Texas legend Delmo Johnson is one of the pioneers of Corvette road racing with a career that goes back to the early days. His lengthy list of significant Corvette racers he has piloted include Grand Sports #003 and #004 and C1 and C2 Corvettes raced under the Gulf Oil banner. In the early 1990′s, after many years in retirement, some friends encouraged him to come out and race one more time and this 1968/74 Corvette was his ride.
The car started its life in 1968 and was immediately put on the track. Based on the pieced-together history, it appears the car went off the track several times during its racing career. Car-builder Jeff Weymouth reconstructed the Corvette in 1975 and Fred Whitehead drove it to 2nd place in the 1978 SCCA National Championships. Its final major off-track excursion came at Road Atlanta in 1982 with driver Alan Sevadjian at the wheel. The throttle stuck and the Corvette flipped many times. Sevadjian emerged unscathed.
The car was rebuilt prepped to 1974 IMSA/SCCA GT1 specs by Alan Sevadjian’s Texas shop and was financed by Houston developer Gerry Chalmers, a 30-year SCCA competitor, without regard to costs.
The car was later acquired by Texas race team owner John Mecom. Mecom’s own history with the Grand Sports is also legendary as he led the “privateer” effort with lightweight racers at Nassau in 1963. Delmo had driven for Mecom in the Grand Sports, and Delmo persuaded Mecom to part with the Corvette.
The Corvette is powered by a 366 ci Chevy small block pro-built racing engine. It is equipped with dry-sump lubrication, and accessories are state of the art and driven by cog belts. Other specs include an all-synchromesh close-ratio Borg Warner Super T-10 aluminum-case transmission, limited-slip rear axle, aluminum radiator, oil, transmission, and power-steering coolers, competition gauges, and an onboard Halon fire system.
Delmo last raced the car in the Corinthian Vintage Racing Club in 1997 and it has not turned a wheel in anger since. It has just been restored cosmetically, has a fresh engine and is ready for competition or for just blowing off steam on track day.
The 1974 IMSA GT1 cars are the newest and among the fastest in vintage racing. Delmo Johnson and Alan Sevadjian have both signed the Corvette and other documentation comes with the car.
The Delmo Johnson Corvette is being offered on ebay with a “Buy-it-Now” price of $79,000. Interestingly, the Corvette was last seen for sale in May 2009 at Worldwide’s Houston Auction where it sold for $44,000, including buyer’s premium.
For more background on “Delmo Johnson’s last Corvette”, check out The Registry of Corvette Race Cars.