Rare 1963 Z06 Corvette up for auction
General Motors was always great about sneaking cars out the back door. Pontiac was especially good at it with cars like the 1963 Pontiac Lemans Super Duty and the 1964 GTO. But when Chevrolet sold a secret racecar with the help of the father of the Corvette, that’s something really special.
1963 was already a special year for the Corvette. It was the first year for the Sting Ray, which meant it was the only year for the split rear window. 1963 was also when the Automobile Manufacturers Association ban on factory-backed racing was still in full effect. But Zora Arkus-Duntov knew that he needed to make something special to make sure that the Ford powered Shelby Cobras would not show up his Corvettes.
From this need came the Z06 program (forerunner of the Grand Sport program). It was an unadvertised optional package that raised the price of a Corvette by nearly 50 percent. What the owner got in return was a factory-fresh racecar. Only nine were built in 1963, and one is up for auction at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction on January 24th.
This Z06 is known as “Gulf One” and was originally owned by Dr. Dick Thompson AKA "Flying Dentist". The car features a 360-bhp V-8, four-speed transmission, Positraction rear axle, heavy-duty shocks and springs, and cast-aluminum finned wheels.
Is this going to be a record setter? We’ll be at the auction later this month in Florida to find out.