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1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit…

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit-1 1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit-5 1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit-3
1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit-4 1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit-2

THE EARLIEST KNOWN CORVETTE RACE CAR, VIN E53F001211. 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.

This Daytona Beach NASCAR 1953 Corvette Convertible, VIN # E53F001211, is one of two, a 1953 and a 1955, that were built/rebuilt by Chevrolet Engineering to be equipped with dual four high output 1956 engines, 3 speed close ratio transmissions, heavy duty rear end assemblies, plastic tonneau covers, small racing windshields and relocated gauges per Mauri Rose. Work was done by Chevrolet Experimental Shop and Garage, subject title: “REBUILDING OF NASCAR CORVETTES FOR STOCK CAR RACING”, dated November 3, 1955. This project was under the direction of Ed Cole and the conversion was under the supervision of 3-time Indy 500 Winner, Mauri Rose.

Delivered to Smokey Yunick, Daytona Beach, Florida in early February 1956 in time for promotional NASCAR photos with Bill France Jr. and Joe Hawkins and the subsequent February 12 -26, 1956 Annual Winter Daytona Beach Classics which included the 7th Annual International Safety and Speed Trials and Stock Car Races (race number 27).

Prior to rebuild by Chevrolet Engineering, this 1953 VIN #211 was raced by NASCAR’s legendary Thomas Brothers (Herb & Don), Junior Johnson, Jimmy Massey, Ralph Liguori, and Gwyn Staley at the Bowman Gray Stadium, Martinsville Speedway and Raleigh Speedway in 1955 (race number 62).

After the February 1956 Daytona Beach races, this car returned to the grit and grime of the legendary North Carolina NASCAR race tracks, primarily Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem, where it was driven by Pee Wee Jones, Bobby Myers, Gwyn Staley, Junior Johnson and Jimmy Massey with race numbers 3 & 27.

In 1958, Mr. Leslie Gray Tuttle purchased #211 from NASCAR and received the GM – MSO and became the first titled owner of #211, and over fifty years later, Mr. Tuttle provided conclusive evidence that helped identify #211 as the original NASCAR Daytona Beach and Carolina Racer.

Documented with the Chevrolet Engineering department build orders and vintage photos from private collections, Chevrolet and the NASCAR archives! This is the earliest known Corvette to run NASCAR’s sanctioned events…and the earliest known Corvette to ever race thus “A Pioneer of Speed”…and a fascinating chapter of Corvette and NASCAR history!

Click here for a history timeline and almost two dozen vintage photos.

 Show Awards and Invitationals: Class Award at the 36th Annual Concours d’Elegance of America in July 2014.  Bloomington Gold Great Hall Special Display in June 2014. First Place Class Award and the Bill Rudd Honorary Trophy at the 36th Annual Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in June 2014. 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 9th, 2014. “Competition Corvette” display at the Corvette Nationals Show in November 2012.

Interesting Links: Read about the Chevrolet Engineering Cars that helped save the Corvette. More information is wanted about the Chevrolet/NASCAR SCODA Corvettes that raced in 1955 and 1956 at Daytona Beach and NASCAR tracks in the Carolinas.  Chevrolet’s answer to the Ford Thunderbird at the 1956 Daytona Speed Week in this 15-minute documentary on YouTube. Historic Timeline.

Credits: Noland Adams, Dave Bartush, David Burroughs, Chevrolet Archives, The Daytona Beach NASCAR Archives, Bill Gould/Auto Ancestry, Historic Speedway Group, John Hutchins, Tim Jones, Richard Miller, Chocolate Myers, Dick Whittington, Laverne Zachary

Special Thank-you… must be given to Loren Lundberg, for without his help the true identity of VIN #211 may have been lost forever and Gray Tuttle of Clinton, NC, who bought VIN

#211 from NASCAR in 1958 and was extremely helpful in identifying the “bones” and offering conclusive evidence that this was his old Corvette race car.

Key Players: Bill France, Paul Whiteman, Mauri Rose, Smokey Yunick, Hubert Westmoreland, Alvin Hawkins, Joe Hawkins, Chevrolet, NASCAR

Key Drivers: Pee Wee Jones, Junior Johnson, Ralph Liguori, Jimmy Massey, Bobby Myers, Gleyn Staley, Don Thomas, Herb Thomas

Comments of questions, email: [email protected]

Still Looking For NASCAR Corvette History…

Monday, October 6th, 2014

NASCAR Corvette History Wanted

 

Sports Cars were featured during the early years at Martinsville Speeday

The 2014 Monterey Collector Car Auctions…

Monday, August 25th, 2014

produced a new record of almost $400 million in classic and collector car sales. This new record shattered the last seven years’ record of $312 million in 2013, $260 million in 2012, $197 million in 2011, $172 million in 2010, $116 million in 2009, $140 million in 2008, and $135 million in 2007.

