One of the most famous competition-grade Chevrolet Corvettes of all time is about to hit the auction block.
Mecum Auctions will sell the legendary 1969 Corvette Greenwood race car later this month at its annual Indy event. The curvaceous coupe wears the team’s iconic “Stars and Stripes” livery and even set a Le Mans record during its competitive years.
There aren’t many people who deserve more credit for the third-generation ‘Vette’s racing legacy than John Greenwood. The master engine builder and race car driver is responsible for the “Greenwood Wide-Body” C3 race car, which combined exaggerated bodywork, a patriotic livery (designed by Greenwood’s brother, Bert) and a ridiculously powerful V-8, according to the auction listing. The car up for auction, no. 49, is one of a trio built by Greenwood and sponsored by BF Goodrich to show off its T/A radial tires during the 1971 to 1973 seasons.
This Corvette was initially designated for promotional duties and it’s easy to see why. With red and blue “Stars and Stripes” decals on its sides and hood, it’s a true beauty. The memorable livery accentuated the changes to the car’s already shapely exterior and made it abundantly clear where the car hailed from.
No. 49’s days as a promotional car ended after its sister car, no. 50, was damaged in a wreck. At that point Greenwood had the car’s factory L88 V-8 ripped out and replaced with a race-spec, all-aluminum ZL1 V-8. The new mill is connected to a four-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear axle and is capable of pumping out 750 horses, compared to the 427 hp produced by the also-potent original engine. Other competition modifications include a Greenwood-specific front and rear suspension with trailing arms and sway bars.
The car may have been initially intended just for show, but it held its own on the track. No. 49 was driven by Greenwood, Bob Johnson, Dick Smothers and Don Yenko over the years and competed at some of endurance racing’s biggest competitions, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, Daytona 24 Hours and 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1973. It was at the last of those races, that the racer set the GT speed record of 215 mph on the famed Mulsanne straight. It’s undergone a concours-grade restoration since its retirement and even picked up a number of awards at major shows.
The “Stars and Stripes” Greenwood Corvette is set to go up for auction at Indy 2023, which runs from Friday, May 12, to Saturday, May 20. No estimate has been announced for the race car, but considering its condition and history, we imagine it will cost a pretty penny.
Click here for more photos of the “Stars and Stripes” Greenwood Corvette.