The Corvette Action Center just learned that famed Corvette racer, and automotive suspension guru, Dick Guldstrand passed away yesterday at his home in North Hollywood, California. He was 88 years old and had been battling cancer for many years. At this time, we don’t have any further details, but will update this post as they become available to us.
Well-known for his chassis expertise and success in road racing since the 1960s, Guldstrand started out pursing a career as a lawer at the persuasion of his parents but ended up studying electronics in college and eventually ended up working in the aerospace industry.
However, while working in aerospace, he couldn’t pull his attention away from a beat up 1956 Corvette sitting out in the parking lot where he worked, and eventually his desire to race got the best of him.
His racing career started out on some of the famous dirt racing tracks in Southern California in the 1950s and he eventually landed a sponsorship from H.E. Baher, a Hermosa Beach, California Chevrolet dealer.
By 1963, Guldstrands racing exploits began to gain popularity and between 1963 – 1965, he won three consecutive SCCA Pacific Coast Championships, including the Southern Pacific A/P Championship in 1964, the same year he was named the California Sports Car Club Driver of the Year.
After winning the GT-class at the Daytona 24-hour race in 1966 and leading the race for 13 straight hours at Le Mans in 1967, Guldstrand decided to start his own business – Guldstrand Engineering Inc., in Culver City, California in 1968. By the 1970’s, Guldstrand had built nearly 70% of all Chevrolet-powered road racing cars on the West Coast.
In 1985, Chevrolet contracted him to help in the development and testing of the 1985 Corvette and soon after built his own 1986 Guldstrand Corvette which proved to be extremely successful at the SCCA National Solo Championships. Later that year, he went on to build his exotic GS-80 Corvette and went up against some of Europe’s finest exotics including the Ferrari Testarrossa, Lamobrghini Countach, and Porsche Turbo.
In the 1990’s he developed the GS-90 Corvette based off of the C4 Corvette ZR-1 chassis. The car made its official debut in 1994 on the Chevrolet stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and was produced on a build-to-order basis.
Guldstrand Engineering’s business continued to grow for many years later supplying high performance, chassis and suspension components for the Corvette aftermarket.
Please join us in extending our condolences to Dick Guldtrand’s family and friends.