Very nice pictures Jim.
The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:
Well, let's not exaggerate the state of preparedness when the #6 Corvette arrived at Sebring in 1960.
From Murray Forsfall's column in the Dallas newspaper after the 12 Hours:
" Bill Fritts went to Sebring to help in the pits on the Cooper Monaco which Jim Hall and Hap Sharp drove. He was expected to work lap charts for 12 hours. 'Thursday afternoon at about 4 o'clock I came back to the pits with a load of tires,' Bill recalls, 'and Hap told me, 'Grab your helmet and go down to Chuck's [Jim Hall's little brother] pit. There is something wrong with his Corvette.'
Chuck Hall, 21 years old with a newly acquired FIA license, had rented a new Corvette brought to Sebring by Reed's Racing Rats from Chicago. It had not been fully prepared to race at Sebring or anywhere else. 'Take it around the course and see what's wrong,' the young Hall said.
Then, and not until then, did Bill know that he had a ride. But his heart sunk after driving the car around the course twice. 'The first lap out I knew something was wrong. There was no way anyone could drive that car for 12 hours.'
Fritts informed Chuck of the fact. 'There is a mechanic and the car,' Chuck said, 'Go, get it ready.' Then Hall left to look after his Formula Junior, which was to race of Friday. It left Fritts with half an hour's day practice remaining, a night practice session and then one night and one day in which to get the car ready. The mechanic was a Ferrari man, who was not particularly interested in working on American Corvettes anyway.
Bill consulted Zora Duntov, who made some able suggestions. Fritts and the mechanic carried them out. By race time at 10 a.m. on Saturday #6 was in position ready to race. 'We weren't trying to do anything but win class,' Fritts said. 'We knew we couldn't outrun the other five Corvettes, so we set out strategy to outlast them.' "
Comparing the Corvette times indicates that the fastest lap of #6 was some 20 seconds slower than Delmo Johnson/Dave Morgan in the fastest Corvette:
#5 Johnson/Morgan 3'34"10
#3 Gamble/Jeffords/Wuesthoff 3'41"05
#2 Thompson 3'43'44
#1 Cunningham/Fitch 3'44'59
#4 Jefford/Gamble 3'52"20
#6 Fritts/Hall 3'55"33
As Hap Sharp said to Fritts during the race: 'Hey, what's wrong! You're driving like you were driving on eggs. Get out there and go!'
But perhaps that was how a Corvette should be driven to finish an endurance race in 1960.
all research: Willem Oosthoek
Thanks for the update Willem. I know RONNIE KAPLAN well, and I will get him to comment on what ever preparation his job was for the car. It originally was sold by NICKEY CHEVROLET, and Ronnie was the crew chief for NICKEY and JEFFORDS back in the 1958-60 era. It sure is fun following these old cars.
Craig McCaw, Bruce's brother bought the car in December 2010. It is going to the Amelia Gooding Auction March 9-10. Currently, the original 1959 restoration race 283 fuel injection engine is being installed back in the car. It was pulled to save for vintage racing, and a crate 350 was installed for street used these past 14 months.
UPDATE JAN 12, 2013. THE CAR WAS SOLD at Amelia Gooding Auction and is now in Rhode Island in a Corvette Race Car collectors hands who has some of the best of the best Corvette race cars of the 50's and 60's
Edited by Vettefinderjim, 12 January 2013 - 16:38.