1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit

1953 Corvette NASCAR Unit

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6 NASCARCORVETTE.COM Introduction I 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[»ZÄYZ[`LHYVM*VY]L[[LWYVK\J[PVUVMVUS`*VY]L[[LZ 0^HZ\UH^HYLH[[OL[PTLVMW\YJOHZL[OH[[OLYL^HZHU`ZPNUPÄJHU[OPZ[VY`ZV0HK]LY[PZLK MVY sale 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(:*(9»Z:WVY[Z*HY+P]PZPVUI`)PSS-YHUJL^OV^HZZ[PSS[Y`PUN[VKLÄUL NASCAR's scope. Whiteman was revered by biographers as "The King of Jazz" for commissioning and debuting Gershwin's 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 HUKJVUÄYTLKP[ with this author on October 15th, 2014. 0HTHUV]PJLYLZLHYJOLYSLHYUPUNVU[OLÅ`HUKOH]LSP[[SLKLZPYL[V^YP[LHIVVRI\[[OL\ULHY[OLK Z[VY`VM[OLZOHYLK*VY]L[[L5(:*(9OPZ[VY`PZJVTWLSSPUN)V[OIYHUKZJHTLVMHNLPU[OLÄM[PLZHUK have left an indelible mark on the American psyche. Both faced a quiet fade to black had it not been for strong personalities like Chevrolet's Ed Cole and NASCAR's 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!!. 6ULÄUHSUV[LHZ0WYLWWLKHUKYLHKPLK[OL OPZ[VY`[OL[LHTH[7YV;LHTZ[YL[JOLKP[ZLSMW\[[PUN sound 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: terry@proteamcorvette.com

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