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The oldest knownCorvette Race Car
1953 Corvette NASCAR UnitVIN #E53F001211 (A.K.A. 211)
The Untold Story
*VU[LU[Z 6 Introduction
7 Whats Missing in this Ad?
8 -9 The Earliest Known Corvette Race Car
10 -17 Corvettes NASCAR Involvement
18 -41 Scrapbook...1955-2014 Photographic History & Timeline
42 -46 Research and Reference Materials
47 Corvette Wins At Sebring!!
48 The Early Chevrolet Engineering Corvettes
49 Owner History of E53F001211
49 NASCAR Corvette History Wanted
50 A Tribute
50 About The Author
51 Acknowledgments and Sources
This publication and story of #211 has been produced by the cars owner to solidify the past history of a 1953 Corvette #E53F001211 owned by ProTeam Corvette Sales of Napoleon, Ohio
This publication has been produced for peer review, additions, and/or corrections.This publication is not for sale or re-sale.
Copyright 2014 by ProTeam Corvette Sales
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the address below.
Terry Michaelis, ProTeam Corvette Sales, Inc., 1410 North Scott Street, Napoleon, Ohio 43545email: [email protected]e.com or visit NASCARCorvette.com.
Printed in the United States of America
IntroductionI purchased a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, VIN #E53F001211, a few years ago as part of a fourteen car collection. I will refer to this very special 1953 Corvette as #211 because it is the 211th Corvette pro-K\JLKPU*OL]YVSL[ZYZ[`LHYVM*VY]L[[LWYVK\J[PVUVMVUS`*VY]L[[LZ
0^HZ\UH^HYLH[[OL[PTLVMW\YJOHZL[OH[[OLYL^HZHU`ZPNUPJHU[OPZ[VY`ZV0HK]LY[PZLKMVYsale in Hemmings Motor News and several internet outlets, until I was approached by Loren Lundberg a Corvette historian, enthusiast, collector, and friend who noted #211 had Chevrolet engineering roots.
I began a 3-1/2 year research project that has become one of the most challenging and most rewarding projects I have undertaken and I found that my 1953 Corvette #211 and a 1955 Corvette #399 had very deep early NASCAR roots (1955-1957) and were both probably owned by NASCAR and Bill France.
I have been to the NASCAR archives in Daytona, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, and made and received hundreds of phone calls and emails. Interestingly, I found that 99.5% of the three million Corvette enthusiasts and 99.5% of the over thirty million NASCAR enthusiasts had no knowledge that two early Corvettes raced in NASCAR sanctioned sports car races at famous tracks like Bowman Gray Stadium, Martinsville Speedway, Raleigh Speedway, and Daytona Beach with legendary drivers like Johnny Dodson, Junior Johnson, Pee Wee Jones, Ralph Liguori, Jimmy Massey, Bobby Myers, Gwyn Staley, and Don and Herb Thomas.
Even more interesting there was a Paul Whiteman connection. Paul was appointed as National +PYLJ[VYVM5(:*(9Z:WVY[Z*HY+P]PZPVUI`)PSS-YHUJL^OV^HZZ[PSS[Y`PUN[VKLUL NASCARs scope. Whiteman was revered by biographers as The King of Jazz for commissioning and debuting Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue, the original hit recording of Japanese Sandman, and almost two dozen other big band hits.
1\UPVY1VOUZVUKYV]L[OL^OP[L *VY]L[[L=05 MVY4Y>OP[LTHUPU HUKJVUYTLKP[with this author on October 15th, 2014.
0HTHUV]PJLYLZLHYJOLYSLHYUPUNVU[OL`HUKOH]LSP[[SLKLZPYL[V^YP[LHIVVRI\[[OL\ULHY[OLKZ[VY`VM[OLZOHYLK*VY]L[[L5(:*(9OPZ[VY`PZJVTWLSSPUN)V[OIYHUKZJHTLVMHNLPU[OLM[PLZHUKhave left an indelible mark on the American psyche. Both faced a quiet fade to black had it not been for strong personalities like Chevrolets Ed Cole and NASCARs Bill France. Had it not been for the NASCAR/Chevrolet Engineering experiment, the Corvette may have gone the way of the Edsel or suffered the same fate as other sports cars; imagine adding two more doors and a backseat, ie, the T-Bird!!.
