The history of the Corvette Grand Sport explained
Vette lovers buckle up as we take a look at America’s beloved history.
The Corvette is known around the world as the American supercar sports car. The Corvette is the longest, permanently built passenger car in the world. When the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line over 60 years ago, it became an instant classic. the Chevrolet The Corvette is at the top of every car enthusiast’s favorite attraction list, thanks to its distinctive and charming styling.
Every now and then we have the opportunity to appreciate these memorable works of art. So we’ll take a walk down the alley of history and learn more about the legacy of the Corvette Grand Sport.
Corvette Grand Sport; A walk in the path of memory
Zora Arkus-Duntov, a well-known figure, was at the origin of Grand Sport. In 1960, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Corvette’s first lead mechanic, along with driver Briggs Cunningham, joined three almost original Corvettes. The cars were equipped with 283 “Fuelie” engines which provided mechanical fuel injection. In the large GT category, the Corvette finished first and eighth overall, surprising the Europeans. Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche joined the Corvette on the podium.
Duntov commissioned and supervised the construction of the original Corvette Grand Sport after its popularity in Europe and similar victories in the United States. Duntov was eager to unveil the prototype at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans and hoped for success. To meet the homologation rules of the production GT class, at least 125 ultralight and powerful cars had to be built.
Duntov wasn’t going to let the engineering and production of the Grand Sport go to waste. He managed to get some Grand Sport prototypes for private pilots. The potential of Grand Sport has been confirmed by this real world assessment.
Despite the fact that the Grand Sport name was dropped in 1963, Duntov continued to lead the way with the development of the âbig tankâ and âbig brakeâ variants of the C2 Corvette. In 1967, he was also responsible for the production of the large block L88 V8. Each of these systems was created from the ground up to give runners a strategic advantage.
Fast forward almost two decades, and with the Z51 Release Management Kit, the Corvette team brought a quick one to the market. When fitted to the Corvette C4, it took the car to unimaginable extremes on the road, making it the preferred choice of Corvette buyers. In addition, the kit conquered SCCA competitions to the point that it was banned in 1988, and the Corvette Challenge series was born.
1996 was quite a year. The special edition Corvette Grand Sport debuted long after Duntov created the concept for such a Corvette. The Grand Sport debuted in the final year of production of the Corvette C4, sporting an Admiral Blue exterior with an Arctic White line and red hatch markings on the front left fender. The distinctive stance of the Grand Sports was inspired by the ZR-1’s black wheels, which required additional flaring around the fenders. The 330 horsepower LT4 V8 engine was standard on all Grand Sport models. A total of 1,000 Grand Sports Corvettes were built.
In 1999, the C5.R marked the return of the Corvette to the world of motorsport. The team won their first of three GTS class wins at Le Mans in 2001, after a spectacular start. The C5-R was also instrumental in securing four straight ALMS team and constructor titles (2001-04). The C6.R builds on the momentum of the C5.R scheme, winning 39 GT1 races in the ALMS, including 12 back-to-back wins from 2005 to 2006 and an impressive 25 back-to-back wins from 2007 to 2009.
The Corvette Grand Sport made a comeback in the later years with the launch of the Corvette C6 (2010). The Z06’s large frame has been transferred to the Grand Sport and the C6 Grand Sport’s special wheels set it apart from the competition. Despite its late arrival, the C6 Corvette Grand Sport became the most popular model, accounting for half of all C6 Corvette sales.
A new driver has been revealed with the introduction of the C7 generation of Corvettes. The C7.R, like its predecessors, had similar results, taking first place in its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2014).
Three years later, the 2017 C7 Corvette Grand Sport debuts, adding the legendary nameplate to the seventh generation Corvette. It features track-ready aerodynamics, Z06-inspired body parts and a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 V8 that pays homage to the racing pedigree developed decades ago.
Six decades later; still standing
Countless gallons of ink were poured and dozens of trees were cut down to share the history of the famous Chevrolet Corvette. Despite the large number of American muscle cars on the market today, there is only one vehicle called the American Sports Car. And it’s really yours, The incomparable Corvette. This iconic figure has seen it all. From the overheated racing car of the 1950s to one of the most closely related sports cars in history, the Corvette Grand Sport remains true to its core foundation; fast and elegant.
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