Corvette C3 #1 – Vitesse

1968 Corvette (C3)
Pilots: H. Greder, R. Wisell 
Team: Scuderia Filipinetti 
Race: DNF (GT class) at Le Mans in 1969 
Vitesse - 044C (diecast) 

Published 09/04/17

The third generation (C3) of the Corvette was available from 1968 to 1982. Designed by Larry Shinoda and based on the gorgeous Mako Shark II, it was more “muscular” than the previous C2. This C3 was first seen by the public in general in a very peculiar and unintended way. General Motors tried hard to keep the appearance of the upcoming car a secret. Nonetheless, a leak came from a very unexpected source. Hot Wheels (!) released it’s very first line of 1:64 models several weeks before the car’s unveiling, and one of these models was the new Vette. But even with the spoiler, the car made a big splash. As was the norm with American Iron, the engine was a V8, with optional displacement sizes. You could order the car with a few options in engine sizes, from 4998 cm³ to 7440 cm³.

C3 #1
Exhaust pipes and kind of rough paint job are the model’s Achilles’ heel.

In 1968 a total of 28566 Corvettes came out of the assembly line, but only a little over 9900 were coupes. Sporting a “big block” 6997 cm³ V8, this particular Corvette (chassis #194378S410300) was a French warrior . The car only raced in France (three times in the Tour de France and five times at Le Mans). However, the car was far from successful at La Sarthe, and the best result was an 18th place in 1973. In 1969 C3 #1 here had to abandon the race at the 169th lap, due to a broken gearbox.

C3 #1
Muscle cars at Le Mans – just imagine the noise!

This is my first model from Vitesse, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. However, even though this is a pretty old mold, it did impress me when it arrived (better than Altaya for sure). If not for the not-so-smooth paint job and not-hollow pipes, I would say it’s very nice; easily as good as an average Ixo. This C3 #1 is a budget model for sure, you can easily see that. But even with the poor paint job it has a fantastic bang-for-the-buck, specially for the Le Mans collector.

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