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Delivered in the Fall of 1966 by Jim Rathmann to beloved Space hero Lt. Colonel Virgil "Gus" Grissom
Gus was one of the original 7 Astronauts and was the 2nd American to enter space in July of 1961. He was the 1st American to ever enter space twice when he orbited the Earth several times in 1965 in the "Molly Brown" 3 man capsule. He would have been the 1st human to ever enter space 3 times… However, he along with Roger Chaffee & Edward White was tragically killed in the Apollo One disaster on January 27th, 1967, incredibly almost 40 years ago today!
Jim Rathmann who delivered this car brand new to Gus Grissom is a well-known former Indy 500 winner and race car driver.This car was delivered through his Chevrolet/Cadillac Dealership in Melbourne, FL. Jim was known at that time as "The Dealer of the Astronauts"
Jim along with many of the Astronauts became very close friends and were often spotted racing their Corvettes around the Cape Canaveral. (Cape Kennedy)
Originally Lynndale blue & dark teal blue leather, it was changed over 25 years ago to Rally Red & Red Leather interior. Actual documented mileage on title is 31,499, and the VIN number has been verified in writing by the Florida department of Motor Vehicles (has the original
Complete with a 427 CI, 435 Hp Turbo jet with tri-power engine and a 4-speed manual M-21 transmission. The block serial number is 7102849, the casting number is T0922JE, the intake manifold number is 3894374(high performance), the heads are 3904391 (special high performance), exhaust manifold is 3880827 (L), and 3880828 (R ), carbs are R3660A/R3659A, The distributor is 1111258, and the differential is 3:70 posi traction(G81). Other features include: power steering, power windows, and power brakes.
HD suspension, off road exhaust, transistor ignition, leather seats, Strato-Ease Headrests, Tinted windshield, AM/FM radio, speed warning indicator, telescopic steering wheel, and redline tires. A correct reproduction correct trim tag depicts car just as it was when delivered by Jim Rathmann.
Professional body-off-the-frame restoration is documented by photos. Winner of more than 20 awards including NCRS & Corvette Bowling Green award. The most historically documented Corvette ever built that is tied directly to the American Space Program.
Documentation includes copy of original title, letter from Chevrolet, Letter from Betty Grissom, Letter from State of Florida and countless newspaper articles, magazines, Biography written by Grissom, photographs, and a copy of NASA audio from Grissoms first space flight, Mercury 4 Liberty Bell 7 patch,etc.
A special audio & visual display and presentation will take place as this priceless Corvette rolls up to the auction block Saturday evening, January 20th, 2007…it's truly an event that any car aficionado or fan of our American astronaut heroes won't want to miss.