Corvette Wins National Champion Sports Car Championship Race 1960
Harley Earl 1963 Corvette Stingray
Dr. Dick Thompson (born in 1920 or 1921) a Washington, D.C. dentist by trade, was known as “The Flying Dentist”. He won numerous Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) championships and brought credibility to the Corvette as a world-class sports car. He was tapped by Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov’s in 1956, and pressed into service when the American car companies imposed a voluntary ban on sponsoring racing. Duntov, GM design chief Bill Mitchell, Ed Cole at Chevrolet and Bunkie Knudsen at Pontiac figured out ways to sponsor privateers and keep racing. Thompson won the SCCA championship in his Corvette in 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961 and 1962 in Classes A, B and C.
He won this this meet that ran May 13 – 15, 1960 at the Cumberland Greater Regional Airport was used for a 1.6-mile (2.6 km) airport course run in Wiley Ford, West Virginia (just south of Cumberland, Maryland).
These home movies were shot by GM crews brought out to cover the Corvette racing by Mitchell. We see Thompson in his prototype Silver Corvette Stingray and other Corvette team members race. The Stingray had a tendency to lift because of its long hood and we can see how difficult it is to hold on course. We also see Bill Mitchell in his brown jacket and fedora in the infield.
Also on the field Briggs Cunningham and others in wide array of sports car popular during that time.