It was the deal of a lifetime—a 427-powered 1969 Corvette Stingray with a unique paint job, leased to its owners for the price of one dollar per year. There was only one catch: you had to be an astronaut. The program was administered by Jim Rathmann, 1960’s Indy 500 winner and Florida Chevrolet dealer.
Alan Bean, Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot and the fourth man to walk on the moon, signed up along with his colleagues Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon. They designed the color scheme and placed unique red/white/blue plaques on the left fender to denote their position in the mission.
Only Bean’s car survives of the three. It’s a Top Flight award winner from the National Corvette Restorers Society, and you can see it during the Historic Vehicle Association’s Cars at the Capital event on the National Mall from September 12th to 27th. The exhibit is between the National Gallery of Art and the National Air and Space Museum.
This “Astrovette” will occupy the same spot previously used for vehicles as diverse as the Bullitt Mustang and an original “woody” Chrysler minivan. If you’re in the area, don’t miss a chance to see this delightful and historic Corvette!
For more on the Astrovette, check out the Historic Vehicle Association on Facebook and Instagram.