1953 NASCAR Corvette 50-Page documentary. Never before seen old photos, Chevrolet Engineering build orders, & the history of how Ed Cole and Chevrolet Engineering saved the Corvette from the chopping block. http://www.nascarcorvette.com/i/442661
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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]
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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
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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
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are now available for the following Corvettes:
C2: Original Block: 3855962, VIN 5116722, F0420IF, (C-16-5)… Original Block: 3782870, VIN 5109228, F1030HU, (K-28-4)… Original Block: 3855962, VIN 5116094, T0413IF, (D-2-5)… Original Block: 3855962, VIN 5122944, T0712IF, (F-29-65)… Original Block: 3858174, VIN 6100876, F0901HE, (H-31-5)… Original Block: 3858174, VIN 6111067, F0105HE, (L-9-5)… Original Block: 3858180, VIN 7108541, F1002HP, (D-11-6)… Original Block: 3869942, VIN 6113378, T0202IL, (A-18-6)… Original Block: 3869942, VIN 6121809, T0504IL, (B-17-6)… Original Block: 3869942, VIN 6122337, T0511IP, (B-4-6)… Original Block: 3869942, VIN 6105209, T1103IP, (F-22-5)… Original Block: 3869942, VIN 6114227, T0126IP, (I-2-5)… Original Block: 3869942, VIN 6108989, T1129IP, (K-30-5)… Original Block: 3892657, VIN 7109473, V0124HT, (A-23-7)… Original Block: 3892657, VIN 7119252, V0515HE, (E-10-7)… Original Block: 3892657, VIN 7101797, V0729HE, (F-30-6)… Original Block: 3892657, VIN 7107891, V0913HT, (I-2-6)
C3: Original Block: 3963512, VIN 19S709930, T1121LM, (K-9-8)… Original Block: 3970010, VIN 19S723070, V0613HY, (F-10-9)
C2: Car Shipper/Invoice 67-00318… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-03476… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-04218… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-04635… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-07077… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15193… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17175… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-09375… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-09432… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-09433… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-10300… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-10459… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-10539… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-10905… Tank Sticker 67-13484… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15034… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15038… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15209… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15699… Car Shipper 67-15830… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15915… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15946… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-15949… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17324… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17398… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17400… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17675… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17745… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17840… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17845… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-17868… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-18150… Warranty Book/P.O.P. 67-19445… Car Shipper/Invoice 67-19674
C3 68-72: Car Shipper/Invoice 68-00101… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-00367… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-02154… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-02574… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-03030… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-03319… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-03454… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-03464… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-03644… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-04249… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-04567… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-04847… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-05038… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-09360… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-10193… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-10558… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-10867… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-10999… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-12028… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-14875… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-15169… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-15235… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-17328… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-18201… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-18743… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-20561… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-22524… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-22551… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-22620… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-22633… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-24248… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-25885… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-26089… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-26103… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-26168… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-26191… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-26262… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-26383… Car Shipper/Invoice 68-27877… Window Sticker 69-24442
Email: [email protected] if you see your VIN number and would like to mate your car back up with the above item.
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ProTeam Corvettes won not one, not two, but three Benchmark awards at the June 2013 Bloomington Gold event held in Champaign, Illinois. This feat is a rare jewel among Corvette hobbyists and unheard of when considering they were judged from one collection in the same weekend.
Bloomingtongold.com defines the BENCHMARK Certification® as the ultimate standard for unrestored vehicles. Fewer than 200 Corvettes over that period have earned the right to the award since 1991 and for good reason.
BENCHMARK could just as easily be called the IRON MAN for the gauntlet the car must pass though in the short 48-hour period. To gain entry into the field, the Corvette must first be deemed at least 51% original, complete a road course, demonstrate its originality and then be called BLOOMINGTON SURVIVOR before moving onto GOLD judging. There the car must be judged (95%) alongside the pampered restored cars and then earn GOLD. This combination wins the elusive BLOOMINGTON GOLD BENCHMARK. A phenomenal success for three very special original unrestored Corvettes.
