Corvette’s connection to the US Space program and astronauts is quite well known. So, naturally, it’s no surprise the space travel was a significant part of the C8’s reveal event in July this year. Such a big part, in fact, that portion of the presentation may actually still be underway in Tustin, CA. But I digress…
In 1961 Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into outer space. Ten years later he set foot on the moon. Through an agreement with Jim Rathman Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida, astronauts could lease a car for a year for the staggering sum of $1. And that’s exactly what Shepard did in 1967 with this 1968 Corvette convertible currently listed on eBay.
Like any of us gearheads, he ordered up the highest (factory rated) horsepower Corvette available at the time – the aluminum head L89 427. Unfortunately, that 1-of-624 L89 only lived a year or so before being replaced by a warranty L89. In addition to the thumping L89, Shepard’s L89 is also equipped with the M21 4-speed, 3.55 rear end, power windows, adjustable steering column, P01 wheel covers, and F41 suspension among others.
The seller states that the car is well documented with the original order form, Tank Sticker, a disposition letter featuring Shepard’s signature, and his application for the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club. Other information included with car includes a neat history from the first owner and a verification letter from the NCRS’ Roy Sinor. Most all of the documentation is included in the listing’s photos. Earlier this year it was displayed in the National Corvette Museum with other astronaut owned Corvettes. We shared some photos of that display back in January.
Today Alan Shepard’s Corvette is in rough shape. The white exterior resembles the moon’s surface in some areas. The tobacco interior has seen better days. The seats are torn, and the trim is faded. Under the hood, we find a well-aged V8. There are no chassis photos, but we assume its condition is consistent with the rest of the car.
The asking price for this piece of Americana is $149,900. Now that’s a serious lump of cabbage for a car that needs everything. L89 convertibles are rare and astronaut-owned are even rarer. While we’re not sure about that mid-six-figure asking price, one can’t argue the provenance of this C3. We imagine there are a number of collectors out there that’d love to have this Vette in sitting in their garage. For more info head on over to the eBay classified ad.
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