The 4 Most Memorable Corvettes by Dick Guldstrand
There are few names as closely linked to the history of Corvette racing as Dick Guldstrand. Throughout the 1960s, Dick Guldstrand went from dirt-track racer to one of the most dominant drivers in the country. The victor of many SCCA races, the Daytona 24hr, and a class leader at LeMans (until a connecting rod decided to unceremoniously exit the engine 13 hours into the race), he parlayed that racing and engineering skill into the development of the C4 Corvette with GM and into opening a legendary performance auto shop.
Earlier this month, Dick Guldstrand—better known to many as Mr. Corvette—passed away in his home in North Hollywood at 87. The man is a legend in the American performance driver landscape, and will be remembered as such not only for his accomplishments, but for the wicked machines that helped Corvette gain international notoriety as top-tier performance machines.
The Guldstrand Signature Edition 50th Anniversary 427 Corvette
One of the most iconic C5 corvette’s ever produced. The Guldstrand Signature Edition 50th Anniversary Corvette is an icon. There’s more to it than a distinctive paint scheme and handsome body work though. It makes about 500 horsepower with roughly 422 cubic inches of displacement, is lowered by about an inch, and features bigger front and rear roll bars for extra stability. While not likely the fastest, most aggressive Corvette ever, it is definitely one of the best designed cars of the C5 era without question.
The GS 80
Put simply, Dick Guldstrand was a racer. Making Corvettes that win races was his thing. After his carreer as a racer, however, he turned to tuning and building cars, with the GS 80 as his first attempt—and boy, was it a car. Polyurethane bushings, Heim-jointed sway bars, custom camber and toe kits, were just some of the modifications to installed to turn the C4 into an SCCA monster. The engines were built by Jim Jones—another legendary southern california engine builder—and typically put out around 375 horsepower a 5500 rpm. It was a subtle (well, if you can ignore those fender flares), but effective package. The GS 90, on the other hand…
The GS 90
If the GS 80 was an effort at perfecting the present, the GS 90 was a dedicated look into the future. At it’s core, the GS 90 is a reskinned C4 ZR-1 Corvette. Guldstrand completely reworked the suspension, including replacing the leaf spring with shocks and springs. The interior is largely the same, but everything else about the car was completley redesigned. They only completed six GS 90s total, but as a result, it’s one of the rarest Corvettes in the world.
#9 1967 Le mans car
This is the car that Guldstrand used to bring the Corvette to the world stage. In 1967, he and his co-driver Bob Bondurant flew over to France to drive in LeMans for the first time. The raucous, insanely fast Corvette was an immediate fan favorite. More importantly however, it was fast. It led it’s class right up until the motor threw a rod and it had to retire. Without this car, and without Dick, Corvette would not be what it is today.