ProTeam’s world famous collection three Corvettes up to the task were a Red/Black 1963 Fuelie Z06 Split Window Coupe; a Daytona Blue 1963 Export Right Hand Drive Fuelie Z06 Split Window Coupe that was an ex-GM Holden show car that served duty at the Melbourne and Sydney Motor Shows in Australia; and a White/Green 435hp 1967 Convertible from Allen Green Chevrolet of Seattle, Washington.
A combination of low miles and a “massage” back to life by the ProTeam shop and these cars had little trouble on the road and through the operations checks. Note that this is no afternoon in the sun with the hushed tones and static displays of other shows. The BENCHMARK judging creates its own energy. If not by the atmosphere but by the people who live these cars. “These shows need more energy and I gave them my two dollars and two cents worth.” Terry Michaelis, ProTeam president, made this comment before his signature burnout as he approached the awards ceremony to the cheers of the spectators. “Burn baby burn!”
These three BENCHMARK Corvettes as well three barns of L88s, LS6s, muscle, and Sunday drivers are on display in ProTeam’s world famous classic Corvette collection in Napoleon, Ohio. The inventory of 1953 to 2008 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
2013 marked Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA’s 40th anniversary. Bloomington Gold is the longest running continuous national Corvette event and it has set the standards by which other Corvette events are measured. For more information about Bloomington Gold go to BloomingtonGold.com or email [email protected]
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Fresh off the trailer and into the collection. 1967 Corvette 327 Coupe, factory air, powerglide, numbers match, 76,577 actual miles. This Corvette was in the care of one owner for the past 31-years.
As neat as the car is, my experience buying is proof that the Corvette hobby is littered with some really great people.
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Examples of original cars recently sold at auction:
1. 1963 Corvette 360 hp Coupe – sold at Mecum for $328,600.00
2. 1963 Corvette 340 hp Coupe – sold at Mecum for $291,500.00
3. 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra – sold at Gooding & Co. for $1,320,000.00
4. 1966 Shelby GT 350 Fastback – sold at Barrett-Jackson for $247,500.00
5. 1967 Shelby GT 500 Fastback – sold at Barrett-Jackson for $192,500.00
6. 1967 Corvette 435 hp Convertible – sold at Mecum for $265,000.00
7. 1967 Corvette 435 hp Convertible – NO SALE at Mecum for $185,500.00
8. 1968 Corvette 435 hp Convertible – sold at Mecum for $83,740.00
9. 1969 Corvette L88 Convertible – sold at Gooding & Co. for $825,000.00
10. 1969 Corvette L88 Coupe – sold at Mecum for $595,720.00
11. 1969 Boss 429 Fastback – sold at Mecum for $442,000.00
12. 1969 Boss 429 Fastback – NO SALE at Mecum for $296,800.00
13. 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda – sold at Mecum for $339,200.00
14. 1975 Oldsmobile 98 Coupe – sold at Barrett-Jackson for $47,300.00
15. 1978 Cadillac Eldorado –sold at Mecum for $50,350.00
There are dozens of other examples that I could recite about original, unrestored, unmolested cars.
Original, unrestored, unmolested cars are the pinnacle of preservation and an icon of fresh air after looking at hundreds of boring restored classic cars that are wearing their new basecoat/clear coat finishes and heavily Armor-All’d interiors.
Restoring these original unmolested cars robs the car of its soul, destroys its fingerprints and character and some would say is an act of vandalism.
We are but temporary caretakers of these pieces of automotive history and as we and the market matures we are seeing the whole automotive preservation movement growing out of its infancy and its being recognized by more than just the seasoned collector.
Comments or questions email: [email protected]
For more information on the preservation movement, click here and read David Burroughs article on Restore it? Or Not!
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