Historic Corvette Unveiled
To Be Displayed at Corvettes at Carlisle
Larry Jewett - August 24, 2012 08:46 AM
When Briggs Cunningham fielded three Corvettes for the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, no one knew then what his efforts would mean to Corvette Racing, the collector car hobby and to the race itself. More than 50 years later, the discovery of the #1 car and its subsequent unveiling as part of Corvettes at Carlisle has the Corvette community talking once more.
With an invitation-only audience and select media gathered just off site of the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds, Lance Miller (co-owner of Carlisle Events), Kevin Mackay (Corvette Repair, Inc.), Larry Berman (BriggsCunningham.com) and Richard Carr (previous owner of the #1 Corvette) pulled back the curtain to reveal this special find. The machine was positioned next to the #3 car owned by the Miller family since 2001 and looked every bit the barn find that it is. Still covered in dust and dirt from its lengthy storage in St. Petersburg, Florida, #1 is a maroonish brown mess. There are no headlights, the hard top has been replaced by a soft top, rust is visible and many months of restoration lie ahead.
As part of the unveiling, an in-depth story was shared as to how the car was found, who initially contacted whom, the buyer that brought the car from Florida and more. The story, in fact, had as many twists and turns as the nearly 8.5-mile Le Mans course itself. At one point, Carr noted, "I did not actually inherit the warehouse where the car was stored; rather I inherited the right to clean out the warehouse where my dad kept his belongings for many years." Ultimately, it was Carr who discovered what he had while sifting through the warehouse. Carr then reached out to Berman to authenticate the VIN, Berman then contacted Miller and Miller and Mackay worked to secure the car. In late July, Miller wired a payment to Carr and while Miller paid for the car, just a few days later, he re-sold it. The current owner wishes for his identity to remain anonymous though a promise has been made that the car will be restored to its original 1960 racing specs.
Now that #1 has been unveiled, enthusiasts as a whole can witness this story at the main stage where at 3:30 p.m. on Friday (8/24), Miller, Berman, and Mackay will once again hold court to discuss and highlight the car. The #1 will return to obscurity with the hopes that in the coming years its final restorations will allow it to sit side by side with not just the other two Cunningham Corvettes, but all four 1960 Le Mans Corvettes, including the #4 CAMORADI racer.