6ULUHSUV[LHZ0WYLWWLKHUKYLHKPLK[OLOPZ[VY `[OL[LHTH[7YV;LHTZ[YL[JOLKP[ZLSMW\[[PUNsound research to practice and produced a Concourse level automobile true to its storied past and is simply pure art.
Please enjoy my research, which is available for peer review, additions, and/or corrections.
Author/researcher: Terry Michaelis, email: [email protected]
Corvette History - Whats Missing in this Ad?By Rick Tavel
If you look closely at this advertisement that ran just after the new 1956 models were introduced in the fall of 1955 you might notice something missing. That would be the 1956 Corvette.
More than one reason has been put forth as to why; the most common excuse offered up is there was not a 1956 Corvette available at the time. And though technically that is correct there is a lot more to the story. If you look closely the pictures of all the various Chevrolet models are not photographs they are illustrations and as such there was no need to have an actual model of any of the models available; it was one reason for using illustrations. The actual reason that there is no 1956 Corvette depicted in the Chevrolet lineup is that when the ad was created there was not going to be a 1956 Corvette; the decision had not been made to continue the two seat sports car for [OL TVKLS`LHY;OV\NO*OL]YVSL[UL]LYVMJPHSS`YL]LHSLK[OLPYKLJPZPVU[V[OLW\ISPJMVSSV^PUN[OLKPZTHS ZHSLZ^OLYLH[OPYKVM[OL*VY]L[[LWYVK\J[PVU^HZ\UZVSKH[[OLLUKVM[OL`LHY[OL[VWL_LJ\[P]LZH[GM had decided to cancel the car.
;OV\NO[OL *VY]L[[L^HZ[OLZ[HYVM[OL4V[VYHTH^OLUPU[YVK\JLKX\HSP[`HUKWLYMVYTHUJLPZZ\LZKPZHW-pointed both dealers and potential customers. Zora Arkus-Duntovs initial opinion was the Corvette was visually superb but it mechanically stunk. Several factors intervened that helped save the Corvette. Salvation took the YLSLU[SLZZMVJ\ZVM,K*VSL*OL]YVSL[ZJOPLMLUNPULLYH[LHTVMTVYL[OHUHO\UKYLK[HSLU[LKLUNPULLYZ*VSLZYL]VS\[PVUHY`SPNO[^LPNO[=LUNPULZL]LYHSPUUV]H[P]LHUK[HSLU[LKHK]LY[PZPUNHUKW\ISPJYLSH[PVUZTLUHUK^VTLU[OLJVTWL[P[P]LWYLZZ\YLIYV\NO[[VILHYI`[OL-VYK;O\UKLYIPYKHZ^LSSHZSLNLUKHY`YHJLJHYKYP]LYZand races on a local and international scale.
1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit VIN # E53F001211 THE EARLIEST KNOWN CORVETTE RACE CAR This Daytona Beach NASCAR Unit was created by Chevrolet ,UNPULLYPUNMVY5(:*(9Z[VJRJHYYHJPUNHUK^HZWYVIHIS`HK\HSbranding effort between Chevrolets Ed Cole and NASCARs Bill -YHUJL;OPZLMMVY[^HZWHY[VM,K*VSLZW\ZO[VZH]L[OL*VY]L[[LMYVTL_[PUJ[PVU ZHSLZ PU HUK*OL]YVSL[Z YZ[ LMMVY[ PUcreating a brand image of speed and performance lasting through seven generations of Corvettes.
;OPZ +H`[VUH )LHJO5(:*(9 *VY]L[[L *VU]LY[PISL=05 ,- PZVULVM [^VH HUKH [OH[^LYLI\PS[YLI\PS[I`*OL]YVSL[,UNPULLYPUN[VILLX\PWWLK^ P[OK\HSMV\YOPNOV\[W\[ LUNPULZZWLLKJSVZLYH[PV[YHUZTPZZPVUZOLH]`K\[`YLHY LUK HZZLTISPLZ WSHZ[PJ [VUULH\ JV]LYZ ZTHSS YHJPUN ^PUK-shields and relocated gauges per Mauri Rose. Work was done by *OL]YVSL[,_WLYPTLU[HS:OVWHUK.HYHNLZ\IQLJ[[P[SL!9,)PUULY4H\YP9VZL
+LSP]LYLK[V:TVRL`@\UPJR+H`[VUH)LHJO-SVYPKHPULHYS`-LIY\-HY` PU[PTLMVYWYVTV[PVUHS5(:*(9WOV[VZ^P[O)PSS-YHUJL1YHUK1VL/H^RPUZHUK[OLZ\IZLX\LU[-LIY\HY` (U-nual Winter Daytona Beach Classics which included the 7th Annu-al International Safety and Speed Trials and Stock Car Races (race number 27).
