Volume II, Issue 6, Page 30
Text and photos by John Carollo

ast year, ProTeam Corvette Sales found, restored and auctioned off “The Last Corvette” (MC 11/06) and now their travels have taken them to Switzerland (sort of) to bring home what is being called the Suisse Racer.

Don’t be confused by “Suisse.” That’s how the Swiss spell Swiss, as in Switzerland. And that’s where this arrest-me red (actually Rally Red), purpose-built export 1965 Coupe was sent when it came off the St. Louis assembly line. It was ordered by GM salesman Guido Wermelinger, who raced it after it was delivered to General Motors Auto Koch in Lucerne, Switzerland, more than 40 years ago.

When it went across the pond it had plenty of unique options, most notably a 396 cubic inch, 500 hp (yes, FIVE HUNDRED) engine with factory aluminum cylinder heads. If that sounds vaguely familiar, it was the motor for the L89 Camaro, of which only 311 were ever produced. That very special motor isn’t in the Suisse Racer these days, having been pulled and replaced with a somewhat more expendable racing bullet.

Other OE goodies include an aluminum water pump, racing side exhausts without shields, a teak wood steering wheel, race harnesses, race seats, an M22 4-speed, Posi-traction differential, a special heavy duty suspension and heavy duty disc brakes. If you were going to do some Euro road racing circa 1965, you’d better be loaded for bear. That means having some serious racing goodies as well as a car built sturdy enough to earn the International Automotive Federation (IAF) ratification with ASN seal. This one did.

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