1966 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Its recent vintage-racing provenance has completely eclipsed whatever original period history the car might have had

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By the mid-1960s, Corvettes powered by the immortal 327-c.i. Chevrolet V8 were regular national winners in the Sports Car Club of America’s B-Production class. This storied 1966 coupe had just such an early history, as Texan Dan Hines ran it in SCCA SW division races at Texas International Speedway and other tracks.

In the early 1980’s, Hines decided to sell the old warrior, by now fitted with fender flares, a big block engine, wide wheels and other SCCA-allowed modifications. Bill Zeiring, a friend of the current owner, purchased the coupe with a view to restoring it for historic racing. The ugly flares were removed and the body was returned to the stock configuration. Blackhawk Engineering built up a race-spec 327, with a Holley four-barrel carb and Hooker headers. A new aluminum radiator, 42-row oil cooler, and road-racing oil pan were added, as was a close-ratio Muncie four-speed transmission.

Zeiring then sent the car to Corvette guru Dick Guldstrand, who installed his own brake and suspension parts and set up the suspension for road racing. American Racing “Torque Thrust” wheels and Goodyear “Blue Streak” racing tires completed the transformation, and the Corvette was now ready for a second racing career.

The current owner purchased the Corvette Coupe from Zeiring in 1986 and entered it in the Monterey Historics the following August. For the next 15 years, “Thumper” (as this coupe was now nicknamed) has been a regular fixture in West Coast historic racing.

In 1987, it was awarded Steve Earle’s “Spirit of Vintage Racing” trophy during the Sears Point Wine Country Classic. When Corvette was named as the featured marque at the 2002 Monterey Historics, “Thumper” won the B-Production race, defeating a strong field of Cobras, Shelbys, Ferraris, and a host of other Corvettes. Adding to the achievement, this car was awarded the 2002 Rolex “Presentation and Performance” award.

Racing newcomer or veteran, this HMSA-legal Corvette is worthy of a determined purchase consideration.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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