Corvette enthusiasts know all about the SR-2 Corvettes built to compete at Sebring in 1956-57 with the latest technological developments of that era.
Ken Hanna, co-founder of Chicago’s Chevy/Vettefest Nationals, is one enthusiast who did more than just admire the SR-2. Back in 1990, he began an eight-year “development process,” as he terms it, that finally resulted in a Corvette SRIII “Prototype” built to his demanding specifications.
Now, that car is up for sale on eBay at the “Buy It Now” price of $149,900.
Hanna had always admired the special design features of the ultimate Corvettes from the 1956-62 era – the SR-2s, Sebring race cars, the Motorama dream cars, and one-off specials built by the factory during that time, so in 1990 he decided to design a Corvette to fit a theme that would incorporate many of the features of those vehicles.
“But I also wanted to do something that was not being done at that time,” Hanna says. “I commissioned a designer, Mike Stockdale, of Automotive Design Center to build a round tube chassis using the latest Corvette suspension of the day and to call this Corvette an SRIII. Mike went on to create SRIII Motorsports. Mine is serial #1.”
So the dream began with this custom chassis that would incorporate a then-modern C4 Corvette front and rear suspension and steering. (SRIII Motorsports has since built more than 200 of these chassis for other Corvette enthusiasts.)
Hanna then moved on to the engine and drivetrain – being fortunate enough to find a brand new ZR-1 engine with ZF 6-speed transmission. With the ZR-1 having just come out in the 1990 model year, a “naked” engine was not easy to obtain at the time.
Other special features incorporated by Hanna include a custom air inlet and aluminum radiator to keep that monster engine cool, as well as a stainless steel gas tank with a high-volume electric fuel pump to meet the demands of the LT5 powerplant.
Hanna didn’t want to destroy a 1957 body suitable for restoration, so at Corvettes at Carlisle, he managed to locate a car with a good body, windshield, and convertible top frame and much of the trim – but a frame beyond restoration.
That body now is finished in white paint with royal blue racing stripes reminiscent of the factory ’57 Corvette Sebring race cars and features bright polished stainless steel side coves and scoops reminiscent of the SR2, which Hanna had always admired on the SR2s and several of the GM styling and Motorama Corvettes of the time.
Of course, the car was fitted with many modern conveniences, including air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, power cowl vent, power windows, power door locks, and power trunk release with remote, along with an AM/FM stereo radio.
Since being completed, the car has been shown at Corvettes at Carlisle, Chicago Chevy/Vettefest Showcase, and Mid America Funfest and prominently featured in magazines like Vette, Chevy Rumble, and Vette Vues.
But more importantly, Hanna emphasizes this car was not built as a trailer queen. “It was built to be driven!”
“After 7,000 miles it has fulfilled all of my goals and expectations: classic looks, fabulous handling, brute power,” he says. “And after 7,000 miles, the car has some minor imperfections as would be typical on a car with this amount of miles. Personal inspection is recommended before purchasing.”
We only wish that Mr. Hanna was not selling “the car of my dreams” due to his poor health and advancing age.
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