Author Topic: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette  (Read 1719 times)

69Z28-RS

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Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« on: April 21, 2016, 05:46:59 PM »
This car was mentioned a week or two ago re the Minilite wheels it ran, and I was also able to see this car a few weeks ago when I was in Hendrick's Performance Center shop, where it had just came back from Sebring.  At that time, I didn't know why it had been to Sebring, although it was mentioned that due to it's $$M$$ value, it was under 24 hr armed guard!  :)

Anyway .. to bring this discussion to date..  I just watched on Velocity Channel a great episode of 'Americarna' on this car.  Americarna is the series produced by Ray Everham (and of course closely tied to Rick Hendricks).  This particular episode delved into the history of the Owens Corning car, how it was 'privately ran', but supported under the table, out the back door, by GM.   In this episode, Rick asked Ray to gather up as many of the originally involved individuals who had been involved with the car, and get them down to Sebring, along with the car, and Rick was going to show up and drive the car on the track (which all happened)..  Dick Thompson, Fred DeLorenza, Gub Hufstadler, Randy Wittine, Chris Cooper, and many others showed up and discussed the car.  Ray had the OC '68 sitting along side the current C7R Corvette race car, and went over the similarities and differences between the cars, and when Rick took the car out on the track, the C7R was right alongside...  :)

All in all, a very enjoyable and educational/historical show that you all should try to catch the next time it airs on Velocity channel!

some relevant links:

http://www.corvette-mag.com/issues/55/articles/winning-streak#.VxkOPjArI2x

you can see a little blurb from this episode online here...   showed at 1 pm today (Band of Brothers)
http://www.velocity.com/schedule/

Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

william

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 09:38:18 PM »
In his book "Chevrolet = Racing?" author Paul Van Valkenburgh devotes a few pages to the rumors about the O-C Corvettes. They received virtually nothing from Chevrolet beyond a bit of engineering help. If a part failed they reported it through channels and received an improved replacement. That's about it. They bought their cars at dealers just like anyone else and often sourced repair parts from salvage yards.

For the '71 Trans-Am season they bought two Mustangs from Bud Moore Engineering. Despite De Lorenzos' father being a GM VP, they weren't all that hooked up at Chevy. 

X66

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 03:36:42 AM »
I have an old magazine I just recently re-read that has an article on the Owens Corning L88. Awesome Corvette. The article called this L88 the winningest Corvette as it won 22 consecutive races. GM sponsored or not these guys put together one awesome race car.

69Z28-RS

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2016, 04:12:01 AM »
I don't think that GM 'officially' sponsored the car, or any car during those years, BUT.. I've heard from a couple of sources that they did get help from GM engineers and employees.  Whether that was 'under the table' or not, I don't know.   I have a 'service duty' rear end from Robert (bob) Christiansen's '69 Z28, that he bought in December of '69, and immediately converted for SCCA road racing.  He later raced this car and a couple of other cars in the IMSA GT series (the period when I met him).  I asked him recently how he obtained the service duty rear for his car and he told me he called Vince Piggins and got it shortly after.  Vince (and others within Chevy/GM) were very interested in 'assisting' racers running Chevrolets and using Chevy equipment... :)

Gary
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

william

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2016, 04:49:09 PM »
Everyone should read these books. Only a select few were truly 'insiders' at Chevy in the '60s.

Chevrolet = Racing?
By Paul Van Valkenburgh. He worked in Chevrolet R & D in the 60s.

Best Damn Garage in Town
By Smokey Yunick. The consummate insider, Smokey was there at the birth of NASCAR and was involved with R & D well into the 70s. It was a love/hate relationship; Smokey went to Ford in 69.

The Unfair Advantage
By Mark Donohue. There is no better source for perspective on what dealing with Chevrolet was like. The Penske/Chevrolet relationship was so bad by the end of 69 they switched to AMC Javelins for the 1970 season, a ballsy move considering Penske was a Chevrolet dealer.

Another racer with strong ties to Chevrolet Engineering was Jim Hall. Yunick mentions him but exactly how much help Hall received isn't known. Not likely he will ever write a book about it.

Bill Jenkins is mentioned briefly in Valkenburgh's book. They rented a drag strip and logged some data during several quarter-mile passes. Not much was learned. Van Valkenburgh states Chevy Engineering had virtually no interest in drag racing.


« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 10:11:08 PM by william »

69Z28-RS

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 12:42:01 PM »
The Velocity Segment of Americarna is playing again now, with some great discussion of the 'help' that Chevrolet engineers provided in improving the Owens Corning Corvette...  :)   It seems to replay fairly often.
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

firstgenaddict

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 05:15:47 AM »
Van Valkenburgh states Chevy Engineering had virtually no interest in drag racing.




Road racing is much more relevant to building and testing road cars in so far as durability testing and weakest link fatigue issues become more pronounced when the car is cycled through the RPM range and suspension ranges as well. 
James
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KurtS

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 05:36:12 PM »
DeLorenzo has several columns that talk about the car and the support (and lack of). http://www.autoextremist.com/fumes1/2017/1/24/the-glory-days-part-iii.html
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BillOhio

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 09:00:23 PM »
I am about 5 minutes from Sebring for a while and there is a Trans Am race I think the first weekend in March. Will have vintage cars and a group of new cars. Anyone know of anyone that runs this?? Should be fun
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69Z28-RS

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Re: Owens Corning '68 L88 Corvette
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 06:05:13 AM »
Sebring schedule...
January 13-15   SCCA National (Full Course)
February 23-24   IMSA Pre-Race Test
February 25-26   Sebring Seafood & Music Festival
March 3-5   SVRA Vintage Racing and Trans-Am Series
March 15-18   65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida

Early March seems to be the Vintage Racing... mid March and you can see most of the same cars that just ran in the 24 hrs of Daytona, including the Corvette race team...
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan