LMC is very proud to offer for sale this 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Factory Fuelie Race Car
Despite the short-lived 1957 AMA racing ban, Zora Arkus-Duntov managed to endow the rapidly maturing Corvette with a growing selection of high-performance parts, and under his guidance, the revolutionary small-block V-8 made quantum leaps in power, reliability and sophistication. However, while the Corvette was indeed a serious racing contender by 1959, with a proven engine and chassis combination only lacking lightweight bodywork. During that time period, Carroll Shelby had enlisted Sergio Scaglietti to build three unique alloy body Corvettes in order to compete with the best European manufacturers. While the Scaglietti Corvette project foundered with GM management, the Corvette’s prowess grew in the racing world, dominating road racing and winning the 1959 SCCA B-Production championship. Plans were also laid with Briggs Cunningham to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans the following year.
This special Corvette Racer was factory ordered with the best options suited to go racing. It was factory painted in 503A Solid Black complemented by 490D Red Trim and 470E White convertible top. It was powered by the most potent engine available on Corvettes factory options list, the 283ci/290 horsepower solid lifter camshaft engine with Rochester fuel injection backed by a 4-speed manual transmission and Posi-traction rear axle. This special Corvette was also equipped with courtesy lights, HD brakes, HD suspension, deluxe heater and windshield washer which were the necessities need to go racing. These options all together would add $1,210 to it base price of $3,875 for a total of $5,227.
The original buyer of this rare Corvette was Gene Cormany, the Vice President of Engineering for the Zollner Corp. in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, a prime supplier of pistons for the American automobile and trucking industry. (Company owner Fred Zollner was one of the founders of the National Basketball Association and longtime owner of the Zollner Pistons team, later moved to Detroit where they became the Detroit Pistons). Cormany had attended an SCCA driving school at Lockbourne Air Force Base in 1958 and raced a Corvette later that season, reportedly without much gratification which led to the acquisition of this unique Corvette race car. He raced this car regularly throughout the Midwest in 1959 and 1960, scoring twelve top-three finishes including four wins out of 22 events.
The relationship between this Corvette race car and the first Scaglietti Corvette developed in the late 1980’s. The previous owner of this racer had purchased the original engine and fuel injection unit from the first Scaglietti Corvette with plans to install it into his race car. That motor was removed from the 1959 Scaglietti Corvette in order to get more power to be competitive at the vintage races. The engine was then saved until the race car was ready to be restored back to its period race glory.
Using period photos, this Corvette has been restored by a marque specialist to its period racing scheme of 503A Solid Black complemented by a 490D Red Leather Interior with white meatballs and race number 9. It still retains its unique racing equipment including a braced full width bolt in roll bar, side exhaust, and steel wheels with Goodyear Super Cushion tires. The driver and passenger sit behind a full-width cutdown windscreen which utilizes the original windshield mountings. A fully restored stock windshield and windshield wipers come with the car and it easily converts to street driving configuration with the windshield swap taking only five minutes.
Corvettes that have been racecars since new rarely survive in anything close to this kind of condition and almost never retain original documentation. Original documentation includes original dealer invoice, SCCA race results, ownership history, period photos and restoration history. A beautiful car, it was state of the art in American V-8 sports cars in 1959 and it is still a welcome and competitive participant in historic racing series. Freshly restored to the highest standards, it will be a welcome addition to any collection, with an intimate connection to one of the best known of all Corvette projects in its 290hp Fuel Injected engine from the first of the Shelby Scaglietti Corvettes.