This classic 1960 Corvette racer was sold February 2nd at the Bonhams Paris sale. It is a sister car to the cars that ran Le Mans in 1960. The gold-with-red-stripes racer owned by Corvette author and enthusiast Tom Falconer changed hands for €67,850 with all fees. That’s $88,878 to you and me.
Falconer wrote ‘Original Corvette 1953-1962’ and is Judging Chairman of the UK Chapter of the NCRS.
The JRG Special began its career in the 1960s with an owner from Long Island, New York. The hard top-only Corvette represents SCCA B-Production cars of that time. Modifications were minimal with just the bumpers and hubcaps removed. After its road racing career ended it was converted over for drag racing duty.
Bernie Chodosh found the car in 1989 laying in a back yard in Long Island. The rear fenders had been cut to make way for some sticky drag slicks. Only the roll-bar remained to hint at this car’s racing past. The hard top was long gone.
Bernie and Tom planned the restoration during a conversation about a hardtop Falconer had recently purchased. Tom generated a rendering of the finished car in felt-tip pen and crayon. From there plans were set forth to transport the JRG racer from New York across the Atlantic Ocean to Kent, England. The 12-month restoration yielded a period-correct race car. They added reinforcing gussets to the chassis as were recommended in GM’s performance leaflets. Speculation is that one Zora Arkus-Duntov created these documents. The suspension is stock but now also sports some period gusseting and racing caster settings. The brakes are period heavy-duty drums, with vents drilled for cooling. The original steel wheels are finished in Roman Red, in lieu of the pricier Halibrand wheels found on the Le Mans cars. The 370hp cast iron 283ci was tuned by race engine specialist Gary Steffens.
The JRG special made its debut at Goodwood on March 3rd 2007 where it gained its FIA papers. It has since been campaigned by Chodosh and John Young in various historic and endurance events at Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and Snetterton.
In 2011 it was brought up to UK road specifications including legal lighting and a second race seat. The co-pilot’s chair allows it to qualify for international road endurance events. It also passed the UK’s roadworthiness test in December. In addition, the drivetrain has been refreshed with a new clutch and flywheel and a slightly quieter road exhaust.
The pre-auction estimate was €55,000 to €65,000 and the final bid fell right inside that range. The total price including commission was €67,850 which converts to just under $89,000. We don’t know where the JRG Special’s new home is located, but we hope the new owner will continue to drive and race this unique piece of Corvette history.
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