Sunday, November 19, 2023

this Corvette left Chevrolet’s factory race ready, despite the factory ban on racing. Built with the 290 hp 283 fuel-injected engine, 4 spd, Posi, heavy-duty brakes and suspension, wide wheels, and a 24-gallon fuel tank.

It was delivered through Miami’s Don Allen Chevrolet, a notorious conduit for Chevy’s clandestine racing activities, complete with a contract to do “field testing and development.”

In February 1960, following basic race prep, which included the addition of roll bars, safety belts, auxiliary lights, and blue stripes, this Corvette, and its identical twin were raced at an event in Daytona just to make sure they were ready to go. Then they were put on a ship to Cuba for the Gran Premio de la Habana GT race.

This 1960 Camoradi Corvette, went on to race in the May 22, 1960 Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometers, 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, and an August 1960 75 Kilometer sports car race at Sweden’s Karlskoga circuit.

Following the Swedish race the car was driven on a public highway to a new Swedish national speed record for production cars by noted F1 driver Jo Bonnier. 

Then, on the way to its next event at Goodwood, it crashed enroute while being driven by team mechanic Bob Wallace. Wallace and team manager Fred Gamble salvaged the engine and transmission and then gave the heavily damaged car to a local policeman. They assumed he would sell small parts of it off as souvenirs as the car had just finished the famous Le Mans race and set the Swedish national speed record, and then just scrap the remainder.

Recently, a Phoenix Corvette enthusiast named Loren Lundberg met Wallace and heard the sorry tale of the crashed Camoradi Corvette and became slightly obsessed with finding the car if it somehow miraculously survived. After more than five years of intense research and investigation, coupled with truly unbelievable luck, Lundberg located the car, still in Sweden and in pretty sad condition. All of his hard work paid off when he was able to buy the car and ship it back to the United States.

1 comment:

  1. CAMORADI was an acronym for Casner Motor Racing Division, a racing team owned by one Lloyd “Lucky” Casner. One observer said of him, he was “...a trickster, spellbinder, hoodwinker and flim-flamer and is hardly remembered anymore.” Lucky’s luck ran out while he was testing a Maserati 151 at Le Mans in 1965, at the end of the Mulsanne straight. The car crashed and Lucky perished in a very unforgiving landscape.