As we all know by now, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans marked Corvette’s 50th Anniversary of racing in the world’s most prestigious sports car race. Earlier this year, Chevy introduced the one of one 2011 Corvette Z06 Le Mans 50th Anniversary edition to celebrate the achievement. At this year’s Anniversary Celebration at the Museum, the White with Blue Corvette Z06 will be united with one of the Corvettes that started it all – the 1960 #3 Briggs Cunningham Corvette owned by Lance Miller.
The #2 and #3 Briggs Cunningham Corvettes have already made appearances at Corvette Racing events in both Monterey and Le Mans, and in early September, the #3 Corvette will be displayed with the 2011 Corvette Z06 at the Corvette Museum.
“When you look at the Corvettes that raced at Le Mans 50 years ago, it’s impossible not to be impressed by the passion, the immense courage, and the physical stamina that was required to race for 24 hours in those vehicles,” said Corvette Racing program Doug Fehan. “It was an astounding feat, and the men who drove them have my respect. Regardless of what Corvette Racing may have accomplished in the past or what we may accomplish in the future, we will always work in the shadow of these racers.”
Briggs Cunningham’s No. 3 Corvette was purchased by the late Chip Miller who went through great lengths to restore the car. His son, Lance, has carried on the passion by shipping the car to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race… a race where it finished first in the large displacement GT category and eighth overall at Le Mans in 1960.
Driver Johnny O’Connell enjoyed the rare opportunity to drive the No. 3 1960 Corvette during a photo shoot at Le Mans:
“The race cars and technology have changed greatly over the years, but Chevrolet’s approach to racing has been consistent,” O’Connell said. “The Corvettes that raced at Le Mans in 1960 were very nearly stock vehicles, and to this day, Corvette Racing is still a tool to improve the breed. The relationship that the race team has with the production engineers definitely benefits Chevrolet customers.”
Lance Miller will be with the #3 1960 Corvette racer and will conduct a seminar during the National Corvette Museum’s weekend of activities. Look for some great photos and stories from both the Corvette’s original visit to Le Mans in 1960 as well as its triumphant return in June. During the weekend, the #3 Corvette will be displayed side-by-side with the modern recreated 2011 Corvette Z06.
The 2011 Corvette Z06 Le Mans 50th Anniversary Edition was first introduced at the Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash in early May. Its the first Corvette of the 2011 Model Year and wears VIN 001. The GM Design Center added many special features to the Corvette including Cyber Gray carbon fiber splitters and rockers, Cyber Gray headlight buckets and rear view mirrors. The White with Blue stripes pays homage to the original 1960 Corvette that wore the American livery at Le Mans.
The 2011 Corvette Z06 will be used as a fundraiser for the National Corvette Museum. Director Wendell Strode has suggested the car is available for a tax-deductible donation of $300,000 plus the cost of the Corvette which is estimated to be around $85,000.
The Corvette Museum’s 16th Anniversary Celebration will be held September 2-4,2010 and features seminars, road tours and the Corvette Hall of Fame inductions. For more information about registering, visit the NCM.
National Corvette Museum