The Briggs “Swift” Cunningham 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette is Now a Movie Star! “The Quest” DVD – Available Now
After years in the making, “The Quest” DVD can be yours for just $20 Bucks!
The 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette famously known as the “Cunningham Le Mans Assault” car is now a movie star! It seems that for most of us, there’s a Time/Date stamp on our affection for Corvettes that coincides with that first moment we laid eyes upon the machine. For me, it was ‘66 to ‘69 big block Corvettes. For Chip Miller, it may well have been this car, the 1960 Briggs “Swift” Cunningham 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette. it’s not hard to “get” the passion. When you look at the machine, it screams “RACE CAR!” And while that is definitely correct, a closer examination of the car reveals how astonishingly close the car is to a stock ‘60 Fuelie Corvette.
For an excellent look under the pretty fiberglass, check out THIS PAGE from the Corvette restoration masters at Corvette Repair. Kevin MacKay and his team are arguably the masters at vintage Corvette racer resto work. Thanks to Corvette Repair’s work, this car has won the NCRS American Heritage Award.
Here was the deal for this Le Mans-winning Corvette. The car started life as a new Fuel Injection optioned 1960 Corvette. Cunningham’s team was well seasoned at preparing a car for endurance racing and took maximum advantage of Duntov’s “racer kit” options. RPO-579D got you the then top-of-the-line 283/290-HP Fuelie engine. RPO-685 mated the 4-speed manual transmission to the Fuelie. RPO-687 added the heavy duty brakes and special steering. And RPO 1625A added the oversized 24-gallon fuel tank. That’s essentially all that was needed from the factory to build a race car upon. This configuration was the 1960 equal to a 2012 Z06. From there, the Cunningham team removed items that race cars don’t need, such as front bumpers, and fancy interior door panels, and added safety and go-fast parts, including racing lights, louvers on the hood for additional cooling, headlight covers, side-mounted exhausts, Halibrand lightweight racing wheels, a quick-fill gas cap, and miscellaneous other touches. The car was AMAZINGLY stock. This will be obvious when you check out Corvette Repair’s Portfolio Page.
The rest is history. With John Fitch and Bob Grossman doing the driving, the Cunningham Corvette took first place in the GT 5000 class and finished in 8th place overall. Pretty damn impressive for a machine so close to a production car from St. Louis!
So, what became of the race car after the Le Mans assault? That’s what the movie is about. After years of searching, the car was found by Chip Miller, verified by a team of vintage Corvette experts, restored, and ultimately returning to Le Mans FIFTY YEARS after winning Le Mans. The “Top Lucky Corvette Dog Award” has to go to Lance Miller. Not only was the Cunningham Corvette taken back to Le Mans for the 50th anniversary of it’s historic win, but Lance got to ride to le Mans course with John Fitch at the wheel! How cool is THAT?!?
Not only was the Cunningham Corvette at the 2011 30th Corvettes at Carlisle Show in August 2011, Carlisle Productions presented a special showing of “The Quest” at the Carlisle Movie Theater the night before the opening of the 3-day Corvettes at Carlisle event. According to Lance Miller, the event drew about 300 people that evening. And considering the heavy pre-hurricane Irene rain that evening, that was a pretty good showing. It just goes to show that 50 years later, old Corvette race cars can still draw a crowd! – Scott
PS – You can order your copy of “The Quest” DVD, HERE.
PSS – Art prints of the Cunningham Le Mans Assault 1960 Corvette are available HERE.
Here’s the BEST way to keep up with K. Scott Teeters’ Corvette blog!