Some examples of Cars sold during the 2014 Monterey auctions:
1) 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Coupe… sold for $38,115,000.00
2) 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale… sold for $26,400,000.00
3) 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder… sold for $15,180,000.00
4) 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe… sold for $11,550,000.00
5) 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe… sold for $10,176,000.00
6) 1965 Ford GT40 Prototype… sold for $6,930,000.00

Yupp! The above figures are millions!!

Corvettes did not do well compared to the many multi-million dollar Ferraris but we did note that an ex-ProTeam 1968 Red/Red L88 produced $847,000.00 and a 1963 Z06 Tanker Coupe failed to sell at $1.1 million. Car collectors have realized that collector cars are the gold standard and are a tangible appreciating asset. Questions or comments, email [email protected]

Monterey-Collector-Car

ProTeam’s Daytona Beach NASCAR 1953 Doubles-up at Ault Park Concours

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Napoleon, Ohio – – ProTeam’s Daytona Beach NASCAR 1953 Corvette recently took home two awards at the 37th Annual Ault Park Concours d’Elegance held in Cincinnati on June 8th. The historic car took home 1st in class in the Racing division as well as the coveted Bill Rudd “Best Vette” Honorary Trophy.

The Ault Park Concours d’Elegance is a well-heeled annual affair that has quietly become one of the more impressive car events in the country. The show features eighteen classes of classic, vintage, and exotic cars. This year’s Concours celebrated the “Art of the Automobile-Great American Design”. Special displays featured fifty years of the Mustang and the 100th Anniversary of Maserati and Micro cars.

ProTeam had three Corvettes accepted into the field of competition. The 1953 Daytona Beach NASCAR Corvette, the 1954 low-mile Corvette with only 1,455 actual miles and captivating backstory, and the 1962 GM Styling Show Car.

All three cars stood picturesque on the show field but only the 1953 Daytona Beach NASCAR Corvette captured the imagination of the judges. The historic Corvette took 1st place in the Racing Division and won the Bill Rudd Honorary Trophy named for one of the founding members of the Ault Park Concours who’s family keeps his spirit alive by honoring his favorite marque; the Corvette.

Terry Michaelis, ProTeam president, talked about the weekend, “Ault Park has become an annual event for ProTeam. It allows us to flex our muscle by showcasing the work our shop does and more importantly, the strength and significance of the world famous Corvette collection.” He added, “The Daytona Beach NASCAR ’53 fit this year’s celebration perfectly. It is very much rolling art and a true testament to great American design. Its accolades were well deserved.”

The Daytona Beach NASCAR 1953 Corvette Convertible, VIN #E53F001211, Chevrolet Engineering #3950, Race #27 is one of two, a 1953 and a 1955, that were reclaimed from the depths of Chevrolet Engineering. Work was done by Chevrolet Experimental Shop and Garage, subject title: “Rebuilding of NASCAR Corvettes for Stock Car Racing.” Delivered to NASCAR/Daytona Beach in time for the 7th Annual NASCAR Sanctioned Performance Trials and The Flying Mile competition in 1956. After Daytona Speed Week, the car raced at NASCAR’s Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem. This Dual Branding NASCAR/Chevrolet Engineering effort involved Briggs Cunningham, John Fitch, Z.A. Duntov, Ed Cole, and over 125 engineers and several 1953 to 1955 Corvettes that culminated with a win at Sebring in 1956 with John Fitch driving a 1955 Chevrolet Engineering Corvette VIN #1194 of which spared the Corvette from extinction. This is the earliest known Corvette to run NASCAR’s sanctioned events… and maybe the earliest Corvette (VIN) to ever race thus “A Pioneer of Speed”.

