LONDON: The iconic 1956 Corvette SR-2 Sebring Racer car will be displayed at Scottsdale Sport & Classic Auto cars from Jan. 12-14, and can be seen from 12 pm – 5 pm.
During the formative years of the Chevrolet Corvette a very special “purpose built” race car was designed and built with the intention of taking on the titans of racing, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche and Maserati, at long distance events such as Le M0ans. The car was named the SR-2, otherwise known as the Sebring Racer or Special Racer. There were only three built, and this is number 1.
Jerry was racing a Ferrari in 1956 when his father told him to sell it, as he, with the help of General Motors, would build him a special racing Corvette. This is the backdrop for what the first General Motors designed and sponsored Corvette Racer, the SR-2.
In the spring of 1956, Harley Earl and Zora Duntov built Jerry Earl a road racing “purpose built” custom Corvette Racer to compete with the likes of Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche at the highest levels of motor racing.
Work began in early May of 1956, modifying the body and adding Sebring Racing (SR) brakes and suspension. Special windscreens were fabricated for each driver and passenger, and a low fin adapted down the middle of the trunk. The front was lengthened and special side coves in stainless steel were installed, as well as unique parking lamps with screens for cool air to enter the screened backing plates of the front brakes.
More than 17 engineers worked around the clock, and by June 13 of that year, the painted new body had its trim installed, complete with SCCA race number 144 attached to the doors.
The Corvette SR-2 Racer evokes an emotional response from everyone that sees it. At the time of its introduction it represented the highest level of automotive racing design and performance. The SR-2 was the combined spirit of two great men in Corvette history and the culmination of many great things happening at GM in the early to mid-1950s.