During the 1920s, Bill Mitchell was doing advertising work where he was exposed to road racing by the Collier brothers. This early racing influence that would foster throughout the years would be used in perfecting the Chevrolet Corvette. Between Zora Arkus-Duntov and Mitchell, the Corvette would evolve into an icon and racing legend.
There was an AMA (Automobile Manufacturer's Association) racing ban in 1957, which meant GM pulled out of competition at that time. Duntov was able to find a loophole and kept high-performance parts readily available on the Corvette. Improvements were made to the small-block V8 engine resulting in an increase in horsepower. The result was a very versatile machine that could be ordered for street use or for racing.
A few years later, in 1959, Gary Laughlin, Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby were planning to build a competition car that could challenge the Ferrari 250 Testarossa and 250 SWB Berlinetta. The Corvette chassis and 'fuelie' powerplant were chosen and it was sent to Scaglietti for its bodywork. This infuriated Enzo Ferrari, as Ferrari had used Scaglietti on several occasions for bodywork on his cars. He was not excited about his competition using one of his coachbuilders. The Italian coachbuilder worked two years on the project, creating a total of three lightweight alloy coupe bodies similar to the Ferrari 250 GT 'Tour de France.'
Harley Earl and Ed Cole had approved the project, but it was rejected by GM's upper management. The two-year construction time and rejection by GM had Shelby frustrated, but undaunted, and would later create the legendary Cobra.
Though the Scaglietti Corvette project was unsuccessful, the Corvette's would enjoy much success. They were very dominant in SCCA racing during the 1959 season, with Jim Jeffords winning the SCCA B Production points Championship. The car he drove was known as the People Eater MK III. Encouraged, plans were made for the 1960 season to contest the 24 Hours of LeMans and the FIA Championship.
Among the Corvette construction projects that occurred during the close of the 1950s was this Fuel Injected Competition Convertible. Resting under hood is the 290 horsepower, 283 cubic-inch fuel-injected V8 engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. There is a Positraction rear axle, heavy-duty brakes, and upgraded suspension. Anyone who had $5,227.65 (including freight) was able to purchase this sports car in 1959. All that was needed were a few minor modifications, such as safety considerations, and this car was ready for racing.
Gene Cormany was the first owner of this car. He was the VP of Engineering for Zollner Corporation which specialized in automotive pistons. Cormany used this car in competition in the Midwest during the 1959 and 1960 season. He had twelve top-three finishes and outright victories on four of 22 events.
Ownership later passed to Roland Gorman and then to Dale Pearman. While in Pearman's care, the car was treated to a restoration. During the restoration, Pearman met Mike Ernst, an NCRS member and Corvette expert. Ernst had an original engine and fuel injection unit from the first Scaglietti-bodied Corvette. In early 1989, Pearman purchased this engine and fuel-injection system and fitted it this car.
In 2004, the current owner purchased this car, which was still in the process of being restored. It was sent to a professional restoration shop where the restoration was completed over a three-year period.
In 2007 it was brought to the Newport Concours d'Elegance where it won 'Best Sports Car' and later won the NCRS Heritage Award.
The car has traveled 90,366 miles since leaving the showroom floor many years ago. It is painted in the original black with a red interior. It has a bolt-in roll bar, steel wheels with Goodyear Super Cushion tires, full-width cut down windscreen, a stock windshield, windshield wipers, and white convertible top.
In 2007 it was brought to the Bonhams Auction, An Important Sale of Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, held at the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club in Carmel, California. The lot was estimated to sell for $400,000 - 450,000 but failed to sell at auction.
In 2008 the car was brought to the Automobiles of Amelia presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $300,000 - $350,000. The cost of the restoration, the racing history, and its engine support the high estimates. At auction, those estimates were nearly reached, as a high bid of $275,000 including buyer's premium was enough to secure new ownership. The lot was sold.Also photographed at :