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Click above for gallery of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

There are quite a few legendary Corvettes – the L88, ZL1 and Z06 to name a few – and modern day super Vettes will no doubt become future automotive icons, as well. None of them, however, have the status of the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport. Only five were produced by the "father of the Corvette", Zora Arkus-Duntov, to battle with Shelby's Cobra roadsters before General Motors cancelled its motorsports activities in 1964. The Grand Sports are rarely offered up for sale, and this is the first time one is being put up for auction. Both RM and Keith Martin, publisher of Corvette Market Magazine, have declared the car to be the most important Corvette ever to be offered for sale. This particular Grand Sport is chassis #002 and is one of only two roadsters. It features a completely original unrestored body and was previously owned by Roger Penske and George Wintersteen. No price estimates were given, but the bidding will surely go into the millions of dollars.


[Source: RM Auctions, Photos courtesy RM Auctions / Troy Wood]

PRESS RELEASE:

Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions will mark their 10th anniversary Automobiles of Arizona auction event in Phoenix, Arizona with the sale of one the rarest and most valuable Corvettes in history – an all mighty 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (chassis no. 002).

Often referred to as one of the most fascinating enigmas in motor racing annals and certainly one of the most valuable, the Grand Sport was General Motor's contender to Ford's venerable Shelby Cobra. Envisioned by the legendary 'father of the Corvette', Zora Arkus-Duntov, these top secret, hand-built race cars were designed to win at FIA endurance races and ultimately the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only five were built out of an expected 120 car run before General Motors cancelled its competition activities in early 1964. Miraculously, each of the prototypes escaped destruction orders, falling into the hands of private racers who preserved their heritage for future generations.

From this elite fraternity, the multi-million dollar 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (Chassis no. 002) with its original un-restored race body is being offered for the first time ever at RM's Biltmore auction in January. Previously owned by Roger Penske and George Wintersteen, 002 is one of just two roadsters produced out of the original five prototypes.

"The Corvette Grand Sport is one of the greatest American racing cars and quite possibly, one of the most historically significant American built race bred automobiles ever produced," says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions. "Additionally, for Corvette enthusiasts, this car is singularly the most important and significant Corvette to ever come to market, making its offering in Arizona a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire such an important piece of American motoring history."

Keith Martin, Publisher of Corvette Market Magazine adds: "The Grand Sport is clearly one of the most desirable Corvettes ever built. With its significant racing history, featuring a strong showing in the 1966 U.S. Road Racing Championship, it is the most important Corvette to ever be offered for sale publicly."

This legendary Corvette will be presented along with over 100 exceptional vintage automobiles and motorcycles. Other notable early highlights for the January auction include an extraordinary 1937 Bugatti Atalante Type 57SC and a unique 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Boattail Skiff.

Designed and built by one of the most significant father and son collaborations, Ettore and Jean Bugatti, the extraordinary, supercharged 1937 Bugatti Atalante Type 57SC (chassis no. 57551) is one of only seven produced and is recognized the world over for its union of styling, engineering and sophistication. With an innovative twin overhead-cam, 200HP in-line 8 and integrally mounted 4-speed transmission, the Atalante could effortlessly reach 112 miles per hour - a fitting tribute to its namesake, the mythical Greek Goddess who vowed she would never marry any man who could run fast enough to catch her. Once part of the famous Harrah's Collection, this stunning coupe is considered the most elegant of all Type 57 models and a significant milestone in Bugatti history.

Well-known in Rolls-Royce circles, the 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Boattail Skiff, chassis number 54PB, features rare coachwork by German based Shapiro-Schebera. So unique is its design that it is widely believed to be one of the most unusual cars ever to carry a Schebera body and the only surviving example of this style of wood skiff coachwork from the period. Along with its split vee-windshield, flying fenders and tapered tail, the superb craftsmanship of the wood exterior emphasizes the car's elegant nautical design. 54PB belongs to a very select group of Silver Ghosts that are the most instantly recognizable cars of all Rolls-Royce produced.

