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1963 Grand Sport History

In early 1962, Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus Duntov began top secret work on a Corvette purpose-built race car to win Sebring and Le Mans and more specifically -- to put an end to the humiliating losses Chevrolet had suffered at the hands of Carrol Shelby and his Cobras.

The envisioned Grand Sport would be the ultimate Corvette, a lightweight, tremendously powerful factory built racer. Mounted with a 377cid small block with Weber side-draft carburetors (see the photo, below), it dynoed at 550hp at 6400rpm and was designed to blow the hoods off Shelby's Cobras. And if the Ferraris and Fort GT 40's were also left in the dust, so much the better.

After the prototypes had proven their mettle -- and metal -- 125 production street beasts were to be unleashed. But it never happened...

When they learned of Zora's secret program, the Chevrolet boardroom put a stop to the car's construction -- but they couldn't stop the five Grand Sports already built. And neither could the competition. From 1963 to 1967, the cars tore up the racetracks. And even after that, they continued to see duty and put up an excellent showing at races around the country and even overseas.

Thanks to the dedication of a few very serious collectors, all five of the original Grand Sport Corvettes still exist to this day (the photo shows their historic reunion at the 2003 Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance). And while they are rarely seen beyond the confines of the occasional auto show, they still create excitement in the minds of all those that witness these amazing automotive legends.

  Weber carburetors on 1963 Grand Sport
The once-in-a-lifetime reunion of all FIVE Grand Sports
Corvette Grand Sport book  

For the full story, order the book, Corvette Grand Sport by Dave Friedman & Lowell C. Paddock, published by MBI Publishing Co., Osceola, Wisconsin. ISBN 0-87938-382-8.

Order it from Amazon.com here!

You will not find a more authoritative reference than this 176 page book, full of rare historical photographs and insights into the minds of Zora Arkus Duntov, Roger Penske, Doctor Dick Thompson, Dick Guldstrand, and many others. This book is an absolute must-read for any Grand Sport enthusiast! -- GSR

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