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Le Mans History! 1960 Chevrolet Corvette

When a company founded by a Swiss American with a French name builds a sports car named for a French fast attack ship, it seems inevitable that such a car should race in France. As it happens, this 1960 Chevrolet Corvette finished second in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Corvette’s first year at the famous circuit. Now immaculately restored, the Camoradi USA Racing Team Corvette Le Mans no. 4 comes to auction here at Mecum Indianapolis, Indiana, where it’s expected to fetch $2 million before the gavel sounds in May of 2023. Thanks to reader Mitchell G. for spotting this storied example of “America’s Sports Car.”

The restored interior features original instruments, according to the listing. Don’t miss the full story of this car’s history in the Mecum listing below the many gorgeous pictures. As with many racing cars, this one was crashed and sidelined, disassembled, lost its engine, and suffered other indignities, but that’s just the beginning!

The premiere French road racing circuit and home to the grueling 24-hour race, Le Mans sets the global standard for endurance and durability, testing the limits of car and driver. Chevrolet’s V8 first hit the streets in 1955, and Chevy offered Rochester Ramjet fuel injection in 1957. Ahead of its time for many buyers and local mechanics, the Ramjet’s cutting edge technology often found its way to a shelf when amateurs fitted their favorite carburetor at the first sign of trouble.

A “matching-numbers” (but apparently not original?) engine powers the Corvette today. The original engine left the wrecked chassis to power an offshore racing boat that sank off the coast of Australia. CorvetteForum reports that a 1960 engine block includes a chassis VIN as part of its stamp. Perhaps one of our Corvette experts can explain if the seller is exercising some linguistic gymnastics here, because no part of the story describes recovering the original engine from the sunken racing boat. At any rate, that’s just a snapshot of the story on this $2 million ‘Vette.

Europe may have viewed America’s Le Mans entry as a blunt implement, but brilliant design and engineering, topped off by ingenius race preparation earned the No 4 second place in its GT 5.0 class at Le Mans. This car also won the 1960 Swedish Grand Prix GT race. A renewed effort this century netted Corvettes numerous championships at Le Mans, according to Wikipedia. This racer’s back-story seems stranger than fiction. What’s the craziest race car story you’ve heard?


  1. Derek

    That’s an Ecurie Ecosse D-Type (no. 5) pulling away beside it, I think. Look them up for crazy racing stories; a wee garage in an Edinburgh mews outdoes the works Jags. I picked up a Matchbox D-type at a jumble sale when I was little; took it home and dad goes, “It’s the wrong colour; it ought to be blue!”.

    Like 6
  2. Ted

    The craziest race story I read about years ago was an Alfa Romeo Super Giulia (if I remember correctly), that was driven to Le Mans, won its class, then was driven back home…

    Like 9
    • Derek

      I think there was a fair amount of that back in the day. Wiki entry for the 1960 rece is interesting; the Corvette gets a mention but it seems that it was an aside to Maseratis (for the overall win). Podium for Jimmy Clark, too!


      Like 0
      • Derek

        That should be “1960 race”…

        Like 1
    • Chris In Australia

      Not crazy at all Ted. In the ’60s cars were often driven to Bathurst for the then 500 mile race.
      Above my PC is a photo of a 1969 Monaro at Bathurst, still wearing its number (licence) plate.

      Like 2
  3. scott m

    This tick’s every box except one. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it either 😫

    Like 1
  4. terry

    Want a crazy car story? Google the Batman Mustang of Peru.

    Like 1
  5. Gerard Planche Member

    And it was another Corvette which won the GT 5.0 liter class that year: #3, driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman. This car also went through an incredible Lost&Found story (see movie “The Quest”). I was lucky enough to welcome John Fitch and owner Lance Miller at Le Mans in 2010. At 93, John drove once more around the track in his #3!
    He engaged with all Corvette fans, passionately telling stories and patiently signing autographs!
    A true gentleman.

    Like 5
  6. John L Nichols

    A race cars history can make them super interesting even if they never even place at the end of a race. The hands they. Went through, the drivers, the tracks they ran on. I read one of the Barn Finds books, believe it or not a Car and Driver Pinto racer found by the original builder/driver. One word, Provence, can make the difference between hohum and WOW.

    Like 0

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