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VIN 194678S405175















   
Car Year: 1968
Car's approximate birthday: November 24, 1967
 
Owner: Jim Herlinger bis
State: California
Country: United States
 
Car website http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDRxrBKYBr4&NR=1
Purchase date: 07/01/1990
Status: Current Owner
 
State: Race Car
 
Exterior: 976 LeMans Blue (16.53%)
Interior: Other Color
Softtop: Other Color
Wheels: Other Color
 
Delivery Dealer Zone: Unknown
Delivery Dealer Code: Unknown
 
Options: RPO Option Percentage
Sold [%]
Sales Price
[$]
  19467 Base Corvette Convertible (BB 430hp) 65.22% 4,320.00
  L88 427ci, 430hp Engine 0.28% 947.90
  M22 4-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio, heavy duty 0.28% 263.30
  Total   0.0001%
(1 Cars)
5,531.20
 
Factory job nr.: Unknown
Export Car: Non Export Car
 
Car history:
The history of the three James Garner/American International Racing (AIR) cars is unique in automotive history. James Garners AIR team sponsored three cars under one banner. The three cars were all-new L88s. Three factory-built L-88 cars left the St. Louis plant for delivery to James Garners American International Racing (AIR) team in November of 1967. These three Le Mans Blue convertibles were the first production models featuring the new L-88 engine with first generation closed-chamber aluminum heads. Of course, the cars were all Central Office Production Orders (COPO)a system which provided for an incredible range of production specifications. These three cars, sold to the AIR team, were effectively part of GMs strategy to manage the release of its most powerful cars to a carefully controlled list of approved customers. The drivers were Dick Guldstrand, Bob McDonald (Herb Caplans crew chief) and Perry Moore (a former Caplan employee). Although delivery was recorded as being at Fred Gledhill Chevrolet, it is much more likely that the cars drove nearly directly to the first AIR shop in Culver City, just two doors down from Dick Guldstrands new shop. As soon as the Garner cars were delivered, the engines were taken to Travers & Coons (TRACO) to be prepared for racing. Upon arrival at Daytona, the two cars out-qualified all other FIA competition in their class. As a result the two AIR team cars filled-out the front row positions for their class at the start of the race. Unfortunately, endurance races are the true test of all things mechanical. So it may not have been a surprise that these new cars could not keep up the qualifying pace. The # 45 car (driven by Scooter Patrick, Dave Jordan and Herb
Caplan) dropped out with a blown head gasket. The # 44 car (driven by Dick Guldstrand and Ed Leslie) suffered through numerous problems with the rear differential. After changing differentials four times in that race, the team finished 29th, well down the field. The cars returned to Culver City and were rebuilt in anticipation of Sebring. But Don Rabbitt had already been forging plans to acquire
Lolas for the balance of the season. Although the Corvettes had been pre-registered for Sebring, they never made it. The cars had run one race but would never see another race under the AIR banner. The cars were put up for sale and the AIR team ran the Sebring 12 Hour race with two Lola T70 Mk II coupes. Since we painted it in 1999, Jim has been running the car at a number of historic and concours events. In real terms, however, the car has not been raced extensively. But the restoration is definitely top-notch both in terms of historical accuracy and in terms of performance. In total, at the end of the 2007 season the car had raced eight times and had won its class at one HSRA race at Laguna Seca. The car has
also won trophies at the Hillsborough, Palo Alto and Monterey del Oro Concours. Dick Guldstrand drove it at the 1999 and 2002 Historics at Laguna Seca. He says that he has enjoyed his reunions with what was, in effect, the first car he really built as a professional car builder.
(LOT #355) This car sold for $744,000 at the 2008 Bonhams and Butterfields auction: Quail Lodge, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia at the Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel, California on August 15th, 2008. February 22, 2010.

