Historic Race Car #15 Corvette 1966 L72, J56, Black, American Heritage Award

1966 Chevrolet Corvette

Condition: Used
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Year: 1966
Mileage: 89,000
VIN: 194676S115445
Color: Black
Transmission: Manual
Interior color: Black
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Naples, Florida, United States
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Description for Chevrolet Corvette 1966

NCRS American Heritage Award winning 1966 Corvette convertible ordered from the factory with the special high performance L72 425HP engine, M21 close ratio 4-speed, F41 heavy duty suspension, N14 side exhaust and 4:11 posi-rear gears.Also, ordered was the first year of the heavy duty braking system J56 with the special pads, reinforced calipers and a master cylinder with a proportioning value for the braking pressure adjustments to the front and the rear. The convertible also was ordered with a hard top and in all black.

This car is likely the only factory built 1966 Corvette convertible with these options and in black. All of the options are listed on the original bill of sale.The trim tag and vin tag are factory original to this car. As if there were any questions, the car was featured on the cover of Corvette News in 1966 and today appears the same as that cover picture. The NCRS awarded the car the American Heritage Award because of its significance to the history of the Corvette. The car was factory ordered to race, and participated in hill climbs and road races from 1966 into the 1970s, and is accompanied by many racing records and period photos that are documented in the Philadelphia Hillclimb Association.

Some background: The original owner, Howard Fetterolf, always ordered black Corvettes—triple black convertibles. His Corvette had to be black—all black. Perhaps Howard knew something we didn't or his choice of color was ahead of his time.

This L72 convertible was ordered by Howard in order to stay in the Production A class category, since as Howard kidded, he had only the A/P stickers. Ordered to race, Howard checked off the options of J56 Heavy Duty brakes, F41 Heavy Duty suspension, 4:11 rear and the N14 side exhaust.. Howard probably raced a 100hill climbsand maybe as many SCCA road races where speeds were breaking 150mph..

With his black with white striped '66 Corvette, Howard raced in the last decade of amateur hill climbing and road racing during which time a fun amateur driven sport turned into a professional business. Friends like Roger Penske and Don Yenko transitioned from fellow drivers and comrads into business owners. Race day competition saw the mighty 427 Cobra—or at least the back side of the ultra-fast car-- and the “unreal” '63 Grand Sport (as Howard said) was simply lights out.

Howard was an integral part of the Northeastern racing scene with his leadership of the Schuylkill Corvette Club and the running of the Jefferson Hill Climb, where in 1970 he took 1st Place with #15. Howard raced with the likes of Oscar Kovaleski, Ben Moore, George Wintersteen, Tom Morgan, Don Yenko, Roger Penske, David Walters and Hal Keck. At one race, Zora Duntov told Howard that the L72 was good for another 30 hp by installing headers. Howard thought of himself as an amateur racer but those guys are quite some company to have kept.

Following Howard's 25 years of owning his '66 race car, the ownership chain of #15 is noteworthy. George Gallant, long-time Corvette shop owner in Maryland and driver with #15 at NCCC events at Summit Point and the Poconos; Dana Pope, Corvette collector, broker and enthusiast in New York; Nick Culkowski, NCRS Judge and very active member; and Bill Skinner, owner of two very special big block C2 Corvettes. Al Grenning even took care of #15 for a summer at his home in Boonville, NY.

There would not have been a return of #15 to the most significant point in its history— as it appeared on the cover of Corvette News in 1966— if it were not for Nick and Bill. Nick actively campaigned the historic race car at NCRS events and initiated the idea to qualify #15 for American Heritage Award. But life got in the way, as it sometimes does, and Nick reluctantly made the decision to sell the car. But he knew Bill was the right person to take that next important step with the car.

Bill had the capability to take the car to the level necessary to qualify for the American Heritage Award. In doing so, Bill understood the importance of reconnecting with Howard. While Bill could research for records and old photos to restore #15 it was equally important to bring back the spirit of the car that powered through the finish line atop Duryea Drive at 140mph and sped down the straight away at Watkins Glen at 154mph.

Bill reached out to Howard and the two of them spent hours together talking about the car. Not surprisingly, Bill and Howard became good friends— lifelong friends I believe. When Howard reunited with his #15 in 2007 for the Corvette Magazine feature article, he told Bill he was very appreciative of his efforts.

In late 2011, I met Bill and #15. Seeing first hand the race car virtually identical to the day it ran the Jefferson Hill Climb in '66 and photographed by Dick Wolfe to appear on the cover of Corvette News, it was clear that Bill had done justice to both #15 and to Howard. Soon after, I became the next caretaker of #15, known affectionately as, “the Beast”.

The provenance of this car is complete and all owners are known. Vette Vues June 2014 featured the car on the cover and the complete history of the car in a feature article. The car was also featured in Corvette Magazine. Copies of all the magazines are included with the car.

Please see additional pictures and complete story of the car at:

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/chevrolet/corvette/1951969.html

Would be interested in partial trade.

Thank you.

Tom

239-595-9444