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1964 Bunkie Knudsen Corvette to be featured at Bloomington Gold

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Not only will the last C4 be inducted into the Bloomington Gold Great Hall on Friday, June 27th at 4:00 pm, this year’s event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair Styling Corvette as well as the 1964 Bunkie Knudsen Styling Corvette, both of which will be featured at the Mid America Motorworks booth. The World’s Fair car is a fuel-injected coupe that was transferred from the assembly line and modified by the Tech Center to feature enlarged front grille, large side exhaust, dual sport side view mirrors, hood cut-out to accommodate the raised fuel injection and 15 coats of candy apple red lacquer paint with matching interior, while the Knudsen Corvette sports a custom Cadillac Fire Frost Blue paint over a specially prepared body surface. The car also features a special hood design, custom large special cast grill, unique front bumper treatment, custom high back bucket seats with an all white leather trim and custom Cadillac carpeting, special toe board stainless polished grates, one-off door panels with power windows.

The Last C4 Corvette was adorned with “ Grand Sport flares and hash marks, ZR-1 wheels, specially embroidered emblems for the seats, windshield graphics and a unique ‘Last C4’ emblem on each side. It was also signed by nearly every plant employee and assembly line worker, in addition to GM dignitaries,” reports Mike Yaeger founder and head cheerleader at Mid America Motorworks, who purchased the Corvette for $400,000 at the Bob McDorman auction in November 2010.

Born October 2,1912 in Bloomington Hills, MI, Semon E. "Bunkie" Knudsen was the son of former GM president William S. Knudsen, and began working for Pontiac in 1939, after graduating from MIT. He later become head of the division, and hired Pete Estes from Oldsmobile as chief engineer as well as (stealing) John DeLorean from Packard to be his assistant to revamp the line by designing “ high performance versions of its existing models.” Among their successes came the Pontiac Bonneville and the "wide-track Pontiacs" came from this effort. In addition, Knudsen was responsible for Pontiac’s involvement with NASCAR. These successes led to his promotion as general manager of Chevrolet in 1961, where he devoted much of his energy introducing that division’s “ Super Sport” models, and strove to improve the safety of the Chevy Corvair, However, he eventually left GM to assume the presidency at Ford after being passed over for the same position at General Motors, which (ironically) went to Corvair designer Ed Cole. Corporate infighting, however, eventually saw Knudsen dismissed from Ford and his job later went to Lee Iacocca (who, himself was similarly dumped in 1978).

Bloomington Gold is the longest running continuous national Corvette show and it's celebrating its 42nd Anniversary at the State Farm Center in Champaign County, IL June 27-29, 2014. For more information on Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA, visit www.BloomingtonGold.com.

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