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did all astronauts drive corvettes

by Mr. Christophe Stehr Published 4 months ago Updated 2 months ago
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The first American astronauts all drove Chevy Corvettes

Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette, colloquially known as the Vette or Chevy Corvette, is a historically front engine, rear drive, two-door, two-passenger sports car manufactured and marketed by Chevrolet across more than 60 years of production and seven design generations—with GM confirming i…

, helping to create the image of the 'Vette as 'America's sports car'. Astronauts are almost by definition men (and women) who have a special relationship with machines. Where are the astronauts Corvettes?

So they made a deal to lease any vehicle to NASA astronauts for the nominal fee of $1.00. Six of the seven Mercury
Mercury
Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, running from 1958 through 1963. An early highlight of the Space Race, its goal was to put a man into Earth orbit and return him safely, ideally before the Soviet Union.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Project_Mercury
astronauts had a Corvette
. John Glenn infamously drove a NSU Prinz. The deal ended because it was of questionable ethics to make a sweetheart deal like that available to government employees.
Feb 26, 2021

Full Answer

Did Apollo astronauts drive corvettes?

After returning from his Mercury mission, he was gifted a Corvette by the President of General Motors Ed Cole in 1962. A collaboration between Florida Corvette dealer (and Indy 500 winner) Jim Rathmann and Ed Cole would provide Corvettes on a special lease program to Apollo astronauts.

What cars do astronauts drive?

The astronauts’ passion for speed, performance, and power translated well to their choice of vehicles. Alan Shepard was the first astronaut to be rocketed to space; The first vehicle he drove upon landing was a ’57 Corvette.

What kind of car did Alan Shepard drive in space?

Alan Shepard was the first astronaut to be rocketed to space; The first vehicle he drove upon landing was a ’57 Corvette. Since 1961, astronauts have cultivated a remarkable relationship with Chevy Corvettes.

Why did GM give away cars to astronauts in space?

GM saw both a service and a marketing opportunity with the astronauts’ fame. GM President Ed Cole gave Alan Shepard, the first American in space, a 1962 Corvette as a gift for his service to his country, though it was not in character for GM to give away cars; not even to astronauts.

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Did NASA astronauts get Corvettes?

Astronauts continued to lease Corvettes, though they did eventually return them to Chevy. Apollo 12 astronauts and their custom Corvettes | Ralph Morse / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images. Pretty soon, Corvettes were as essential a part of the astronaut lifestyle as the vehicles that took them to space.

Why did so many astronauts have Corvettes?

Mostly these were British sports cars like Triumphs, but there was a discernible propensity among some of these wannabe-space-pilots to buy up used 1950s Chevrolet Corvettes, too. They were fast, affordable, and gave them the sense of danger they so badly craved when they weren't undergoing their rigorous training.

What happened to the astronauts Corvette?

The three astronauts returned the cars at the end of their lease, and they were sold into private ownership. Three of the six custom Corvettes, including Worden's, eventually ended up with Corvette collector Danny Reed, and two years ago, Penczak convinced Reed to sell the one his grandfather drove.

Did Neil Armstrong drive a Corvette?

Armstrong drove the '67 Sting Ray around for a year and, as the lease agreement allowed, traded it in for a Corvette convertible in 1968 (via Haggerty). The day after Armstrong turned in his Marina Blue coupe, a NASA employee purchased it and kept it for 44 years, according to Hemmings.

How much did Alan Shepard's Corvette sell for?

Lot #1420 ALAN SHEPARD'S 1968 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427/435 CONVERTIBLEAuctionScottsdale 2022StatusSoldPrice$308,000.00Lot1420Year19686 more rows

Who gave the astronauts Corvettes?

Rathmann, a gearhead and former race car driver, who had won the Indianapolis 500 in 1960, approached GM and negotiated a leasing deal for all of the Mercury astronauts. For exactly $1 a year, each of the Mercury 7 astronauts could lease the latest Corvette and trade in for a new one each year.

What happened to Jim Lovell's Corvette?

Grissom had barely had time to drive the car before his death in the Apollo 1 fire along with Ed White and Roger Chaffee. The car survives today in the hands of a collector, as does Neil Armstrong's 1967 Marina Blue Sting Ray, and Jim Lovell's Silverstone Silver 1968 Corvette.

