Part of the fun of going through old magazines is reading the ads and checking out cars and parts that now are incredibly rare and valuable, but then were plentiful and cheap. Case in point: The “Sell ’N’ Swap” section of Motor Trend back in the early ’60s. In the Oct. ’61 issue, alongside a ’31 Cord dual-cowl phaeton available for $3,800 and a 3,000-mile ’37 Ford cabriolet for $700, we found this Vette listed for sale. The ad reads:
“’57 Corvette Sebring ‘C’ completely reworked with ’61 matched factory parts. Never raced since. Production or street. New Firestones. $3,495. Britt Brown, Eagle, Wichita, Kan.”
The photo accompanying the ad was a rear three-quarter view of the car, showing off its hardtop, lakes pipes, and knock-off wheels. Extended exhaust tips exited at the rear, leading us to believe the lakes pipes were cutouts that could be opened for racing or closed for the street, sending exhaust to mufflers and those pipes.
Poking around the SIM photo archive, we found two more pictures of the car, a front three-quarter view and an interior photo shot through the passenger-side door. The front view reveals an interesting aerodynamic treatment done to the Vette’s grille opening, while the interior photo shows a fairly stock cockpit augmented with a big tachometer, a stopwatch mounted to the dashboard, a fire extinguisher on the floor -- and little else.
We ran an Internet search of the owner’s name and Sebring race records and came up empty handed. But curious about the “Eagle” reference in the ad, we Googled those terms and discovered that Britt Brown is actually Harry Britton Brown, Jr., one-time owner of the Wichita Eagle and the great-grandson of the newspaper’s founder. (There was also an arena bearing his name near Wichita.) Brown must have been an interesting car guy, as Google also turned up his ownership of a Jeepster powered by a Corvette V-8.
Mr. Brown, if you (or your relatives) are out there and can tell us more about your Sebring Corvette, we’d love to hear from you.