1961 Gulf Oil Corvette

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1962 Gulf Oil Corvette
1961 Gulf Oil Corvette
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Winner of the 1961 SCCA B-Production National Championship, this Gulf Oil-sponsored 1961 Corvette was the most dominant Corvette racer of its time, winning almost every race it entered. It is one of two delivered by Yenko Chevrolet to the legendary Grady Davis, who ordered them equipped with the RPO354 fuel-injected 283/315 HP engine, Borg Warner 4-speed transmission, Positraction rear end, heavy duty brakes and suspension and quick steering adapter. Both cars were then prepared with the so-called Sebring Racing Package, which was supplied courtesy of Zora Arkus Duntov and consisted of a 37-gallon fiberglass fuel tank, hood louvers, headlamp covers, and auxiliary front anti-sway bar.

The Gulf Corvette made its competition debut on March 25 1961 at the Sebring 12 Hours driven by Don Yenko and Ben Moore, who took it to third place in the GT 3000 class. Yenko followed that up with consecutive SCCA B-Production victories at Virginia, Cumberland, Bridgehampton, Dunkirk, and Lime Rock. The Gulf Corvette’s record was interrupted at the Meadowdale National, where it was discovered under protest to have an aluminum flywheel, an oversight resulting from its preparation for FIA competition. The SCCA penalized Yenko, suspending him from competition for six months.

Having invested the full might of Gulf Oil’s Research and Development arm in the car’s success, Grady Davis immediately turned to “The Flying Dentist”, Corvette specialist Dr. Dick Thompson, who followed Davis’ instructions to "win every race here on" for the championship with victories at Bridgehampton, Indianapolis, Thompson, Road America and Watkins Glen.

This historically significant racing Corvette made an astounding 11 trips to victory lane in its pursuit of the SCCA B/Production National Championship. It was discovered in 1990 and meticulously restored to its 1961 Sebring configuration by noted photographer and author Richard Prince. It has since won the NCRS American Heritage Award, was part of the Bloomington Gold Special Collection and has been inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame and the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame.

- Ordered new by Don Yenko for Grady Davis, V.P. of Gulf Oil
- Winner of the 1961 SCCA B-Production National Championship with driver Dr. Dick Thompson, "The Flying Dentist"
- Numerous winner's circle appearances while driven by many famous racers including Don Yenko and Ben Moore
- Raced at the 12 Hours of Sebring during the '61 season
- 2011 NCRS American Heritage Award at Novi Nationals
- Bloomington Gold Special Collection
- Inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame
- 283/315 HP fuel injected engine
- Borg-Warner 4-speed transmission
- Posi-traction rear axle
- Heavy duty brakes, steering and suspension
- Chevrolet engineering "Sebring Package" fitted
- 37-gallon fiberglass fuel tank
- Hood louvers
- Headlamp covers
- Auxiliary front anti-sway bar
- Meticulously restored to 1961 "Sebring" configuration

PICTURES: 1961 Gulf Oil Corvette

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