Photos & text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
Nicknamed “Eight Ball” by its original owner Doug Bergen, this 1966 Corvette was driven by well-known racer Bob Johnson of Marietta, OH. It was the first race car for Bergen, who ordered it with the new-for-1966 L72 427/425 HP V-8, M22 4-speed, 12-bolt Positraction with 3.70:1 gears, sidepipes, and radio delete, and a rare combination of Tuxedo Black with Saddle leather interior. It was also the first Corvette Johnson drove in his long and successful career, winning national races right out of the chute at Cumberland Airport, Mid-Ohio, and Marlboro, MD.
The “Eight Ball” went on to terrorize the SCCA Central Division's A Production Class for the next two years. Bergen sold the car in 1968 after returning it to stock, and it was discovered years later in Ohio by Corvette restorer Kevin Mackay and Corvette super-sleuth Dave Reisner, who tracked the car down just 100 miles from Bergen’s home.
After Bergen confirmed the car’s authenticity, Mackay’s Corvette Repair restored it to its 1966 competition specs, refinishing it in its original Black with a central Yellow stripe, hand lettering and sponsor decals, as it had appeared in the Daytona American Road Race of Champions. The Saddle interior is once again outfitted for competition with a racing seat and harness, roll bar, tachometer and auxiliary gauges in place of the radio. Both Doug Bergen and Bob Johnson assisted in the restoration process, providing documentation, photographs and original pieces.