Please, Look At This Photo of America

Red and white and blue and asphalt.

byBen Keeshin|
Please, Look At This Photo of America


Do you love America so much that you bleed Corvette Gypsy Red? Do you believe great racetracks can have only one turn? Are you wearing rocketship underpants right now?

Worship your new god: This 1970 photograph of a NASA promotional Corvette lapping Daytona with a real-life astronaut waving through the T-Top. (Alright, probably a real-life astronaut suit full of whichever Cape Canaveral intern drew the short straw.) Please, appreciate the color scheme. White Corvette Stingray, white-wall tires, white space suit, Old Glory patch and red-blue USA signage. Courageously splashed against a palette of asphalt-grey, our nation’s unofficial fourth color, this constitutes our most stylish representation of freedom to date.

Despite the signage—uh, duct tape usually connotes a yard sale, not a superpower’s astrophysics division—this Corvette was part of a long-standing relationship between NASA and GM. The first American in space, Alan Shepard, drove to training in a ’57 ‘Vette. Five years later, he received the first C3 directly from GM as a gift.  Three of the Apollo 12 astronauts ordered matching 427 Stingrays in custom black-and-gold, a de facto NASA endorsement.

It’s the alpha and omega, a totem of all earthly planes: The Corvette’s shark-like styling recalls the sea, it’s thick tires massage the land and the astronaut prepares to fly through air toward the final frontier. Get to prayer—you’re no godless Communist.