Not many people have seen a 1963 Corvette Grand Sport in action, but the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia is offering enthusiasts just such a rare opportunity later this month.
During a weekend full of exciting activities on November 16 and 17, the Simeone Museum will take its 1963 #002 Grand Sport onto its back lot and demonstrate it for the public.
The demonstration will be the culmination of a special Corvette Racing Legends event set that weekend at the museum.
The event will celebrate the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) championship season of the Corvette Racing team, with Corvette Racing manager Doug Fehan as guest of honor.
Attendees will see the Corvette Racing Display trailer, featuring a C6.R Showcar, ZR1 Chassis and 427 60th Anniversary Convertible, two engines, and gaming station. They’ll also hear a presentation by Fehan on the 2012 racing season during a dinner on Friday evening, November 16.
Then Dr. Simeone and Fehan will give a special presentation on Corvette racing from the mid-1950s to the present on Saturday, November 17. The #002 Grand Sport will then be demonstrated. Tickets to the Friday dinner are $75 and include admission to the Saturday presentation as well.
Admission to the November 17th Corvette Racing Legends Demonstration day is included with regular museum admission: $12 adults; $10 senior; $8 students; children 8 and under are admitted free. Click here for ticket information.
Fehan is the heart and soul of Corvette Racing. His was the unseen hand behind Wayne Taylor’s 1996 IMSA World Sports Car title with Oldsmobile’s Aurora V-8 and Tom Kendall’s 1990 Trans-Am championship in a Chevrolet Beretta. He’s guided Corvette Racing to eight consecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers and team championships in 2001-08, along with seven straight drivers championships with Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta winning titles.
Corvette Racing recently scored its 85th win in 140 ALMS races it has entered. Chevrolet and Corvette Racing have won nine ALMS manufacturer and team championships since 2001. The team made the transition to the production-based GT category in 2009, and has scored eight wins in the super-competitive class.
The #002 Grand Sport found a home in 2009 at the Simeone Foundation Museum, which calls the return of the car a homecoming of sorts for the Corvette. Following the reveal of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s secret program to defeat the Shelby Corbras, GM ordered the program terminated. Philadelphia Chevrolet Dealer Roger Penske stepped forward and purchased the two Grand Sport Roadsters. Penske eventually sold chassis #002 to George Wintersteen who campaigned the car in 1966.
The previous owner of chassis #002 commissioned a complete duplicate body and a second engine. That body and engine was mounted on the original chassis frame so that the car could take part in vintage races without the fear of damaging the original body and engine.
The #002 Corvette Grand Sport joined a collection of over 60 of most significant racing cars ever built. The Simone Foundation Automotive Museum is different than other auto museums as it uses the cars to tell a story. This collection is about how competition and racing improves the breed.
The Grand Sport had been offered for sale in 2009 at RM Auction’s Automobiles of Arizona. Despite much publicity and excitement, the bidding stalled at $4.9 million, far short of the $7-$10 million estimate.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 for students. Children under 8 are admitted free.
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