Purple People Eater Chevrolet Corvette
One of the most renowned racing Corvettes in history, this Purple People Eater MKIII Corvette secured the 1959 SCCA National Championship in the B/Production class with Jim Jeffords at the wheel. Presented with an enormous amount of documentation, awards and heritage, the famed Purple People Eater Corvette is being offered from the Chip Miller Collection.
Campaigned by Nickey Chevrolet in 1959, the Purple People Eater is of course aptly named for its non-factory color, which was applied in the Nickey body shop to help the car stand out from other cars on the track. After nearly dominating an entire season, the Purple People Eater 1959 Corvette was sold in 1961, repainted and raced for a few years before being resold into obscurity.
In 1974, Carlisle Events promoter Chip Miller saw the car for sale at his first-ever swap meet. Miller purchased the car for $800 in a 50/50 partnership with restorer Ken Heckert. It's said that Miller and Heckert did not know of the car's winning track record at the time of purchase.
The Purple People Eater started life as a white body/black interior car with the 290hp fuel-injected 283 and a 4-speed manual transmission. Additional specifications include posi-traction, heavy-duty brakes, and suspension and heater delete. Nickey Chevrolet added a hood latch, big fuel tank, safety chains and a roll bar. The stock windshield and frame were removed and replaced with a small, sleek racing windscreen.
Source: Barrett-Jackson press