The Corvette was Chevrolet’s move away from the cumbersome, wallowy ‘Yank Tanks’ of the 1950s towards a more European design. Unquestionably, it was an automobile that redefined American car design. But there was something the American market just couldn’t move away from, an addiction they couldn’t shake – raw horsepower from a grumbling V8. Where the ‘Vette perhaps fell behind its European competition in handling, it made up for in power and was the reason Briggs Cunningham ran 3 at Le Mans in 1959. The Sting Ray followed in 1963, its fastback shape becoming an immediate icon.
The star of an article in the magazine ‘VETTE’ in 1981, chassis 194375S117852 was referred to as ‘originally factory-built as a Daytona race car…It has never seen street service’. The early history of the car is still being researched, but during its recent restoration, stampings were found on the roll cage that show that it was already racing by 1970, although we are not sure where and with whom. There are letters from previous owners from the late 1970s through to the late 1980s confirming it was regularly used for competition.
This Stingray received a complete and thorough restoration between 2005 – 2008 in America and the paperwork in the file for this is extensive. The interior isn’t brash, ugly and stripped out as is often the case, but retains original seats, door trim and dash board, showing the high quality of restoration work and attention to detail. The Hirst shifter, full roll cage and American Racing Wheels go to show that it was built for serious competition, with the accompanying Pro Autosports log book recording that it was used on track post restoration in 2008. The current UK owner bought it in 2009 and imported it into the UK at that point.
Whilst being a ‘small block, disc brake’ car excludes it from securing HTP papers without some modification, this Corvette is still eligible for certain race series and will make a formidable race car. UK road registered, it is ideal to drive to and from the race circuit, as we recently did for a test day at Silverstone. We invite you to come and view it at our Bicester showrooms.