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.
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.
The Corvette Rondine concept was built by Pinanfarina and introduced at the 1963 Paris Motor Show. The car started life as a 1963 split-window Corvette, which is all the more unusual because Chevrolet introduced the split-window coupe at the same time that Pinanfarina was introducing a custom-built Corvette based on that very same platform.
For the 1964 New York World's Fair, Bill Mitchell and his Styling team at the Tech Center customized a production Sting Ray under Shop Order #10361 with a variety of items that transformed the already impressive Corvette into a showpiece like no other. An opening was cut into the center of the car's hood exposing a polished fuel injection manifold with the Corvette crossed flags in its very center.
SIDESWIPE takes the form of a sleek, vision concept dreamed up by the Corvette designers at GM. The design is influenced by the original Stingray race car, introduced in 1959, but also draws on Corvette heritage cues from other generations. It brings them together in a futuristic shape that seems to be equal parts racecar and space ship.
While it was understood that the Corvette Indy Concept would never be fully realized as a production vehicle, it paved the way for the creation of the twin-turbo CERV III. The CERV III (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle No. 3) was introduced in January, 1990 at the International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Like the latter iteration of the Corvette Indy Concept car, the CERV III was fitted with a 5.7 Liter, 32-valve, dual-overhead cam LT5 engine that featured twin turbochargers. It had 650 hp and 655 lb/ft of torque and top speed of 225 mph.
Chevrolet had actually planned on making a family minded sports car at a rate of 40 per year, and to call it "Corvette America." It was designed by California Custom Coach in Pasadena. The one prototype and five production cars that were assembled were built by cutting two cars in half which, when mated together, extended the wheelbase of the vehicle by 30 inches.
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.
If you were a senior GM employee, one of the perks was being able to have your own custom built for you. Bill Mitchell was known for it, but this SR-2 Lookalike was built for GM president Harlow Curtis, who was president of GM during the period that the SR-2 were developed. The lookalike was built by GM’s styling staff and presented to him.
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.
Chevrolet Corvette Coupé, 1957, by Ghia Aigle. Designed by Giovanni Michellotti a one-off built on a ‘54 Corvette chassis by Carozzeria Ghia in Switzerland. The Ghia Corvette was powered by a Blue Flame 6 in-line engine with a 4-speed manual gearbox
"Hot" is an apt description of this special coupe's drivetrain. Its 6.6-liter engine produces 512 horsepower and 523 lbs.-ft. of torque. Mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and featuring a 3:41 geared limited slip differential and four-wheel independent suspension, this "Vette takes a backseat to no other vehicle. The White Shark Corvette also features power rack-and-pinion steering to precisely pilot this vehicle and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.
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.
Those who are familiar with the history of the Corvette, and Chevrolet in general, know that it is filled with...
The CERV II was entirely Zora’s car. The CERV II was conceived early in 1962 and developed over the next year, after the GS program was squashed. The car was built under Zora's direction between 1963-'64. Zora had it in mind to develop a separate line of racing Corvettes but the idea got terminated by management.
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.
With the passing of successive generations, a nearly endless number of vehicle designs and concepts have been pitched to execs...
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.
When first introduced to the world by Pontiac in 1964, the car showed so much promise that Chevrolet (allegedly) put a swift end to its development to prevent its production from hindering the sales of the Corvette. Afterall, with the introduction of the 1963 Split-Window Corvette, Chevy was finally seeing an increase in sales, something lacking for most of the first-gen.
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 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.
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.