How Could They Tell?
In their eyes, two items in particular nailed the car in question. One was a repair in the fiberglass at the car's right front, below the grille opening. This had been documented in on-track photos taken during the race and were confirmed when they saw the bare 'glass body in person. (The paint on the car had been previously media-blasted off.)
Also confirming this car's identity was the location in the hood of the mounting-strap holes, where the leather straps that held the hood closed at speed were attached. The angle of the holes was different on the Number 3 car than on the Number 4, and a comparison of this car's hood with pictures of Number 3 confirmed it.
Other items that the experts found on the 1034 car included a fiberglass repair just behind the passenger door, where the fuel filler had been located for the Sebring race. There were no records of any other '57 Corvettes getting this modification other than the Number 3 and 4 cars, and the only '57 races where it would be used were Sebring and Le Mans.
Also, the original front shocks were still on 1034, which fit onto offset mounting plates that were made necessary by suspension geometry revisions at the frame. In turn, those mods meant that the steering arm had to be mounted upside-down. Also on 1034 were the canvas seat belts, the OE brake drums-filed down so that wider-than-stock wheels would fit-and the six-leaf rear springs, which carried not only an original patina but an experimental part number.
About the connection to E.B. Rose: When the order came down from The 14th Floor to get rid of all the race cars and parts, Ed Cole called on Rose, the owner of a trucking company in Houston, to find a home for Number 3, Number 4, and the SR-2 racer. Rose acquired them for $1 apiece, which included all their spares and related parts. Rose later painted the cars black and pink, traces of which were found on 1034's body.
After Amendson road- and slalom-raced the '57, it was stored for many years until it came to the attention of California-based Corvette finder Jim Gessner, before its purchase by Justo.
Now, the question is: Will this car be preserved in its current condition, or will it be restored to its original glory, looking ready to conquer Sebring-and later, Le Mans-just like Ed Cole and Zora Arkus-Duntov planned way back when?