Long-lost 'Purple People Eater' Corvette race car heads to Amelia Island

Famous in auto racing circles for its successes, the Chevrolet Corvette nicknamed "The Purple People Eater" will be on display this weekend in Florida.

By , Guest blogger

  • close
    This custom-built Chevrolet Corvette – nicknamed "The Purple People Eater" – won a series of road races back in the 1950s. The vehicle will be on display this weekend at the Ritz-Carlton and Golf Club of Amelia Island in Florida.
    View Caption

Each year, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance features some of the most remarkable automobiles in the world, but this year it will host a true monster. One car that is sure to grab attention is the restored Corvette racer known as the Purple People Eater.

Named after its unusual purple-and-white paint scheme, the car gained fame by dominating West Coast sports car racing in the late 1950s, with driver Jim Jeffords at the wheel and backing from dealer Nicky Chevrolet.

Race car technology moves fast, though, and soon the Purple People Eater became just another used car. After dropping off the radar for several years, it resurfaced at a classic car event in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1974. However, the car's true identity had been (temporarily) lost to history.

Recommended: Car logos quiz

Luckily, the two men who recovered the car weren't exactly Corvette novices. Chris Miller was the founder of Carlisle Events--which organizes car shows in its namesake Pennsylvania town, including the one where the car was found--while Ken Heckert owned a restoration shop.

Ironically, the Purple People Eater sat in the back of Heckert's shop for years, until Miller set out to find the assumed-to-be-missing car. Obviously, he didn't have to go far to find it.

The restored car will be on display during the entire Amelia Island Concours, which runs from March 7 through 9 at the Ritz-Carlton and Golf Club of Amelia Island in Florida.

_______________________________________

Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...