’63 Grand Sport Corvette Battles Shelby Daytonas at Imola

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Sights and sounds of the 1960s have us pining for a vintage Corvette Grand Sport.

Simply put, Imola is Ferrari’s home turf. In fact, the place is officially called “Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.” It’s steeped in European racing history. Jim Clark won the first Formula 1 event there in a Lotus. In 1994, F1 legend Ayrton Senna lost his life there. As far as European courses go, Imola is about as European as it gets. And you wouldn’t expect to find a vintage Corvette Grand Sport there.

That’s why we love this video, which shows a bunch of American classics giving Old World cars a run for their money.

Corvette Grand Sport at Imola.

Filmed in April but recently uploaded to YouTube, this video is short on talking (read: None) and long on vintage cars getting tossed and drifted around one of Italy’s most legendary courses. There are impossibly tiny Lotus Elans. A few ancient-looking Morgans. The occasional oddball TVR, Bizzarini, ISO, or Marcos, and plenty of Jaguar E-Types and Austin-Healeys. Then there are the usual vintage American heavyweights: The Fords. Cobras, Mustangs, Daytonas, and even Falcons make an appearance here. But the lone blue 1963 Corvette Grand Sport is the star of the show here.


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Among the little European cars and lithe-looking Fords, the Grand Sport is a beast. The video opens with it roaring to life, making an unholy noise that made the hairs on the back of our neck stand up. And on the course, it’s a monster; its wide track dwarfing the Jaguars and Lotuses. The sound of its big block V8 alone puts most of its buzzy competitors to shame.

Corvette Grand Sport at Imola.

And at the end of the video, we see the Grand Sport being tailed by… another C2 ‘Vette! While this one isn’t another Grand Sport, we’re just glad that Chevy has such a strong showing in this Italian race. With just five cars built, the Grand Sport is one of the biggest “what-ifs” in Corvette history. We don’t think that this is an original one (all five are safely accounted for in private collections), but it’s incredible to see one doing battle with its contemporaries on the track. Had the GM brass not cut the program short, Chevy racing history might look very different today. For fans of Corvettes on the track, this video is a must-watch.

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James Derek Sapienza is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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