Hagerty’s Cameron Neveu blogs about eight ICONIC CORVETTE RACECARS you should know, including Zora-Arkus Duntov’s legendary ’63 Grand Sports, above.

ICONIC CORVETTE RACECARSIn celebration of our first drive review of the rip-roaring new Corvette Z06, we got to cooking on a list of the coolest – and most unique – Corvettes to ever cross a finish line. After all, the package began as a low-profile effort to put competition parts in the hands of SCCA’s A-Production racers.

This was back in the 1960s when GM elected to (officially) withhold factory support in motorsports in the years following the tragedy at Le Mans. For less than two grand, “Zora’s Option 6” delivered a 360-horsepower 327-cubic-inch small block, aluminum wheels, a limited-slip diff, and more robust suspension components including a larger sway bar and stiffer springs.

Shortly thereafter, a Z06 first found victory lane at the hands of Mickey Thompson and Doug Hooper. And while Z06-specific victories represent a slim slice of the Corvette’s overall racing triumphs, much of the marque’s success, whether on a road course or a drag strip, should be attributed to those primordial Corvette competitors. Cheers to the Z06; thanks for keeping the lights on.

Naturally, before the Z06 package ever graced GM’s option list, hot-rodded Corvettes still found their way to the track. The model’s first generation was more than a worthy canvas for go-fast alterations. Many rolled into victory lane in national club racing. Though, arguably more unique than the roll-bar-wearing C1s that captured checkers from Sebring to Le Mans were the group of relatively stock-appearing racers that performed speed trials on Daytona Beach.

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