In an effort to create a story about John Greenwood and his racing exploits, I spoke with many contributors. Despite finding some interesting images in the Primedia archives, I was pleased to find that Dave Friedman's new book, Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing 1953-2003, covered the subject beautifully and quite candidly. The book is amazingly detailed and chock-full of the best images I've ever found, not only regarding John Greenwood, but also the entire topic of Corvettes in competition. To that end, we have excerpted the following images and captions from the book and created the article you find here. We thank Dave and Chuck Koch for their help in making this article come together.
The Greenwood Corvette racing era was a fascinating one, rife with mechanical problems. The team produced a significant racing effort, highlighted by a Trans-Am Championship in 1975 and generating countless stories about the team owner, making this an entertaining and historical chronicle of an interesting time in America. A perspective of this racing effort demonstrates the price tag and personal dedication required to create a winning race team such as today's Corvette C5-R program. Just make the check a lot bigger.-Cam Benty
Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing 1953-2003
Corvette Hall of Fame member Dick Guldstrand announces the publication of the definitive history of the Chevrolet Corvette in racing, Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing 1953-2003. Written by noted automotive historian Dave Friedman, Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing covers the full panoply of Corvette successes and struggles on the racetrack. It tells a fascinating story, full of plot twists and midnight shenanigans, and features some of the most famous characters to ever walk along the pit roads of the world's most famed race circuits.
"Racing made the Corvette into a world-class sports car," says Guldstrand, "and this book shows like no other how it happened, where it happened, and those people who made it happen."
Author Dave Friedman spent two years culling archives on three continents to find the 600-plus color and black-and-white photos contained in Corvette Thunder. "The book has scores of previously unpublished photos," reveals Friedman, "plus many unknown stories and even some historical surprises. Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing is as complete and up-to-date as we could make it, covering everything from the early days of the famous Mexican Road Race up to and including the '03 24 Hours of Le Mans."
Along with the treasure trove of photos are first-person recollections from many of the drivers who helped make the Corvette a dominating force in racing. Men like Dr. Dick Thompson, John Fitch, Roger Penske, Jim Hall, Bob Bondurant, Dan Gurney, and Big Jim Jeffords, among others, lend their personal insights into how racing improved the Corvette and how racing Corvettes affected their lives.
Published by Guldstrand Motor Productions LLC, Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing is hardbound and beautifully reproduced on 400 oversize pages of heavy gloss paper. Each book comes encased in its own handsome protective slip case. It is available now for $75 from book sellers dealing in automotive publications, or direct from the Guldstrand Web site, www.corvettethunder.com. Books purchased through the Web site will be personally signed by both Dick Guldstrand and Dave Friedman. For more information or to order books, contact Guldstrand Motor Productions, 805 S. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502; (818) 840-6789; www.Corvettethunder.com.
Photos are from Corvette Thunder, 50 Years of Corvette Racing 1953-2003 by Dave Friedman, (c) 2003 Guldstrand Motor Productions LLC, www.corvettethunder.com. Used by permission from the publisher.