Meet Richard Gray...
"The Shark" - 1968 T-Top Coupe
The Shark - On the Track
The Shark - On the Track
Nancy & Rich’s Corvette Story . . . .
Rich and Nancy Gray
Tucson, Arizona (originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Corvettes: 1968 Shark Coupe, 2006 Daytona Sunset Convertible, 2008 427 Limited Edition Z06
THE SHARK STORY
I saw my first Corvette as a teen. I think it was a 1954 or 1955, all white with a red interior. Pittsburgh was a steel town in those days so white cars were rarely seen. That Vette was drop dead gorgeous but I was just a kid with no money.
Fast forward ten plus years. I was an older kid with a little money so I bought a used ’59 ($2,000.00). It was white with red coves and red interior.
I then joined the Corvette Club of Western Pennsylvania which was an autocross oriented club, both low and high speed. It was my good fortune to know Don Yenko who was one of the club’s sponsors, a board member and he encouraged anyone who wanted to go fast! I raced that ’59 and did pretty well in both low and high speed races.
In the mid-sixties everyone was waiting for the rumored mid-engine Duntov corvette which by the late ‘60’s wasn’t going to happen. When the new C-3 design came out, it reminded me of a Ferrari American so I called Don Yenko and ordered a white ’68 327 coupe. Note: the ’68 big blocks badly under steered and had overheating problems – no thanks!
Folks, I waited 8 months for that car!! While I waited, Don offered me a brand new ’67 grey coupe with a big block Yenko prepared engine for the same money ($4,700.00)!! I turned it down – who was to know?! I finally took delivery of the white ’68 shark in July with a Yenko prepared suspension.
I was lucky to have been around Don Yenko in the ‘60s. I hung around the track and sometimes helped in the pits at eastern races and saw one of the first 289 Cobras clean up “B” production SCCA. Gulf Oil and Grady Davis countered with the Yenko Gulf lightweight Vettes driven by Dr. Dick Thomson only to be crushed by Shelby Cobras. Don was killed when his plane crashed in 1987. Anyone who saw him drive a race car at speed will never forget it!
Some final words, the Shark turns 42 this year and she can tell many stories. It’s not just about winning – it’s about still being around. I am an older kid racing his older car and having a blast!!
Nancy and I are proud to be a part of TCC, ACC and ACR and look forward to lots of good times with good people.