Thursday, 5 January 2012

One of two 1961 Corvettes special ordered by Don Yenko Chevrolet for delivery to Grady Davis - of Gulf Oil Research and Development fame, made with the special factory speed parts that Duntov could equip it with

 Going up for auction at Mecum’s January 24-29, 2012 Kissimmee Florida event, possesses a host of rare options and a provenance worthy of the velvet rope treatment at any of the world’s finest auto museums or vintage races.  Gulf Oil sponsored and driven to an SCCA B-Production national championship by the likes of Dr. Dick “The Flying Dentist” Thompson and Don Yenko, it stands as one the most successful and important production-based Corvette race cars ever constructed.

Upon delivery to Don Yenko Chevrolet and then Grady Davis, Number 11 was prepped for the Twelve Hours of Sebring where it was piloted by Don Yenko and Ben Moore to a third place finish. The Corvette was then moved to SCCA competition where, again in Yenko’s hands, it won Virginia, Cumberland, Bridgehampton, Dunkirk, and Lime Rock. A good season, this. Except these were just the first five races. At the sixth race at Meadowvale, competitors grumbled. Rumors spread. Soon, tech inspectors pulled the Corvette and found the car was running an aluminum flywheel and not, as required by SCCA rules, one made of steel. Though legal in the FIA races in which Number 11 first competed, the part’s presence at an SCCA B-Production race earned Yenko a six-month suspension.

 Competitors sighed with relief. Grady Davis called Dr Dick Thompson.

 Sitting in Number 11’s race seat, Thompson picked up where Yenko left off and drove the Corvette to victory Bridgehampton, Indianapolis, Thompson, Road America and Watkins Glen.  In the half-season spent with the Corvette, Thompson won every race and the B-Production National Championship

photos from via the Vintage Racing League weekly newsletter


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