Recently, the National Corvette Museum (NCM) in Bowling Green, Kentucky received two very rare and historic race cars. These vintage automobiles pay homage to a bygone era, when Corvette Racing was in its infancy, and America’s Sports Car blazed a magnificent trail on the track.
The first treasure, a hot red 1969 coupe racer with optic white racing stripes and mag wheels, is outfitted with a big-block motor and mated to a four-speed transmission. Registered No. 969 in the Registry of Corvette Race Cars, it was first purchased by Randy Wittine, a Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee, and has been driven by the likes of such famous icons as Don Yenko and Jerry Thompson, also members of the Hall of Fame.
With the guts removed by Rudy Kreiter’s Buggy Works in Detroit, a roll cage and race seat were installed, and it was ready to compete in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1977. A follow-up race was complete in 1978 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, although neither race brought home a trophy. Preparation to complete once again in vintage racing began in 2010, with work performed by Kevin Mackay. It made its most debut at the NCRS National Convention in 2014, and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2015.
C2 Grand Sport
A winner at multiple prestigious car shows, this Grand sport was originally owned by Jim Prather and is on loan to the NCM from Michael and Jeannie Bell of Indianapolis. The 1963 Grand Sport II – a first replica of its kind – is mated to a true Stingray body and chassis, and dressed to pay tribute to the 1996 Grand Sport Racer.
A Torch Red interior, red hash marks on both front quarter panels, and a center nose-to-tail white racing stripe down the center highlight the body, which is painted signature Admiral Blue. Converted in 2002 at Mid America Industries, a ’96 LT4 engine and six-speed transmission was installed. It also boasts a custom, one-of-a-kind Holley induction system, and a side-draft EFI with a MSD Digital 6-Plus computer system that plugs into a Dominator V2 vehicle management system.
Restored and modified by its current owners, the powerplant was replaced with a 427 cubic-inch stroker Dart block with a 10.7:1 compression ratio and paired to a T56 six-speed transmission that garners 770 horsepower. The car runs on 93 octane, is street legal, and has seen track time Pocono, NCM Motorsports Park, and other tracks for SCCA competitions.
The Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled at the New York Waldorf Astoria hotel in January of 1953, and has been an indelible force on society and automobile culture ever since. Now, enthusiasts can enjoy a world of Corvettes at the NCM, which houses the legendary machines from every era with static displays, interactive exhibitions, and education about America’s most revered Sports Car.