[VIDEO] Astronaut Alan Shepard’s 1968 Corvette 427/435 Offered at Barrett-Jackson

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[VIDEO] Astronaut Alan Shepard's 1968 Corvette 427/435 Offered at Barrett-Jackson

Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson


A first-year C3 Corvette owned new by an astronaut with perhaps the oldest ties to Chevy’s legendary sports car is being offered at no reserve at the Barrett-Jackson Auction set for Jan. 22-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Alan Shepard was one of the first 12 astronauts in the NASA program and went on to become the first American in outer space and eventually was one of the few who ever walked on the moon.

Shepard’s history with Corvettes goes all the way back to his first brush with the car, a used ’53, and he was driving a used ’57 while training in Florida for the Mercury space program.

[VIDEO] Astronaut Alan Shepard's 1968 Corvette 427/435 Offered at Barrett-Jackson


Being an astronaut was a prestigious career back then, and GM eventually offered each astronaut a Chevy courtesy car. Shepard took advantage of GM’s offer of any car for $1 to get this 1968 Corvette convertible through Jim Rathman Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida.

This 1968 Stingray was not the first Corvette that Shepard had received as an astronaut. In 1962, General Motors President Ed Cole presented all the Mercury 7 astronauts with new Corvettes. Shepard’s Corvette was Ermine White with black interior.

After riding in a real rocket ship, it’s no surprise that Shepard would option his ’68 Corvette with the L89 427/435 horsepower V8 engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission.

[VIDEO] Astronaut Alan Shepard's 1968 Corvette 427/435 Offered at Barrett-Jackson


Shepard eventually blew up that original engine, and documentation shows that it was replaced under warranty with a similar motor that remains under the hood to this day. Other features include 3.55 rear end, power windows, adjustable steering column, P01 wheel covers, and F41 suspension.

In recent years, the car has been shown at the National Corvette Museum and at the NASA U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum in Titusville, Florida.

[VIDEO] Astronaut Alan Shepard's 1968 Corvette 427/435 Offered at Barrett-Jackson


Included with this celebrity Corvette is much documentation, including the original tank sticker, order sheet, magazine articles, museum display articles, a disposition letter featuring Shepard’s signature, his application for the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club, and a verification letter from Roy Sinor of the NCRS.

The car has not been restored, and the condition reflects that. The tobacco interior features torn seats, faded trim, and scratched instrument surrounds, while the exterior Polar White paint shows various nicks and scratches, as well.

We tend to agree with the previous owners’ decision to leave the car as it sits – a living piece of history, warts and all, though others might want to restore the car back to its factory-original condition.

What would you do?


Source:
barrett-jackson.com

Related:
Corvettes on eBay: Alan Shepard’s 1968 L89 Convertible is Out of this World
Corvettes and Astronauts Celebrate 50 Years Together
Apollo 12 Astronaut’s 1969 Corvette ‘AstroVette’ Will Be Added to the Historic Vehicle Register

 



4 COMMENTS

  1. A very important piece of American history right there. Rick Hendrick will probably end up acquiring it for a massive amount of money. Hopefully he doesn’t have it restored and leaves it as original as possible.

  2. Sure would like to know how many miles that Shepard drove it. Can’t find the mileage anywhere.

    Montana Bob

  3. Love articles like this. Tired of the click bait stories like Z06 seen in the wild or friend of a friend’s second cousin works at Bowling Green and says they may build Z06s on may 28th

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