PRICE REDUCTION!! $124,500
NOTE: Pics may be jumbled up on Chrome, but correct in Safari.
This 1957 Corvette was race-prepared in 1964 by owner Larry Leedy and his best friend, Bob Spicer, who raced the car from late 1964/early 1965 into 1967, possibly 1968. It was car #1 at its first race and then received SCCA #73, which is how I have restored it. Their good friend from the “Cal Club” (California Sports Car Club), division of the SCCA, Fred Yeakel, co-drove with Bob for Enduro-type events and Fred also raced it on his own.
Here are some features of #73 and of the items that Bob and Larry put on their race car that I have put back on the car:
• Original non-radio and non-heater
• Big Brake or “Sebring” package, including finned drums, vented backing plates and front and rear air scoops, brake fans, heavy-duty coil springs, five-leaf rear springs, fast steering adapter, and the very rare second front sway bar
• 1960-62 chassis upgrades including traction bars, rear sway bar and larger diameter front sway bar
• 4.10 posi differential
• Koni racing shocks
• 37-gallon center fill gas tank with top seat backs cut off for clearance
• 1962 radiator and overflow tank
• Dual-belt pulley system with idler pulley and seven-blade fan
• 1960-61 290/315 HP Fuel Injection unit with driver-side air duct
• Six-quart 327 trap-door oil pan
• Stewart-Warner electric fuel pump
• 2.5-inch exhaust pipes
• Steering column shortened by four inches for driver comfort
• Full complement of Stewart-Warner gauges, including oil pressure and oil temp gauges taking the place of the unneeded speedometer
• Vintage PACKARD 440 USA plug wires
• 1962 268 35-amp generator and 1958 002 35-amp voltage regulator
• American Torq Thrust racing wheels and Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires
• Weight-saving modifications, such as Plexiglas windscreen replacing the windshield, windows removed from doors, cut-off door posts, and removal of all body trim removed except front bumperettes, grill surround and four teeth (the minimum required)
At the Labor Day 1966 Santa Barbara race, Fred raced #73, but took off the 3 and put a 9 in front of the 7 to make it #97, which was his race number for his personal 1957 race car. After that, Fred’s number stayed on the car, which has been the cause of confusion between #73 and Fred’s #97 ever since!
When I got the car, it was the quintessential basket case. But I got a perfect bare body that had a new front end on it because it had been damaged by jack-knifing while being towed home from a race by Larry when he swerved to avoid hitting someone who cut him off, a nearly rust-free California powder-coated bare frame, and everything else was loose or in boxes!
I am a 400+ Level Judge with the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) and I did a frame-up restoration on my 1960 Corvette for which I received the highest level award NCRS offers, the Duntov Award, so named for Zora Arkus Duntov, Chief Corvette Engineer from 1954-1975, and widely acknowledged to be the Father of the Corvette.
After all I learned from that, I began writing what is now the 1958-60 Corvette Restoration Handbook, coauthored with my good friend, Tom Howey. It is now in its Second Edition and carried by NCRS, Zip, Corvette Central, and Paragon.
Because of my background, I wanted to do #73 as close as possible to how Larry and Bob did, and that was to take an original 1957 Corvette and restore it to as-raced condition. This means I tried to restore everything on the car not related to racing back to how an original 1957 Corvette would be.
So #73 is not a tribute car or a fantasy car or one made into a vintage race car as it “might have been” back in the day. Instead, I restored it as closely as possible to what both drivers have told me regarding how the car was race-prepared, and I consulted with them regularly over the course of the restoration.
I elected to restore #73 to represent how it was at its best race, that being the August 1966 Riverside Six-Hour Enduro, where it came in First in Class and Second Overall with drivers, Bob Spicer and Fred Yeakel, each taking 1.5-hour turns at the wheel. A Shelby team Mustang was First Overall. After the race, Carroll Shelby told them, “I didn’t know that pig could run that fast!”
Bob and Larry added everything they could to make the car fast and reliable, but did only what was allowable under SCCA rules at the time. With #73 being a C1 Corvette, they could use just about anything through 1961-62 they wanted, other than a 327 CI engine that debuted in 1962. As Bob put it, if Chevrolet offered it for racing, they put it on #73!
I have elected to describe all of these in a book that I have entitled Corvette Race Car, now in the draft stage, the cover of which is in the photos I’ve attached. #73 was judged in the Concourse Modified Division at the NCRS Greenville, South Carolina in May 2022 and received a score of 100%. It received 6 points of deductions of 2,250 possible, but received those back by getting six bonus points for having a battery cut-off and a fire extinguisher.
So what can be said of the condition of #73? Near mint and clean enough to eat off of. Just look at the pics.
There are a few minor nicks and cracks of the paint, most of which must be pointed out to be noticed. There is a crack below the lower front of the passenger side (PS) door. The door jamb rubbed at the top rear inside of the PS and there is a rub mark. There is a small scratch close to the grill surround in the front.
Minor drips that have mostly been addressed.
I say this for full disclosure and so a buyer will not think anything has been misrepresented. These few minor imperfections should not deter anyone from being interested in #73 for what it is. The crowning jewel of this car is that it is a real historic race car that raced back in the day and did well.
This car would be super for a collector who will display it amidst his collection, but is exceptionally well suited for someone who will use it for vintage racing as it was intended and for which many historic race cars are actually being used. Fred Yeakel’s 1957 was sold in 2007, and the new owner is still racing it!
This stallion has been corralled for over half a century. Is there anyone willing to open the gate and let this stallion do what a stallion was born to do?
If you run it up to 150 mph with a rev of just under 10,000, you will warm the engine!!!! – Bob Spicer