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Old 11-14-2007, 02:27 PM   #1
Jeffvette
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Default Corvette Challenge cars

And no I'm not talking about the ghey drag racing thing that is currently going on.

Is it just a lack of understanding these cars exist or what makes them so damn special that makes them ignored? These are probably the best $ investment for the C4 (although I know cars should not be an investment).

So what is it?

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Last edited by Jeffvette; 11-14-2007 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:40 PM   #2
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I'll speak for myself. I'm a newcomer to Corvettes, and am almost clueless on these cars, and the history. I've heard about them in passing. I know they're race cars, and I've read where they aren't for the casual buyer, so I have kind of ignored them.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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They were all factory preped cars (matched) for racing. You could buy the cars from GM (do not remember the op code) and they were basically stripped down versions that had all the good suspension. Stock mtors that were "tuned" by port matching and a few other small things. I THINK they got them just under 300 HP (not for sure).

I guess you could say it was the start of IROC racing. I agree with you that they are a overlooked collector car and someday they will be worth alot more than you can buy them for now. I would love to buy one and actually race it as it was intended.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:57 PM   #4
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Very interesting! How much do these run?
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTU83 View Post
Very interesting! How much do these run?
20-50k depending upon condition, pedigree, who drove them, and if they were actually used in the race series.

The pickings on them is getting slim as most people are grabbing them and holding on to them.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:12 PM   #6
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Quick history

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The late 1980's Corvette was thriving with their high horsepower V8 engines, aerodynamic body and rigid suspension. As a matter of fact the Corvettes were taking all of the titles in the late 80's. Porsche, Lotus and many other competitors couldn't touch the Corvette. The competitors got together and banned the Corvette from competing against them. In 1987 a fellow by the name of John Powell came up with a brainstorm idea of having a "Corvette Challenge". Which meant only Corvettes could compete against one another, in doing so he wanted to make sure each car was to spec.

Powell envisioned having the Corvette Challenge teams compete for an enormous and unheard of purse at the time of $1,000,000. With one million dollars at stake the competition would be fierce. Fierce it was! There were some big guns coming to the Corvette Challenge races with good reason. The spec series became an instant hit with spectators and teams alike. With the competition being so close, it allowed the spectators to see some incredible accidents and some very competitive driving at various racing venues.

The 1988-1989 Corvette Challenge series came about because, in the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) Showroom Stock GT category, Corvette had no challengers. From the fourth generation Corvette's introduction in 1984 through the 1987 season Corvette's combination of superior handling, excellent brakes, sticky Goodyear "Gatorback" VR50 tires and the Small Block V8's power and torque ran away and hid from its Showroom Stock competition. It didn't matter what the series was called, Playboy Challenge, Showroom Stock GT or Escort GT Endurance, Corvettes were unbeatable. Literally. They won every race they entered, with the only competition coming from among the Corvette entrants.

In racing dominance by a single marquee is a promoter's nightmare and by 1987 competing manufactures were ready to withdraw their support for one of SCCA's most successful and high visibility series. SCCA responded by removing Corvette from the approved list of competitors for 1988, leaving the tiddlers to compete among themselves. Big Dogs, however, like to run in packs and that's what the Corvette racers, under leadership of John Powell, did. Powell was a successful Corvette racer, operator of one of Canada's leading competition driving schools and creator of the Player's Cup, a Canadian series for Camaros and Firebirds. He quickly gathered support from the Corvette drivers and entrants and proposed a one-make series to the SCCA to take advantage of Corvette's popularity with both entrants and fans.

Key to the success of the Corvette Challenge was early backing from Mid America Designs which created the impetus that helped bring Goodyear and Exxon on board. The groundswell of interest convinced GM to give its blessing and to facilitate the series' development by creating a very limited series of uniquely-configured Corvettes to participate. These few Corvette Challenge racers are the most rare and desirable Corvettes from the period.

The Corvette Challenge was a marketing and promotional success. An outstanding array of drivers took part including Mark Dismore, Scott Lagasse, Bill Cooper, Stu Hayner, Randy Ruhlman, Jeff Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracey, Boris Said, III and Tommy Kendall. The 1988 Championship was won by Hanyner folled in 1989 by Cooper. Several drivers, notably Vasser, Dismore, Tracey and Andretti, used the Corvette Challenge to showcase their talents and successfully leveraged their subsequent careers on it.

Another driver who made the most of his precipitation was Andy Pilgrim, who won three of his twenty-two Corvette Challenge starts, an outstanding record in the highly competitive field of evenly matched equipment. Pilgrim built a good relationship with the Corvette team and subsequently became one of the two lead drivers in developing and racing the fabulously successful Corvette C5-R.

For two years the Corvette Challenge provided exciting and close racing that highlighted the power and handling of essentially stock Corvettes in the hands of talented and motivated drivers at important races across North America. Its success and fan involvement was such that ESPN broadcast the full 1989 Corvette Challenge season to an enthusiastic audience, standing on its own as exciting racing.

Competing manufactures felt they had caught up with Corvette's performance by the end of the 1989 season and SCCA brought Corvette into its new World Challenge series for 1990. That ended the short but highly succ4essful and visible Corvette Challenge but the small number of Corvettes created for it still are recognized, enthusiastically collected and even raced in historic events. The cars were scooped up by collectors and have become an important examples of Corvette history - high profile, quick and competitive Corvettes.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTU83 View Post
Very interesting! How much do these run?

I have no idea what they cost from GM and Ithink you had to be a racing corp to buy them.

I have seen them really range in price as cheap as high 20's into the 70K range. Most I would say are around the high 30 - mid 40K range. I think alot of it has to do with the racing history of the car
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:24 PM   #8
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There is a guy selling one on the forum right now:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show....php?t=1815513
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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There is a guy selling one on the forum right now:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show....php?t=1815513
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Car was driven by Andy Evans, best finish was 10 at Sears point.

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Old 11-14-2007, 03:28 PM   #10
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Car is currently missing some of the race decals that adorned it in the series. Shame.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:39 PM   #11
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I'd love to have one, and it would have been awesome to drive in that series. Someone should make a DVD of the racing!
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:33 PM   #12
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Thanks for the pics. They really bring back some memories. I worked for EDS at the time and went to the races held in Addison, Tx. both years. Some really good racing.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:09 PM   #13
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I'd love to have one, and it would have been awesome to drive in that series. Someone should make a DVD of the racing!
Mid America did have a set available for sale. I tried to buy them, but they discontinued them shortly before my order was placed. If the vids became available, I would commit to buy them.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:09 PM
 
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