Bob Bondurant – Racing – 2016 Corvette Hall of Fame

Bob BondurantRacing Category
2016 Induction

During Corvette’s early years, Bob Bondurant helped to validate the Chevrolet Corvette as a world-class sports car, winning on racetracks both in the U.S. and abroad. Bondurant’s greatest racing achievements came while driving not only Corvette, but also Cobras and Formula One Ferraris. Some highlights of his Corvette achievements include in 1959, he won 18 of 20 SCCA-B production races, winning the West Coast Championship in his 1957 Corvette #51. From 1959-63, Bob won 30 of the 32 races entered, driving the Shelly Washburn 1959 Corvette and the 1963 Z06 Sting Ray, both #614.  In 1967, Bob led the GT Class at Le Mans with co-driver Dick Guldstrand in a stock L88 Corvette Sting Ray until retiring at the 15th hour.

In 1967 while driving a McLaren CanAm car at Watkins Glen, Bondurant was seriously injured in a horrific crash when the steering arm failed at 150 mph. While recuperating in the hospital, he began drafting ideas for a high performance driving school. After a full recovery, he opened the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in 1968 at the Orange County International Raceway. Forty three years later, Bondurant has graduated more than 500,000 students ranging from celebrities, military officers, professional race drivers, teens and driving enthusiasts to be better, safer drivers at his facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Like most racers, I started on ground zero. I am an original California hot-rodder turned WHITE HOT when I started winning everything in my Corvettes,” said Bondurant. “My Corvette race record reflects winning National Corvette Driver of the Year and the big launch pad with Carroll Shelby. I went on to win Le Mans, was the winningest driver on the American team, the first and only one to win the World Manufacturer’s Championship, and lived my dream to be a Formula One driver and work for another legend, Enzo Ferrari. Being inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame is my moment to honor and express my humble appreciation to the #51 and both #614 Corvettes that whispered to me after each win: ‘It’s your destiny to be a champion, now go live your dream’ . . . and I did.”