The atmosphere was electric at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction as bidding began on the very last front engine Corvette ever to be produced, after a glorious 66-year history as 'America's Sports Car'. The 650 horsepower C7 generation Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was expected to command a price well over 7 figures after the first C7 production model received a high bid of $1 million at auction in 2015. Yet after the auction began in Connecticut, the intensity of the competition for this American icon was unprecedented as bidding climbed past $2 million.
Dan Snyder, CEO of digital media company inLighten and founder of Dan Snyder Motorsports rocked last year's Barrett-Jackson Charity Auction when he claimed the last-produced Dodge Viper and Dodge Demon muscle cars. This year, after nerves-of-steel bidding against another determined Corvette collector, when the final hammer dropped Snyder emerged victorious again with his winning, record-setting bid of $2.7 million to benefit charity.
When asked about his new acquisition, Snyder exclaimed, "It's exhilarating to win and a privilege to have the responsibility of caring for these historic vehicles that I believe are an important part of America's heritage. To me, they exemplify American craftsmanship, engineering excellence and manufacturing prowess."
Snyder and his son Mitch have a lifelong enthusiasm for motorsports, leading Dan Snyder Motorsports to become a major sponsor of the successful 2017 privateer effort in which Dodge Vipers, owned by Snyder, set the records for American cars and manual transmission cars on the famed Nürburgring motorsports complex in Nürburg, Germany with a time of 7:01:03. Today these record-holding cars are among over 30 Vipers in Snyder's collection.
The focus on securing highly sought-after performance cars has guided the Snyders in assembling a collection that's approaching 100 vehicles. Snyder explained, "American muscle cars are a vanishing breed and should be preserved and celebrated because they provide a uniquely American driving experience of open roads, unlimited horizons and individual freedom."
The complete $2.7 million proceeds from the auction are being donated to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which assists fallen and injured military members, first responders and their families. Snyder added, "I'm proud to support those individuals who have selflessly sacrificed to serve our nation and protect their neighbors and communities. It's something that's very special to be a part of."
When asked how he'd handle the temptation to get behind the wheel, turn the ignition and let his new Corvette loose for a test drive, Snyder replied, "I believe American muscle cars are made to drive, and not to would be to dishonor them – and to deny myself a lot of fun too!"