A 390-horsepower, 427-ci Corvette Stingray will go on display at the National Mall in September as part of the annual Cars at the Capital exhibition. The coupe will be displayed Sept. 12-19 in a glass case near the National Monument and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Here’s the car’s story, according to the Historic Vehicle Society:
Starting in 1961, General Motors offered a program to all astronauts: lease a Chevrolet Corvette for $1 per year. Each would come from former Indy 500 winner and GM dealer, Jim Rathmann, who owned a dealership close to the Space Center in Florida.
The fourth human to walk on the moon, Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot in 1969, took part in the lease program. Along with his colleagues—all of whom had a hand in designing the color scheme—Bean, Pete Conrad, mission commander; and Dick Gordon, command module pilot, chose a gold and black color combination. On the front left fender of each car was a red, white and blue plaque. In each square were LMP, CDR and CMP, for the positions each astronaut held on the mission.
The Corvette’s award’s include a Top Flight award (with more than 97 points) at the 2002 National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) National Meet, and in 2003 won the coveted Duntov Award of Excellence at the NCRS Nationals. In 2008, the car won the NCRS American Heritage Award “for the preservation of a historically significant piece of Corvette history” at the NCRS Nationals, making it the only Corvette in history to win both Duntov and Heritage awards.
To date, the car has more than 35,000 original miles on its odometer.
Of the three custom-ordered 390-horsepower, 427-ci Stingray coupes, only the Corvette formerly owned by Bean survives. The current owner, Danny Reed, has owned the car for 48 years.