In 1963, the Corvette Sting Ray made a name for itself fighting against Ford for titles on tracks all across the county. One such car was the 1963 7 11 Corvette, owned and driven by Gary Pickens. Not only did this car represent a turning point in Corvette racing history, it also became widely known for its staring role in Elvis Presely’s film Viva Las Vegas. Though it’s been several decades since both its track and movie debut, the 7 11 Corvette remains an icon in the industry, and now it can be yours thanks to the Mecum Houston auction next month.
Ordered specifically for racing purposes back in 1962, the 7 11 Corvette, which we featured last year, saw numerous competitions at well-known tracks like Laguna Seca, Pomona and even Dodger Stadium. But following the 1964 race season, Pickens opted to sell the car to fellow racer Ron Herrera. The car remained in its race livery, cruising the streets in California until 1972 when the car was retired to a private collection. No one knew its whereabouts for nearly 30 years.
Luckily, the car didn’t disappear completely, however. As it turns out, the owner of Corvette Mike in Anaheim, California, who knew about the car, found out where it was in 2011 and worked with Nabers Brothers of Texas to purchase the car and have it restored to its as-raced condition, complete with the car’s 1964 327CI/360 HP engine, which was the Corvette’s replacement engine after it blew its first L84 engine racing in 1963. The car also retained its Borg Warner 4-speed transmission and received plenty of rare old Z06 parts to make it as authentic as possible.
Once restored, the car was taken to a variety of shows and even qualified for the National Corvette Restorers Society American Heritage Award in March of 2013. The last we had heard, the car was set to be auctioned off in August of last year.
As we all know, plans change, so the 7 11 Corvette is just now becoming available. Complete with its restored racing livery, as-raced in 1964 engine and transmission, and one hell of a history, the 7 11 Corvette will hit the stage at Mecum’s Houston auction on Saturday April 12th at 2:25 p.m.
If you are interested in possibly taking this, or any of the other Corvettes that will cross the auction block next month home for your own collection, be sure to get registered to bid today. After all, this could be your one and only opportunity to bid on not only an iconic Corvette racer, but also a vintage movie car!