ProTeam’s world famous classic Corvette collection, Napoleon, OH. The inventory of 1953 to 2003 Corvettes is open to the public in climate controlled indoor showrooms. Many of these Corvettes have been beautifully restored to like-new condition and carry prestigious honors such as the Bloomington Gold Certification, NCRS Top Flight award, and the Triple Crown designation. ProTeam Corvette is recognized as the nation’s leader in classic Corvette sales, service & restoration selling an estimated 10,000+ Corvettes over the past four decades. Email: [email protected] or on the web: www.proteamcorvette.com

The Ault Park 38th Annual Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for the first weekend in June 2015 with proceeds of the event going to the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation, Ohio River Valley Chapter. Email: [email protected] or on the web: www.ohioconcours.com

ProTeam 1953 Corvette at Ault Park Concours d'Elegance 2014

ProTeam 1953 Corvette at Ault Park Concours d'Elegance 2014

ProTeam Receives 4 NCRS Top Flight Awards…

Monday, May 19th, 2014

at April 2014 event. This award originated in 1974 by the NCRS to recognize cars preserved or restored to the highest level of achievement as determined through the NCRS Flight process. Corvettes must achieve 94% to earn “NCRS Top Flight” in a rigorous judging process of operations check, exterior, interior, mechanical and chassis judging. Interestingly, all four cars received 100% during the operations judging process, which is a testament to the thoroughness of ProTeam key shop personnel and primarily Billy Rodenhauser. The four cars that received the honor are:

– 1962 Black RPO-687 Fuelie. Stk. 1081C

– 1964 White Factory Air Convertible. Stk. 1007E

– 1967 Blue 400hp Factory Air Coupe. Stk. 1014C

– 1970 Red ZR1 T-Top. Stk. 1057E

For more information on the hundreds of industry awards received by ProTeam and ProTeam’s World Famous Corvette Collection click here and then compare with any of ProTeam’s competitors including the TV famous auction companies. Click on our stock number link to check out these cars. Comments and/or questions, email: [email protected]

Classic Corvettes from ProTeam's World Famous Collection go 4 for 4 in NCRS Judging

WANTED Any Scoda/NASCAR…

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Photos, Programs, Race Grids/Results of the early 1953-55 Corvettes that raced against the T-Birds at Raleigh, NC around August 1955, Martinsville, VA on June 3rd, 1956, Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC (1956-57) and Daytona Beach, FL in February 1956.
The race numbers probably were #62, #92, #16, #27 and #3.

The Drivers were Bill France, Alvin or Jack Hawkins in Daytona and Pee Wee Jones, Bobby Myers and Billy Myers in the Carolinas and probably Martinsville, VA. The cars were probably maintained by Hubert Westmoreland.

I would like to communicate with the official or unofficial historian of each of these racetracks and persons knowledgeable on the NASCAR Scoda sanctioned events.

Any information will probably be used to write a book on this fascinating chapter of NASCAR History. Rewards! Email: [email protected] or write to: P.O. Box 606, Napoleon, Ohio 43545

Rick Tavel Talks Great Hall and tMichaelis…

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Automotive writer chats with Terry about ProTeam and his inclusion into the Bloomington Great Hall Class of 2014 in his Article Terry Michaelis Selected for Bloomington Gold Great Hall

Terry Michaelis inducted into Bloomington Gold Great Hall

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The Great Hall featuring the People, the Cars, and the Stories
Napoleon, Ohio — Terry Michaelis, President of ProTeam Corvette, has been inducted into the Bloomington Gold Great Hall class of 2014. An honor reserved for those people and cars that were pioneers and influenced the Corvette hobby and the Corvette phenomenon.

The Bloomington Great Hall was designed as a five-year celebration of the 50 most significant and influential people and organizations and the 50 most influential and historic Corvettes; those pioneers, game changers, educators, and inspirators that have forever influenced the hobby. A selection committee of dedicated enthusiasts spearheaded by David Burroughs has assured preservation for the next generation of the stories and the why these people and cars matter. The induction on the grounds of the University of Illinois on June 27th, 2014 will include insights from the inductees, past and present.

Terry Michaelis is co-owner of ProTeam Corvette and has bought and sold more than 10,000 Corvettes in his storied career. Michaelis began his Corvette love affair over 40 years ago on a local car lot. By the mid-1970’s, Michaelis was dubbed “King” of Corvette aftermarket parts. Michaelis and his brother, Fred, formed ProTeam Classic Corvette in 1987, where they assembled the largest most dynamic collection of classic Corvettes in the world. He has become such a world-renowned expert on Corvettes that his knowledge has been the focus of hundreds of radio interviews and newspaper articles, as well as a long list of industry publications. Terry continues to lobby for the collector Corvette community with the same passion and affection for over the top marketing that he first had when he bought and sold his first Corvette in 1971.

