Iconic Piece of Corvette History Set for Auction
Legendary 1960 CERV 1 Could Fetch More than $2 Million at Arizona’s Barrett-Jackson Auction, Happening Jan. 14-22
Nope, this isn’t your average open-wheel Corvette racer.
This piece of machinery, known as the 1960 CERV I, is an important part of Corvette history. It is a pioneering one-off constructed by the legendary Zora Arkus-Duntov. And it’ll likely be getting a proud new owner this month at the Barrett-Jackson Collector-Car Auction, happening January 14-22 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Inspired by an incident where Duntov’s Corvette SS road racer burned driver John Fitch‘s feet at the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1957, the 1960 CERV I was essentially a study on how to address the issue without sacrificing performance, as highlighted in a Car and Driver report.
The key design element of the CERV 1, an acronym for the first Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle, involved moving the engine heat behind the driver. Eyeing a possible run in the Indy 500, the racer was tested at Pines Peak and at California’s Riverside Raceway by Dan Gurney and Stirling Moss in 1960.
It later pulled off a 206-mph top speed run at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds five-mile circular track in Michigan. The CERV 1 is credited with pioneering the use of rubber-bladder fuel cells.
GM donated the racer to the Briggs Cunningham Automotive Museum in Costa Mesa, California, in 1972. And later wound up in the hands of a private owner. The price of the car has reportedly gone up every time the car has been sold since. A GM Authority report posted in 2015 had the value of the CERV 1 at a whopping $2 million.
Oh, and just in case you’re thinking about making your own personal bid on this historic piece of Corvette memorabilia, you’ll be happy to know that Barrett Jackson is allowing online bidding for CERV 1 as well.