Subscribe to the Free

1960 Chevy Corvette - Popp's Pop

The Man Who Taught SCCA Solo II Champion Danny Popp How to Drive

Walt Thurn Nov 1, 2004
Vemp_0411_02_z 1960_chevy_corvette Herb_popp_danny_popp_father 2/9

Herb Popp epitomizes the old saying, "The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree." Herb is the father of six-time SCCA Solo II National Champion Danny Popp. Herb spotted his first Corvette in 1953 and was captivated with the sleek styling of this new American sports car. He vowed that he would own a Corvette some day. His dream came true in 1960 when he took delivery of a brand-new black-on-red 270-horse '60 Corvette. One of the first things he did was join the Queen City Corvette Club. It didn't take Herb long to become a charter member of the National Council of Corvette Clubs. Today he is one of the club's original 16 charter members.

Herb decided to take his new ride racing. His racetracks consisted of local Cincinnati, Ohio-area parking gymkhana events. Herb would pop the hubcaps off the wide whitewall-tired Corvette and head to a local race. It took him several years to start winning trophies, but eventually he won so many events that he became a local legend for his autocross skills. In 1965, Herb took delivery of a 327/350-horse silver coupe. He bought this car because it came equipped with the new four-wheel disc brakes. Herb thought the new brakes would give him a competitive edge for autocrossing events. Sadly he had to make room for his new purchase, so he said goodbye to his faithful '60 convertible. His trophy-winning ways continued with this car for seven years. His fondest memory was running the high banks of Daytona with his silver coupe at a NCCC event in 1971. By now Herb was married to his wife Judy, his career at GE was firmly established, and his first child Danny was born. The family gave Danny his first plastic toy Corvette at Christmas when he was two! This started Danny's life-long passion for Corvettes. Herb and Judy took their son to every weekend event, and it didn't take long before Danny was helping Dad wrench his racer.

Vemp_0411_01_z 1960_chevy_corvette Popp_&_son 3/9

In 1972, Herb did the only thing a new family person could do to put more excitement into his life; he bought another Corvette. The dark blue '72 coupe came equipped with the high-revving LT1 small-block. Of course, Herb started racing and winning with his new ride in autocross events. Upgrades included bigger wheels and tires and side pipes. Herb's pit crew grew when son Adam came along, and his wife Judy and the boys continued to attend autocross events on the weekends. While Danny and Adam were growing up, more Corvettes entered the family. A L98 C4 joined the LT1, and both cars continued to be upgraded for autocross events. The boys drove the LT1, while Herb competed in the L98.

Today, Herb is retired from GE, and the family continues to successfully race their trusty LT1 and C4. He and Danny have upgraded the C4 with a six-speed and LT4 power. Son Danny is an ASE Certified Corvette Specialist at McCluskey Chevrolet in Cincinnati, Ohio. Danny competes in Solo II events in a '03 Z06 sponsored by McCluskey and Ecklers. Herb travels with Danny and Adam to all of their events and serves as pit crew for his sons when he is not racing. Herb always has a warm smile for anyone he meets and is always ready to lend a helping hand to whomever needs it. He has passed on a good legacy for his sons to follow, and the Corvette community is certainly better off with Popp's Pop!



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print