1963 Corvette Grand Sport Roars Around the Race Track
It may not be an original Corvette Grand Sport racer, but this replica is no less amazing to watch in action.
When it comes to Corvettes, perhaps none packs the “want” factor of the original 1963 Grand Sport. The brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov was an incredible machine that squarely took aim at reestablishing the Corvette’s dominance in motorsports. Sadly, that never happened. GM’s front office stepped in and ended the program before it could get off its feet. Only five ’63 Corvette Grand Sports were built of the planned 125 unit run. Which renders them essentially priceless.
This ’63 Corvette Grand Sport isn’t one of those five originals, but it is a pretty faithful replica. It may not pack the authentic car’s 377 cubic-inch aluminum V8 of the original either, but it sounds pretty fantastic to us. And fittingly, it got to stretch its legs recently around Italy’s Imola circuit as part of the 2018 Motor Legend Festival, which celebrates pre-1966 racers.
The good thing about driving a replica, of course, is that you don’t have to worry about crashing some piece of priceless machinery. And in this case, it’s clear that the driver, Michiel Campagne, isn’t. He fearlessly explores the car’s limits on multiple occasions, letting the rear end get loose with no regard for what might happen. And we love every minute of it.
Watching this gorgeous Corvette Grand Sport replica circle the track is somewhat of a bitter sweet experience, however. We’ll never truly know just how much this car could have changed motorsport history. Thanks to a handful of pencil pushers, no less. But at least we have cars like this to help remind us of a time when racing was everything to legendary guys like Arkus-Duntov. And we can celebrate the fruits of their labor with the amazing Corvettes we can buy today.