by Keith Cornett
Here’s a fun Corvette that we wouldn’t mind having parked under our Christmas tree. This 1954 model is currently for sale on eBay. The white on red roadster is a tribute to the famous 1955 Duntov EX87 test mule that ran 163mph in 1955.
The original EX87 Duntov test mule was fitted with a V8 engine in 1954 by racing legend Smokey Yunich. From there it was given to Zora Arkus Duntov to be prepped for speed record runs at Daytona. Modifications installed by Zora included a small Plexiglas windshield, a fiberglass tonneau cover over the passenger seat, and a headrest-tailfin for high speed stability. In addition, the Yunich-installed engine was punched out to 307ci from 283. EX87 was the first car to be fitted with what would come to be known as the Duntov camshaft. Shortly after all the modifications were complete Duntov achieved his goal by getting the car to run 163mph at GM’s Arizona Proving Grounds and 150.583 at Daytona.
The 1954 EX87 replica shown here is currently listed for sale on the UK EBay. According to the listing the car sat for over 20 years in Texas. Over that period of time the engine and transmission were both stolen and the rest of the car was left behind. Seeing an excellent starting point for a project the owners installed a 327ci engine with fuelie heads backed by a T-10 4-speed transmission from a 1959 Corvette. Modern technology makes an appearance in the form of a 200 watt stereo with an iPod input. The owner states that they drove to car to Lemans and back last June and we bet it’s a blast to drive. Overall, the car has traveled less than 900 miles since the frame off restoration was completed.
Like the original, the replica is finished in gleaming white paint and a bright red interior. Missing is the short windshield, tonneau cover, headlight covers, and fin behind the driver’s seat. The exhaust exits through its standard location compared to the side exit on the real EX87. All of these omitted items surely make it more suitable for street use.
The original EX-87 last sold at Mecum’s Spring Classic in 2009 for $310,000 and is resting peacefully in the Lingenfelter Collection. The tribute car won’t set you back nearly that amount. The UK asking price is ?59,995. That translates into roughly $78,000 US which is pretty stout for a second year Corvette especially when you factor in the expense to bring it back to this side of the pond.