Cars

Corvette's Very First Racecar Is For Sale

Published On 01/06/2015 Published On 01/06/2015
The First Corvette Race Car
All Photos: Corvette Mike

Think back to every great racecar that's carried Corvette's flags over the years, and behold the patriarch. What you're viewing is the very first racecar General Motors ever built out of a Corvette. It started racing in 1956, and aside from a few years off in the '70s, hasn't really stopped. Now, it's for sale over at Corvette Mike, a high-end 'Vette specialist based out of California.

The car was conceptualized because the son of legendary GM designer Harley Earl was racing Ferraris in the mid 1950s. Naturally, Dad said to sell the Ferrari, then set about getting GM to build this.

Unlike Corvette's modern racing program, this specific car was snatched off the assembly line and sent to Michigan. There, it'd go under the knife at one of GM's design studios in preparation to race at the famed Sebring endurance race (hence Corvette Sebring Racing, or SR).

It was upgraded with beefier brakes & suspension, plus a pair of windshields and a unique front end that includes the cooling slots you see on the hood. Also, if you look very carefully, ducts to keep the brakes cool, starting from where you'd normally see parking lights.

And because the car was poised to compete against the best in the world, which at the time was a Jaguar D-Type, it was given a very D-Type-esque fin running behind the driver's head.

Just in case you're wondering, that fin is actually in three different pieces, so you don't have to remove it to get to the gas cap or spare tire.

Initially the car was heavy and slow, but over the course of a couple of years, most of the interior was removed (the seats are actually taken from a Porsche to further save weight) and a much more powerful engine was dropped under the hood, greatly improving its on-track prowess.

And that prowess ultimately proved itself in the form of multiple SCCA National Championships in the late '50s and early '60s. Eventually the car was retired from active duty, but amazingly, it's spent the past three decades competing in some of the world's finest vintage races.

Now it's been fully restored and in absolutely pristine condition, which means it should be good to go for another few decades...if you can swing the $6 million-plus you'll need to take it home.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. Convincing a company like GM to custom build a racecar for your kid is truly an amazing feat.

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