Back in 1960 Briggs Cunningham, a manufacturer and avid racer of cars and yachts, as well as a co-founder of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a trio of racing Corvettes built by him and his team. No one knew then what his efforts would mean to the Corvette community, the collector car hobby and to the race itself, but more than 50 years later Briggs Cunningham and his legendary Corvettes are still making headlines.
The Corvette community has been abuzz recently with news that the last of the original three Corvettes raced by Cunningham and his team at the 1960 Le Mans had been recovered after being lost for decades.
The #2 and #3 cars had been accounted for, though #1, which was driven at Le Mans by Cunningham and his co-driver, William Kimberly, and crashed before it could finish the race, went missing sometime between the 1960 race and 1972, when a man in Florida picked it up at a junkyard sale. It’s since been sitting in storage in St. Petersburg, Florida, where it was found by the man’s son, Richard Carr.
The story of the find is truly amazing and can be read in great deal at a special website that chronicles the life of Briggs Cunningham. However, if you happen to be near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, may we strongly suggest you head to this weekend’s Corvettes At Carlisle event and see the actual car!
The #1 Corvette was unveiled last night at a special event attended by Lance Miller, co-owner of Carlisle Events and the current owner of the #3 Briggs Cunningham Racing Corvette, as well as its finder Richard Carr. Note, in case you were hoping to make an offer to buy it from Carr, the special Corvette has already been sold. The new owner wishes for his identity to remain anonymous though a promise has been made that the car will be restored to its original 1960 racing specs.
Right now it's still covered in dust and dirt from its lengthy storage. There are no headlights, the hard top has been replaced by a soft top, rust is visible and many months of restoration lie ahead for it.
The car will be presented in front of the public by Miller at the Corvettes At Carlisle main stage later today, where the complete story behind it, and its epic find, will be told.
(c) 2012, High Gear Media.