Terry is honored to be included in the Great Hall but wants to make clear this hobby is much bigger than fifty people, “As flattered as I am to accept entry into the Great Hall, I don’t enter alone. I take along the decades of indelible friendships and memories,” he added, “It is those folks who stand in the shadow of our hobby. We fifty represent them and the thousands of other unsung Corvette scholars, craftsmen, and weekend warriors that ensure this hobby’s survival.”

Terry enters the Great Hall alongside members of the 2014 inductees including (People and Organizations) Cypress Gardens, Bob Gold/Bob Cook Auctions, Al Grenning, Ronnie Kaplan, Irwin Kroiz, Karl Ludvigsen, National Corvette Museum, Vince Piggins, and Larry Shinoda. For more information, email Bill Locke at [email protected] The Corvettes making the grade are the 1955 Duntov Mule, 1963 Mark II Z06; the 1966 427 coupe, the 1967 327 coupe, the 1967 DX L88, the 1968 Owens-Corning Racer, the 1969 Rebel L88 Racer, the Pratt and Miller Le Mans Racer; the fourth-generation Corvette; and the C7 Corvette. To learn more about the Great Hall and Bloomington Gold, visit BloomingGold.com or email [email protected]

ProTeam’s world famous classic Corvette collection, Napoleon, OH. The inventory of 1953 to 2003 Corvettes is open to the public in climate controlled indoor showrooms. Many of these Corvettes have been beautifully restored to like-new condition and carry prestigious honors such as the Bloomington Gold Certification, NCRS Top Flight award, and the Triple Crown designation. ProTeam Corvette is recognized as the nation’s leader in classic Corvette sales, service & restoration selling an estimated 10,000+ Corvettes over the past four decades. Email: [email protected] or on the web: www.proteam-corvette.com

A Historic Birthday Party…

Friday, January 17th, 2014

This past weekend January 9-11, 2014 local long time resident ED WITTWER celebrated his birthday with good friend JIM GESSNER who is one day older. Both men are avid Corvette enthusiasts who invited 38 friends from across America and Canada to join them at Ed’s shop, CORVETTE SERVICE, in Carpinteria, California.

The mission was to ”share” knowledge of some of the rarest Corvette models ever built, namely a 1957 fuel injection model with the very rare AIR BOX and H.D. Brake and suspension option. 43 cars were built in 1957.

Also inspected were four very rare 1963 Corvette Split Window coupes with the rare Z0-6 Options. 63 models were built with the 36 gallon gas tank, fuel injection, HD Suspension and brakes.

Noted expert KEN KAYSER from Michigan gave a one hour review on GM Engineering history on the 1957 era. Ken was a Chevrolet POWERTRAIN engineer from 1968-2008.

Restoration Shop owner and 1963 expert TONY AVEDISIAN from Gaithersburg, Maryland gave the seminar on the rare 1963 Corvette Z0-6 cars.

Two days of history was recorded by LARRY NIMMER PICTURES . We hope this history will be saved for future generations.
Regards, Jim Gessner and Ed Wittwer
www.vettefinderjim.com
www.registryofcorvetteracecars.com

NOTE: It was my pleasure to be part of this as both a friend and avid enthusiast. It is a joy to be part of this hobby and connected to its great people!

 

NCRS Horsepower War Seminar a Success…

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

as Nearly 200 people spent an early November Saturday at ProTeam listening to panelists and presenters which included many GM insiders and retired engineers. Their anecdotes and industry knowledge featured candid discussions about the mid-60’s horsepower wars making for a one-of-a-kind experience for even the most casual Corvette enthusiast. The world famous ProTeam Corvette collection welcomed a few more additions for the day including a 1967 unrestored L88 Corvette convertible, the James Garner Team AIR L88 #44 Corvette, the 1969 Greenwood BFG L88 #49 Corvette, the first experimental engineering big block motor that made its way into Grand Sport #3 in time for Sebring, and a 1969 OEM ZL1 motor. The daylong event brought folks from as far away as Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, Maryland, and Canada and brought together Millennials and Baby Boomers. It truly was an affair to remember. The NCRS Chapters of Michigan, Heart of Ohio, and Indiana delivered on their promise of an event like no other. They have set the bar high for the 2014 Seminar. Click here to read the whole story. Comments? Email [email protected]

 

L88 War Horse Display at ProTeam

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