Some special “guests” will help Corvette celebrate its 60th anniversary at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in August. The reunion, set for August 16-18, will feature two and perhaps even three of the legendary Corvette Grand Sport models from the 1960s.
Only five of the Grand Sports were ever produced in 1962, under the secret supervision of Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. The cars were designed with one goal in mind: whipping the competition at places like Sebring and Le Mans. To accomplish that mission, Zora focused on making everything as light as possible, with the use of aluminum tubing, thin fiberglass bodies, cast-magnesium wheels, and four-wheel disc brakes.
The cars were made in secret because back in 1957 GM had joined an industry-wide ban on active participation in racing. Once GM Chairman Frederic Donner heard that a Grand Sport had nearly set a track record at Sebring in 1962, he quickly made Zora and his team abort the plans. But that wasn’t the end of the Grand Sports.
Private teams mysteriously got hold of the cars, and GM engineers sometimes offered their help at big races while they just happened to be there on ?vacation.” One such engineer even managed to have a couple of differential coolers in his luggage to replace one that had overheated on a Grand Sport competing in the 1963 Nassau Speed Week in the Bahamas. Thanks to his help, the Grand Sports beat Shelby Cobras in the Governor’s Cup and Nassau Trophy races. Hmmm, after all, you just never know what you might need on vacation, huh?
The Corvette, as it celebrates its 60th anniversary, will be the star of the show at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, with more than 60 racing Corvettes of all generations slated to be on hand, including Grand Sports 003 and 004 to be shown in static and on-track events that weekend.
The last time we saw one of the original Corvette Grand Sports was last November at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. A Corvette Racing event was held there with Doug Fehan and one of the seminars featured its Grand Sport Roadster #002 doing laps in the parking lot.
You can find out more about the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at MazdaRaceway.com.
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