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Don Yenko’s L88-powered 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Race Car

Sunray Driver

Walt Thurn Mar 4, 2015
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In 1967, Ralph Morrison Jr. was in charge of the DX Oil Company Motor Sports Division and charged with marketing their products. DX purchased and successfully raced a ’67 L88 Corvette with drivers Don Yenko and Dave Morgan. The team had three entries for the 1968 24 Hours of Daytona and Morrison wanted to use the redesigned ’68 Corvette for Daytona. He tasked driver Don Yenko (owner of Yenko Chevrolet) to secure several ’68 Corvettes for the race.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Passenger Side View 2/12
1968 Chevrolet Corvette Yenko Quarter View 3/12

Don ordered a new L88, but his order could not be filled before the race. Undaunted, Yenko took a Rally Red 435/427 convertible from his dealership and converted it into a race car. This included installing a factory-fresh L88 engine, rollbar, fuel cell, extra lighting, and other racing equipment. Yenko recruited Jerry Thompson and Tony DeLorenzo to join the DX team with their ’68 Corvette (#30) for Daytona. The third DX entry (#31) was the ’67 L88 that DX raced the previous year and was driven by Dave Morgan and Jerry Grant. Yenko’s Corvette (#29) was co-driven by Peter Revson, heir to the Revlon cosmetic empire and world-renowned racing driver. Revson had many Formula 1 and Can-Am series victories. Yenko/Revson qualified 19th with a time of 2:06.320 and during the race they moved up to 8th overall, until mechanical problems dropped them to a 25th place finish. The Thompson/DeLorenzo entry also suffered problems and finished 27th. However, the Morgan/Grant #31 L88 won the GT class and finished 10th overall.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Interior 4/12

The team’s next race was the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 1968. Yenko’s new L88 finally arrived and the Daytona ’67 L88 was retired. Yenko’s Daytona Corvette (#2) had a new co-driver, personal friend and Mexico’s racing star Pedro Rodriguez. Rodriguez had great success driving Formula 1 and in sports cars, including an overall win at Le Mans in 1968 co-driving a Ford GT40. Dave Morgan joined the 1965 Sebring winner Hap Sharp in the new L88 Corvette (#3). They finished 6th overall and first in GT. DeLorenzo and Thompson entered their Corvette (#4) but did not finish when a driveshaft broke on lap 48. Yenko and Rodriguez qualified 19th at 3:04.000, but were out after 43 laps with an engine failure.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Wheel 5/12

DX submitted entry forms for two Corvettes to race at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans and both entries were accepted. The #2 car from Daytona was to be one of the Le Mans entries. However, the team was unable to attend the mandatory April qualifying, and thus lost their race entries, so they made plans to go to the 1969 race. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as the DX company was absorbed with Sunoco and the DX race team was disbanded.

Yenko continued to race this car after the DX team was disbanded. His most notable accomplishment was winning the Midwest SCCA A-Production driving title. Eventually, the Corvette was sold off and went through a variety of different owners. In 2006, Kevin Mackay and his talented team at Corvette Repair in Valley Stream, New York, completely restored this historic Corvette. When the restoration was completed the car mirrored the way it appeared at the 1968 Sebring race. This included a date-coded L88 powerplant. In 2007, this Corvette won the coveted American Heritage Award, signifying its legacy at the NCRS National Convention in Boston. This racer has a complete chain of ownership, including the window sticker and an extensive trail of paperwork to confirm its authenticity. Its current owner is proud to own this Corvette that was raced by the famous Corvette driver Don Yenko.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Rear Side View 6/12
1968 Chevrolet Corvette Controls 7/12
1968 Chevrolet Corvette Undercarriage 8/12
1968 Chevrolet Corvette Sunray Dx 9/12

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