7YPVY[VYLI\PSKI`*OL]YVSL[,UNPULLYPUN[OPZ =05HUKH *VY]L[[L=05 ^LYLYHJLKI`5(:*(9ZSLNLUKHY`;OVT-HZ )YV[OLYZ /LYI+VU 1\UPVY 1VOUZVU 1PTT`4HZZL ` 9HSWO3PN\VYP1VOUU`+VKZVUHUK.^`U:[HSL`H[[OL)V^THU.YH`:[H-KP\T4HY[PUZ]PSSL:WLLK^H`HUK9HSLPNO:WLLK^H`PU YHJLU\TILYZ
(M[LY[OL-LIY\HY` +H`[VUH)LHJOYHJLZ[OL[^VJHYZYL[\YULKto the grit and grime of the legendary North Carolina NASCAR race [YHJRZWYPTHYPS`)V^THU.YH`:[HKP\TPU>PUZ[VU:HSLT^OLYL[OL`^LYLKYP]LUI`7LL>LL 1VULZ)VII`4`LYZ.^`U:[HSL `1\UPVY1VOUZVU9HSWO3PN\VYPHUK1PTT`4HZZL`^ P[OYHJLU\TILYZ
0U 4Y3LZSPL.YH`;\[[SLW\YJOHZLKMYVT5(:*(9HUKYLJLP]LK[OL.44:6HUKILJHTL[OLYZ[[P[SLKV^ULYVMHUKV]LYM[``LHYZ SH[LY4Y;\[[SLWYV]PKLKJVUJS\ZP]LL]PKLUJL[OH[OLSWLKPKLU[PM`HZ[OLVYPNPUHS5(:*(9+H`[VUH)LHJOand Carolina Racer.
Documented with the Chevrolet Engineering department build VYKLYZ UL^ZWHWLY HY[PJSLZ HUK ]PU[HNL WOV[VZ MYVT WYP]H[L JVS-SLJ[PVUZ*OL]YVSL[HUK[OL5(:*(9HYJOP]LZThis is the earliest known Corvette to run NASCARs sanctioned events...and the ear-liest known Corvette to ever race thus A Pioneer of Speed...and a fascinating chapter of Corvette and NASCAR history!
Show Awards and Invitationals: National Corvette Museum invite for their NASCAR display for 4H`[V:LW[ Class Award at the 36th Annual Concours dElegance of America in July 2014. Bloomington Gold Great Hall Special Display in June 2014. -PYZ[7SHJL*SHZZ(^HYKH[[OL[O(UU\HS(\S[7HYR*VUJV\YZ dElegance in June 2014. Bill Rudd Honorary Trophy at the 36th Annual Ault Park Con cours dElegance in June 2014. (TLSPH0ZSHUK*VUJV\YZK,SLNHUJLVU4HYJO [O Competition Corvette display at the Corvette Nationals Show in November 2012. Editorialized:3HUJL 4PSSLYZ *VY]L[[L *VYULY ZOV^U VU=LSVJP[`;=Z *VY]L[[L5H[PVU"*VY]L[[LKJVT9PJR;H]LS"=L[[L=\LZ4HNHaPUL";OL=L[[LSignal; CorvetteBlogger.com; On Solid Ground; Hemmings Motor 5L^Z"=L[[L4HNHaPUL"6SK*HYZ>LLRS`".VVK;PTLZ
Interesting Links: Read about the Chevrolet Engineering Cars that helped save [OL*VY]L[[L!O[[W!^^ ^[TPJOHLSPZJVT*,JHYZ[OH[ZH]LK *VY]L[[L 4VYLPUMVYTH[PVUPZ^HU[LKHIV\[[OL*OL]YVSL[5(:*(9 SCODA Co