Vetterans - Doug Hooper

Doug Hooper - “Almost everybody broke except for me so I won the race, but that started my whole career professionally with the Corvettes.”

Doug Hooper Corvette Racer

(Doug Hooper passed away Oct 2 2013)

I started racing a ‘57 Corvette in 1958. My teachers were Jerry Austin & Bob Bondurant, whom I heard later said when he was watching me go around the track, you know that Hooper could make a good driver if he doesn’t kill himself. That’s my first racing with the Corvette. I had a ‘32 three window coupe hot rod and a motorcycle that I traded in to get this 57 fuel injected Vette. We won a lot of races with it. Then in 1962 I got a call to come down to Mickey Thompson. He was interested in hiring me for the new Z6 Stingray. So we went down there and picked the car up with a station wagon trailer.

It was Sept 26 1962, so we had 2 or 3 weeks to prepare this car to make it a race car. What a joke that was. They forgot about the brakes, entirely. It was the worst stopping car ever - we figured it out later what it was. There were 4 Corvette Z6’s in the Times Grand Prix 3 hour. Myself for Mickey Thompson Chevrolet; Bob Bondurant for Washburn Chevrolet in Santa Barbara; Jerry Grant for Allan Green and Dave MacDonald for Don Steves in La Habra. Billy was lucky enough to get the first Cobra but we won’t get into all of that! Almost everybody broke except for me so I won the race, but that started my whole career professionally with the Corvettes.

I opened my own business - Doug’s Corvette Service for almost 40 years. Strictly worked on Corvettes, so I had a lot of knowledge about the cars. I gotta say the one thing with Corvette, the one thing they did right was put disc brakes on that car. Before that you might as well have an anchor. You couldn’t stop the car. www.specialcarstore.com/content/petersen-corvette-60th-anniversary-racers-panel-intro

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