Rick Hendrick Says He’ll Never Drive His $3M Chevy Corvette Stingray C8
It’ll simply join his 120 other ‘Vettes, many of which are also VIN 001s.
Over the weekend, auto dealer and motorsports mogul Rick Hendrick attended the 49th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, where he placed the final hammer-dropping bid on the very first road-going mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8. His winning bid pledged $3 million for the opportunity to take home the keys to VIN 0001, money which will ultimately be a charitable contribution to the Detroit Children's Fund.
Unlike most Corvettes on the road, this particular variant won't be spending its weekends stretching its legs on the open road, however. Given its highly desirable VIN, this car will spend the majority of its life in a meticulously maintained showroom, never to feel the warm touch of pavement on its sticky rubber.
“I won’t ever drive it," Hendrick told the Detroit Free Press after ushering the winning bid. "I’ll put it away."
You won't find this car at any of Hendrick's 94 auto dealerships, not even at the 15 which exclusively sell Chevrolet vehicles and have about 1,000 preorders for the hotly anticipated 'Vette. Instead, the first C8 will forever live in a 58,000 square-foot warehouse known as the Hendrick Heritage Center. The invitation-only private collection can be found at Hendrick Motor Sports campus in Concord, North Carolina and is home to 210 cars, 120 of which are Corvettes.
If it isn't apparent already, Hendrick is an avid Corvette collector. The platform has been a staple in Hendrick's life since his twenties when he and his wife-to-be took out his 1963 Corvette Stingray Roadster on their very first date. He also owns a number of low-serial Corvettes, including the first units built in 1955, 1956, and 1957, as well as the first Corvette ZR1 built in 1989. His collection continued to grow, eventually becoming too large to regularly drive.
"My favorite Corvette of all them was a 1967 Corvette 427 big block," said Hendrick. "That was the second generation, but it was the first Stingray. It had hideaway headlights, it had the factory side pipes and the 427 engine. I have 32 of them, in every color."
It's only fitting for Hendrick to finally pick up the Corvette he had been dreaming about since he first read of GM's concepts in hot rod magazines back in the day. The C8 might be the first mid-engine Corvette to make it to production, but it's actually the automaker's eighth attempt to build a mid-engine unit since 1964, including two rotary-powered examples in the '70s. And while Hendrick might use this Z51 C8 as a never-driven trophy piece in his collection, GM President Mark Reuss has already treated him to a trot in a pre-production C8.
Speaking of pre-production, the car that Hendrick actually bid on at Scottsdale was just that: a pre-production placeholder of sorts. The Corvette aficionado's actual car will be built towards the end of February in Bowling Green based on his unique specifications. Hendrick intends to be there to watch the car roll off the assembly line and store the vehicle at the nearby Corvette Museum for a few days before taking it home.
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