After decades of arm’s-length involvement in Corvette racing, in 1998 the Chevrolet Motor Division finally created its own team to showcase the new fifth-generation Corvette platform. Built by Pratt & Miller Engineering in Michigan, the C5-R was from the start a purpose-built racecar utilizing the most advanced technologies and materials available. Its mission: Beat Ferrari, Viper, Saleen and Porsche in the world’s toughest endurance race, the 24 Heures du Mans.
Pratt & Miller eventually built 11 C5-R Corvettes from 1998 to 2004 – 10 for GM’s factory Corvette Racing team and one for a privateer team. Two of them are presented here. Chassis number C5R-008 was driven by Oliver Gavin, Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim at Le Mans in 2003 where, wearing No. 50, it finished second in GTS and 11th overall. It shared the podium with the No. 53 sister car, chassis number C5R-009, driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Franck Freon, which is also offered here.
At the conclusion of their racing careers, both Corvette C5-R s/n 008 and s/n 009 were completely restored by Pratt & Miller to original specifications, including the distinctive blue 50th Anniversary livery they wore at Le Mans. With less than 25 miles since restoration, they are in brand-new condition throughout. They are also fully race-prepared, including new Katech-built 427 engines rated at 600 horsepower, and the original jacking and fire systems. This incomparable pair of racecars represents a historically significant chapter in Corvette’s glorious racing history.