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Currents - Corvette News and Notes - March 2014

What's Going on with the Corvette and Vette

Team Vette Feb 7, 2014
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Corvette Legend Doug Hooper Passes

2007 NCM Hall of Fame Inductee Doug Hooper passed away on October 2 after a battle with kidney failure.

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Hooper began his racing career in 1959, piloting a '57 fuelie Corvette. While he was a regular participant in Cal Club and SCCA events held throughout California in the '50s and '60s, his most notable achievement came at the 1962 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix in Riverside. There, Hooper drove Mickey Thompson's brand-new '63 Z06 to victory over a field of international competitors, solidifying the Corvette's reputation as a force to be reckoned with in top-level motorsports.

Hooper remained active in racing through the early '90s, at times behind the wheel of Grand Sport chassis #1 (above).

In our November '08 report on Hooper's NCM induction, we noted, "With more than 50 years of competition experience, [his] contributions to Corvette racing are arguably unsurpassed."

Corvette Racing Wins Big in ALMS Finale

No. 3 C6.R pilots Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen wrapped up the 2013 ALMS GT drivers' championship with a Sixth Place class finish at Petit Le Mans on October 19. With Chevrolet and Corvette Racing having sewn up the manufacturer and team championships two weeks earlier at VIR, Garcia and Magnussen's performance at Road Atlanta gave the Corvette contingent a clean sweep in the GT-class title chase.

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"It was a total team effort for Chevrolet to win the GT manufacturers' championship, Corvette Racing to win the GT team championship, and Antonio and Jan to win GT the drivers' championship in the final season of the American Le Mans Series," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.

Magnussen scored a big win off the track as well, receiving the ALMS' Most Popular Driver award for the second time in his career. Race fans voted on the honor through the series' website.

Meanwhile, the No. 4 C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Richard Westbrook finished 10th in class after experiencing charging problems. The showing was nevertheless good enough to land Gavin and Milner in Third Place in the '13 drivers' championship standings.

Corvette Racing will debut the new C7.R at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 25-26. The race will mark the launch of the all-new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, which will include vehicles from both the ALMS and the Rolex Sports Car Series.

Corvette-Factory Tours Resume

Bowling Green Assembly Plant tours resumed October 14, giving Corvette enthusiasts their first look at how the '14 Corvette Stingray is built.

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One-mile walking tours of the production line are currently offered Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2 p.m. Central. (The final tour of the day moves to 1 p.m. starting January 1.) The cost is $7 per person, and reservations are strongly recommended.

Visit www.corvetteassembly.com for more information.

Miller to Auction Three Special Vettes at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

Three special Corvettes belonging wholly or in part to Carlisle Events co-owner Lance Miller will cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction on January 12-19, 2014.

The first, the '63 Asteroid Corvette (shown right), was originally purchased by speedboat racer Bob Nordskog and delivered to Socal customizing legend George Barris. Barris promptly sprayed it in custom, copper- colored paint; added a white Naugahyde interior with matching copper accents; and dropped in a 352ci, 13:1-compression engine topped with six chromed Stromberg carburetors.

 Asteroid 5/6

Thus configured, the Asteroid appeared in numerous automotive-magazine articles of the era and even showed up on the cover of Jan and Dean's Drag City record. It was also a featured car at this year's Corvettes at Carlisle show.

"The Asteroid Corvette [has] a rich history, and its story speaks for itself," said Miller, who co-owns the car with Desert Autosport proprietor Randy Koeppel. "When Randy contacted me…and asked if I'd have interest in being a partner with him on the vehicle, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Desert Autosport did a wonderful job on the restoration and brought the car back to its original Barris Kustom look."

1953 And 2003 Chevrolet Corvettes 6/6

The second and final lot (above) comprises an all-star set of Corvettes spanning 50 years of marque history. Headlining the group is a '53 model, VIN 181, with only 9,259 miles on the clock. Believed to have the lowest mileage of any original '53 in existence, the car retains its original tires, top, interior, and mechanicals. (The majority of the factory paint remains as well.)

"After going back and forth for a decade about selling one of my father's prized possessions, I had a conversation with my Mom about it, and we agreed that it was time to let someone else enjoy this magnificent piece of history," said Miller.

Joining the '53 will be an '03 50th Anniversary convertible carrying the same VIN. As an added bonus, Miller is including a children's pedal car designed to replicate the '53.

"The '03 was special ordered [and delivered] to the National Corvette Museum, which allowed my father to secure VIN 181. The paperwork on both these vehicles overflows multiple binders, and I encourage everyone who bids to do so with confidence," he added.



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