Race Numbers: # 44, 3.
Ownership: James Garner (AIR Team); Gerry Gregory; Gene Cormany; Jim Herlinger; Gregg Peterson; David Magaw; Mike Alles; Jim Herlinger.
Drivers: Dick Guldstrand; Ed Leslie; Dave Jordan; Scooter Patrick; Gerry regory; Ed Cormery; Jim Herlinger; Gregg peterson; David Magaw; Mike Alles.
Status: For sale at Bonhams and Butterfield Auction at Monterey, Aug 15, 2008
Original Color: Blue (AIR livery)
Engine: RPO L88 Early prototype "open-chamber" heads
Driveline: M22
URL: Refer to Bob Radke's web site at: www.airl88.com
Unique Characteristics: These three L-88's (# 45 VIN 194678S405120, # 44 VIN 194678S405175, and promotional car VIN #194678S405186) were ordered with Bob Wingate's help through Gledhill Chevrolet in Harbor City (CA) in Herb Caplan's name. Caplan, a well-known west coast SCCA National Champion, had been approached to provide interim financing until the sponsorship deal with Goodyear was formalized. The original members of the AIR team invited James Garner, the movie star, to join the team and thereby obtained the prestige required to close a sponsorship deal with Goodyear. The cars were all prepared at GULDSTRAND ENGINEERING for Daytona; five engines were prepped by TRACO. One of the three cars was intended to be used as a promotional car and was eventually taken to Daytona as a parts car (but never cannibalized). In fact, this car was titled in the state of California. The other two cars were race-prepped for endurance racing. The # 45 car was first road tested by Bondurant at Riverside (Corvette News, Vol 11, No 4). The two L-88 powered Corvettes (#44 and #45) raced only a single race under AIR, the 24 Hours of Daytona in February of 1968. The two cars were driven by Dick Guldstrand, Ed Leslie and Herb Caplan (#44) and Scooter Patrick and Dave Jordan (#45). Jordan had been picked at the eleventh hour as a result of Bondurant's injury at Watkin's Glen where he was sevearly injured. The two cars out-qualified all other FIA competition in their class, and as a result both team cars occupied the front row positions at the start of the race. Car # 45 did not finish the race (blown head gasket) but #44 did finish in 29th position, after considerable trouble with the rear differential. The cars returned to Culver City, and were rebuilt in anticipation of Sebring. However, the cars were never to see another race under AIR. Sebring was run with the Lola T70 Mk II coupes.
Notes/Race History: The #44 AIR car had been sold in 1968 to Gerry Gregory, an ex-fighter pilot recently turned racer. The year was already well under way. Still, Gregory got a wild card entry to the ARRC runoffs at Riverside Raceway at the end of the 1968 season. He qualified on pole! Unfortunately, because there were no default in the regular entry field, he did not get to take up his wild card entry. The following year, 1969, Gregory made it to the run-offs on his own merits but DNFed after running as high as second. The car still featured the AIR emblem on the hood. At the end of the 1969 season, the car went to Gene Cormany, still in its LeMans Blue. Gene Cormany was the head of Zollner Corporation, which was the world's largest producer of pistons and, himself, a long time SCCA racer in the Indiana Region. In 1973 the car was purchased by Northern Californian Jim Herlinger. When Jim acquired the #44 AIR car he painted it red over the Le Mans Blue and added the "Enjoy Coca Cola" logo in white letters. As purchased the car still had the original L-88 motor. Jim entered the season running SCCA A/P in West Coast SCCA National events at Portland, Seattle, Sears Point, Willow Springs and Laguna Seca. Jim took three wins and also ran the Bob Bondurant Corvettes-only Challenge Race at Laguna Seca. In 1974, Jim ran one race in the newly-formed IMSA series, together with the cars new owner Gregg Peterson. Peterson had added a windshield to comply with one of the few differences in IMSA rules. Initially, Peterson drove solo at Willow Springs, placing second in A/P. Then at the first joint race of the season, at Laguna Seca, Jim blew up the original Traco motor. The car spun and this ended up being Jim's last formal race. Peterson went to run two more SCCA races at Sears point and Ontario (minus the Coca Cola sponsorship) and finished the IMSA series in second place in the West Coast division. From here the car went to David Magaw of Tucson who ran mostly regional SCCA events in 1975, even though he had intended to go TRANS-AM. Then in 1976 Magaw ran several National SCCA A/P events. Part way through the year, the car was sold to Mike Alles of Grand Haven, Michigan. He also ran the 1977 SCCA season but this was the final year of active racing. The car re-surfaced when Jim again tracked it down and bought it back in 1990. The car was restored to its original Blue AIR livery and vintage raced since 1992. Dick Guldstrand drove the car at the 1999 and 2002 Monterey Historic events. In August of 2008, the car will be auctionned by Bonhams and Butterfield, at Monterey (CA). February 27, 2009.
 
For Sale: No

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