In vintage racing today, cars that have a real historical racing pedigree are slowly being parked due to the gradual appreciation of their value. These survivors from the golden age of sports car racing have now been largely replaced by replicas, reproductions, and newly-built “vintage” cars.
This 1968 Corvette had been parked in a museum for more than twenty years. The car has a unique history and fifty years worth of documentation to back it up. It was once used by GM in the development of their racing dry sump system; it has evidence of eleven trips to the SCCA National Championships and several Trans-Am entries. Sponsored by the Mecca oil company, it is known widely as the “Mecca” Corvette. It received its SVRA gold medallion just before it was retired and museum bound.
Colby Hillman of Columbus, Ohio, bought the car from the museum with the intention of putting it back where it belongs ? on a race track. He contracted Duntov Motor Company to restore race prepare the car, and to bring it in line with the current state of vintage rules and competition. The restoration was finished in October 2017, but didn’t make its debut until the SVRA National Championships at the Circuit of the Americas in November 2018.
Colby took the freshly restored car and immediately ran in the top half of the most competitive big bore production field found in the US. The goal of the weekend was for Colby to get some seat time, fix any teething issues that might come up, and find enough pace to compete for the Group 6 Endurance National Championship. The Enduro started Sunday morning at 8 AM.
It had rained the night before, so the track was wet for the start of the race. Despite the Porsche friendly conditions, Colby managed to pick up a spot in the first few laps. With several cars littering the edges of the track, Colby anticipated a full course yellow and decided to bring it into the pits for the mandatory five-minute pit stop. In these enduros, it’s always a gamble to come in early. If a full course yellow flies after you have completed your stop, you are almost guaranteed to lose a lap to those who waited and pitted under yellow. In this case, the Chief Steward decided to leave the cars by the side of the track, and race continued under green flag conditions. Fortunately, it remained under green for the rest of the race.
The crew topped off the tank and the pit stop was an almost perfect 5 minutes and 3 seconds. Edward Sevadjian drove the second stint, and because the Mecca Corvette was the first car to stop, Edward rejoined the race in 36th place with 17 laps to go. The Mecca car ran flawlessly, and on lap 20, it passed the Group 6 leading Corvette. By the end of the race it had lapped every other car in the race, with the exception of a Formula 1 Brabham, which had inexplicably been slotted to run with the production cars.
In two years time, Colby Hillman and Duntov Motor Company took a static display museum car and turned it into a National Champion.