Tough Tanker – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

dick lang

As soon as the new Corvette Stingray saw the light of day, people were looking to race it, particularly in the SCCA’s production car ranks. One of the most serious was surely Ohio Chevrolet dealer Dick Lang, who had already made solid showings around the country in A and B Production driving his 1959 Corvette. For racers like Lang, Duntov had concocted a new, options package for the Corvette that included beefier suspension all around, a front sway bar, sintered metallic brake linings, heavy duty finned drum brakes, brake cooling scoops, a vacuum-powered dual circuit master cylinder, and a Rochester fuel-injected 327/360 HP V-8 with the solid lifter “Duntov” cam. This options package was simply called RPO Z06, and an ambitious Lang took delivery of his own Z06, one of only 63 examples given the 36 gallon fiberglass fuel tank, for a serious crack at a national title and maybe even professional racing.

Lang and the red Z06 had a decent start to the 1963 season, finishing 7th in a race at Daytona and making the front page of the Daytona Beach Evening News, but it wasn’t all fun and games from there. He finished 2nd behind Dick Thompson in another Z06 at Marlboro, but Lang probably hadn’t counted on Cobras eating the Corvettes for lunch during those early years of the ’60s. He had several good drives throughout the season, including podium finishes at Grayling and Mid-Ohio as well as a win at Lynndale Farms, and these would land him 4th place in the SCCA National Championship. Everybody wanted a Shelby, though, and the Z06’s brief time in the sun was over.

Nevertheless, Lang still pressed on with his Z06 after a brief stint in a Cobra, and attacked the 1964 season with the same enthusiasm he had the year before. He led the opening laps during the Nationals at VIR, and even took a win at Mid-Ohio in June. The Z06’s consistency and Lang’s impressive driving against the Cobra steamroller earned him 3rd place in the A Production National Championship. He was the only Corvette driver in the top five.

Lang withdrew from racing for a while as he successfully fought the IRS, and sold the well-proven Z06 to his barber, who then restored it to street use, a job that even included the reinstallation of the “Split Window” strip of fiberglass Lang had removed to run the car as a ’64. Fast forward to 2011, and the car was given a complete restoration by Nabers Brothers for a cost of around $240,000. In 2012, it was introduced in period kit at the Corvette Nationals, and has since won the NCRS American Heritage Award, which honors “the preservation of a historically significant piece of Corvette history.”

This 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, Dick Lang’s Z06 “Tanker”, is offered for sale at the upcoming Mecum Kissimmee sale, scheduled for January 17-26, 2014 in Kissimmee, Florida. The pre-sale estimate is $900,000 to $1,200,000. Lang’s achievements as a privateer with this car are both deeply impressive and an important part of Corvette history. The Grand Sports are the most coveted C2’s to be sure, but the original Z06 is another super-Corvette that isn’t too far behind. Several epic Corvettes will be crossing the block at Kissimmee, but this period racer is certainly one of the top lots.

Comments

  1. This car along with two other Z06’s and several other significant competition Corvette’s were displayed at the 2013 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in Cincinnati this past June. You can see photos of the class in the Gallery section at http://www.ohioconcours.com

  2. The only complaint with my silver flake 63 was the brakes. They were good for about half of a panic stop from 100.

  3. Barry Cooney says:

    Had a 63 Z06, had everything but the big tank. The elephant ear front brakes were deadly in the rain! Pick a direction you think the car might go, and hope you were right!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Driving that Coupe version over 150mph was scary. Ask Jan Hyde what he did to my 64 Corvette Coupe in a hill climb race, after he crossed the finish line. Radar had him cross finish 150 then a Mountain jumped in front of him. Trash Skip’s first race car. Who has the splinters?.Unreal Jan Lived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SKIP

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