China and the Corvette may have a lot more in common than anyone could imagine as China is the world's largest emerging economy of consumers and as China continues to industrialize (10 years) they will create pockets of wealth for people who want worldly collectibles. Who would have thought we'd see Corvettes in Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Kuwait, and many South American countries. The popularity of Corvette ownership knows no boundaries with many selling overseas to these unusual places where poverty is the norm and wealth is an anomaly. It's a world market and not just North America!
The Suisse Racer is a purpose-built race-proven GM export Corvette big block coupe, VIN 194375S115982. It was delivered new to GM Auto Koch in Luzern, Switzerland in 1965 and raced by the original owner Guido Wermelinger.
A freshened-up 396 ci, 500 hp 4-speed engine reside in this beast of a time capsule with special heavy duty suspension and period factory aluminum heads among this Corvette's many pearls. The Suisse Racer is ready for the track from the interior (roll bar, race seats, and harnesses) to the subtle racing red paint scheme that is suprisingly understated.
ProTeam Corvette brought this storied Corvette out of hibernation and immediately tested its heart on the track during the MAMA (Midwest Automotive Media Association) event May 2nd, 2007 at Road America, Elkhart Lake Wisconsin. The Suisse racer received rock star treatment as it delighted the more than 60 leading automotive journalists and other VIP's gathered to test-drive vehicles at the Road America raceway during the two-day event. It performed like a champion.
The Corvette now sits on display in Napoleon. What has set this Corvette apart is the European race history and the General Motors S.A. Bienne body/trim/engine/trim plate that is installed alongside the original VIN plate and St. Louis body/trim plate. What this elusive Corvette is missing are the historical footnotes that would allow this car its rightful spot among some the best in the marque.
If you have information on this Suisse Racer's owner and/or race history, photos, import documentation, homologation information, FIA records, etc., let me know. Your efforts will not go unrecognized.
Is the bubble bursting on collector Corvette prices?
Unlikely, as the popularity of car (Corvette) collecting is still in its infancy and growing at a pace that outstrips the availability of nice cars. The popularity of Corvette ownership knows no boundaries and many Corvettes are sold overseas including unusual places like Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Kuwait, Japan, UAE, New Zealand, and many South American countries and within the next ten years... China!
Also, a broad base of money resides in the pocket of the Baby Boomers. They hold the largest ever collection of dispensable, discretionary income, and assets ever in the country's past or possibly the future and they want something special. Boomers control much of the monetary whims of the economy and they prefer a hard tangible asset they can enjoy and prefer instant gratification while filling voracious egos owning something that no one else has.