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A 1960 Chevrolet Corvette long thought lost to history was finally found in 2012.
The car was one of three Corvettes fielded in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans by legendary American sportsman Briggs Cunningham, and now it’s been fully restored to its former glory.
It was displayed in restored form for the first time on the sidelines of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans held in June, and thanks to the keen eye at Motor.es we have some photos of it.
This was the #1 Corvette that Cunningham actually drove at Le Mans, though it never finished due to a crash. After the race it was converted for drag racing and subsequently ended up in a junk yard. A Florida man bought it in 1972 but not knowing its significance left it to rot in a warehouse.
Briggs Cunningham Chevrolet Corvettes at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans
That man’s son, Richard Carr, in 2012 learned of its significance after doing a VIN search on the Internet. It was sold that same year to Lancer Miller who through his father already owned the #3 Corvette fielded by Cunningham in the 1960 Le Mans race (the #2 Corvette is owned by collector Bruce Meyer).
Miller in 2012 sold the car for $75,000 to Corvette restorer Kevin Mackay, who had been searching for the car for decades. Together they planned to present it at the 2012 Corvettes at Carlisle event but the car was pulled at the last minute because of a dispute over its ownership.
Upon learning of the rediscovery of the famous Corvette, a man by the name of Dan Mathis Jr. claimed the car was stolen from his father during the 1970s. Two car collectors Gino Burelli and Domenico Idoni teamed up with Mathis and the matter headed to court.
According to PennLive, U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III settled the matter in 2015, by dividing the ownership rights between Mackay, Idoni and Burelli. Mathis pulled out of the legal tussle earlier by selling his stake to Idoni and Burelli.