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Corvette Racer John Fitch Remembered

Christopher R. Phillip Nov 8, 2012

The Quest director Michael Brown compiled this video tribute to Corvette Racing’s first team manager (and Corvette racer) John Fitch.

Fitch passed away October 31, 2012, from cancer. He was 95 years old.

Vemp 1301 01 O Corvette Racer John Fitch Remembered Chevrolet Corvette Race Car 2/2

During his lifetime, Fitch was a WWII fighter-pilot, a sports-car driver, and an inventor of highway safety devices.

Corvette fans will remember Fitch as the man who drove the Corvette SS, the Sting Ray Racer, and the No. 03 Briggs Cunningham 1960 Corvette to a class win and eighth overall finish at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In a web-exclusive interview with VETTE magazine, Brown recalls his relationship with Fitch:

“My biggest regret about meeting John Fitch is that I didn’t meet him sooner than I did.

“I came to know him only about three years ago when we were in pre-production on The Quest, the feature-length documentary we released in 2011 about the early days of Corvette Racing. It also profiled John Fitch’s and other driver’s careers, and was especially about John’s support of Lance Miller, partner in Carlisle Events.

“John was instrumental in helping Lance fulfill his late father’s dream of returning the No. 3 [1960] Cunningham Corvette to France and the 2010 Le Mans event. Fitch had been the co-driver of that historic Corvette a half century before.

“I found John to be a complex man with an insatiable desire to ‘do things’ and a mood of frustration that even after nine decades on this earth, he still felt the tug of time and its distraction from things he wanted to accomplish.

“When we were with him in France, he tirelessly attended functions, day and night, for several days before his ceremonial drive of the No. 3 car around the eight-mile track at Le Mans, with Lance Miller at his side. He was always immediately willing to accommodate any request we had of him during filming.

“John may as well have been a rock star to the European race fans. They treated him as one. I never saw him turn down a request for an autograph or the opportunity to pose for a photograph with an adoring fan ... and there were many of both during that week in France.

“As a member of the heralded ‘Greatest Generation,’ John Fitch has moved to the top echelon of my person list of most memorable characters.”

VETTE extends its condolences to Fitch’s family, friends, and fans affected by his passing.



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