Other notable early consignments for RM's Biltmore sale include: a 1950 Hudson Commodore Convertible, formerly owned by the legendary Steve McQueen, and an elegant 1937 Delage D8-120 Aerosport Coupe, the only known survivor of ten examples built by famed French coachbuilders Letourner et Marchand.

RM's Automobiles of Arizona auction event will be held at the luxurious Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, 24th Street & Missouri, Phoenix, Arizona on January 16th, 2009. An auction preview will be held January 15th from 9am to 5pm. The auction will take place between 11am to 6pm on January 16th. Admission to the auction is by catalog only, which admits both the catalog holder and a guest. The full-color collectable catalog is available for $100 U.S. (plus shipping), by calling (800)-211-4371 (within North America) or +1 519 352 4575 or visiting www.rmauctions.com.

About RM Auctions, Inc.

Celebrating nearly 30 years in the collector car industry, Canadian-based RM Auctions Inc. and its associated companies are responsible for acquisitions, restorations and sales of the world's rarest and most valuable vintage automobiles, including record-breaking sales in Maranello, Italy and London, England. RM's restoration division achieved unprecedented accolades in 2006, when the Company earned "Best of Show" honors at the world's top three collector car events in a single year. www.rmauctions.com.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hands down, best Vette ever.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Damn that's a sexy car. Did they realize how beautiful the cars were when they were making them back then? Or did they just say "whatever, chop the top and paint parts blue"?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now, im usually very composed when i post here, but:-
      HOLY FREAKIN HELL!!!
      WANT!!!!!111one11one1
      • 6 Years Ago
      oh hey, that's my dad's handwriting on the carbs!

      (seriously, it is)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lol, it's just a Vette. I'd take a GT-R over this any day.

      Oh, wait...
      • 6 Years Ago
      That will be a $5Mil Vette I think.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like they returned it to a previous color scheme.
      Here's some pics I took in 2003 in Florida:
      http://www.slosar.net/tony/gs/index.htm

      002 specifically:
      http://www.slosar.net/tony/GS%202003%20web/GS002_Rear.jpg
      http://www.slosar.net/tony/GS%202003%20web/GS002_V2_outside.jpg
      • 6 Years Ago
      Eh, I already have one...on my shelf...Exoto sells them far cheaper!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Because the cars were originally built to run in the long enduro races, all 5 were built as coupes. Once the FIA classified them as prototypes and not GT cars [because of the fact that only 5 were built] the 2 were modified to be roadsters. If GM had built the 100 cars or pushed the issue these cars would have ruled GT racing for years and the Cobra would have been smoked. They only weighed @2200 lbs and could do wheelies on the straightaways because of their power and bad aero. The wheels were Hallibrand true magnesium knockoffs.....state of the art in the day. These cars are an example of what could be done by GM Racing when they were allowed to do their job, before; as mentioned the plug was pulled.
      BTW, the blue and white paint job is correct for how this car spent most of it's track time. All 5 were delivered in the light metatalic blue that became known as "Mecum Blue". It was actually a '62 Cadillac OE color.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What are they getting for 5 Mil? The 377 with webers, a siver/blue body, ect, and the winterstein 12 #002 with traco motor Did they make two cars?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Classic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll add a bit more info on this version of the GS. You see the car here has a big block TRACO 427 Chevy and the "66 style" hood to clear it. This was done later in the car's career to make it more competitive in SCCA ASR class and USRRC races where it was not so competetive against Lola's, McClaren's etc. Remember it was intended to be a GT car and run against Cobras in production sports car classes and not prototypes, sports racing class cars, and such. I would guess it could bring $3 million...but the more familiar coupes are worth more. This is a far cry from the $28 million for the contemporary Ferrari 250 GTO. But similar to a Cobra Daytona Coupe.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, that is stunning, and if I had the money, I'd definitely want to own this piece of automotive history.
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