How do you beat a slew of Fox-Body 5.0 Mustangs that seemingly dominated the roads in the late '80s? You take a 454 cu.-in. big-block engine and stuff into a C4 Corvette and call it "Big Doggie". An experimental vehicle used to determine how to convert from a small block to a big block. Its 454 big block V8 along with its orange paint make this high horsepower engineering study a one-of-a-kind standout in Corvette history. The car had as much HP as the '90 ZR-1 did and it was named "ZR-2" or "Big Doggie". Old dog, new tricks joke?
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.
Chevyt presented a trio of Corvette Stingray concepts. Many of the items fitted to the cars are available through the Chevrolet Accessories and Chevrolet Performance catalogs. Designed with cruising in mind, the Stingray Atlantic convertible concept features stunning Blade Silver paint, while the Stingray Pacific concept is more race-inspired and the Stingray Gran Tourismo was created to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Tourismo video game.
There were several successful attempts to build a convertible ZR-1, most of them by private people. The DR-1 was a GM prototype to test the structural integrity of the ZR-1 chassis when it would be topless. The car was built by American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) for Don Runkle, who was the vice-president of Advanced Engineering Staff, which explains the “DR-1” designation. It was a standard convertible transformed to ZR-1 specs.
The XP-895 was one in a series of experimental Corvettes built to explore alternative engine placements and chassis layouts. This vehicle features an 400 cid small block V8 mounted transversely in a mid-engine position. It utilizes a Turbo Hydramatic transmission via a bevel gear box. The body panels are all aluminum.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 Spyder prototype, 1991, by ASC. An experimental styling prototype ordered by Don Runkle, Chevrolet’s chief engineer, to see how far the ZR-1 might be pushed in convertible form. The windshield was chopped in half and the seats were mounted directly to the floorpan. The black example in the National Corvette Museum was originally painted Sebring Silver with a Neutrino Yellow interior.
The XP-819 Corvette prototype was introduced in 1964 by Frank WInchell and Larry Shinoda as the first, experimental, rear-engine Corvette coupe. The XP-819 was developed in the mid-1960's as an engineering exercise to determine if a rear-engine platform was right for the Corvette program. During that time, Chevrolet was still under a racing ban.
The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Track Car Concept was designed to suggest new components and a new idea for transforming a production Corvette into a serious and closed-course track car. This track car concept was developed and produced by Chevrolet in partnership with Pratt and Miller, the partners in Corvette Racing in the American LeMans Series. The competition-oriented modifications of the concept include a polycarbonate rear window, roll cage, safety harness, racing seat.
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.
The GS II (Grand Sport II) was a test vehicle completed in late 1963 by Chevrolet Engineering Center (C.E.C.). The chassis was constructed of spot-welded sheet steel and was fitted with narrow tires. With only minor testing done at GM’s test facility in Michigan, the vehicle was shipped to Texas to the Chaparral Cars test facility.
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.
The Manta Ray was actually the 1965 Mako Shark II (XP-830) with a few upgrades, so it featured many of the Mako II's outward features, such as side exhausts and a lower-body (along the rocker panels) silver paint job. The front end had a pointed chin spoiler and the headlights used 2 banks of 3 quartz-halogen lights.
This is no ordinary C4 coupe, but a GM Engineering test mule with VIN plate EX4607 proudly displayed in the windscreen, built in 1986 to test all the new-for-1988 features. This actual car must have spent weeks pounding round the General Motors Proving Ground at Milford, Michigan with longer runs on the road, testing all the changes for a year which saw the C4 suspension, steering and brakes vastly improved.
Chevrolet Corvette “Tiger Shark” Concept, 1997. A C5 Corvette powered by an alloy 742hp LS1 427ci supercharged V8. Other modifications included upgraded Brembo brakes, 18-inch Kinesis Motorsport K58 forged wheels and a hood dome to clear the supercharger. It was built by Detroit prototype shop Wheel-To-Wheel and sold for $112,200 in 2009 at the GM Heritage car auction.
This vehicle pioneered the advantages of “Active Suspension” and had GTP Corvette race car technology. Built at the Bowling Green Plant, this vehicle was developed as a prototype for a limited edition run in the 1990 model year. Chevrolet ordered it to be built with a complex, high-tech active suspension that includes an Eaton hydraulic pump and Moog actuators. This car and the technology inside of it led to the Active Handling system GM released in 1996.
In 1983, Bertone began to explore the possibility of approaching the US market with the Ramarro, an exercise in applied technology around mass-produced mechanics. The Ramarro, which means "green lizard" in Italian, was created on the chassis of the well-known Chevrolet Corvette, and the underlying concept aimed to modify the layout of the mechanical components.
In the late 80s, Chevy was developing what some dubbed a ‘Super Vette.’ But the 1989 debut of the Dodge Viper sent GM engineers on a new path to develop a ‘Viper-Killer.’ It started with a factory test mule and the experiment was to see how a ZR-1 would perform if given more power and less weight. It was so fast it was called "Snake Skinnner", for it's ability to beat the Viper and Cobra.
In January 1990, Chevrolet unveiled the CERV III (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle No. 3) at the Detroit International Auto Show....
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.
The 1963 Wedge Corvette split windshield concept was a sleek, front-engine design study that revived the Q Corvette’s split-windshield gullwing-style doors with a short, bobbed tail. Late in 1963, a GM Styling team under Henry Haga prepared this future Corvette proposal. Its sophisticated lines included side-mounted exhaust pipes.
Though the first two prototype cars to carry the Astro namesake were relatively well known, the third entry in this conceptual saga was somewhat obscure and significantly more bizarre. At the 1969 Chicago Motor Show, Chevrolet unveiled the Astro III which was a gas-turbine prototype that featured a tricycle wheel arrangement.
To clothe the 1965 mid engine Corvette chassis, the designers at Styling Staff proposed a much more radical shape than Zora Arkus Duntov, the main force behind a mid engine Corvette, had in mind. It would have provided rear vision solely through a periscope. The design had bold air intakes at the rear and a split windscreen that lifted up with the gullwing doors.
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.
The Astro II was one of the most significant case studies of Duntov’s outright refusal to let his mid-engine dreams die, and as such, ultimately entered the history books as a precursor to the eventual mid-engine, C8 Corvettes of today. The Astro II was designed in a way that was more representative of the Corvette’s typical styling cues, than that of The Astro I.
The 1986 Corvette Indy Prototype was developed beyond clay modeling to the point of a fully-functioning, drivable car, though it was clearly understood that this car would never evolve beyond the prototype stage. Like the clay mock-up before it, development of the mid-engine Indy prototype began in 1985, pulling design cues from its predecessor.
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.
The first of these cars was the 1985 Corvette Indy Concept vehicle. It was developed as a “pushmobile,” meaning that it was a non-functioning, full-size clay mockup that was developed to test market interest in the concept. The car featured the same mid-engine configuration that Zora Arkus-Duntov had always envisioned for the Corvette program.
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.
One of the most beautiful concept cars created by GM was the XP-822 later called the Aerovette. Zora Arkus Duntov and his engineers had originally built two predecessors during 1969. John DeLorean, Chevrolet's general manager, felt the program was too expensive and canceled the car.