Saturday, April 17, 2010

This Month In Sports Car Market

Few cars shock the senses quite like a well-executed Pro Street machine, and this gleaming Black Ferrari 250 GTE may be the most shocking Pro Street car we have ever seen. This is the world’s only Pro Street version of the Prancing Horse. Professionally built and based on a real Ferrari 250 GTE Berlinetta coupe, it is filled with all the ingredients that separate NHRA’s top street class from the rest, from the free-breathing hood scoop feeding a pro-built 565 CI Chevrolet big block, to the huge street slicks tucked up inside the tubbed rear, to the show-quality, fully-caged Red interior. $150,000 was invested in the car, which is both street legal and NHRA certified to 8.50-second elapsed times.

In recent years the term “Survivor” has entered the collector car lexicon as a way of describing a well-preserved, original, unrestored vehicle. “Survivor” is not, however, just a generic term that caught on organically; it is in fact a trademark registered by Bloomington Gold founder David Burroughs, and in 1989, this Marlboro Maroon 1967 427 convertible became Burroughs' prototype for establishing standards for the Bloomington Gold Survivor Award.

For years, Burroughs had encouraged the owners of excellent original Corvettes to forego their restoration and preserve their originality, even searching out and buying this unrestored 1967 Corvette convertible to demonstrate his commitment to that ideal. In 1989, Burroughs registered the word “Survivor” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and created the Bloomington Gold Survivor Award for the specific purpose of rewarding the preservation of original unrestored Corvettes that are of a quality to serve as educational benchmarks for other restorers. Since then, over 1,000 original Corvettes have been preserved for that very purpose, and Bloomington Gold has expanded the Survivor certification to include other marques.

Original and unrestored, the "Survivor Platform Car" is finished in its factory-applied Marlboro Maroon paint with a Black interior. Under the Stinger hood sits the classic Tri Power 427 with a Muncie 4-speed. The 435 hp V-8 features a high lift, long duration camshaft and large port cast iron heads, on top of which is the famous triple 2-barrel Holley carb setup on an aluminum intake manifold. Optional equipment includes side-mounted exhaust, finned aluminum bolt-on wheels and the car’s trademark hard top.

Adding to the car’s standing is the fact that in 2003 it also won the NCRS Chevrolet Bowtie Award, making it one of a very few to have reached the highest unrestored Corvette status. In 2006, it was selected for the Bloomington Gold Special Collection.

As Miles Collier once observed, a car can only be original once; together David Burroughs and his famous "old 435" demonstrated the importance of that sentiment to future generations of Corvette owners and enthusiasts.

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