This car was purchased new by Dr. William F. (Bill) Eschrich from Burbank California. Dr. Eschrich was a famous sports car driver and entrant from the 50’s and 60’s.
He participated in many of the classic road races including Pebble Beach, Thompson Raceway, Bakersfield, Willow Springs, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Hansen Dam, Paramount Ranch, and Torrey Pines.
As a team owner and entrant, his most famous driver was Ken Miles, who was one of the most successful drivers of his era, going on to become the chief test driver for Carroll Shelby and his Cobra program. James Dean’s last race was won by Dr.Eshrich in Santa Barbra Memorial Weekend 1955.
In 1965, Bill entered the Bonneville Speed Trials with his new 396 Turbo Jet Corvette and went a spectacular 155.17 mph setting a class record that year in addition to winning several road races at Bonneville. After that, Bill continued to drive the car around Burbank until his death 25 years ago. He put 55,916 miles on the car with its original “Black and Gold” California Plates. Since then the car has remained in a private collection.
396 Big Block Facts
Development of the second generation big-block started with the so-called Mystery Motor (Mark II Z33) used in Chevrolet's 1963 Daytona 500 record-setting stock cars. This "secret" engine was a substantially modified form of the "W" engine, and was subsequently released for production use in mid-1965 as the Mark IV, referred to in sales literature as the "Turbo-Jet V8."GM rated it 425 HP when in actuality it was well over 500 HP! Also retained from the "W" design were the race-proven Moraine M400 aluminum bearings first used in the 409, as well as the highly efficient "side oiling" lubrication system, which assured maximum oil flow to the main and connecting rod bearings at all times. Later blocks intended for performance use had the main oil gallery moved up to the cam bearing bore area and provided "priority main" oiling, improving the oil system even further. These features, along with the robust crankcase design, sturdy forged steel crankshaft and massive four-bolt main bearing caps used in the high-performance versions, resulted in what many have considered to be the most rugged and reliable large displacement automotive V8 engine design of all time.
One of only 2,157 Corvettes produced with the 396 cubic inch / 425 Horsepower engine with coupes being the rarest with only 618 being produced and only a handful equipped a Muncie Rock Crusher transmission. This car has documented matching numbers including its original starter and coil (very rare). Included are the original “Black and Gold” plates, original radio, owners manual, original jack, registrations, Bonneville decal, Bonneville Brass Dash Plaque, timing sheets and period photos, In addition to being 2012 NCRS Top Flight Award recipient and 2014 La Jolla Concours D' Elegance invitee.
This one of a kind Corvette could make any collection complete and would be a welcome entrant to any vintage car race, not to mention being a street legal e-ticket!
The car is finished in Nassau Blue with a white interior. This is considered to be one of the most striking and beautiful optioned Corvette and color combination's ever! Few automobiles carry such a rich history as this Big Block Corvette