The XP-755 was designed and the prototype was built in the beginning of 1961. Bill Mitchell was very excited about the double-bubble roof, the side exhausts and rear. It is equipped with a single four-barrel carburetor that produces upwards of 425 horsepower. The Corvette XP-755 Concept had a streamlined design, pointed snout and outlandishly future looking elements everywhere. The 1961 Mako Shark I (XP-755) was an early concept.
Built for outright top speed, this prototype Corvette was built by Zora Duntov. He successfully piloted the car to a two-way average speed of 150 mph in January of 1956 at Daytona. Later two more similar cars were built for the 1956 Daytona Speed Weeks in February. After initial resistance from Engineering, Duntov’s cam was delivered to the Proving Ground.
GM’s 1950s Motorama-mobiles were mostly pretty out-there, with flamboyant fins, rocket-inspired skegs and cockpits, and other flights of wild imagination. Frankly, many of them were a bit absurd and even childish. But there were a few that were somewhat down to earth, even rather brilliant, like this 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne.
The Corvette SS began life as an experimental race car, and was unveiled to the public at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race on March 23, 1957. The SS was in training for Chevrolet's debut at LeMans that year. The Sebring race was, in many ways, Chevrolet's inauguration into modern racing. But the SS never finished the race, much to the dismay of the racing community.
Carl Renner was responsible for the Nomad which was essentially a Corvette built with an extended station wagon roof. This meant the Corvette shared its lightweight fiberglass body, ‘Blue Flame’ inline-6 engine and curvaceous styling with the Nomad.
Designed mid-1956 for Harlet Earl’s son Jerry, the SR-2 was put into racing duty in 1957. The car debuted at Daytona Beach in 1957 with a high-speed canopy, fender skirts and bullet-shaped frond headlights. Driven by Betty Skelton and Buck Baker, the car won the modified class with an average speed of 93.074 mph. The SR-2 also finished second in class for the flying mile with a top speed of 152.886 mph.
The “CERV-1” (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle) was developed as a research tool for that company’s continuous investigations into automotive ride and handling phenomena under the most realistic conditions. The car was built at the Chevrolet Engineering Center at Warren, Michigan in a special project headed by Mr. Zora Arkus-Duntov, Chevrolet Staff Engineer.
Designed and built under the personal supervision of Bill Mitchell, the wild-looking XP-700 used many regular Corvette components (frame, chassis parts and engine). Bill Mitchell had a lot of “customs” built for himself. This XP-700 previewed the new tail of the upcoming 1961 Corvette.
The Stingray that never was. The stretched version of this new Corvette model for 1963 has rear seating and was built as ordered by Chevrolet chief Ed Cole. Larry Shinoda designed this coupe, that never went into production because the demand for the two seated Stingray already was overwelming. A running prototype of a 2+2-seat C2 Corvette intended to compete with the Ford Thunderbird was built, but the project was canceled.
In 1959, the bones of the SS were revived when Bill Mitchell secretly funded the Stingray race car. Mitchell purchased the chassis of the 1957 SS race car mule for $500 and had a design team create a new body. Mitchell felt the first generation Corvettes were too rounded and soft, so the Corvette Sting Ray Racer featured a sharper body edge that made it work.
On July of 1955, the Chevrolet design studio staff created a dream car for the 1956 GM Motorama shows, called Corvette Impala. The Corvette grille and grille surround are incorporated, as well as other Corvette components. This hardtop five-passenger sports sedan shows the name "Corvette Impala" on the front emblem and rear license plate.
The engineers came up with a unit-body construction that relied on strength coming from the side sills of the chassis. These contained the exhaust which probably easily overheated the cockpit, especially in the coupe. Unfortunately, GM fitted fake V6 engines in both cars with a concept valve train that included dual overhead camshafts.
The Corvair concept car was initially presented to the public at the 1954 Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan. The Corvair presented at the Waldorf was not the same car that traveled to other Motorama shows throughout the year.
The 1954 Corvette was outfitted with several unique design features. These were the results of two design exercises that included both interior and exterior upgrades. Outwardly, this styling concept is distinguished by its sharkfin headlights which effectively split each headlight down the center.
The Corvette SS racing car and its mule test car were planned as far back as August of 1956, well before the Super Sport show car. However, that one was referred to within GM as the XP-64, and it was finished in march, well after the show car had been on the show circuit for a couple of months.
Based on Harley Earl’s Project Opel plaster model, the EX52 / 122 was the original concept car that inspired the nation and left countless consumers wanting a Corvette to call their own. This Corvette concept was introduced at GM’s Motorama in January 1953.
Duntov laid out three design concepts that took decades to implement. The first was his proposal for the 1957 Q-Corvette. This design called for the following: an all-aluminum, fuel-injected small-block engine, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and a transaxle. This design concept arrived in 1997 as the C5.
Besides a normal convertible model, the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette line-up also featured a hardtop, actually a Convertible Coupe. It was one of the Corvette based Motorama dream cars shown in 1954 and was a version fitted with a removable hardtop. The Advertising Brochure even called out the removable hardtop design.
Somewhere in the second part of 1959, project XP-720 begins at GM Styling, to design a production Corvette based on Bill Mitchell's Sting Ray racer. It would become known as the C2 or second generation Corvette. In October of that same year, a clay mock-up of project XP-720 is completed and put on display for General Motors' management viewing.