The Corvette was Harley Earl’s dream car and early concept car first built in 1953. Earl was the initial designated head of Design at General Motors, later becoming Vice President. He was the man when it came to the annual model design changes, concept cars and the General Motors Autorama.
In 1955 the old Chevy six cylinder was replaced by a new 265 cubic inch V-8. In 1956 the Corvette was restyled with much needed improvements. With the new engine and new design Chevrolet had what they needed to establish the Corvette as a competitive motorsports entry.
Early in 1956, Zora Arkus-Duntov took a standard Corvette to Pikes Peak, setting a stock car record with the 265 cubic inch V-8. Duntov then when to Daytona Beach, where he established a new record of 150 MPH with a modified 307 cubic inch Corvette. Based on that success, the Chevrolet Division would provide factory support to a team that entered a Corvettes at the 1956 Sebring 12-hour endurance race.
1956 Corvette SR-2 Low Fin
In 1956 Harley J. Earl convinced his son Jerry C. Earl to drive a custom one of a kind Corvette racer to take on the 1956 race circuit. The 1956 Corvette SR-2 Low Fin was soon built from a stock 1956 Corvette. The Corvette SR-2 acronym stood for Sebring Racer. Modifications included Sebring Racing brakes and suspension, a more distinct extended front end that included modified parking lights with screens to allow cooling air to the brakes, dual racing windshields, air scoops grafted into the side coves and a vertical fin on the rear deck.
1956 Corvette SR-2 Low Fin & High Fin
In late June the Corvette SR-2 was ready and entered in the June Sprints at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. The SR-2 finished the race in a somewhat respectable position. However, after that first race the SR-2 was returned to Chevrolet for improvements including the the high tail. The changes did little to improve the SR-2. Chevrolet sponsored the SR-2 thru the 1957 racing season. Earl the sold the car to former Chevrolet driver, Jim Jeffords.
1956 Corvette SR-2 High Fin
Jeffords modificated the SR-2 winning the SCCA National Championship in 1958 and 1959. A total of three Corvette SR-2’s wer built by Chevrolet. All three SR-2 Corvettes were bought and sold many times, and are still around total.
1956 Corvette SR-2 High Fin
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