NCM Announces 2013 HoF Inductees
The National Corvette Museum will induct Wil Cooksey, Werner Meier, and Johnny O’Connell into the Corvette Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held later this year. The accolade—which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the past, present, and future of Corvette—is the highest honor bestowed by the Museum.
Cooksey’s career with GM began with his first job, as an assistant professor in industrial engineering at General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, in 1972. His connection to Corvette began in February 1993, when he assumed the role of plant manager at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. He held that position for 15 years before retiring in March 2008, becoming the longest serving plant manager to date in the process.
Meier became involved in the hobby when he purchased his first Corvette—a new ’69 model—on his 18th birthday that year. Though he would go on to enjoy a successful 33-year career at GM, he is best known for his efforts in the restoration and collecting fields. Meier has owned, restored, and/or serviced more than 100 Corvettes, including the ’58 “Fancy Free” styling car, a ’63 Corvette styling car built for Harley Earl, and the ’64 Bill Mitchell styling car with one-piece door glass.
O’Connell is hailed as the most successful American race-car driver ever to compete on behalf of GM. His racing career began in 1987 in the Formula Atlantic series, where he won five races en route to the championship and was named Rookie of the Year. Having enjoyed consistent success throughout the 1990s, O’Connell joined Corvette Racing in 2001. The team captured its first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona that year, followed by its first class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
O’Connell went on to help the factory-backed Corvette contingent win eight straight manufacturer’s titles and a record-setting seven class wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring. At the conclusion of the 2009 season, he held numerous American Le Mans Series (ALMS) records, including most career starts (102), most podium finishes (80), most top-five finishes (93), and most top-10 finishes (100).
The trio will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet on August 29. Their induction will take place as part of the Museum’s 19th Anniversary Corvette Celebration festivities, to be held August 29-31.
For more information, visit www.corvettemuseum.org
Borgeson Revives OE Manual-Steering Production
Borgeson Universal Company is now the original-equipment manufacturer and re-manufacturer of Saginaw manual steering gears. That’s great news for classic Corvette owners and restorers, as Borgeson is churning out all-new ’63-’67 and ’68-’82 gears, built to the original Saginaw specifications and drawings (shown).
The gears feature a precision-machined casting created from the original tooling, coupled with all new internals manufactured by Borgeson. Each one is carefully assembled, inspected, and tested to Borgeson’s precise specifications. The price is $395.
For more information, visit www.borgeson.com
Sebring to Host NARRA 2013 Championship Weekend
The Corvette-friendly North American Road Racing Association (NARRA) has announced that its popular US GT Championship will compete alongside the American Le Mans Series at Virginia International Raceway on October 2-5. The series will then end its season at the famed Sebring International Raceway on November 22-24.
“To finish the year at sunny Sebring, with its storied sports-car history, is a natural fit for the US GT Championship,” says NARRA General Manager Rob Morrison. “To secure such a prized date is a testament to the brand, reputation, and product NARRA has built.”
The Sebring event will also feature the final round of the nation’s premier time-attack series, the Whelen US TimeTrial Championship, as well as the US Performance Driver Education (USPDE) program, which allows novice and solo drivers to track their cars during real race weekends.
Rounds One and Two of the NARRA competition took place in February at Texas World Speedway.
For more details, check out www.narraonline.com
The George Barris–designed 1963 Asteroid Corvette will descend upon the 2013 Corvettes at Carlisle show and its special 50th Anniversary Sting Ray Celebration, to be held August 23-25.
The Asteroid Corvette was special-ordered new as a paint-delete car before being subjected to a radical transformation by Barris. Modifications included an extended nose cone with headlights positioned behind the bladed grille, custom headers exiting behind the front wheels, a split-window delete and filled tail panel, widened rear wheelwells, and the metallic-copper finish that helped inspire the car’s sobriquet.
Power comes from a 352ci small-block with 13:1 compression and six chrome Stromberg 97 carburetors. Everything under the hood is either painted gold metallic or chrome plated. During its heyday, the car wore Dayton Wire Wheels for street duty and American Racing Mags with race tires at the track.
“The Asteroid was built by a true automotive icon and legend in George Barris,” says Corvettes at Carlisle Event Manager Lance Miller. “It is being carefully restored back to its original state, circa 1963, and we’re excited to unveil it for the first time since the mid-’60s for Corvettes at Carlisle attendees.”
Visit www.corvettesatcarlisle.com for more information.