Dr. Dick Thompson
Drove Corvettes to Fame
Common names in Corvette racing include Fitch, Yenko, DeLorenzo, Jerry Thompson, and others, but “The Flying Dentist” may be the most significant in terms of diversity and success. In 1957, Dr. Thompson won the GT class at Sebring and the SCCA championship driving a Corvette. Bill Mitchell picked him to drive the Original Sting Ray Racer and he won the SCCA national championship in it in 1960. More SCCA championships followed in the 1961 and 1962 Gulf Oil Corvettes.
During the ‘lightweight’ project, Chevrolet Engineering chose Dr. Thompson as a test driver for the Grand Sport program.
From there it was on to more competitive driving for owner Grady Davis and Gulf Oil. Dr. Thompson drove Gulf’s 1963 Z06 (Gulf 1) to success and also became the first driver to race a Grand Sport Corvette. Thompson continued as one of the premier drivers during the heyday of the Grand Sports during the early 1960s.
Thompson drove the rarest and most desirable race cars of his era. The very same Corvettes he drove are treasures parked in today’s most noteworthy collections.
Zora Duntov and company built great Corvettes. Dr. Dick Thompson drove them to fame.