“Gulf One” Leads the Field at Mecum Kissimmee

d667044ec2535d6b347d2580b265c5a0

Marengo, IL, January 1, 2009 — Mecum Auction, the high-performance and collector car auction specialists, are proud to offer the historically significant 1963 Gulf Oil Corvette Z06 Race Car at the 2009 Mecum Kissimmee Auction, Jan. 22-24, 2009, in Kissimmee, Fla.

Capitalizing on the introduction of the radical new-for-1963 Corvette Sting Ray, legendary Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus Duntov defied the Automobile Manufacturers Association’s collective racing ban and commissioned Regular Production Option Z06, a special component package that elevated Corvette performance to a level never before seen in a production car.

This historic 1963 Z06 – driven by Dr. Dick Thompson of “Flying Dentist” fame and known simply as “Gulf One” – competed in the 1963 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship. During its career, it was the most widely campaigned of all the works cars and the only one to campaign at the national level, racing in more venues than any other. It remains the most highly original of all the racing Z06 Sting Rays and a monument to one of American sports car racing’s greatest eras.

“This Gulf Oil Z06 is the last of the factory Corvette racers available and is the very car that led to the development of the Grand Sports prototype back in 1963,” said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum auctions. “An amazing 45 years after its race debut, Mecum Auction is pleased to bring collectors the opportunity to own one of the most important cars in the history of production Corvette performance development.”

This Sting Ray’s road to fame is extraordinary. Of the 21,513 production Corvettes in 1963, the Gulf One (Serial Number 2227) was:
• One of only nine regular production Corvette Serial Numbers assigned specifically for competition;
• The first of two regular production Corvette Serial Numbers assigned to Yenko Chevrolet specifically for competition;
• Delivered from Yenko Chevrolet directly to Grady Davis, executive VP of Gulf Oil Research and Development;
• The first car prepared with advanced race technology developed specifically for the Z06 and later adapted for use on the non-production prototype Corvette Grand Sports, whose name differentiated them from factory production Sting Rays.

Expertly restored to its original specifications, the Gulf One Z06 appears exactly as it did at the front of the starting grid of the ‘63 Sebring race, including the unique rear fender flares required by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) to cover its extra-wide Firestone racing tires. Additional specifications of the original 1963 Corvette Regular Production Option (RPO) Z06 include:
• Fuel-injected 327/360-bhp V-8
• Four-speed transmission
• Positraction rear axle
• Vacuum-powered dual-circuit master cylinder
• Heavy duty brake drums with cooling fins and forward-operating adjusters
• Special metallic brake linings
• Removable front brake air scoops
• Vented brake backing plates
• Heavy duty stabilizer bar
• Heavy duty shock absorbers
• Heavy duty springs
• Fiberglas 36.5-gallon fuel tank
• Five cast-aluminum finned wheels

As the main attraction of an estimated 750 collector cars, the Gulf One 1963 Z06 is expected to draw a crowd of thousands to the Mecum Kissimmee Auction, located at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. The car will be sold Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, as Lot # S110. The general public is welcome, with tickets available at the door for $10. For more information, visit www.Mecum.com.

The Kissimmee Auction will be broadcast live on Mecum’s popular television series, “Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More,” which returns for the 2009 season on HD Theater – A Discovery Company.

The Mecum Auction Company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars, muscle cars and Corvettes for more than 20 years. In spring 2008, the company sold its 50,000th car. Consignment, Bidder, event and accommodation information is available online at www.Mecum.com or by calling 815.568.8888.