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.
Specifically, this vehicle was driven by Greenwood where he took the IMSA season title at the Daytona Finale, plus pole position at six other events, including the 24 Hour of Daytona, where the 1974 Corvette racer set a top speed record at the time.
Making the 1974 Corvette IMSA wide body the champion it is was, as mentioned, the L88 big-block V8, where it was verified to make 718 hp and 678 lb-ft of torque. The wide body structure was developed by Greenwood himself and a coil-over suspension system on a Ron Fournier acid-dipped full-frame chassis made the car one hell of a contender.
And all of this comes with the news of John Greenwood’s passing. Racer reports Greenwood past away on July 7 from unspecified causes at the age of 71.
Greenwood cars have already become collector pieces, but this verified vehicle with proper documentation should fetch quite the price at Mecum Monterey.
Scott Teeter’s Color Art of this Car:
Here is the write up on the online Mecum Monterey Auction page:
In the history of endurance racing, some entries have notably stood out in sheer importance, and the car being made available here will satisfy the most discerning criteria. We are proud to present to you the 1974 Greenwood Corvette chassis number 002, the ‘Spirit of Sebring ’75,’ the first and most famous of only six Greenwood wide-body race machines ever built.
Moreover, this particular car, powered by the legendary Chevrolet L88 big-block race motor, was John Greenwood’s personal favorite and the only one to be raced as a Greenwood ‘team’ entry (the other five examples were built for customers). Helped by direct GM support for its then-latest IMSA aero-restyling effort, the list of accolades it holds among the Greenwood cars is impressive – most pole positions, most race wins, and most ‘fast lap’ records, plus the overall all-time highest official speed ever recorded by any car at Daytona – 236 MPH. ‘Sebring 75’ is also the most original of the surviving cars, and was never badly damaged nor in a serious accident.
Developed by John Greenwood specifically for the wide-body structure, it features the Bob Riley coil-over suspension layout on a Ron Fournier acid-dipped full-frame chassis, the only one created this way. A special personal driver’s seat extension for Mr. Greenwood’s leg is still inside of it and unlike any of the other five Greenwood Widebody race cars, chassis number 002 is fitted with a curved dash. Under the hood was an L88 race motor with a custom Greenwood-specific cross-ram mechanical fuel injection layout, a key factor in its on-track successes.
This included wins at the Talladega 200 (which was actually taken decorated as car #48 under the control of Milt Minter) and the Daytona Finale in late 1974 to give Greenwood the season IMSA title, plus poles at six events between 1974 and 1975, among them the 24 Hours at Daytona race in 1975 when it set the record speed.
Today, more than $250,000 has been invested in the professional restoration by a noted Corvette shop to race-ready 1975 specifications complete with FIA HTP paperwork; it retains the gearing for the higher speeds it is capable of in both the transmission and differential. Tony Oddo rebuilt the competition-type L88 in this car, a 482 CI powerplant complete with the Greenwood-specific injection layout. The engine made a dyno-proven 718 HP and 678 ft/lbs of torque and has seen little run time since completed.
Finally, in terms of provenance, this car has not only a full record of the recent work performed, but an unbroken string of ownership records since Greenwood’s origination; this documentation plus additional quantities of memorabilia are included in the sale. Viewed personally and signed by both John Greenwood and Ron Fournier, Corvette expert Lance Smith has inspected and verified chassis number 002 as the best, most original and complete of the Greenwood wide-body racecars. It has been featured in both books and magazines due to its significance. A significant Greenwood team-campaigned machine that bested even the factory-supported Porsches, BMWs and Ferraris of its day, the John Greenwood-piloted ‘Spirit of Sebring ’75’ offers either the seasoned competitor or determined collector the ultimate opportunity to possess a part of functional Corvette racing history.
– Spirit of Sebring 75 IMSA Race Car
– Chassis no. 002, John Greenwood’s personal car
– Worlds fastest Corvette, Top Speed Record of 236 MPH at Daytona, 1975
– Most pole positions, race wins and fastest laps of all the Greenwoods
– Race winner at Talladega 200 and Daytona Finale, 1974
– Pole positions at Daytona 24 hours, Road America, Talladega and Mexico
– Most original and intact of all the Greenwood racing cars
– $250,000 restoration completed in 2009 to 1975 Greenwood Racing specs by Maeco Motorsports
– 482/718 HP L88 big block Chevrolet V-8 engine by Tony Oddo
– Comes with original documents that tell the life of this great car
– Developed in 1974 by John “Mr. Corvette” Greenwood
– Coilover suspension system designed by Bob Riley
– Chassis designed by Ron Fournier
– The only Greenwood team car, all other cars were privateer entries
– Only example with acid-dipped frame
– Greenwood-specific cross ram mechanical fuel injection unit
– Dash autographed by John Greenwood and Ron Fournier