Auctions and Brokerage
Ray Bowyer, Covina, California (acquired by 1970)Chris Wickersham, Pasadena, California (acquired from the estate of the above in 2004)Jaime Gesundheit, Santa Monica, California (acquired from the above in 2005)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
NCRS Regional, Missouri, 2011 (Top Flight)National Corvette Certification Board, Illinois, 2011 (Bloomington Gold Certified)NCRS Regional, Sacramento, 2011 (Performance Verification)Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, 2012 (Best of Class)NCRS National, San Diego, 2012 (Top Flight and Duntov Mark of Excellence)Petersen Automotive Museum, 60th Anniversary Corvette Celebration, 2013AACA Western Spring Meet, California, 2017 (First Junior, Best of Class)
For 1962, the final year of the solid-axle Corvette, Chevrolet offered high-performance options described in factory literature as “special equipment for sports car meets.” The most popular of these was the fuel-injected 327/360 engine, which found its way into 1,918 Corvettes. A mere 246 Corvettes were ordered with heavy-duty chassis equipment (RPO 687), which included fast-ratio steering, heavy-duty shock absorbers, and large sintered-metallic drum brakes with cooling fins, vented backing plates, and air scoops. Even more scarce was the extra-large 24-gallon fuel tank (RPO 488). In all, just 65 “tanker” Corvettes were built for the 1962 model year. Completed on December 12, 1961, this Corvette possesses all three ultra-desirable options, as well as a close-ratio gearbox, Posi-Traction rear axle, 4.11:1 final drive ratio, and 5 1/2"-wide wheels required for the large brake drums. Originally finished in Sateen Silver with black upholstery, this car was further equipped with a Wonderbar radio and a hardtop.
It is understood that this car has always resided in Southern California. By 1970, the Corvette was acquired by Ray Bowyer of Covina, California; it remained in his family’s ownership until 2004, when Chris Wickersham of Pasadena, California, bought it. In 2005, Mr. Wickersham sold the unrestored tanker to Jaime Gesundheit, a discerning Corvette collector. He decided to return the Corvette to its original splendor and commissioned model expert Jeff Reade of American Motoring Memories in Culver City, California, to restore the car. Once disassembled, the Corvette was found to be in excellent order, complete with its matching-numbers engine, special brakes, large-capacity fuel tank, and other important features.
Since its debut at the April 2011 NCRS Regional, this Corvette has captured important honors including two NCRS Top Flight awards and the prestigious Duntov Mark of Excellence, the club’s highest award. In addition to being Bloomington Gold Certified, the tanker has earned AACA awards, a Best of Class award at the Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, and was selected to represent the 1962 model at the Petersen Automotive Museum’s exhibit celebrating the Corvette’s 60th anniversary. Since its acquisition by the current owner in 2017, the tanker has continued to be carefully maintained and is presented in exceptional condition. This Corvette is offered with its California black plates, an original jack, a hardtop wrench, and glove box paperwork. A documentation file that includes restoration photos and receipts, a list of important identification numbers, award certificates, and literature also accompanies the car.
Of the 65 tankers built for 1962, as few as 30 were also outfitted with fuel-injection and big brakes, making the appearance of this 327/360 at auction a compelling opportunity to acquire what well could be the finest example of an extremely rare breed of factory-built competition Corvettes.