A couple of years ago on this blog, I wrote about how Corvette connoisseur Lance Miller was working to return a famous Corvette to the scene of its triumph 50 years earlier in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
It all stemmed from his late father Chip’s quest to find the Corvettes that raced in 1960 at Le Mans under the Team Cunningham banner. A three-car team was entered by noted sportsman, yachtsman (the 1958 America’s Cup winner) and racer Briggs Cunningham with some under-the-table help from General Motors.
Anyway, Chip Miller died in 2004 at age 61 of a rare disease. He had searched in vain for decades for Cunningham’s personal car, which bore #1. In the course of looking for that car, he located the #3 team car which had actually won its class in the race.
Corvette aficionados in general, and Lance Miller in particular, had just about given up finding the #1 car – sort of the Holy Grail of racing Corvettes. But late last month, it seemed the car had finally resurfaced. It was in a warehouse full of junk stashed by a judge in Pinellas County, Florida, named Richard W. Carr. The judge, known locally as something of a pack rat and car nut, had collected nearly 70,000 square feet of odds and ends in two warehouses. The judge died in January 2011. His son Rick found the car – or what was left of it after it was converted to drag racing use – and contacted friends of Cunningham (he died in 2003, in Las Vegas, at age 96).
What happened next? Well, it appears Lance Miller purchased the car from Rick Carr. For more on this saga, check out my article in The New York Times today.
On a final note, I asked Lance Miller if he had also decided to buy the #2 Le Mans Corvette, which is owned by Bruce Meyer, a director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. He said more information on that subject would be announced when the newly found #1 Corvette is unveiled in all its warehouse dust and glory on Aug. 23 at an event in Carlisle, Pa.
Watch for an update on this story!
August 9, 2012