American auction house MECOM has sold 18 real and replica Indy 500s from a private collection. Meticulously maintained Corvettes not only look back at 44 years of racing history, but also trace the evolution of the iconic American sports car.
Philip Corner, Thomas Harloff
It all began on May 31, 1954. Twelve-year-old Richard Foster attended the Indianapolis 500-mile race for the first time that day and immediately pulled it off with the high-speed spectacle. Along with another 175,000 spectators, he enthusiastically followed the action on the 2.5-mile oval and cheered for eventual winner Bill Vukovic – who is still considered by many to be the greatest driver in Indy history. It was the start of a fascination that the now 80-year-old could not escape and laid the foundation for an extraordinary group.
While other racing enthusiasts collect models, stickers and autographs, the Doctor from near Indianapolis decides to collect fast cars. In other words, the American counterpart to European safety cars, which initially only led the field to the race – that is, tuning “speed” – but later also took up neutralization after accidents. Therefore, many racing historians identify the United States as the country of origin of the world-famous race control car and declare Indianapolis to be its birthplace.
Chevy’s Anniversary: 20 Years of Indy
Pace cars have been used there since the first 500 mile race in 1911 and quickly became part of the tradition. However, manufacturers have changed several times over the 111 years. Among other things, legendary models such as the Pontiac Trans-Am, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger were allowed to lead the warm-up cycles. The brands celebrated this with corresponding special models, which, with the blessing of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, could officially call themselves speed cars.
Since 2002 it was the role of Chevrolet. Mostly new Corvette models are used. This is where our stubborn race virus doctor comes in again. Richard Foster is also a big fan of the General Motors sports car. Accordingly, he made it his mission to expand his range of “regular” cars by using speed cars and their replicas from different decades. The oldest “Vette” dates back to 1978 and has only ran 50 miles. The latest one is currently being built and will be sent to the auction winner.
Special Edition for each merchant
Although the oldest representative of the group, the C3, has been built no fewer than 6,502 times, it carries with its 6,501 peers a unique story: they are part of the very first Corvette Base range of cars, which every Chevy dealership owns. One of them got branches. By 1978, models such as the Fleetmaster, Bel Air and, of course, the Camaro represented Chevrolet at the top instead. As an antique museum piece, the sports car is in good condition, as evidenced by the various testimonials. The L48-350 V8 engine runs at the front of a collector element weighing more than 187 hp. Various stickers and letters indicate the special background.
The second oldest Corvette is also a version based on the real speed of the cars. The yellow C4 dates back to 1986 and comes with a wide range of equipment and the L98-350 V8. In addition, the 238-horsepower special model heralded the return of Corvette convertibles. According to Mecum, there are only 732 pieces of this line. The Pace Car version shown is unregistered and has 17,342 miles on the classic ’80s odometer.
Topless to look at the legends
Late C4 was used in 1995 and then found its way into Dr. reinforced. Powered by an LT1 V8 engine, the 300-horsepower convertible has only driven 121 miles in its life and has been well maintained but not restored. In addition to the classic decals, the stunning C4 features a fairly contemporary color combination of “Dark Purple Metallic” on top and “Arctic White” on the bottom. General Motors has introduced a total of 527 branches to the market.
A comparative feature is the second Corvette of the 1990s, which also revealed its well-known driver, as, since there was no roof, legendary racing driver Barnelli Jones took the warm-up laps before the classic 500 mile race in 1998. The C5 Edition in blue and yellow saw Group 17 miles only and is powered by a 5.7-liter LS1 V8 (about 350 hp). According to Mecum, it’s also a special edition feature: 547 of the 1,163 men’s and women’s versions were delivered with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Anniversary of cars real pace
In keeping with the Corvette’s 50th anniversary in 2003, Chevrolet combined its classic Indy lineup from 2002 with the “Anniversary Coupe.” Finished in Xirallic Crystal Red with racing badges for 2002, the C5 has an LS1 V8 and serial number 2003 – bought by the previous owner at auction. Everyone who is dr. So Foster refrained from driving and stored it carefully. On the other hand, the technically identical white C5 version from 2004 clocked nearly 9,000 miles. It was used in the famous show that led to the Indy 500 and is directly related to “the greatest scene in racing”.
The only two “falling” cars in the group come from 2005 and 2006. They start with the first C6 in the group, which used to belong to a fleet of eight cars owned by the race organizers. With the new LS2 V8 6-liter (over 400 hp), it was more powerful than its predecessors and, since there was no version, was more exclusive. However, the Victory Red C6 convertible was allowed to sail 5,450 miles before it went to the museum. As one of only six Pace Car Vettes, the following year’s Z06 was not only more exclusive but also more powerful thanks to the LS7’s 7-liter V8 (512 hp). Foster got it from one of the race organizers.
30 years of Corvette Pace
On the other hand, the subsequent C6, C7 and C8 in the group correspond to the known version and symmetric logic and each was a recent performance variant. For example, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Corvette’s debut in 2008, General Motors sent the Z06 to the oval. Also of note is the 2013 “60th Anniversary Replica” model, the first C7 and the first offshoot of the C8 – the latter with much higher aerodynamics.
The retiree Foster also states that the reason for the auction was that he wanted to pass on his infatuation to the next generation. However, she doesn’t seem as fascinated by the fast car collection as it is: With a selling price of $1.375 million (about 1.3 million euros), the collection was sold at an Indianapolis auction for less than the organizer thinks: Mecum previously predicted a value of between 1.5 and 1.7 million A dollar for a completely auctioned Corvette Armada. By the way: The 106th edition of the Indy 500 will take place in a few days.
Yes, everything like competition cannot be the solution.
No, the Corvette is a sports car, its imitation is reasonable performance. It doesn’t matter how it happens.