Introducing a Rare “Greenwood Daytona” Corvette – The Street Shark
Upon first glance, you might look at this Corvette and dismiss it as another gaudy, over-the-top body kit built by some seventies-era hack who’s watched the movie “Corvette Summer” one too many times. You’d be sorely mistaken.
What you see before you is a 1982 Chevrolet Corvette that has been fitted with a rare Greenwood Daytona body kit. The most extreme of the Greenwood brothers’ kits, the Daytona body kit is a highly sought-after modification that was developed by race-winning specialists Burt and John Greenwood.
This kit was designed to fit on most late model, third-generation Corvettes. In this instance, a 1982 Corvette served as the donor car. The body kit widens and lengthens the stance of the production car. At the same time, its primary focus is to vastly improve the car’s aerodynamics at high speeds. The Greenwood brothers leveraged their years of racing experience when building this kit – and the result is a race-capable body kit that improves the Corvette’s on-track performance.
Building a Dynasty – The Greenwood Brothers
The Greenwood Brothers are actually second-generation car guys. Their father, a World War II fighter pilot, went to work at the GM Tech Center after his tenure in the military. Both John and Burt Greenwood would follow in their father’s footsteps.
John built his first racer from a tube-frame go-kart kit he’d purchased using money from his paper route. The car featured a tiny 2.5-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. Despite its modest stature, it ignited a passion in the brothers that would transform their lives. Each would go on to have a successful career as car fabricators, and as racers. Over time, the brothers began winning races and championships in cars that they had custom-built for the track.
Corvette “Street Sharks”
In 1975, the brothers started building custom, road-legal Corvette race cars using the knowledge they’d gleaned during their time racing at tracks across North America. These cars, most of which featured dramatic styling far more extreme than their production model counterparts, became known as “Street Sharks.”
Between 1975 and 1981, the Greenwood Brothers built five different cars in all, including the GT/Sebring GT, the Sportwagon, the Turbo GT, the GTO, and the Daytona. The brothers also built other Corvettes after this time using licensed body kits manufactured by Eckler’s of Titusville, Florida, but the five Greenwood models were the cars that became the most heavily sought after. In fact, the Eckler’s CanAm kit closely resembled the styling introduced on the Greenwood Corvettes. Ralph Eckler licensed the rights from the Greenwood brothers to build the CamAm Kits, which has created some confusion over the years as these cars are sometimes mistakenly identified as Greenwood Corvettes, even though that is inaccurate.
The Greenwood Daytona Corvette
As stated earlier, the Greenwood Daytona was the most extreme of all the Corvette body kits. It featured a radical fiberglass body kit that included a new nose section, a new hood, sides, and a new rear end which incorporated a larger spoiler on the back for added downforce at high speeds. Each of the custom panels served a specific purpose. The lower nose reduced drag while the huge rear spoiler improved the car’s downforce. Each of the air inlets provided additional cooling to the car’s brake system while the vents above the front fenders pulled hot air from the wheel wells.
In addition to the exterior modifications, each of the Greenwood Daytona Corvettes was fitted with a turbocharger. Two of the Greenwood Daytonas featured a rear five-link suspension with coilover shock absorbers while the others maintained their stock independent rear ends. That said, all Greenwood Daytonas received a heavier anti-roll bar assembly, three-piece BBS wheels, and Kevlar brake cooling fans.
Consider this – a brand new Corvette cost between $18-22k in 1982. When purchasing a Greenwood Daytona, consumers could expect to pay between $37,000 and $53,000 USD, the high end of which was nearly triple the price of the base model car. This was the primary reason that only five examples were ever built.
As Seen In This Article
The 1982 Greenwood Daytona Corvette featured in this article was built using the official Eckler bodykit. Although it is the same body kit that was used by the Greenwood brothers, it is not one of the original five Corvettes discussed earlier in this article.
Nonetheless, this Daytona Corvette is still extremely rare, and therefore, extremely valuable. This example was finished in blue, features BBS “basketweave” wheels, and has matching gold “Greenwood Daytona” decals on its sides, black louvers on its rear glass, and the famed Greenwood signature on the spoiler. Beneath its hood lives a numbers-matching 350-cubic-inch V8 engine paired to a 700R4 four-speed automatic transmission.
Each of the surviving Greenwood Corvette is considered highly valuable by collectors the world over. While they are exceedingly rare, and therefore exceedingly hard to come by, there is an example of a genuine Greenwood Corvette on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.