|Car's approximate birthday:
||January 10, 1963
||Mecum Auctions Kissimmee 2014
||923 Riverside Red
||Blk Black (Vinyl)
|Delivery Dealer Zone:
|Delivery Dealer Code:
||Base Corvette Sport Coupe (FI 360hp)
||Sintered Metallic Brakes
||327ci, 360hp Engine (fuel injection)
||36 Gallon Fuel Tank (for coupe)
||Special Performance Equipment
|Factory job nr.:
||Non Export Car
|Date posted 04/20/2016
When Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 1963 Corvette Stingray, Corvette was already
the dominant force in Production road racing across the country. Beginning in 1956
Chief Engineer Zora Arkus Duntov had transformed the original fiberglass-bodied
sports car through arduous testing and racing development, adding various new
engines, suspension pieces and braking systems to the factory option list. With the
new Stingray, Duntov finally assembled a mixture of special performance parts and
Regular Production Options into a single package known as RPO Z06.
The Z06 was the answer to every serious Corvette racers dreams, and among
those welcoming its arrival was Xenia, Ohio Chevrolet dealer and sportsman racer
Dick Lang. Driving his Red 1959 Corvette, the hard-charging Lang had raced
throughout the Midwest, Central, Northeast and Southeast regions in SCCA events,
quickly reaching regional and national status as one of the best drivers in A and B
Production. By 1963, the young Lang openly aspired to win a national title and
become a professional driver. He had finished 4th in SCCA A Production national
standings in 1962, and the new Z06 appeared to be his ticket to the big time.
Lang took delivery of one of the first so-called batch built Z06 coupes. Like his
earlier racers it bore brilliant Red paint, but most similarities ended there. The
sleek and revolutionary new Stingray body was unlike anything seen on the road;
beneath it was a brand new chassis sporting sophisticated independent rear suspension
that vastly improved the Corvettes roadholding. The Z06 package added heavy
duty front and rear springs and shock absorbers and a front sway bar; sintered
metallic brake linings, heavy duty finned drums, forward-operating self-adjusters,
brake cooling scoops and a Z06-exclusive vacuum-powered dual circuit master
cylinder. Power was supplied by the race-proven and incredibly potent 327/360 HP
small block engine with Rochester fuel injection and the famed solid lifter Duntov
cam. One of just 199 built, Dick Langs Z06 was also one of only 63 supplied with
the RPO N03 36 gallon fiberglass fuel tank.
Lang and his sparkling new Riverside Red Z06 coupe entered the 1963 season with
two races in February at Bill Frances Daytona International Speedway, finishing
7th in the American Challenge Cup qualifying race on Sunday, February 10 before
failing to start in the 250-mile race on the following Saturday; the pair made the
front page of the Daytona Beach Evening News with an above-the-fold color photograph
of Lang and his Corvette, at speed on the Daytona banking, that is now part of the
cars extensive documentation.
So began a series of wins and spirited finishes that once again propelled Lang to
prominence in the SCCAs National Championship chase.
On April 7 in the SCCA National Championship opening race at Marlboro, Maryland,
Lang finished 2nd behind Dr. Dick Thompson in the Gulf Oil-sponsored lightweight
Corvette Z06 entered by Grady Davis.
After a DNF at Virginia, it was on to Cumberland on May 12 and a record number
of entrants comprising some of the nations top cars and drivers. The event served
notice that a new threat had emerged in big-league Production racing in the form
of Carroll Shelbys awesome Cobras. Veteran sports racer Bob Johnson pressed
the point home on the very first lap when he pulled away from Dick Thompsons
lightweight Stingray coupe, never to be challenged again. Much to the annoyance
of the many Corvette supporters in attendance, Johnson and his 289 Cobra lapped
every Corvette in A Production but one: Dick Langs #85.