What happened Molly Cobb?

Karen Baldwin (Shantel VanSanten) and Molly Cobb (Sonya Walger) die in the explosion. Both characters have been huge fan favorites, and it speaks to the power of For All Mankind that the show would dare to kill them off.

Where are the Apollo 15 Corvettes?

The Apollo 12 and Apollo 15 cars of Danny Reed are on display at the National Corvette Museum exhibit “From Gas Station to Space Station” that opened in February and runs through July celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

How much did Neil Armstrong's Corvette sell for?

An eBay auction for a beat-up 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, purportedly first owned by astronaut Neil Armstrong, ended Sunday evening with a final sky-high hammer price of $250,090.

What year is the Corvette in Apollo 13 movie?

The cars of the stars To begin with, Jim Lovell and his wife Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan) drive a bright red 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C3 during a scene in 1970.

What year Corvette did Neil Armstrong Drive?

1967In 1967, Neil Armstrong took delivery of a blue Corvette Coupe, equipped with the 390 horsepower, 427 cubic-inch V-8 mated to a four-speed transmission. Armstrong drove the car for a year, before upgrading to a 1968 model.

What cars did astronauts use?

Everyone who knows anything about NASA knows the Chevrolet Corvette was the astronauts' car of choice in the 1960s. After Corvette aficionado Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, GM president Ed Cole presented him with a white 1962 Corvette.

What happened to the Apollo Corvettes?

Unfortunately for Corvette collectors, the astronaut's Corvettes were turned in at the end of the one-year period and were sold to the general public. Once assimilated into the general Corvette population, the astronaut's Vettes disappeared from public view.

Did Jim Lovell drive a Corvette?

James Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13, said in an oral history interview he went through about three Corvettes during his time as an astronaut, which was a step up from his family station wagon. The history between the first American spacemen and the sports car has continued for more than half a century.

Did Jim Lovell own a Corvette?

The car survives today in the hands of a collector, as does Neil Armstrong's 1967 Marina Blue Sting Ray, and Jim Lovell's Silverstone Silver 1968 Corvette.

Who is the astronaut in the C2 Corvette?

Here's one of the many Corvette concepts GM produced over the years, rolled out for the occasion. Astronaut Gus Grissom in his C2 Corvette. And a final shot of Scott Kelly on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center. This is Kelly's C7, but Kelly told us he's eager to get behind the wheel of the C8 Corvette.

Who drove the 1969 Corvette?

Yes, that's Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and his 1969 C3 Corvette. Astronauts James Irwin, Alfred Worden and David Scott drove matching (and patriotic) Corvettes, seen here next to the lunar rover that was destined for Apollo 15. Here's Alan Shepard with his 1962 Corvette on the cover of Corvette News Magazine.

What type of car is Apollo 12?

Here's the crew of Apollo 12 astride their custom-painted C3 Corvettes.

Who is Scott Kelly?

It's a love story nearly as long as old as the space program itself. This is Scott Kelly, retired astronaut and, as it turns out, huge Corvette fan. He's the latest in a long line of otherworldly Corvette fans. Here's the crew of Apollo 12 astride their custom-painted C3 Corvettes.

What car did John Glenn drive?

While all his compatriots commuted in hotted-up sports cars, Glenn trundled back and forth in a diminutive NSU Prinz, a car which had maybe one-tenth the horsepower of the others’ Corvettes. Glenn was unlike the other astronauts.

Who was the first American to go to space?

Alan Shepard and his 1962 Corvette Photo by General Motors. In 1961 when Alan Shepard became the first American in space, he was given a brand-new 1962 Chevrolet Corvette as a gift upon his return. (For being the first ever man in space, Yuri Gagarin recieved a Matra Djet.)

What kind of wheels did Grissom have?

Grissom’s car was equipped with wide magnesium wheels and fender flares to house them. The specs chosen on their cars reveals their desire to have the hottest thing around. Nearly all the astronauts ordered their cars with gnarly big-block engines, and every single one was equipped with a four-speed manual.

When did the Corvette gravy train end?

Article content. Though Glenn may not have liked it, the gravy train of free Corvettes rolled until 1971, when GM officially ended the program. Al Worden’s 1971 454 Corvette coupe still survives with its original weathered paint.

