Corvette Racing Tribute - 'Glass Reunion

The Petersen Museum Hosts A tribute To Corvette Racing

Christopher R. Phillip Mar 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0903_14_z Peterson_automotive_museum 1962_sebring_corvette 2/21

Dallas Chevrolet dealer Delmo Johnson prevailed upon Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov to build a Corvette specially designed for the Sebring and Daytona races. The result was this 360hp race car, which Johnson and Dave Morgan drove to a Third Place class finish (21st overall) at the '62 12 Hours of Sebring. Johnson drove the Corvette for the remainder of the season and went on to win the Southwest Division of the SCCA championship.

Vemp_0903_15_z Peterson_automotive_museum 1963_corvette 3/21

One of just 69 competition-equipped Corvette split-window coupes built in 1963, this racer was sent to Texas-based Chevrolet dealer Delmo Johnson. The coupe featured an optional 36-gallon gas tank, a 360hp engine with fuel injection, and a special suspension and brake package. After a successful racing season in 1962, Johnson teamed up with Dave Morgan to campaign in the '63 24 Hours of Daytona, after which they competed at Sebring, where they finished Second in class and 16th overall. After an extensive restoration, the Corvette was reunited with Delmo Johnson and Dave Morgan at the '04 Corvette Racer Reunion in Pennsylvania.

Vemp_0903_16_z Peterson_automotive_museum Corvette_z06 4/21

First owned by famed race car driver/mechanic Mickey Thompson, this Z06 was originally intended to compete at Riverside Raceway, but it was instead prepared for a special NASCAR-sanctioned event at the Daytona International Raceway. The chassis was modified, and the car was fitted with an experimental 427ci V-8 engine known as the "Mystery Motor." Although driver Junior Johnson had the fastest qualifying time, at more than 162 mph, Bill Krause took over in the rain and finished Third behind Paul Goldsmith's Pontiac and A.J. Foyt's Corvette.

Vemp_0903_17_z Peterson_automotive_museum Corvette_z06 5/21

One of six Z06 factory racing Corvettes specially built by Duntov, this Sting Ray was purchased by Shelly Washburn. Bob Bondurant, who had previously driven for Washburn, was tasked with picking up the car at the factory in St. Louis, driving it back to California, and racing it in the Times Grand Prix. With only a week and a half to prepare as a result, Bondurant was faced with both brake and engine problems during the race and was not able to finish.

Vemp_0903_18_z Peterson_automotive_museum Mystery_motor 6/21

Despite an American Manufacturers Association (AMA) ban on factory-sponsored racing, Chevrolet continued to supply independent race teams with the equipment needed to keep their cars in the public eye. In 1962, GM engineer Dick Keinath designed an all-new engine that generated more than 500 hp. Because it was delivered secretly to a few race teams, it became known as the "Mystery Motor." Junior Johnson and Mickey Thompson were among the select few given these motors. After a race at Daytona in 1963, General Motors recalled these engines in order to demonstrate their sincerity about complying with the racing ban. But not all the engines were returned to the factory, and a small number remained in private hands.

Vemp_0903_19_z Peterson_automotive_museum ZL1_corvette 7/21

This Corvette was one of three cars sponsored by BFGoodrich in an effort to showcase the company's line of T/A radials. Originally intended to be used as an off-track marketing tool, it was converted to a race car by owner/driver John Greenwood when one of the other two cars was heavily damaged in a crash. It's equipped with a notched rearend, a quick-replacement radiator, and a 427ci ZL1 engine. The car went on to compete in the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Recently restored, it made its car-show debut at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering in August, 2008, where it received the Best in Class award for Sebring race cars.

Vemp_0903_20_z Peterson_automotive_museum Trans_am_corvette 8/21

Darin Brassfield drove this Mobil 1-sponsored Corvette in the '88 Trans Am Series, winning at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario and several nabbing top-10 finishes at other venues. He competed in only four races of the '89 season because of prior commitments to NASCAR and CART, but he achieved an important victory at Sears Point during that brief period. Brassfield stored the car in his garage until 2007, at which time it was purchased by current owners Mike and Dana Haemmig. Having been driven in only 17 races, the Corvette needed minor restoration to return it to its original condition. It's now driven by Mike Haemmig in historic and vintage Trans Am and IMSA events.


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