BangShift photo contributor Justin Oney is a man of incredible personal wealth. I didn’t know that until he sent me the link to the eBay auction of the 1956 Corvette SR-2, which is the first ever factory built race car Chevrolet created and was essentially designed by Harley Earl and Zora Arkus-Duntov. Justin was thinking about bidding on the car but he bought a gold plated helicopter instead and in a gesture of goodwill he sent me the link to share with the BangShifty masses. Heck of a guy, eh? I’m thankful that he sent it along because this car is simply amazing. Restored into the condition and look it was in when it raced in the 1950s, the shapes and colors are just plain stunning. The fact that it really didn’t win much of anything doesn’t do a lot to harm its value in our opinion because it represents a giant awakening to the racing world and the humble beginnings of the Corvette’s legendary racing heritage.
So the opening bid on this bad boy is $6.8-million bucks. No one has taken the plunge on that number yet but there is still more than a week left in the auction so the sharks are still just circling this thing from a distance. Why would this car command such money, if it does? The genesis of the thing is really where its at. Harley Earl’s son was racing a Ferrari in 1956 and the only way Early could get him to ditch it was after promising that he’d have Chevy build a racing Corvette that could smack the Ferrari around on the track. In the end, three of these cars were built. Earl’s kid got one, Bill Mitchell got one, and the president of GM got one as a show car. This is the one that actually got track time and had guys like Dr. Dick Thompson wheel it at races around Road America and a bunch of other road courses across the USA. It went on to change hands several times being autocrossed, drag raced, and generally pounded on before heading into a collection in 1986 and now coming back up for sale in completely awesome condition.
One of the other neat features of the car is the Rochester injected 331ci small block that was added during the winter of 1957 leading into 1958. This was a necessary change because against other competition the car was heavy and lacked horsepower. Again, this was not some world beating killer car but between the sheer beauty of the thing, the fact that Earl and Duntov were personally involved with it, and the fire that it stoked in the company’s competitive spirit, this is one HECK of an important Corvette.
Will it sell?
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE STUNNING PHOTOS OF THE CORVETTE SR-2, THEN HIT THE LINK TO PLACE YOUR BID!