Grady Davis' Gulf Oil Racing Team purchased the Corvette in 1962 from Yenko Chevrolet
and the car was campaigned by none other than "The Flying Dentist", Dr. Dick Thompson in the 1962 SCCA-A Production Class.
In 14 races, the Gulf Oil '62 Corvette finished first in class 12 times including wins at Daytona and Sebring and captured
the 1962 A-Production Championship.
The Corvette was sold at the end of the 1962 season to Tony Denman who successfully
raced the car throughout 1963, finishing second in class at Daytona while battling against newer Corvettes, Ferrari GTOs and
Porsches. At the end of the 1963 season, Denman removed most of the high performance racing parts in order to sell the car
as a typical street Corvette.
Almost 20 years later, the Corvette was discovered by the Rev. Mike Ernst who found
the Corvette, now painted red, being driven by a college student who was using the Corvette as a daily driver. In researching
the Corvette, Ernst found the car came with the rare and highly sought after RPO 687 package which includes the heavy duty
brakes, suspension and steering. The Corvette also had a 37-gallon fuel tank which was common for RPO 687 Corvettes that were
raced at the time.
Ernst began restoration of the 1962 Corvette in the early 1980's. The disassembly
and paint-stripping process revealed the car to be none other than Dick Thompson's 1962 Gulf Oil Corvette. Ernst was able
to track down Tony Denman who had stored most of the high performance racing parts from the Corvette in his parent's garage
before selling them in 1979. With Denman's assistance, Ernst tracked down the buyer of the parts and bought them back, reuniting
them with the Corvette in May of 1985.
Among the list of parts were Stewart Warner gauges, roll bar, some of the Yenko extra-heavy-duty
suspension pieces, aluminum bell housing, separate scatter shield, engine block, cylinder heads, exhaust manifolds, Posi-Traction
units, ring and pinions and various hardware. After these racing parts were reassembled, the Corvette was painted its original
Ermine White and Blue livery and became the first recipient of the NCRS American Heritage Award.
The 1962 Gulf Oil Corvette returned to the track and raced at Laguna Seca and Palm
Springs. It was shown at the Carlisle of Corvettes Racer and Race Car reunion and in 2002 underwent a complete restoration
by Doug Prince and Jerry Roman.
In 2005, the Corvette was inducted into the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame and was
displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum and was shown at Corvette's 50th Anniversary Celebration.
In 2008 the Corvette underwent another restoration by Kevin Mackay of Corvette
Repair in New York.
The 1962 Gulf Oil Corvette features a number of astonishing details including an
original Motorola two-way radio, allowing car on-course-to-pit communication. It's believed to be the first use of such equipment
in a race car. Other details include correct Koni shock absorbers, finned heavy-duty brakes, painted steel wheels wearing
period-correct Goodyear tires, enormous fiberglass scoops for brake cooling. The driveline reveals its content to consist
of original date-stamped parts, including the original matching-numbers engine.
The Corvette is highly documented with a collection of publications that featured
articles about the race car and an extensive collection of photos from its racing days. In addition to its NCRS and Bloomington
Gold certificates, a bill of sale from Yenko Chevrolet to Grady Davis is also included.
In January of 2009 at Gooding & Company's Pebble Beach Auction for an astounding