A piece of Corvette Racing history joins Museum collection
Social media connects us to loved ones far away, childhood friends, neighbors, acquaintances and sometimes even people who simply share a common interest. Through that media we share photos of cars, pets, children, fancy meals, landmarks and more. And occasionally we may share items for sale. When you do, you just never know who may inquire about the items. It was through a social media post that this donation story came to be.
Gabriele Webster and her husband OJ are Corvette collectors, and in her search online for Corvette memorabilia she ran across two Corvette Racing team scooters for sale – a #3 and #4 used in the pits for their respective C5-R teams. While they were posted as a pair, Gabriele decided to purchase just one – the #3. It had passed through several Corvette Racing collector’s hands, and she made the purchase in December of 2015.
The scooter came with a signed certificate of authenticity and was fully documented – having been used for two seasons by the Pratt & Miller Corvette team. It was originally signed by Program Manager Doug Fehan, as well as drivers Max Papis, Andy Pilgrim and Ron Fellows – though Ron’s signature had worn off over the years.
“I remember we were all excited when the scooters showed up,” said Andy Pilgrim, former Corvette Racing driver. “I zoomed off on one and rode around for a few minutes. When I arrived back there was word going around that Doug Fehan didn’t want them disappearing for hours at a time, adding they were for marketing and team management. Fun over I thought. Later that day I was wandering around turn 3 and saw Kelly Collins and Franck Freon up there with the scooters. It was obvious to me one of them had been ‘dropped’ as we biker types say. In other words, someone had crashed it and it was scraped up on one side. I asked Kelly if he knew what had happened. We all looked at each other and nobody said a word. We could almost feel the wrath of ‘The Fehan’ from turn 3. When I got back to the trailer the scooters were already there. Amazingly, I never heard another word about it. I remained scared to this very day that Doug is just waiting for the right opportunity to delivery his lightning bolt.”
Gabriele decided after two years of ownership she would try to resell it online. That’s when Adam Boca, agent with the NCM Insurance Agency, saw it.
“I’ve known the Websters since 1998 or 1999 through Museum events, and they’re members of the Museum,” said Adam. “I started off by commenting on her post – saying ‘that would be awesome as part of our collection.’”
Adam then spoke with Museum Curator Derek Moore to see if the scooter would be something we would like to have in the collection. After giving a definitive ‘yes,’ Adam messaged Gabriele about the scooter. “I asked if she’d consider donating it because of its role in racing history.” In less than an hour – Gabriele had made her decision. “OK you’ve talked me into it. It’s here at your convenience.”
Derek and Adam drove to Montgomery, AL to pick-up the scooter, and it will be displayed as part of the exhibit Louis to Le Mans, featuring the history of Chevrolet Racing, opening in June. Thank you to Gabriele for her generosity!