This $950K Corvette C7.R might be a bargain, and here’s why
Even with the C8.R’s spectacular first season on the endurance circuit, we can’t help feeling nostalgic for the monster that was the C7.R. If you’re a dedicated motorsports or Chevrolet collector, and you’re feeling the same way, now might be the perfect time to capture a piece of Corvette racing history. This 2015 C7.R is up for sale, listed by California-based dealer Fantasy Junction. The Vette’s got several major wins to its name and a price tag to match: $950,000. Let’s break down this competition veteran’s track record.
As keen-eyed viewers will spot from the fender badging, the C7.R—like the preceding factory-built C6 Corvette race car—is based on the Z06. The race car’s January 2014 reveal coincided with the C7 Z06’s appearance at the 2014 Detroit auto show. The two share a hydroformed aluminum frame, along with some bodywork and aero components, but the race car did not adopt the 6.2-liter, supercharged and intercooled LT4 V-8 under the production Z06’s hood.
The rules of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (which combined the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series for the 2014 season) capped displacement for forced-induction cars at 4.0 liters (5.5 liters for naturally aspirated), so Pratt & Miller instead equipped the C7.R with a time-proven, race-prepped and naturally aspirated 5.5-liter Chevy small-block. Direct injection returned, thanks to its presence on the road-legal Z06’s powerplant, for the first time since 2001.
The C6.R cast a long shadow: in the first half of its race tenure alone, in GT1-spec, it racked up 39 race wins in the ALMS series and three class wins at Le Mans. Under the updated GT2 rules, it notched another 12 wins and a 2011 in-class win at Le Mans. Still, the C7.R, the last of the front-engine racing Corvettes, did the team proud. The platform boasts 17 wins in five seasons and one Le Mans class win (2015).
This particular car bears the no. 3 it wore when roaring to victory at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 2015 Sebring 12 Hours. No. 3 was fielded by a trio of Corvette factory drivers: Antonio García, Ryan Briscoe, and Jan Magnussen. (García remains with the team today and helms the C8.R.) Though it didn’t run at Le Mans in 2015, due to an accident in qualifying, the no. 3 car showed its grit at its first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014. That year, Magnussen, García, and Jordan Taylor finished just 30 seconds behind the AF Corse Ferrari for a heartbreaking second-place finish.
On top of its heady competition accomplishments, the C7.R carries the distinction as the final front-engine platform in Corvette racing history. Is $950K a fair asking price?
“It used to be that nothing was worth less than last year’s race car, but those days are long gone,” says John Wiley, Hagerty’s manager of valuation analytics. “On the other hand, almost seven figures for a seven-year-old race car is a lot, but this is not your average used racer. A motorsport veteran with this kind of history doesn’t come cheap. For example, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88, which is considered the winningest L88 of all time, was recently a no-sale at $3.2 million, and that makes this 2014 C7.R look like a bargain.”
Only time will tell whether an enterprising Corvette or motorsports collector will pull the trigger. With any luck, wherever it ends up, this beast will get many chances to roar on a track as Pratt & Miller intended. Perhaps at Laguna Seca, for the 2021 Monterey Motorsports Reunion? The 1983–2016 Masters Endurance Legends class looks like a solid fit.