Photo Credit: Richard Prince
It’s time again for Throwback Thursday where we feature vintage photos of Corvettes. As Corvette Racing prepares for their 17th consecutive year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a story about their very first visit has been making the rounds recently from the likes of Program Manager Doug Fehan and Richard Prince, the team’s official photographer.
On a recent episode of Autoline After Hours, Doug was asked about why there is such love for the Corvette team from the French people. He explained that on their first trip to Le Mans, marketing manager Gary Claudio had an idea to connect with the French people. After the team went through the scrutineer process and then had their “official” team photo taken, Doug asked for a moment in which the entire team donned berets and fake mustaches and posed for an “unofficial” photo much to the delight of the fans.
According to Doug, the next day their team photo with the berets made the front page of the local newspaper and the rest is history.
You can hear Doug tell the story on Autoline After Hours and it comes at the 5:00 minute mark.
That first team photo with the berets was posted on Corvette Racing’s twitter account on Wednesday, which was then followed up on Facebook by official team photographer Richard Price who shared the photos from that event and expanded on how it all went down:
Sixteen years ago Corvette Racing made its first appearance in the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the conclusion of scrutineering, in the shadow of Cathédrale St-Julien du Mans, the city’s magnificent Romanesque/Gothic cathedral, the team paused for a traditional group photo. To the shock and delight of everyone watching, team members first donned cowboy hats and then replaced those with berets and, for the drivers, fake mustaches. The Americans had landed! And with their simple, good-natured, comical gesture they sent a powerful message – Corvette Racing had crossed the Atlantic and come to the Medieval city of Le Mans fully committed to winning, but with every intention of having fun while doing so. Next week the team will make its seventeenth consecutive appearance at Le Mans. In keeping with the same spirit established in 2000 and carried forth every year since, the defending GTLM champions will have fun while pursuing a ninth victory in the world’s greatest race.
[PIC] Throwback Thursday: Car Spy Captures a Disguised 1984 Corvette Prototype
[PIC] Throwback Thursday: Zora Duntov and the EX87 Corvette Mule Hit 163 MPH
[PIC] Throwback Thursday: Downtown in a Classic Corvette