For Immediate Release
Corvettes at Carlisle Announces 50th Anniversary Tribute to Le Mans
View the 2011 50th Anniversary Tribute Corvette and the 1960 Briggs Cunningham #3 Corvette Together for the First Time in History
Monday, August 02, 2010
Carlisle Events is proud to announce that the 2011 50th Anniversary Corvette VIN #00001 and the 1960 Briggs Cunningham #3 Corvette will be on display together for the first time in history at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds during Corvette at Carlisle, August 27-29, 2010.
For fans of Corvette Racing, 2010 marks a special occasion - the 50th anniversary of a Corvette’s first class win during the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. That year three 1960 Corvettes were prepared and entered by privateer and racer Briggs Cunningham and a fourth was entered by Lloyd “Lucky” Casner’s Camoradi USA team. One of Cunningham’s Corvettes was involved in a dramatic finish that still stirs the souls of Corvette lovers over fifty years later.
The first Team Corvette at Le Mans faced some formidable competition from the factory-backed efforts of Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Porsche. In complete contrast to the 2010 Corvette C6.R’s that were driven at Le Mans the weekend of June 12, 2010, the 1960 cars were pulled off of the production assembly line, drum brakes, solid axles and all. The three Cunningham cars had 2 drivers each to assist each other in the grueling 24-hour race. The #1 car was piloted by Cunningham and William Kimberley. #2 was driven by Fred Windridge and Dr. Dick Thompson (aka the Flying Dentist) and the #3 was driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman.
The cars all ultimately experienced different outcomes from the race, but the # 3 car achieved a once-in- a-lifetime accomplishment with a class win for the Chevrolet Corvette in the first year any Corvette competed at Le Mans. The car, with its production origins, overheated in the 23rd hour of the race, and race rules prohibited cars from receiving any fluids other than fuel. The #3 crew acted quickly and packed ice from drink coolers into the engine bay, enabling the Corvette to continue on to victory.
In commemorating the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first class win at Le Mans, GM built a very special one-of-one tribute to the 1960 Briggs Cunningham Corvette #3. The 2011 tribute Corvette shares the same exterior cues including the twin stripes over the hood, roof and trunk and the #3. A special graphic on the B-pillar features a 50th Anniversary logo that dates 1960 and 2010.
The 1960 Cunningham Corvette #3 will soon return home after an 8,000-mile journey to France for the 2010 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Lance Miller recently celebrated the legendary 1960 win with the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation to raise awareness for Amyloidosis and fulfill his father’s, Chip Miller, dream to reunite the #3 Cunningham Corvette and John Fitch in Le Mans 50 years later. The 1960 Cunningham Corvette #3 celebrated in style as John Fitch piloted the historic race car around the world-famous Le Mans circuit on a parade lap with 50 Corvettes following them and Lance Miller in the passenger seat.
"This once-in-a- lifetime effort will never be forgotten!" Lance Miller comments, "The first time I saw the 50th Anniversary tribute Corvette at the National Corvette Museum I was stunned. I honestly couldn’t believe that the Corvette team went through the effort of producing a one-of-one tribute Corvette to help celebrate the 50 years of Corvette racing at Le Mans. We are honored to have the two cars (1960 Le Mans winning Corvette #3 and the 2011 tribute Corvette) displayed together for the first time during Corvettes at Carlisle. This display will go down in the history books!"
Doug Fehan, Program Manager Corvette Racing adds: "For many years we have talked about the legacy of Corvette Racing and the role that the team plays in Corvette’s history. The reason this is important today is because of the strong foundation that people like Dick Thompson, Dick Guldstrand, Zora Arkus-Duntov, and many others built for Corvette. They set the bar high, and they accomplished so much with so little. Today we have the full resources of Chevrolet and GM behind Corvette Racing, but these pioneers are the ones who truly began Corvette’s performance heritage. Corvette Racing is continuing to build on that foundation for those who will come after us."
For more information please visit www.carlisleevents.com or call (717) 243-7855.
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Journalist note: Information about Carlisle Events, its event listings, auction offerings and the Carlisle Expo Center is available to journalists by phone:
717-243-7855 ext. 133
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