1996 Corvette Grand Sport - Great To Be # 1

How GM Performance Guru John Heinricy Snagged The Very First '96 Grand Sport

Walt Thurn Mar 10, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Around a dozen Grand Sport pilot cars were built and used for testing, each one carrying a sequential VIN. A few were destroyed during the validation process, but the remaining ones were refurbished and offered for sale. In the summer of 1995, Ralph Cramer, the head of GM public relations, arranged for the press to drive the Grand Sport at Road America. GS 001-the car Heinricy had personally driven during validation-was one of the cars used, but unfortunately, a press member blew its engine during the track portion of the event. The car was returned to Detroit, and a new engine was installed.

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After testing was competed, GS 001 went into the Chevrolet dealer system with 7,500 miles on the clock. Heinricy obtained permission to purchase the car, then followed its dealer-delivery path to Cauley Chevrolet in West Bloomfield, Michigan. A deal was made, and Heinricy became the owner of the very first '96 Grand Sport. His wife Rita drove it during their first year of ownership. The last time he renewed its tag was in 1997, and since that time he has only used the car for autocross events. It currently has a little more than 15,000 miles on its odometer.

Heinricy brought his pride and joy to last year's C4 Gathering in Bowling Green and entered it in the autocross event. Not surprisingly, he won. "Heinrocket" plans on keeping GS 001 for a long time, and we can't blame him.

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