Generation: C1
Year: 1955
VIN: E55S001399
Race Numbers: 16
Ownership: Chevrolet, Bill France and NASCAR, J.C. Elis, John Hayes, Donated to Bible Broadcasting Church, Steve Tate and Dana Mecum, Bob McDorman, sold Sept 2009 to Lingenfelter Collection
Sponsors: Originally rebuilt by Chevrolet Engineering in January 1956 and given to NASCAR for promotional purposes. Chevrolet did not sponsor at Daytona.
Drivers: Probably Bill France Jr. and other NASCAR individuals. CAR NEVER DRIVEN OFFICIALLY BY ZORA DUNTOV OR JOHN FITCH.
Status: Car was last restored in 2005-07 time frame by Steve Tate. Car was also restored 2 other times after 1956 Speed Weeks. Researched extensively in 1983 by John Hayes. The car has a very interesting history.


Original Color: White
Tires/Wheels: 15x5 Firestone
Engine: Engine in car at 56 Daytona Speed Week was installed by Chevrolet Engineering at General Motors Warren Tech Center at time of car rebuild in January 1956. Engine was basically stock 265 cu in. configuration per work order. The car was shipped to Smokey Yunick in Daytona Beach on Feb 1, 1956 per engineering order # 17725-21.
Driveline: 3 speed
Top:
Interior: red
Condition: Restored 2 or 3 times over past 50 years In good condition but presently not verified correct for 1956 Daytona Speed Week configuration. SEE http://tmichaelis.com/CE-cars-that-saved-Corvette/ FOR MORE UPDATED INFORMATION ON THIS CAR.
URL: http://tmichaelis.com/CE-cars-that-saved-Corvette/
Unique Characteristics: In 1955 #1399 was a well used up former race car. It was designated by Chevrolet Engineering to be refurbished and was 1 of 2 Corvettes given to NASCAR (Bill France) for promotional purposes. Both of the cars being refurbished at this time, at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan were equipped with small plastic windscreens and fiberglass half tonneau covers over the passenger area. GM referred to this modification as their NASCAR kit. Because of the poor condition of #1399's body it was removed and replaced with a used body from another Chevrolet development car. This switch of bodies ultimetely has caused a lot of confusion among Corvette enthusiasts not to mention subsequent owners of this car. The Chevrolet Engineering ID plate located on the firewall of this body was not removed and was simply painted over in black. It should be noted that #1399 is NOT the well known Phoenix Development car and in fact never had the head rest fin installed as it is often pictured on that car. #1399 was delivered to NASCAR at Daytona Beach in January 1956 along with a similar looking all white 1953 Corvette. Both cars were driven on the Daytona Beach track during Speed week with # 1399 being driven primarily by Bill France Jr. > After 1956 Speed Week both cars were utilized by NASCAR (under the direction of NASCAR official Alvin Hawkins) at various circle tracks in and around the North Carolina area. They ran this circuit for approxametely 2 years and were ultimetely sold by NASCAR in 1958 to private owners.
Modifications: Chevrolet NASCAR kit installed for 1956 Speed Week
Notes/Race History: This car may have been prepared at Smokey Yunick's "BEST DAMN GARAGE" in Florida. This car can be seen in GM Archive photos at the DAYTONA track. Research provided by CORVETTE HISTORIAN, DAVID BARTUSCH has been invaluable on the history of this milestone car.
Registry ID Number: 102

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GM Archive and Noland Adams : Bill France Sr. in the 55 #1399 in the dark helmet and Joe Hawkins in the 53 Corvette


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