their favorite body, body color, chassis type (static or R/C), then trick out their ride with a dazzling selection of ala’ carte options including wheels, tires, engines, wings, side pipes, nurf bars, wheelie bars, and graphics – just like a real car. And if all that wasn’t enough, each car had lights that turned on, engine sounds, pealout sounds, plus a tool box-styled cardboard case. It was a very cool concept! Continue reading
Mega Horsepower! Racing on Street Tires! And Blazing Stars & Stripes!
Here’s a sweet little bench racing, Corvette day dream for ya! Imagine if you have a Corvette restoration shop and you had ALL THREE Greenwood BF Goodrich Corvette race cars in for restoration work. Yes, I know – open headered, old-school, hard-ass Corvette racing machines. Could you stand it? Well, Kevin Mackay and the Corvette Repair team could and it was no bench racing fantasy.
Mackay’s Valley Stream, New York shop has been doing top level C1, C2, and C3 Corvette restoration work on production Corvettes for over 25 years and has developed a nitch for Corvette race car restoration work. Kevin and his team of craftsmen have brought back to life some of the most famous early model Corvette race cars and Chevrolet Engineering experimentals to ever wear a set of Corvette cross flags. It’s not uncommon for race cars to be thoroughly beat when a team decides to unload a machine. Once gone, most teams rarely if ever keep track of the car’s new owners. So, part of what makes Corvette Repair’s work so interesting is the car’s back story of what happened after a high-profile team sold the old war horse off. Some are well maintained and enjoyed on the track. Some are even converted BACK to street cars, such as the Cunningham Le Mans class-winning 1960 Corvette. And others aren’t so fortunate and are pretty much are one hoof away from the glue factory. Continue reading
Dateline: 12.2.11 zzz
A Look Back at the Last Time Chevy Went Prototype Racing With a Corvette
It’s been well over 20 years since Chevrolet got into prototype racing, but it’s good to see them back. The Daytona Prototype Corvette is nicely dressed in exotic material with some very stylish styling points that are very “C6.” I’m surprised they didn’t name the car “Grand Sport,” after all, the front fenders ARE wearing C6 Grand Sport fender vents. But, let’s not pick. The Corvette community wishes them the best and we’ll all enjoy watching the latest round of Corvette racing history in the making.
So, I thought it would be fun to look back at the last time Chevrolet went prototype racing with a Corvette. I covered the 1989 GTP Corvette back in October ‘03 in The Illustrated Corvette Series. The short article and illustrations are below. I see some feature “comparison” stories coming up. It’ll be fun to examine 20-plus years of prototype development. Below is the story, “GTP Corvette Racer – Unrealized Potential.” Continue reading