Here is a fine example of a 1968 Corvette. It is the James Garner’s American International Racing Team 1968 AIR L88 Corvette and was owned by Bob Radke. Vette Vues Magazine took the photo at the 2009 NCRS National Convention in San Jose. It is restored and received the American Heritage Award. This appeared in the October 2009 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Here is a great historical photo of the James Garner Corvettes in Dick Goldstrand’s shop.
In 2015 one of the 1968 L88 James Garner Corvettes went across the Barrett-Jackson auction block but it Did Not Meet Reserve. Here is what their website had to say:
Lot #5048 – This is the 22nd factory-production L88 ever built, the second built in the 1968 model year, and one of the first-ever L88s with “cabin heaters.” Race-prepared in 1967/1968 by Guldstrand Engineering. Pole Winner, GT class, 1968 Daytona 24 Hours. The history of the three James Garner/American International Racing (AIR) cars is unique in automotive history. James Garner’s AIR team sponsored three cars under one banner. The three cars were all new L88s. Three factory-built L88 cars left the St. Louis plant for delivery to James Garner’s American International Racing (AIR) team in November 1967. These three LeMans Blue convertibles were the first 1968 production models featuring the new L88 engine with first-generation closed-chamber aluminum heads. Of course, the cars were all Central Office Production Orders (COPO) a system that provided for an incredible range of production specifications. These three cars sold to the AIR team were effectively part of GM’s 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 Caplan’s 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 directly to the first AIR shop in Culver City, just two doors down from Dick Guldstrand’s 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. **SOLD ON BILL OF SALE ONLY**
Our next video is from 2008 where Dick Guldstrand introduced the car at auction…a 1968 James Garner L88 Corvette.
#44: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Competition Convertible. James Garner’s American International Racing (AIR) team. Driven by: Dick Guldstrand/Ed Leslie. 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. This video was taken at 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. Dick Guldstrand personally introduced the car at auction.
If you are interested in Corvette Racing we have a section on the Vette Vues blog dedicated to this. Check out the latest and history on Corvette Racing. Every month in Vette Vues Jan Hyde brigs us his column Keppin’ Track of Corvette Racing, you are sure to enjoy it!
We are adding things to our blog on a regular basis, for the latest news on the new Corvette to its history. Check out our Latest Blog Posts.
One of our most popular posts on the Vette Vues Magazine blog is the total production number by model years of Corvettes.
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