Car: '55 Duntov Test Mule
Sold By: Mecum Auction (May 2009)
Dana Mecum: The original EX87 Arizona Proving Grounds record Car for General Motors, this test mule paved the way for today's greatest Corvettes. Daytona legend Smokey Yunick installed an experimental V-8 engine in the Car before it was given to Zora Arkus-Duntov for even more modification, including increasing the engine displacement from 283 to 307 ci and ordering a special camshaft from GM Engineering. This Car made a record 163-mph run at the proving grounds in 1955 and "Duntov's cam" became instantly famous.
Car: '69 427/435 Convertible
Sold By: RM Auctions (June 2010)
Terry L. Michaelis: [This is an excellent example of an] original, unrestored survivor in a condition that can compete on the show field. [Survivors] are judged against how they were when driven out of the Corvette plant new (within reason). These Cars represent the most legitimate vintage Corvettes that exist, as they are what they are and negate the need for documentation and paperwork. This example, a '69 Cortez Silver 435hp convertible with 6,200 actual miles, prompted many uninformed [buyers to] ask the question, "Why?" as they thought this Vette was a $100,000 to $125,000 Car at most. I consider the purchase "well bought" and, in fact, was the second-to-last bid, missing this buy by a mere $5,000. As people wake up, they will see that these objects are more than just Cars-they're antiques and, like art, are best left alone. "An item is only original but once." Please pay attention!
Car: '67 L89 Coupe-The Ed Cole Car
Sold By: Mecum Auction (August 2009)
Dana Mecum: Specially ordered by Ed Cole, the general manager of GM, for his friend R.H. Pohl, this Car was one of only 16 L89 Corvettes built that year. Pohl was looking for the best Car he could buy and took Cole's advice on the L89 option, which delivered the ultimate driving experience with finned wheels, F41 suspension, and a 3.55 Positraction rearend. Extensive documentation, including original paperwork, Protect-O-Plate, and a 1982 letter from Pohl add to its significance.
Car: '61 "Big John" Mazmanian Drag Racing Car
Sold By: RM Auctions (September 2009)
Ian Kelleher: This Car is significant for a number of reasons. While history-setting Corvette road-race Cars are among the rarest and most valuable of the breed, very few drag versions have surfaced. No other example has the notoriety of this one, which set records, won events, and was covered in the most important periodicals of the day. Most likely the first supercharged example of a stock-body '61, it's best known for its quarter-mile record-setting runs and holds multiple speed records. It was featured in the Oct. '62 issue of Rod & Custom, as well as a cover inset feature in Hot Rod magazine in March 1963. Presented in absolutely stunning, perfectly restored condition, at the time of its sale it had not been radically changed since 1964.
Car: '65 Fuelie Coupe
Sold By: Mecum Auction (1997)
Dana Mecum: OK, so I'm cheating on this one because I sold it at a Mecum Auction in 1997 to Ed Foss. However, it is a very significant Car for a couple reasons. First, it is a very low-mileage Car with just 1,400 original miles. Second, each time this fuelie sold, it consistently set a new watermark for the highest-selling Cars. It brought quite a bit of money for its time, breaking the price barrier more than once as the first Car to bring in the $150,000 range, then the $300,000 range. It was featured earlier this year in the Bloomington Gold Great Hall. We'll have to wait and see if it goes up for sale again!