C3HistoryW10P1

Corvette C3 Racing History
by David Palmeter

The Incredible Henri (Henry) Greder Le Mans Corvette Story

During the late '60s and early '70s, Henri Greder was the mainstay of Corvette's racing programs at the Le Mans 24 hour race. Henri Greder not only ran one car 6 consecutive years at Le Mans, he was involved in two cars that accomplished that unprecedented feat. Overall, he ran 8 consecutive years in Corvettes.

Here is some email correspondence that I had with Henri (Henry) in early 2000:

Subj:    Le Mans
Date:    2/14/00 10:27:19 AM Eastern Standard Time
From:   souris@netzone.com (Sandrine)
Reply-to:           souris@netzone.com
To:       davidWP97@aol.com

Dear David,

Here are some information concerning My Corvettes at Le Mans 24 Hours :

1968 – Corvette Coupe 427 ci L88 Vin # 194378 S 410300
Prepared by Zora-Arkus Duntov of Chevrolet Corvette engendering (sic).
History : This car and a similar one were bought by Scuderia Philipinetti which enter the two cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. My car, race # 3 and my co-driver was Umberrto Maglioli. We retired due to engine problem. The other Car, Race # 4 driven by S. Garant and JM Giorgi retired after a crash. (David Palmeter note: I later determined that car #4 was VIN 194378 S 408067.)

1969 – Corvette Coupe 427 ci L88 Vin # 194378 S 410300
Same as the one before. My co-driver was Reine Wissel et the back up driver was Ronnie Peterson.  We retired due to Transmission problem.

After the 24 Hours of Le Mans I bought that car from Scuderia Filipinetti. I repainted it as my Greder-Racing Team color : White with the hood in  black and on the side the blue and red stripes. I enter the Corvette to the Tour de France Automobile 1969 . I would have won the Tour Auto if I had not had a misfired which we could not find before loosing a lot of time. Any way I won 7 races out of 9 and finished 2nd overall and 1st in GT class.

Soon after the Tour Auto 1969, I sold the car to Jean-Claude Aubriet who enter the car to the 24 Hours of Le Mans under the name of “Ecurie Leopard”  in 1970 (race #1), 1971 (race #1), 1972 (race #71), 1973 (race # 18).

25 years latter, I bought the car from Jean Claude Aubriet Wife (Jean Claude had passed away earlier). The car came to US, where I was living now, I restored the car, repainted in red like the Scuderia Philipinetti and sold it to Bob Rubin in CT. who resold the car in Paris to M. Pescara. Then Pescara sold the car to an English man who still has “my” Corvette. This guy enter the car to the Tour de France Historic in 1999.

Back to 1969. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1970, Zora Duntov send me one of his pool Corvette convertible with hardtop and all parts to built a better race car. 
VIN # 194679 -S – 706401
I prepared my new Corvette which was Yellow, I enter the new Corvette in 
the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1970 (race #2) and finish 10th overall. I raced th Tour de France Auto 1970 with a ZL1 engine that Zora had sent to me. Unfortunately this engine blow up due to a mechanic mistake. Then I entered it to the 1000 Kilometers of Paris held in Montlhéry track with my girlfriend Marie-Claude Beaumont as co-driver. We finished pretty well, I guess 2nd in GT class.

I raced Le Mans with this Corvette in 1971 (race # 2) – Oil pipe problem. Craven A livery white and red
In 1972  (race #29) Marie-Claude Beaumont collided with François Cevert Matra. Femme d’aujourd'hui livery white and blue
In 1973  (race # 12) I finished 12th  overall – no sponsor- just white and red hood
In 1974  (race # 51) I finish 18th overall – First National City Bank livery blue with a traveler check painted on the hood.
In 1975 (race # 42)  retired due to engine problem. First National City Bank livery

At the end of 1975, or beginning of 1976, I sold the Corvette to a private guy who kept the car up to 1989. Then the car has been sold to A.T.S. Evolution owned by my friend Robert Sarrailh. The car has been restored with the First National City Bank livery. I raced the Tour de France Historic with “my” Corvette in 1998.  Robert Sarrailh still have the car.

