1953 Daytona Beach NASCAR #211 and 1958 Chitwood Thrill Show Car Honored in Denver
Napoleon, Ohio - - Two of ProTeam’s historically significant and highly editorialized Corvettes received the NCRS AMERICAN HERITAGE Award® in Denver at the 2015 NCRS National Convention.
The award is among the most respected and important in the marque and it isn’t for the faint of heart. After an initial qualifying round where sign-off is needed to even compete for the prize, the car is then judged on its merit on the national stage. How rare is this feat? Only 44 Corvettes have ever received the AMERICAN HERITAGE® award out of total production of over 1.6 million Corvettes built. 95% (42 of 44) of those awards came between 1974 and 2014. ProTeam’s 1953 Daytona Beach NASCAR #211 and 1958 Chitwood Thrill Show Car are the only two that made the cut at the 2015 NCRS National Convention in Denver.
“It is an honor that goes beyond just today.” Terry Michaelis commenting after the presentations, “These Corvettes are distinct because of their story but are award winners because of the team back in Napoleon who worked to bring these cars up to incredibly high standards. The NASCAR Corvette and the Chitwood ’58 are textbook representations of the sweat and attention we strive for in each ProTeam Corvette in our collection.”
The AMERICAN HERITAGE Award® was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in order to recognize Corvettes proven historically significant with regard to the marque’s legacy. These cars by their nature fall outside of the NCRS judging criteria, cars like GM styling and GM experimental. As for vintage race cars, they must have actual race history and be presented in the race form. It is an exclusive club. Only two to three vehicles per year are accepted for judging.
1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit VIN # E53F001211 "THE EARLIEST KNOWN CORVETTE RACE CAR” This Daytona Beach "NASCAR Unit” was created by Chevrolet Engineering for NASCAR stock car racing, and was probably a dual branding effort between Chevrolet’s Ed Cole and NASCAR’s Bill France. This effort was part of Ed Cole’s push to save the Corvette from extinction (700 sales in 1955) and Chevrolet’s first effort in creating a brand image of speed and performance lasting through seven generations of Corvettes. #211 will be on display at National Corvette Museum until September 6th, 2015 in their Special NASCAR Exhibit.
Legendary Joie Chitwood of “Thrill Show” fame ordered the 1958 Chitwood Thrill Show Corvette Convertible Hardtop new. Substantial documentation is included with this vehicle, including original Joie Chitwood promotional materials, video footage of Chitwoods Thrill Show, owner history, the original 1958 registration signed by Joie Chitwood and all registrations thereafter. This is a beautiful, historic, and highly documented vehicle that has been professionally maintained after a nuts-and-bolts restoration.