Beginning at 6:45 p.m. hundreds of Corvettes will parade from Carlisle Fairgrounds to downtown Carlisle where they will be parked then admired by thousands of Corvette enthusiasts. A presentation ceremony will immediately follow with Carlisle Mayor Kirk Wilson presenting John Fitch with the "Mayor's Key" and an official proclamation.
"Behind every icon, there is a story. The story begins with John Fitch and one of the most historic races in Corvette history," says Lance Miller.
In 1960, John Fitch along with Bob Grossman successfully piloted the Briggs Cunningham #3 Corvette to win its class during the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. This was the first time in history a Corvette ever won its class and a title that stood for over forty years.
Lance's late father, Chip Miller, who was co-founder of Carlisle Events, had the vision not only to find and purchase the legendary Cunningham #3 Corvette, the history-making race car that held its winning status for over 40 years, but to return it to Le Mans, France with its original drivers, if good health allowed. This dream focused on returning the #3 to perhaps the most widely-recognized racetrack in the world and the site where this special C1-era Corvette claimed its famous victory five decades prior. However, a little-known disease called amyloidosis would cut Chip's amazing life short and briefly stall his dream.
Amyloidosis occurs when excessive amounts of abnormal protein, called amyloid, build up in one or more organs to cause a malfunction. Since Chip's passing in March 2004, Lance and his mother, Judy, proudly resumed the pursuit of the dream that meant so much to Chip.
In mid-June of this year, Lance traveled to France along with the only surviving driver of the 1960 Cunningham #3, the legendary John Fitch, to fulfill his father's dream. At age 92, Fitch, who is to this day held in high-esteem in France and Europe, greeted fans, signed autographs, and proudly talked about the white and blue Corvette that he co-piloted to the checkered flag in 1960.
"Fifty years later, Carlisle Events is excited and proud that the Borough of Carlisle is going to honor John Fitch, a man who embodies the spirit of America," said Lance Miller.
"We are so excited to have John Fitch in Downtown Carlisle. It is so rare to have a racing legend, especially one so closely related to Carlisle's largest event, Corvettes at Carlisle, walking the streets of your downtown, and we have a Le Man's winner." added Glenn White, Main Street Manager Downtown Carlisle Association.
For more information please visit www.carlisleevents.com or call (717) 243-7855.
About John Cooper Fitch
John Fitch has led a life that both amazes and inspires those who are lucky enough to know him or know of him. He's been a blue-water sailor, a fighter pilot, a test pilot, a professional racing driver, a team manager, race course director, prolific inventor, highway safety expert, automaker, entrepreneur and dreamer.
He was born John Cooper Fitch in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 4, 1917. He is a descendent of the inventor of the steamboat. His stepfather was an executive with the old Stutz car company so Fitch witnessed auto racing at an early age, attending the Indianapolis 500 race in the passenger seat of a Stutz Bearcat at the Brickyard.
John Fitch's Biography is available online at http://www.racesafety.com