This year marks the golden anniversary of Chevy's iconic sportscar's first class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To celebrate that event, the automaker decided to create a special 2011 Corvette that would serve as a high-velocity tribute to the 1960 Vette successfully raced there by the legendary Briggs Cunningham and his co-driven by Lucky Casner.
In addition to sharing an obvious conceptual kinship with that historic competition machine, this 2011 Corvette 50th Anniversary Le Mans Commemorative car has one other important mission: It will be sold and the proceeds used to help support the non-profit National Corvette Museum. Rather than going the typical auction route, the NCM is asking for a tax-deductible donation of $300,000, which would permit its contributor to purchase this unique vehicle for what it cost the organization to have it built -- an amount estimated to be around $85,000.
Days of future past
Visually, the 2011 Corvette 50th Anniversary Le Mans Commemorative recalls Cunningham's original charger with its Arctic White exterior set off by bold blue racing stripes on hood, roof and deck. In addition to sporting the same number "3" on its side, this modern remake carries a special 50th Anniversary logo on the B-pillar and has its side mirrors and wheels done in Cyber Grey.
Mechanically, this striking one-off is based on a Z06 model augmented by both the Z07 Performance Package and the CFZ Carbon Fiber Package. The former adds items like carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes and the upgraded cooling system from the ZR1 as well as Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Michelin PS2 Sport Cup tires while the latter nets the a lightweight carbon-fiber front splitter, roof panel, side sills and ZR1 rear spoiler also found on the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition model.
Chevy plans to celebrate the Corvette's illustrious racing history later this month in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series event on May 22-23rd at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. In addition to showcasing both Cunningham's 1960 Corvette and this newly-minted 50th Anniversary Le Mans tribute car, numerous other historic Corvette competition machines and their drivers will be on hand as the latest Corvette Racing C6.Rs go after victory in the hotly contested GT2 class before heading off to Le Mans to contest the 24-hour classic there on June 12-13.