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Interesting fact about the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport's.

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john3976
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When Chevrolet took the new Corvette Grand Sport's to the 1963 Nassau race the cars were equipped with Firestone tires including the spare tire. The teams used Goodyear tires for the Nassau races but left the Firestone tire as the spare. Back then you had to have a spare tire in the vehicles per the race rules of the time period. This is why you see a Firestone tire in the trunk of certain Exoto Corvette Grand Sport cars that had Goodyear tires on the car. 

 

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This car #65 is an example of Goodyear tires on the car for the race but a Firestone tire as the spare. This car was entered as a 1963 model year Corvette Grand Sport. 

 

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This car #67 ran at Road America driven by Roger Penske, it used Goodyear tires for the race and it had a Goodyear tire as the spare. This car was entered as a 1964 Corvette Grand Sport. 

 

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This car #12 ran Firestone tires on the car and had a Firestone tire as the spare. This car was entered as a 1966 Corvette Grand Sport Roadster. 

 

All three of the cars in the above photo's are 1963 Corvette Grand Sport's but because of continued development by the teams and likely under the table by Chevrolet these cars were entered as different model years over the years they raced. The #12 Roadster was chassis #002. The other Corvette Grand Sport Roadster was chassis #001, here is a photo of the that car, the #10 Sunoco Corvette Grand Sport owned by Roger Penske at the time. 

 

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This car was entered as a 1966 Corvette Grand Sport Roadster and was chassis #001. This car ran Firestone tires on the car and has a Firestone spare tire in the trunk. This car had Sunoco sponsorship, it also had Roger Penske Chevrolet on the front fenders but due to rules on advertising at the time Roger Penske Chevrolet was covered for the race, the car did practice with Roger Penske Chevrolet showing on the fenders. 

 

The two Corvette Grand Sport Roadsters started out as coupes but were converted to roadsters reducing the weight to compete with the Shelby Cobras. Today there are three Corvette Grand Sport Coupes and two Corvette Grand Sport Roadsters. There was actually a sixth Corvette Grand Sport and it is documented but its whereabouts are unknown today. That sixth Corvette Grand Sport is rumored to have been taken by Bill Mitchell and used as a design exercise vehicle, if so it could be unrecognizable today stored away in some GM warehouse or it could have been destroyed after Bill Mitchell was done with the design exercise's. The only thing that is known about it from General Motors documents is the car was in the process of being built when GM ordered a halt to the Grand Sport program, that memo documenting the sixth Corvette Grand Sport stated cars. 1 through 4 were to be finished and stored at a GM warehouse, the fifth was not to be completed and was in what they called white body unfinished and it was to be stored as well, the sixth car was a frame and was not as far along in the building phase, it along with special equipment was also to be stored unfinished. 

Clearly the fifth Corvette Grand Sport was finished so it would not be out of the question that the sixth Corvette Grand Sport was also finished quietly. Former race team owner John Mecom insisted he owned all six Corvette Grand Sport's at one time and that all six of them were in his Houston shop at least once. 

There is another article I think either Road & Track or Motor Trend that talked about the sixth Grand Sport referring to the Autoweek article and they referenced the GM memo that does document the sixth Grand Sport but that second article was done more to discredit there being a sixth Grand Sport. 


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Jack Dodds
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Excellent post and pics; thank you!  I especially like the Sunoco colors.


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Gavin
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Great post about the history.  They are fantastic looking cars.

If you've never been to the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia, its definitely worth checking out, as they have 1 of the original GS Roadsters, along with a replica built to the exact specs of the original.

1963 corvette grand sport roadster f3q

Full history here: https://simeonemuseum.org/collection/1963-chevrolet-corvette-grand-sport/

This post was modified 5 months ago 2 times by Gavin

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Jack Dodds
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@gavin Man, oh man.....I could listen to that 427 rumble all day long!


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franklemire
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@gavin I have to agree that if you are in the area you need to check out the museum - I used my trip there to do detailing on my model of #12

0c

 


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David Green
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Thanks John. Excellent well written post. Learned something new!


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