Who graduated from Austin-Healey to a Maserati?

Not all it must be said, chose Corvettes. Per Wolfe’s book, Wally Shirra graduated from an Austin-Healey to a Maserati; and Scott Carpenter got his hands on an honest-to-goodness Shelby Cobra. All of them were determined to prove to each other and to Rathmann they were hot-shoe drivers capable of taming these overpowered beasts.

What was the Cape in the 1960s?

In the 1960s, The Cape became the sandy, sun-drenched playground for America’s newly famous breed of pilots. And it wasn’t long before they turned its miles of barren black tarmac into strips for booze-fuelled races, dodging oncoming cars and spinning out onto the shoulders when your luck ran out.

What was the first vehicle astronauts drove?

Alan Shepard was the first astronaut to be rocketed to space; The first vehicle he drove upon landing was a ’57 Corvette. When the original Apollo mission embarked on its historic mission to the moon just over 50 years ago, the astronauts obtained matching 1969 Stingrays designed by Alan Bean.

Who was the first American astronaut?

Alan Shepard Jr. was the first American in space, an astronaut of the Project Mercury Seven program. His choice of vehicle when attending Space Program training was a 1957 Chevy Corvette. After returning from his Mercury mission, he was gifted a Corvette by the President of General Motors Ed Cole in 1962.

What engine did the Shepard have?

When Jim Rathmann created the special lease program for astronauts, Shepard obtained a 1968 ‘Vette with a 427ci V8 that made 435 horsepower and included a tri-power carburetor. The engine was a L71 big block fitted with aluminum heads. The exterior was painted in “Polar White” with a striking black interior.

What does CDR stand for in a Corvette?

Each Corvette had color-coded badges that reflected each astronaut’s position when they were in space: “LMP” represented lunar module pilot, “CMP” was the command module pilot, and “CDR” stood for commander. These were coordinated with the same color codes they used to differentiate their personal items on the Apollo 12 mission craft.

How much horsepower did a 1969 Chevy have?

The 1969 Chevy had a 426.9ci V8 with a Rochester carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission. It was capable of 390 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Who is the Sherlock Holmes of Astronaut Corvettes?

Danny Reed: the Sherlock Holmes of Astronaut Corvettes. Like all good detectives, Corvette expert Danny Reed of Austin Texas has a good memory. One day in 1971 as he was driving past a local General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) used car lot, he spotted a unique Corvette that triggered his memory banks—he remembered it was in ...

Who owns Alan Bean's Corvette?

Danny was now the owner of Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean’s Corvette. Reed’s pride and joy is fully restored to original standards and is the only Corvette to receive the NCRS Duntov Award of Excellence and the NCRS American Heritage Award.

What was the name of the first manned space flight?

Al Worden’s 1971 Corvette and Alan Bean’s 1969 Corvette. Corvettes have been associated with America’s manned space program from Alan Shepard’s first sub-orbital Mercury flight in the Freedom 7 capsule on May 5, 1961 to the final flight of Apollo 17 landing astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt on the moon on December 11, 1972.

What color was the Corvette on Apollo 15?

The ’71 Corvette coupe was Classic White with red and blue stripes corresponding to the patriotic red-white-and-blue paint schemes of the Apollo 15 Corvettes—Commander Dave Scott’s Corvette was Bridgehampton Blue with red and white stripes, and Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin’s Corvette was Mille Miglia Red with blue and white strips, meaning Reed’s car once belonged to Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden.

What car did Betty Skelton drive?

A red 1965 Corvette convertible that once belonged to Betty Skelton is also part of the exhibit. One could write several books about Ms. Skelton’s accomplishments in aviation and in the automotive world.

Who was the detective in the Corvette?

Only a few devoted Corvette detectives were aware of the VINs or the special characteristics of the astronaut’s Corvettes and they were always on the lookout for one coming on the market. Danny Reed was one such Corvette detective.

Did the astronauts in the Corvette disappear?

Once assimilated into the general Corvette population, the astronaut’s Vettes disappeared from public view. Only a few devoted Corvette detectives were aware of the VINs or the special characteristics of the astronaut’s Corvettes and they were always on the lookout for one coming on the market. Danny Reed was one such Corvette detective.

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