The other team who raced Le Mans with a Corvette after 1968 was John Greenwood  team –
In 1972 (race # 4) finished 15 overall
the # 72 
retired
1973 (race #29) retired.

Of course I have a lot of pictures.  Do not hesitate to call me.

I made a poster of the last “Le Mans” start and I have few models 1/43th if you are interested.

Best Regards.
Henry Greder


Above – By using my "Greder" collection of Vitesse 1:43 scale diecast models, I have attempted to give a feel for the magnitude of Henry's accomplishment.


Above – The 6 liveries in the front row represent 1968 Corvette Chassis 194378-S-410300 as it ran at Le Mans from 1968 to 1973. Henry Greder drove it in 1968 and 1969 then sold it to J-C. Aubriet who drove it from 1970 to 1973.
Also Above – The 6 liveries in the back row represent 1969 Corvette Chassis Number 194679-S-706401 as driven by Henry Greder at Le Mans from 1970 to 1975.


Above – The #3 (Chassis 194378-S-410300) and #4 (Chassis 194378-S-408067) Filipinetti cars at Le Mans 1968 and the 1969 entry by Henry Greder (#3 renumbered to #1).

Copy
Above – Greder at Le Mans 1968 in 1968 Corvette Chassis 194378-S-410300


Above – Greder at Le Mans 1969 in
1968 Corvette Chassis 194378-S-410300


Above – Greder at Le Mans 1969 in 1968 Corvette Chassis 194378-S-410300 – Le Mans start departure


Above – Greder at Le Mans 1970 in the first appearance of 1969 Corvette Chassis Number 194679-S-706401


Above – Greder at Le Mans 1975 – The 6th consecutive Le Mans appearance of 1969 Corvette Chassis Number 194679-S-706401


The Jim Garner AIR Car


Above – 1968 Garner's AIR cars being prepared for the 1968 24 Hours of Daytona


Return to Corvette Racing Index

 

 

16 Responses to C3HistoryW10P1

  1. Louis says:

    Hi,
    I currently own a Corvette #42 Limited Edition Vitesse diecast model car. I have no interest in the model and also no knowledge of models at all. Is it anything people would actually want? A reply to my email would be much appreciated : louis_young@hotmail.co.uk
    Thanks

  2. Rick Fabretto says:

    Hi great site. After some information to build a 1/24 model. The Corvette #3 as it ran in LeMans 68 had some sponsor logos on the front quarter panel under Scuderia Filipinetti signage. There is a triangular “S” with an arrow, the Marchel cat, and a blue rectangle with a chequered flag in the middle. What is the wording in the blue rectangle? What was this sponsor? When I blow up one photo I have it almost looks like “Goodyear”?? Any help would be appreciated.

  3. Tamar Nelwan says:

    Hello Gentlemen I have a bit of an odd question..was searching the web for some pictures of the # 1 Ecurie Leopard corvette I finally stumbled on this page and thought maybe you guys can help me. Some guy wanted to build a 1/32nd slotcar of this Corvette, did his own paint job and decals to represent the sponsor logos. But he could not identify a subtext that was on the Credit Agricole sticker. Do any of the gents that have posted here have better pictures of the back of the car than this one?     With kind regards Tamar

    • David says:

      Hi Tamar, I looked through my Corvette and Le Mans reference material and only found one picture of the 1970 Ecurie Leopard #1 car. It is a left front shot in the reference set "24 Heures du Mans 1923-1992". Maybe someone else can help.

      By the way, your friend may be interested in my slot car pages.

      David Palmeter

  4. ChristianL says:

    Correction : it is necessary for the pilots of the 1968 No. 4 (destroyed) Garant (not Grant) – Giorgi . Sylvain Garant will also ejected but not seriously injured.

  5. ChristianL says:

    Good evening, David.

