Back in 1977, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) opened up the rule books to allow full tube-framed cars to compete in their North American Road Racing series. That prompted some of the front runners to opt-in to this new potential, John Greenwood being one of those from Corvette’s camp.
He joined forces with Bob Riley and the team that would later make a name for themselves as Protofab. The chassis was built by Charlie Selix and Gary Pratt (later Pratt and Miller) from large two-inch chrome-moly tubing, using extensive triangulation for strength.
Soon, other racers were noting Greenwood’s successes. John Paul Sr., from JLP Racing ordered his own chassis from Protofab and began building what would come to be known as the “SuperVette”, or more accurately, the Greenwood SuperVette chassis number COV002. While the initial Greenwood design was inherent, John Paul Sr. made some changes to better suit his goals. One such deviation was using a 750 horsepower, all-aluminum big-block featuring a Kinsler mechanical fuel injection system instead of the Greenwood engine.
The Greenwood SuperVette was retired by JLP Racing after one season, but had secured two podium, and three top-five finishes in that short amount of time. It was then reportedly sold to T&R Racing, who competed with the car until 1982. The car came full-circle when in 1981, John Greenwood piloted the car during the Daytona 24-hour race that year.
The car weaved its way through various racing circles and eventually wound up under the watchful hands of caretakers at Canepa, where it has just finished a complete concours restoration to bring it back to its JLP Racing glory. The car was mechanically brought back to better-than-new status and the all-aluminum V8 went into the capable hands of Ed Pink, who restored the 500 cubic-inch engine’s performance. Meanwhile the chassis and bodywork went under careful scrutiny to ensure correctness, safety and a proper restoration.
For those who remember those glorious, loud and brash days of IMSA racing in the 70s and 80s, this one-of-two Corvettes will stand as the pinnacle of a time when rule changes brought about more competition through increased performance. The car is currently available, but a sale price is not listed. Those who could possibly put a value on this rare, race Corvette may already know its approximate value. For the rest of us, these photos will have to suffice.