The C2 generation of the Corvette is a cherished vehicle among the brand’s faithful fanbase. Arguably the most beautiful iteration of America’s Sports car, the C2 was also quite the performance machine compared to its predecessor. The second generation car also brought us the first Corvette Z06 model, a factory-built racer developed by none other than Zora-Arkus Duntov. Only 199 of these special Chevys were built in 1963, and now you have a chance to buy one thanks to the folks at Mecum Auctions. This isn’t just any old C2 Corvette Z06 however, as it was Mickey Thompson’s personal tanker.
Mickey Thompson was a hot rodding, drag racing, land-speed-record-holding automotive titan. He was the first man to do 120 mph in the ¼ mile, and would go on to be the first American to break 400 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1960. When GM began looking at people to receive their new Corvette Z06 racers, Thompson ended up with five. While the other four received various upgrades and adjustments to fit Thompson’s liking, this particular car, #6844, remained stock. That is because Thompson used this high-strung race car as his daily driver, and as a promotional vehicle for his high-performance wheels built in partnership with Rader Wheels.
This Corvette Z06 features a mechanical fuel injected 327 cubic-inch L84 V8 engine, which produces 360 horsepower thanks to an 11.0:1 compression ratio, a hot solid lifter camshaft, and a high-flow exhaust. The engine is mated to an M20 close-ratio 4-speed transmission, which sends power to the ground via a 3.70 Positraction rear end. The suspension is upgraded with heavy duty shocks and springs, and the front sway bar is larger than on the standard C2. Because this is a genuine racing car, the drum brakes are made from finned aluminum, and the master cylinder has been upgraded as well. This car is also only one of 79 to receive the upgraded 36 gallon fuel tank option, hence the famous “tanker” denomination. A comprehensive upgrade package indeed, which is why it carried an MSRP of $1,818.45 back in 1963. That’s over $15,000 in today’s money.
Corvette Z06 #6844 has undergone a complete restoration, and presents nicely in the photos provided by Mecum Auctions. Any C2 Z06 is going to command a high asking price, but the Mickey Thompson connection has to be worth some serious coin. This car was made famous when it served as the Sears/Allstate Tire Test Car, as it was featured in several magazines. Furthermore, Mickey Thompsons’ personal Chevron credit card will be included in the sale, which was located inside the drivers door. If this Ermine White over Black coupe is something you can’t pass up, it will be available via Mecum’s Kissimmee Auction from January 7-16th. Bring a lot of cash however, as this average sale price of a C2 Z06 is well over $300,000.