Get Ad-Free Access: Just $39/year

Have You Seen The Spectacularly 80s Greenwood Daytona Turbo With A Zora Connection?

This 1981 relic recently hammered for six figures. Did the autograph from Zora Arkus-Duntov help, or was it the pure Greenwood rarity?

This 1981 Greenwood Daytona Turbo screams 80s, and we love it! Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson

If you happened to see this 1981 Greenwood Daytona Turbo out in the wild, at first glance, you might shrug it off as another gaudy, outlandish body kit cobbled together by some 70s-era shade-tree wanna-be designer who just finished binge-watching the classic “Corvette Summer” hit with Mark Hamill. You wouldn’t be alone if you fell into this trap.

These fiberglass creations from Burt and John Greenwood walked the fine line between a punchline for 70s-era styling and an iconic design that would be appreciated for decades. Have the over-the-top Greenwood designs aged like fine wine, or are they like bell bottoms trying to be cool in 2024? As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I’ve always appreciated the cool lines and look of the Greenwood body kits for the C4, but many may forget just how special and rare the original and authentic Greenwood Corvettes were. Between 1975 and 1981, the Greenwood Brothers built just five different cars, including the GT/Sebring GT, the Sportwagon, the Turbo GT, the GTO, and the Daytona. After this time, the brothers also built other Corvettes using licensed body kits manufactured by Eckler’s of Titusville, Florida.

The relationship between the Greenwoods and Ecklers tends to water down the exclusivity of these first five vehicles and their standing in the collector world. In fact, after Ralph Eckler licensed the rights from the Greenwood brothers to build the CamAm Kits, the resulting product resembled the original Greenwoods so closely that the “kit cars” were sometimes mistaken for authentic Greenwood Corvettes.

Now, it’s time to meet the 1981 Greenwood Daytona Turbo, number 002 of the five, that recently sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction for a whopping $247,500. That sale price should put to rest any bell bottom analogies, and we have a video below of this eye-watering sale straight from the auction block. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the eclectic Greenwood brothers and some of their masterpieces, we have our CorvSport archives listed below.

And here’s that autograph, which likely added thousands to the hammer price. The autographs from the Greenwood brothers probably didn’t hurt, either!

More Highlights From #002:

  • 26,606 actual miles
  • This authentic 1981 Chevrolet Corvette Greenwood Daytona Turbo, Daytona Turbo No. 2, has been previously displayed in the National Corvette Museum.
  • Powered by a turbocharged 350ci V8 engine (with approximately 450hp) mated to an automatic transmission.
  • Equipped with BBS racing wheels and removable Kevlar cooling shields that cool the brakes.
  • The custom body panels are all calculated for best driving performance.
  • John Greenwood modified the front suspension and the 5-link rear suspension, an original John Greenwood design.
  • The rear hatch was specially designed for the curvature of the body, and it opens.
  • John Greenwood signed the dash, and Burt Greenwood and Zora Arkus-Duntov signed the extra air cleaner cover.
  • Direct link to the Barrett-Jackson listing

Deeper Dives From The CorvSport Archives:

This excerpt from John Zimmermann’s “Twisting in the Wind—The Greenwood Corvettes” details the beginning of the Greenwoods’ racing history.

In the world of motorsports, the wind genie escaped from his bottle during the mid-1960s, and once racers came to realize he was not going to be enticed back inside, they typically began exploring the myriad ways to make the new science of aerodynamics work to their advantage.

This, of course, inspired the sport’s rulesmakers to try to control what could and could not be done to the cars, which sent everyone in search of loopholes that would let them circumvent the regulations with inventive new ways to make their cars ever better and ever faster.

One of the best at this was John Greenwood, the son of a General Motors executive. Young Greenwood had first encountered automotive competition in the streets of his native Detroit during the early ’60s, where he initially drag-raced his ’55 Pontiac before switching to first a Chevy Impala 409 and then, mid-decade, a ’64 Corvette coupe. He would stuff the silver Vette’s engine bay with the biggest power plants he could find, incrementally installing a 409 and a 427, then wasting no time in putting an L-88 into his brand-new ’68 Corvette…

Thanks for joining CorvSport on this walk down Greenwood memory lane. Here are more pictures of this rare Daytona Turbo, with the auction block video available for viewing below.  Douglas B.

Photo Gallery

Feature Video