DOUG HOOPER MARCH 12, 1933 - OCTOBER 2, 2013

2007 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Doug Hooper began racing in 1959 behind the wheel of his 1957 Corvette. His gripping story is told in this video.  For more, please see follow Jim Gessner’s write-up below.

A regular participant at Cal Club and SCCA Events, Doug and his achievements made him a world-class racer.  He won the SCCA Pacific Coast Championship five times and was one of the first drivers to bring the Corvette to the international stage with his win in the “Times Grand Prix” in Riverside, California on October 13, 1962.


Chevrolet introduced the new Sting Ray that weekend at Riverside.  Dave MacDonald, Bob Bondurant, Jerry Grant and Doug each drove the new split window coupes, equipped with the now legendary ZO6 racing package option. Billy Krause drove the first Shelby Cobra ever to race that day.  The lighter weight Cobra’s edge was soon evident but its suspension broke half way through the three hour race.  Doug’s Mickey Thompson sponsored # 119 ZO6 won the production class averaging 84.06 mph in front of 78,000 spectators.

In December 1962, at a special Z0-6 brake test session at Sebring, Zora Arkus-Duntov approached Doug and asked him to test his new secret project – the Grand Sport “lightweight” designed to beat the Cobras.   Following the test, Doug was scheduled to co-drive it with Billy Krause at Lemans.  In mid-February 1963, Doug appeared in the Daytona Continental 3 hr race in another Mickey Thompson Corvette.  When June arrived, GM had discovered and killed off Zora’s secret project.   Five Grand Sport examples were quietly placed in the hands of leading privateers.

That summer of 63, Doug had many wins racing all over the West and opened “Doug's Corvette Service” in North Hollywood, California which became one of the premier Corvette and Rochester Fuel Injection repair shops in the country.  In addition to the shop and racing, Doug became a Reserve Police officer for L.A.P.D.


Doug kept active and in 1993 was asked to prepare and drive the original #001, 1963 Grand Sport in vintage races across the country. This was the same car he tested at Sebring some 30 years earlier! Making its only appearance, car # 10 drew quite a bit of attention at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1966 with a 427 L-88 big block motor installed by Roger Penske and piloted by legends Dick Thompson and Dick Guldstrand. It gets even more attention today despite its retirement before the 3 hour mark. # 001 was found, restored and displayed but had not really run for years. Doug invested his experience and expertise to make it handle and perform. Doug won a great deal of admiration and attention in the process and it seems his legend and that of the car are going to live on.