Posted by: Jerry Garrett | August 27, 2012

Detective: No Comment on #1 Cunningham Corvette Probe

Corvette enthusiasts pore over what is believed to be the #1 Cunningham Le Mans Corvette, at a private function last Thursday in Carlisle, Pa. (Courtesy of http://www.corvetteblogger.com)

Det. Eric Dale of the Carlisle, Pa., police department said Monday he had to say “no comment” to any questions regarding law enforcement investigations into the ownership or whereabouts of the so-called #1 Cunningham Corvette.

He referred all questions on matters under investigation to the Cumberland County, Pa., district attorney’s office. No one from that office returned phone messages before the end of the business day Monday.

However, law enforcement sources said they expected no quick resolution of the matter.

As of Monday, there was no word on the whereabouts of the controversial Corvette. It was shown at a private event last Thursday night (Aug. 23) at the garage of the Miller family, prominent Corvette collectors and enthusiasts, in Carlisle, Pa. But a previously announced public unveiling of the car, scheduled for last Friday was cancelled less than 24 hours before the event was scheduled to begin.

Lance Miller said the car was being moved to an “undisclosed” location for “security” reasons. Mr. Miller said he had purchased the car earlier, but sold it after only two days of ownership, to a third party who had requested anonymity.

But also on Thursday, a man named Dan Mathis Jr., of Tampa, Fla., arrived in Carlisle with a Certificate of Title for the car issued by the State of Florida. Mr. Mathis said the car had been owned by his father Dan Sr., who had done some modifications on the car to make it suitable for drag racing; but Mr. Mathis claimed the car was stolen from his father and “disappeared for 35 years.” The car recently was discovered among stored items in the estate of Richard W. Carr, a former Florida judge who died in 2010.

Rick Carr, the judge’s son, said he found the car when cleaning out his father’s storage warehouse. It was not clear how the car could have gone missing from Dan Mathis Sr., to being stored for at least 35 years, by Mr. Carr’s reckoning, in the judge’s warehouse.

The car, raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960 by sportsman Briggs Cunningham, had not been accounted for since 1960. Collectors searched for it for years, in vain, until Mr. Carr’s discovery this past June. Mr. Carr said he sold the car to Mr. Miller.

Mr. Mathis claimed Mr. Miller refused to meet with him when he arrived in Carlisle. Mr. Miller said he would issue a statement about the matter “soon”.

For additional information on this story, check out these earlier columns:

https://jerrygarrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/florida-man-presses-his-claim-for-1-cunningham-corvette/

https://jerrygarrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/1-cunningham-le-mans-corvette-reportedly-stolen/

https://jerrygarrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/is-the-quest-for-cunninghams-le-mans-corvettes-finally-over/

https://jerrygarrett.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/a-father-son-story-for-the-24-hours-of-le-mans/

Additional information and updates on this story will be posted here, when available.

Jerry Garrett

August 27, 2012

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