Apollo 12 Astronaut Alan Bean’s 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Starting in 1961, General Motors offered a program to all astronauts – lease a Chevrolet Corvette for $1/year. Each would come from a former Indy 500 winner and GM dealer, Jim Rathmann, who owned a dealership close to the Space Center in Florida.
The fourth human to walk on the moon, Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot in 1969, took part in the lease program. Along with his colleagues (all of which had a hand in designing the color scheme) Bean, Pete Conrad, Mission Commander; and Dick Gordon, Command Module Pilot, chose a gold and black color combination. On the front left fender of each car was a red, white and blue plaque, in each square were: LMP, CDR and CMP, to stand for the positions they held on the mission.
This Corvette won a Top Flight award (with more than 97 points) at the 2002 National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) National Meet, and in 2003 won the coveted Duntov Award of Excellence at the NCRS Nationals. In 2008, the car also won the NCRS American Heritage Award “for the preservation of a historically significant piece of Corvette history” at the NCRS Nationals, making it the only Corvette in history to win both Duntov and Heritage awards. To date, the car has just over 35,000 original miles on its odometer.
Of the three custom-ordered 390-hp, 427 Stingray coupes, only the Corvette formerly owned by Alan Bean survives. The current owner, Danny Reed, has owned the car for 48 years.
On display September 12-19th