Rare Corvettes Headline 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion | Edmunds

Rare Corvettes Headline 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Just the Facts:
  • A collection of rare Corvette racecars will appear in a special exhibit at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
  • The event will be held August 16-18 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California.
  • In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Corvette is the featured marque at this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

MONTEREY, California — Chevrolet has assembled a rare collection of historically significant Corvette racecars for a special exhibit at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion to be held August 16-18 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The special Corvette display comes on the heels of months of excitement about the debut of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which bowed at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

As a graphic illustration of how Chevy uses racing to improve the breed, the six classic racers will each be displayed alongside its street counterpart from the same era. The exhibit will be a featured attraction as the annual Motorsports Reunion celebrates this year's 60th anniversary of the Corvette.

The historic lineup will include the 1960 Cunningham Corvette No. 3. Entrepreneur and racing team owner Briggs Cunningham fielded a team of three Corvettes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960. The first car crashed, and the second retired with a blown engine. The No. 3 Corvette, co-driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman, also got into trouble, its 283-cubic-inch, 290-horsepower fuel-injected engine overheating badly. The team packed it with dry ice from the catering tent, and the car finished the race first in its class and eighth overall.

The 1967 Corvette Le Mans will also be featured at the event. This is the car that appears on the official poster for the 2013 Motorsports Reunion. Driven at Le Mans in 1967 by Corvette legends Dick Guldstrand and Bob Bondurant, the classic red, white and blue coupe with its 427-cubic-inch L88 engine set a new record speed of 171.5 mph on the Mulsanne Straight before the engine failed, forcing its retirement.

Spectators will also get a look at the 1968 Owens Corning Corvette. Often called the most victorious Corvette in history, this L88-engined thoroughbred was originally built and driven by Tony DeLorenzo, son of GM executive John DeLorenzo, and fellow racer Jerry Thompson. The two combined to win 22 straight SCCA A/Production events over several years. The car was also campaigned successfully at the 12 Hours of Sebring and in the FIA GT series, often in the hands of other drivers, including Jerry Hansen, Gib Hufstaeder, Dick Lang, John Mahler and Don Yenko.

Another gem at the event will be the 1989 Corvette Challenge Car. Corvettes had so dominated the competition during the 1980s that the SCCA banned them from Showroom Stock racing and instead came up with the Corvette Challenge, where they could compete against each other. This red No. 3 car, driven by Bill Cooper, was the overall winner of the series in 1989. It features a ZF six-speed transmission, new for 1989, as well as FX3 adjustable suspension, special Corvette Challenge racing seats and roll cage, a set of lightweight cast magnesium Dymag racing wheels and a unique 1989-only exhaust system.

The 2001 Corvette C5R is another highlight of the event. This car was built for Chevrolet Racing by Pratt & Miller Engineering and Fabrication. Especially designed for endurance racing, it competed successfully in the American Le Mans Series, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona. The 427-cubic-inch engine, from Katech Engine Development, produces 610 hp. It powered the car to eight wins in 10 races during its first season, including an overall win at Daytona and a class victory at Le Mans.

The 2011 Corvette C6R rounds out the group. The successor to the 2001 Le Mans winner, this champion was also developed for Chevy by Pratt & Miller. For the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans, on the 10th anniversary of the previous Corvette victory, the car was driven by Olivier Beretta, Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner. With two hours and 10 minutes to go, Milner passed the lead Ferrari on the Mulsanne Straight and took the team to a class win by 2 minutes, 29 seconds.

The cars in this special exhibit represent the elite of the American sports car's history.

Edmunds says: This will probably be the only chance to see this collection of outstanding historic Corvette racers together in one place.

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