1960 Racing Corvette Spawns Pennsylvania Ownership Lawsuits

An ownership dispute over a 1960 Corvette that participated in a famous sports car race in France is fueling a pair of lawsuits.

Tampa, Fla., resident Dan Mathis Jr. has been battling with a company that puts on car shows in Carlisle and a Valley Stream, N.Y., man, Kevin Mackay, who paid $75,000 for the Corvette this summer, Harrisburg’s The Patriot-News reported on Tuesday.

Mathis says someone stole the car, which participated in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans race, from his father in the 1970s and it resurfaced in August when it was promoted as part of the “Corvettes at Carlisle” auto show, put on by Carlisle Productions in central Pennsylvania. His lawsuit seeks a declaration that the car is his.

Mackay and Carlisle Productions co-owner Lance Miller argue in a county legal action that there is no proof Mathis owns the rusted, unrestored Corvette or that it was ever stolen. A federal judge plans a hearing on the dispute later this month.

The newspaper said Carlisle Productions held a private, invitation-only viewing of the car late last month but canceled plans for a public display during the show after Mathis showed up to assert his claim.

Mathis says he has a title that proves his family owns the car, which was part of the Briggs Cunningham racing team at the 1960 endurance race.

Miller and Mackay say the vehicle surfaced in July in a warehouse in St. Petersburg, Fla., as a man was cleaning out the belongings of his late father, a judge. They say records show the judge, Richard W. Carr, bought the vehicle in Tampa in 1976.

Miller bought the Corvette from the Carr family and sold it to Mackay.