The one-of-a-kind 1957 Corvette SS must be wondering what it has to do to have some fun on the racetrack.
Fifty-seven years ago, the SS made its debut at Sebring but only managed to cover 23 laps before having to head to the garage because of technical problems. Unfortunately, it was to be the only competition for the SS because General Motors and other automakers placed a self-imposed ban on racing competition after several deaths on the track.
That was a shame because Zora Arkus-Duntov had crafted a special Corvette out of magnesium alloy that weighed 900 pounds less than a stock model, complete with a 307 horsepower V8 providing the power. It added up to amazing performance, with racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio climbing behind the wheel of the SS for the first time and setting a new lap record while beating every other car at Sebring that year by four seconds.
Zora somehow managed to save the car from the wrecking ball at GM and donated it to the Hall of Fame Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway about 10 years later.
That’s been the home of the SS ever since, and enthusiasts who believe cars are meant to be driven and not just looked at, are likely overjoyed by the fact that Indy routinely takes its collection of Indy 500 winners and other vehicles and actually uses them on the track.
The SS got its chance to stretch its muscles for a few parade laps at the recent Brickyard Invitational, but as the photo shows, it’s always a gamble whenever you take a priceless car out of the safe confines of its museum home. An unspecified mechanical problem left smoke pouring out of the Corvette and forced it to head back to the garage for repairs.
Maybe next time the SS makes it to the track, it will have better luck.
Photo Credit: IMS
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