Yes Virginia, there is a Shelby Corvette…

At least that’s what some guy convinced his buddy a few year’s back when he saw Al DeBonis’ ’62 Corvette parked amongst a bunch of snakes at a race weekend. Watching this unfold, the Shelby guys waited until Al and his wife went for lunch and out came the vinyl lettering. The legend of the Shelby Corvette was born. When DeBonis sold that car and began work on a later model Vette, it just seemed natural that it should be christened “Shelby Corvette 002″.

shelby-corvette.jpg

More pictures after the break

Shelby Corvette 002 began life with a conversion to race trim some time in 69/70, then began a long career of road racing. The car was originally campaigned in the 70’s in the Atlanta area wearing 7-11 colors. Today, it is still powered by a thundering great 427 that sounds oh so sweet out on the track. Al has so much fun driving this pumpkin that he swears it will be his last race car.

On another note, Al was taken by how friendly all the Canadian racers and organizers had been. This first visit to Mosport will hopefully entice Al & his wife and the Shelby Corvette back to Ontario for years to come!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Comments

  1. says

    Gary,

    One of the things I enjoy most about you is that you always manage to remember many times in the racing world it pays off to be open minded and possibly at times even skeptical. The stories about Carroll's Vettes have been around for years and while there is some truth to a few of them, most are simply told by want-a-bes.

    Several years before Shelby had even started Shelby Motors of even approached Ford for that matter three Texans, Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall and Gary Laughlin wanted to kick the European's butt and Jim and Gary owned Chevy dealerships back in Texas so they used their influence with management at Chevrolet to get Chevrolet Racing to help them buy three 1959 Corvette chassis without bodies so they could build what they hoped would be a great sports car to compete with the Europeans.

    Three 1959 chassis where shipped from the St. Louis assembly plant to coach builder Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena, Italy. The three of them copied an alloy body like the ones used on the Ferrari Tour de France, considered to be one of the most awesome cars of it's time. In order to make it a legal car to compete with they had to put the car into production and factory support was needed to obtain frames, engines and gearboxes but this is when Carroll approached Harley Earl who was vice president at General Motors and chief engineer Ed Cole who both thought it was a great idea.But the bad news was the GM Brass did not and furthermore Chevrolet had recently had a change in policy that all but eliminated sponsorship of any private race cars. There were no more Vettes built by Shelby after that (1959). As soon as Carroll learned about Ford's new thin-wall block he went to Ford with his proposal and the Cobra came to be. The rest is history and yes… even the Corvette guys wished they could be part of that history.

    As for the three Vettes that were in fact built by the three guys from Texas, (Not Shelby Motors) here are the facts…

    In collector circles they are known as the "Scaglietti Corvettes", Gary Laughlin’s car was the first one built and at this time is in a collection in Japan. The second car went to Jim Hall. It was rebuilt in 1989 and displayed at Pebble Beach and some other concours. and then sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 1990 where it sold for a world record price of about $500,000. Now it is in the Patrick Getriede collection in France. Last but not least and the only one that is in the United States is owned by Mike McCafferty.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that doesn't look like a 59 Vette to me.

  2. BJ Bennett says

    Mike McCafferty’s 1959 Scaglietti Corvette was sold it at the Barrett Jackson auction in January 2000 and purchased by Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Calif. where it resides to this day.

    BJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *