Cunningham Corvette pulled from Carlisle showFri, 24 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0700
Less than 24 hours after the long-lost No. 1 Briggs Cunningham Chevrolet Corvette received a public viewing, the car has gone back into hiding.
The car was set for a public showing Friday afternoon during the Corvettes at Carlisle show in Carlisle, Pa. But less than half an hour before the presentation was set to begin, the showing was canceled.
Lance Miller, owner of show promoter Carlisle Events and a central figure in bringing the 1960 Corvette back into public view after nearly 20 years, explained the cancellation with a statement that was read publicly:
“We had hoped to present the 1960 No. 1 Le Mans Corvette to you today. As you probably know, after I purchased the car in Florida and brought it to Pennsylvania, we held an event last night to reveal it. As you also know, I have sold the car to a third party, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time. Unfortunately, for security reasons, the car has had to be moved to an undisclosed location. While I am disappointed, as I am sure you are, it was important to respect the buyer's wishes in this matter. I have confidence that the car will be well cared for, and we hope to have it back here in Carlisle at a future show looking better than ever.”
Miller declined to explain what was meant by “security reasons” and said he couldn't comment beyond his statement.
On Thursday night, on the eve of the weekend-long Corvettes at Carlisle fest, Miller unveiled the car to crowd of about 100 invited guests, including members of the Corvette product team from General Motors. During the event, Miller said he had bought the car from Richard Carr, who found it among hundreds of items stored in two Florida warehouses owned by Carr's stepmother and late father.
Also present at the event was Kevin Mackay, owner of Corvette Repair Inc. in Valley Stream, N.Y. Mackay said he was hired to restore the car to its race trim by the new owner, whom he declined to name.
After being missing from public view for nearly 20 years, the Corvette turned up in June as Carr was cleaning the warehouses. The car's identification number matched a number published by Cunningham historian Larry Berman.
Cunningham fielded three Corvettes in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 1 car crashed out of the race after two hours. Car No. 2 also did not finish the race. It has been restored and is owned by collector Bruce Meyer in California. Mackay restored car No. 3, which finished the race in eighth place overall and first in its class. The car is owned by Miller and is on display at the Carlisle event.
By Dale Jewett