    So I reviewed all the Corvette having raced at Le Mans between 1968 and 1975 and who ran the hands of Greder and JC Aubriet who had recovered the first Corvette Henry.
    In 1968 and 1969, the red Corvette (Greder-Maglioli Grant No. 3 and No. 4-Giorgi and Greder-in Wisell 69) Filipinetti are coupés.
    In 1970, USA Greder retrieves a Corvette hardtop (yellow vinyl roof # 2) he shares with JP Rouget. His ex-Filipinetti painted white and black, the colors of the team Greder, naturally remains a coupé. It appears in the Tour de France Auto 1969 and Le Mans 1970 (No. 1 in a black circle), it is controlled by Aubriet-Bourdon.
    A Mans from 1972 until 1974 and included JC Aubriet and "Depnic" will drive the Corvette coupé (the light blue metallic and mat black hood No. 1 and No. 71, then No. 69 with rocker orange). Then, at Le Mans in 1975, Aubriet – "Depnic leave on a BMW 3.0CSL.
    Henry, he associated with MC Beaumont from 1971 until 1974, every time align hardtop if I see: in 1971, the red and white No. 2, at 72 the blue and white No. 29, in 1973 the new red and white No. 30, in 1974 dark blue metal "First National City", No. 51. In 1975, the "First National City" is still there, this time associated with Greder, Cudini.

    In total, for me, will Greder driven (at Le Mans and the 24 hours ) a Corvette coupés in 1968 and 1969 – it is the same car. All other times 70 to 75, he had a hard-top.
    JC Aubriet about having bought Greder coupé repainted red with white and black, Greder team, he will drive always coupé(s) between 1970 and 1974. I do not know if it was always the same chassis, knowing that the car had been in an accident at Le Mans in 1970.

    That's it. The Vitesse would therefore false, at least for Henry, for reproductions of coupés Filipinetti 3 and 4.
     You confirm? 

    Cordially, 

    Christian (France)

  6. David says:

    Hello Christian, Thank you for your interest in my website. In response to your criticism of the Vitesse models, I have added correspondence from Henri Greder himself concerning the two cars that you questioned. As my captions with the models above note, and as confirmed by Henri, the 1968 Scuderia Filipinetti #3 car 194378-S-410300 was indeed a T-Top coupe and the 1970 #2 car 194679-S-706401 was indeed a convertible with an attached hardtop.

    You are correct that the 194378-S-410300 car, which, as also noted above, ran 6 consecutive years at Le Mans, was incorrectly represented by Vitesse as a convertible with an attached hardtop for the first three years. Vitesse did attempt to rectify the error by replacing the attached hardtop with a 'flying butress' version that more closely represented the T-Top coupe for the final three year versions.

    However, the #2 car 194679-S-706401 ran 6 consecutive years also, as noted by Henri and by my Vitesse lineup above, as a convertible with an attached hardtop and is correctly depicted that way by all the Vitesse models of 706401.

    I am interested in what information you have that might contradict what Henri said.

    Regards, David 

     

  7. christianL says:

    (continued) with the exception, perhaps, driven Aubriet versions from 1971 – the clear blue metallic. At Le Mans in 1971, it seems to me that once flew Greder hardtop (the white and red).

  8. christianL says:

    Good afternoon. Excuse me, but reproductions made by Vitesse were all false, except for the 1970 version (yellow). Indeed, except in 1970 when driving a Corvette with Greder hardtop welded, all other times it was a Corvette coupe. However, Vitesse has proposed that coupe. So all wrong – except for 1970 … Cordially.

  9. Guto Vighi says:

    Thanks for the post, I collect diecast vettes and those vitesse are very hard to find. I have 9 painting variations (5 of them diferent than yours) but I can't find a full catalogue.

  10. David says:

    Hi Dricot, These are 1:43 scale models made by Vitesse several years ago. I don't believe they are available except in the secondary market. I sold mine on eBay several years ago. David

  11. Dricot Etienne says:

    Hi, i am currently working with Henry to prepare a book on his “souvenirs” .
    Who build all theses models, where did you get theses, would it be possible to find it a gain.
    Thanks in advance
    Etienne

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