As we reported to you last fall, the The 1961 Corvette Gulf Oil race car was slated to be one of the stars of the 2012 Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida. The car did indeed make it to the auction and went across the block on Saturday. It received considerable interest and attention, but bidding halted at $850,000, which was apparently short of the undisclosed reserve. The car went unsold, though we’re sure it will reappear again sometime in the near future. Our pals at CorvetteBlogger were able to witness the event first hand, snapping these photos in the process.
The 1961 Gulf Oil Corvette was unique in the fact that it had a 315 horsepower fuel injected 283 small block and was an SCCA B-Production National Champion. It was originally ordered by Don Yenko for the Vice President of Gulf Oil, Grady Davis. Yenko himself drove the car for a bit before being replaced by the famous “Flying Dentist”, Dr. Dick Thompson.
Many considered the car the most dominant Corvette race car of its day. It made its first event at the 1961 12 Hours of Sebring, taking third place in the GT class. It also won at Indianapolis and Road America, and sealed the championship with a win at Watkins Glen.