By on September 22, 2011

My grandfather was a big rally- and ice-racing fanatic during the 1950s and 1960s, running everything from a Renault Dauphine to a Corvair in every Minnesota race he could find. Eventually, he picked up a Corvette, which he loved almost as much as his Saab 93, and the trophies started to pile up. On my trip to the Midwest last month, I managed to talk him into letting me have this one for my office.


He’s also given me some old Super 8 film from his racing days, as well as a genuine Curta “Peppermill” Calculator.
Unfortunately, the only photo of his Corvette that I could find was this scan of an entire photo album page, showing some of his race and street vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s. That’s it in the lower left corner.
A Corvettes of Minnesota/3M Sports Car Club gymkhana from January, 1964. It was probably 20 below during this event, and I’m sure you could hear the cars rusting, but Minnesotans are crazy tough.
I’m not sure what this award was actually for, because a critical plaque fell off during storage, but that doesn’t matter. I’m putting it right next to my Fastest Swedish Car award from the 2008 24 Hours of LeMons San Francisco!

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13 Comments on “Family Treasure: The 1964 Corvettes of Minnesota Slippery Slalom Trophy...”


  • avatar

    Now that is an award to be proud of. If I had a Grammy, I would literally throw it off my desk, just so I could put that up. It even comes with an interesting series of stories to tell people! It doesn’t get much better than that.

  • avatar
    V572625694

    Was that Jeep one of those legendary units packed in “cosmolene” that you could theoretically buy for $50 as war surplus?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      I remember sometime ca. 1977-83, my dad came home from work and mentioned that there was word going around Dearborn that there were some number of surplus Jeeps, crated as you mention, available at a gov’t storage yard in Washington, MI, for IIRC,, 200 bucks each. For a time, this then teen’s mind was filled with wonderful fantasies…

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        Jeeps brand new and 6×6 trucks etc were dumped in deep water all over the world due to contractual agreements that they NEVER entered the US car market so saving some in the US sounds like bullshit

  • avatar
    MarkP

    I can’t believe that Cosmoline is still available. It’s about $50 a quart.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I live about 15 minutes from where the Curta was made! There are a whole bunch of these devices in the Lechtenstein History Museum in Vaduz.

    BTW Murilee, did you register yours on the Curta website?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I remember sometime ca. 1977-83, my dad came home from work and mentioned that there was word going around Dearborn that there were some number of surplus Jeeps, crated as you mention, available at a gov’t storage yard in Washington, MI, for IIRC,, 200 bucks each. For a time, this then teen’s mind was filled with wonderful fantasies…

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Even though I’ve never owned a corvette, I had a trophy with C5 corvette on top, from winning a Corvette Club of Minnesota autocross event, though the corvette were at the very top of the trophy. No, the event was in the heat of summer. The CCCM was A very nice bunch of people.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Woo, Curta Calculators were the pinnacle for compact calculating machines in the pre-electronics era. Great looking example you’ve got there.

    The history of their creation and details of their mechanical logic system is a fascinating read.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    …..loved the home movie…..spotted a 956 AND a Super 90, TR3, XK140, Karmann, and an unusually large contingent of pirouetting Corvairs. Maybe Mr. Nader was onto something, they may or may not be “Unsafe At Any Speed”, but they were definitely a little iffy on that day.
    That open sports car with no windshield (in shadow) is either a late 50′s Vette or Healey. Only thing missing to make it the classic 60′s club race was a 544 or two.

  • avatar
    monomille

    Those were the days. The Penn State Sports Car Club in central PA put on about 3 autocrosses and 3 rallies (mostly TSD events) per 10 week term – 4 terms per year! The autocrosses using enormous parking lots were fairly fast and drew everything from a wildly entertaining 2CV to the only Shelby Mustang GT350 in town and even a ’56 Chevy based dirt track stock car that predictably took all of the turns sideways. I started running the rallies in high school and then laid out almost all of them when I went to college. Between Heurer dash mount watches, Curta calculators and WWV shortwave synched timekeeping we had some serious competitions with scores of some teams below 10 points (1 per 100th of a minute) for a 150 mile event using at least 3 checkpoints. These are the kind of youthful experiences you look back on later and realize that with mature “adult supervision” they never could have happened.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    ….the trick car for those early parking lot autocrosses was the Spifire….shortest turning circle ever…..I wandered into a Porsche Club event one Sunday and won 1st place in my girlfriend’s ’69…….were they pissed!! Made up probably 8 seconds in the section where you take a four pylon square in all 4 directions.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    It was probably 20 below during this event, and I’m sure you could hear the cars rusting . . .

    They don’t rust much at those temps. I’ve certainly never been able to hear it, anyway. It’s when it gets warmer and wetter/slushier that the rusting becomes audible.


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