Podium finishes at Grayling and Mid-Ohio and an outright win at Lynndale Farms
once again culminated in a 4th place finish in the SCCA National Championship
standings for Dick Lang and his Z06, one of several Corvette entries set adrift by
Chevrolets untimely official withdrawal from competition. Shelbys Cobra would
soon eclipse Duntovs beloved Z06 as the car of choice in SCCA, USRRC and FIA
International Production competition. While independent stalwarts such as Lang
pressed on without factory support, the lightweight entries of Dick Thompson and
Grady Davis had Gulf Oils considerable resources (not the least of which was a
huge multi-dynamometer engine testing facility) to help them along, a confluence
of forces that made Dick Langs achievements that year all the more impressive.
The Cobras allure proved irresistible to Lang when he was invited to drive George
Reed, Jr.s Black #19 roadster at the 1964 Sebring season opener, but misfortune
struck when the fuel tank began leaking before Langs scheduled first stint and retired
Lang then reactivated the Z06 for the April 12 Marlboro Raceway Presidents Cup,
where he finished 4th, leading the Corvette contingent behind the top-finishing
Cobras of Charlie Hayes, Harold Keck and Daniel Gerber.
The SCCA Nationals at VIR proved one of the most exciting events of the year for
A Production racers and fans alike. Undaunted by the Cobras, Lang leapt out to
the front of the pack and led for the opening laps, but he over-revved the engine
in that opening dash, taking the edge off the high strung small block and forcing
him to give way to Mark Donohue and others as he dropped back. The Cobras
overwhelmed the field, but unfortunately the race did not end for Lang at the
checkered flag. He had modified the rear wheel wells of his Z06 to accommodate
huge new racing Goodyears and was disqualified after a protest from the Cobra
contingent. Lang later filed a counter-protest as the Cobras had used identical
tires, and the matter was resolved when the two parties agreed to eschew further
shenanigans for the remainder of the season.
Langs clashes with the Shelby juggernaut continued as the season progressed,
producing memorable contests that captivated fans and often overshadowed the
headline events. He prevailed against the Cobras one more time on June 14 at
Mid-Ohio, where he jousted with independent Bob Johnson before taking a well-
deserved A Production win. His final race of the season at the inaugural Riverside
American Road Race of Champions ended when he crashed the Z06, but not
before impressing the West Coast crowd with his withering attacks on the works
Cobras on that famous high-speed road course. Consistency once again paid off,
this time with a 3rd place finish in the SCCA National A Production Championship.
He was the only Corvette driver in the top five, the rest of whom raced Cobras.
Dick Lang and the Z06 returned to Ohio after Riverside. He withdrew from racing
for the next three years to fight a dispute with the IRS, eventually winning a
judgement that also favored dealers across the country by upholding the use of
demonstrator vehicles by family members. Lang sold the Z06 to his barber, who
restored it over the next fifteen years to street use, including reinstalling the strip
of fiberglass Lang removed from the rear window to run it as a 1964 model.
Terry Michaelis of ProTeam Classic Corvettes discovered the car in the summer of
2011 while investigating another vintage Corvette race car. After extensive research
Michaelis, Franz Estereicher and the NCRS/GM Documentation Service positively
confirmed its origins as the Dick Lang Z06 Tanker race car; it was then transported
to Houston for a complete restoration by the renowned Nabers Brothers at a cost
The Dick Lang 1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker Split Window Coupe was reintroduced to
the world with an honored place in the Corvette Nationals Competition Corvette
display in November 2012. In 2013 it was displayed at no fewer than four prestigious
Concours dElegance, scoring numerous honors including Best in Class at the Dayton
Concours dElegance in September and Best in Class, First Place and the Special
Display Award at the 36th Annual Ault Park Concours dElegance of America in July.
Perhaps most significantly, it has also won the National Corvette Restorers Society
American Heritage Award For the preservation of a historically significant piece of
Corvette history, an elusive prize shared by an exclusive club now numbering just
36 members, cementing both car and driver as milestone figures in Corvettes
quintessentially American story.
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