Another rare Corvette with a long history of racing success goes on the block at Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California Aug. 14-16.
This one is a 1966 convertible purchased new in Salt Lake City, Utah by Lynn Butler, whose intentions all along were to race his Corvette.
No wonder that he checked the boxes for the L72 427/425 big-block V8, M22 4-speed transmission, 4.56 Positraction rear end, F41 suspension, J56 heavy-duty 4-wheel disc brakes, K66 transistor ignition, and soft-top delete.
Butler was one of “The In Team,” a group of racers sponsored by Gordon Wilson Chevrolet where “Leonard,” as Butler nicknamed his ‘Vette, was originally purchased.
Fortunately, we know all this about the car because a subsequent owner, Mike Sepe, found the words “Lynn Butler the in team Corvette” engraved on the bottom of its original M22 transmission.
Sepe was able to locate Butler, who told him that he never drove Leonard on the street, preferring instead to eat 427 Cobras and other competitors for lunch in SCCA A/P racing. That domination came after Bruno’s Corvettes in Los Angeles had prepared the car for racing and the 427 engine had been modified by Traco Engineering in Culver City, California.
Another racer then added to Leonard’s legend by winning several SCCA West Coast Championship A/ and B/Production titles with the car.
Another chapter of Leonard’s biography included domination of the San Diego slalom and autocross racing scene for several years, after the car had been fitted with a small block.
Some lucky bidder will go home in a few days with Leonard, who’s just been nicely restored with a period-correct 427 engine. The original M22 is still intact, which is very significant in that only 14 others were installed by the factory in 1966 Corvettes. The buyer will also get extensive period photos and race results, as well as a copy of the original order sheet from the dealership.
“A 1994 Bloomington Gold Special Collection participant now listed in the Registry of Corvette Race Cars, Leonard is once again ready for competition with its next proud owner,” Mecum says.
The historic Corvette is expected to bring $225,000 to $275,000 when it crossed the Mecum auction block on Friday, August 15th.