Everett Native Behind Sale of $6.88M Corvette SR-2

The very first 1956 Corvette SR-2 Racer, one of only three ever built and one of two left in existence, is going on sale for a cool $6.88 million. “Cool” is definitely the operative word here.

The rare car will be on display at the Scottsdale Sport and Classic MotorCars in Arizona from January 12 to 14. Or if you can’t make it to Arizona, you can try placing a bid on eBay. No, really you can.

Owner Greg Boehme of Seattle has charged “Corvette” Mike Vietro, owner of Corvette Mike auto dealers, with selling the SR-2 through a “private treaty.” Vietro, who says his name should be “V8-tro,” is a native of Everett and his love of Corvettes goes way beyond a simple fondness for the car.

“I bought my first Corvette in July 1978,” he said. “After I bought the car I became obsessed with Corvettes. I would sleep and drink Corvettes 24/7…I would do whatever I could to be around the cars including dropping out of college to start my own business.”

Vietro joined the Marines after he graduated from Everett High School in 1973. When he left the Marines, he settled down in California where he became a car salesman.

He says the SR-2 in his custody can easily reach 160 miles per hour. It might not be the fastest car on the road anymore, but that’s still an impressive performance.

If you’re still not convinced at the car’s awesomeness, Vietro produced a video of himself behind the wheel of this classic. This might change your cynical heart.

The SR-2 was the first “purpose-built” sports racer built by Harley Earl, the father of the modern Corvette, as a gift for his son. In 1956, Earl was apparently dissatisfied that his son, Jerome C. Earl, was racing a Ferrari, the vehicle of his competitor. He asked his son to sell his Ferrari and then designed and built a special replacement with General Motor’s resources.

A team of 17 engineers worked tirelessly to build the car. Sebring Racing brakes and suspension and specially designed windshields were installed. The car’s high tail fin was specifically designed to offset turbulence created by the driver’s position.

It is one of only three SR-2s that were ever built. A second was built for Bill Mitchell, Harley Earl’s assistant while former GM president Harlow “Red” Curtice had a third version built for show purposes.

According to Vietro, even the vehicle identification number (VIN) in this SR-2 is unique.

“This SR-2 is the only one that carries an ‘F’ in its serial number,” he said. “Other Corvettes that have an ‘S’ [in their VIN] that stands for St. Louis. ‘F’ was never used in any other car.”

So what does the “F” stand for? Not even Vietro knows for certain. But one theory is that the styling studio where the car was designed was located near Flint, Michigan.

Tom McDermott of luxury asset lender Borro isn’t surprised to see such a high price for such a rare car.

“Frankly, there’s a lot of macho out there,” said McDermott. “These are pretty sexy investments and they are great items to show friends and fans of these fantastic machines.”

McDermott also says rare cars are also a hot investment for those who have the funds.

“We’re seeing a general trend that high-net individuals are seeing luxury items not just as a hobby, but as a way to invest their wealth,” said McDermott. “Rare cars are part of that trend.”

If the Corvette sells for its listing price, it could be the most expensive Corvette ever sold. So far the current record for most expensive Corvette sold belongs to a 1967 L88 Coupe that was sold for $3.85 million last year.

Vietro believes the sale is a golden opportunity for a diehard car buff to add a very pricey trophy to their collection.

“You could be a huge Corvette collector and have every car known to man, but you don’t have an SR-2,” he said. “When this car is gone, it’s gone.”

Read the full article at Boston.com

About the Author:

Jay wrote about luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance