The Le Mans-Winning Chevrolets: Corvette C1 Coupe and C6.R

For the first Made to Drive installment in 2018, we got back together with our good friend and all-around good guy Bruce Meyer and a pair of American heroes from his impressive collection. We met up with him and his ‘Vettes at Thermal Club for some track time in these iconic endurance racers—specifically, the Briggs-Cunningham-prepared C1 that brought the Corvette name to Le Mans for the first time in 1960, along with the indomitable force of red-blooded horsepower that won its class in 2009, known simply as the C6.R.

The duo is the perhaps the perfect summation of Bruce’s collection, which features a number of noteworthy American hot rods alongside Le Mans champions like the 1979-race-winning Porsche 935. The Corvettes he brought out for our cameras occupy both of those worlds, and as he puts it, “I’ve always been a hot-rodder, a bit of a patriot and I love to see the American dominance in sports, and in motorsports. I love the American effort at Le Mans, and I decided to go see if I could find one of the original Le Mans Corvettes. So my first entry was with the C1 Corvette, and this was the very first Corvette to ever run Le Mans.”

“This car has an extraordinary race record. Never having been destroyed, and having won an incredible number of races. In its career, it raced 15 races, and of those 15 it finished 1st in 10 of them, and when it didn’t finish first, in four of them it finished 2nd, and one time it DNF’d. So it’s come through unscathed, and as you see it today, is exactly how it finished Le Mans in 2009.”

In other words, it has the bite to back up the bark. And it certainly barks: “If you’re not prepared when they turn that car on, you know it’s gonna give someone a heart attack. It’s 7 liters of just ‘let me go’ racing horsepower.”