1963 Corvette Grand Sport Continuation Model by Duntov Motor Company Heads to Mecum Auctions for the Indy Fall Special 2020
There’s many reasons why the Corvette’s very first Chief Engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov was known as the “Godfather of the Corvette”, but one of the most well known reasons, was his desire to build a lightweight racing Corvette that would put the Europeans to shame.
Enter the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport.
These special, “lightweight” Corvettes would be created specifically to win the FIA endurance races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Duntov needed to build 125 examples for homologation. However, due to GM’s newly imposed restrictions on racing, that goal became impossible.
That didn’t stop Duntov from creating a secret “skunkworks” where the Grand Sports were built away from the wandering eyes of GM’s legal team. Only five examples were built, with a rumored 6th Grand Sport built but destroyed by GM in the late 1960s.
As soon as they were built, they were quickly shuffled out the back door and into the hands of experienced, private racing teams.
While the Grand Sports were campaigned successfully and showed great promise, Duntov was never able to see his entire dream come to fruition. Thanks to the Duntov Motor Company, Duntov’s legacy has new life.
The Duntov Motor Company
The Duntov Motor Company in Dallas, Texas specializes in restoring and maintaining vintage racing Corvettes as well as specialty high performance parts for 1963 – 1982 Corvettes.
From their website:
“Special recognition is due to the late Elfi Duntov, who graciously granted permission to organize under her name, and who helped pave the way for the resumption of production of the GM authorized Corvette Grand Sports.”
What sets this company apart from other limited coachworks is that some of the folks behind starting the company, actually ran the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race back in 1965 with Corvette Grand Sport #003. When it comes to the original Grand Sports, these guys know what they’re doing!
In January of 2009, after producing three lightweight Corvette Grand Sport prototypes, General Motors granted the Duntov Motor Company with an exclusive licensing agreement to continue building their Grand Sports for road-going production. Shortly after, GM found the molds and blueprints to the original 1963 Corvette Grand Sport and sent them to the company so that they could build the Grand Sports right down to the exact millimeter.
In order to move the company from building just a few prototypes, to regular road-going production models, the Duntov Motor Company brought in the expertise of Superperformance, LLC in Irvine, California.
With many years of creating and producing stunning replicas of legendary Corvettes, Ford GT40s and Shelby Cobras, Superperformance had the exact experience that the Duntov Motor Company needed to bring their Corvette Grand Sports to production reality.
1963 Corvette Grand Sport Continuation Chassis #: 30837X100011
This particular example coming up for auction at the Mecum Auction’s Indy Fall Special 2020, Oct 29 – 31 is the first of the continuation Grand Sport Corvettes built by the Duntov Motor Company and was actually raced in 2015 by the company for two seasons winning virtually every race they entered.
From the Duntov Motor Company:
“Like every other Duntov Continuation Grand Sport, GS011 has an original 2011 Duntov Grand Sport frame and suspension and both are wicked stiff. GS011 was our first Grand Sport roadster and was a spectacular success. We raced it for two seasons and won virtually every race we entered.”
The current owner in Louisiana purchased the car from the company and converted it into a street legal Corvette. Apparently, it’s one hell of a ride according to the owner: “This historic continuation Grand Sport, so very beautiful, to drive it is like a hand grenade duct taped to a skateboard.”
Originally, this Grand Sport came from the factory with an overhauled 875HP+, all-aluminum 460 cubic-inch big block racing engine. The current owner had to replace the racing engine and transmission with a Chevy Gen-5 427 crate engine putting out 480 HP and 490 lb-ft of torque.
The original transmission was swapped out for a T-56 Super Magnum six-speed and various suspension and electrical changes were made in order to make the Grand Sport street-legal.
Along with the car comes a long list of spare parts including two set of wheels and tires – one being a set of racing tires with the original 2011 build racing wheels currently on the car and a set of street tires with the original 2011 build wheels, the original 2011 steering box, headlight covers, front ground spoiler, original racing windshield plus an extra taller windshield, racing seats, stereo, clock and custom-made weatherproof car cover.
If you’re looking to own an incredible piece of Corvette history that truly hearkens back to the days of high octane, horsepower and burning rubber, you can’t go wrong with this street legal Corvette Grand Sport.