6 Corvettes That Could Have Been
One has to wonder if somewhere there is a child dreaming in a Corvette bed that will grow up and be the person that will shape the future muscle from the house of Chevrolet. Here are a few of the products from past dreamers that gave hints and clues to the different directions for the Corvette. From design to technology that would influence not just the rest of Chevrolet but also the industry, we present to you, the cars that almost were.
1. The Fastback Corvette
If you are a fan of retro-futurism, then you’ll love this sleek Corvette from 1954. If you are a fan of the Batman animated series from the 90s, then you are definitely picturing this in black with the dark knight himself behind the wheel. Based on a Corvair, this car featured a panoramic windshield, a jet exhaust-type opening, and chrome-slotted hood vents to let engine heat escape.
2. The Grand Tourer coupe
What do you get when you cross an Impala with a Corvette? A five-passenger fiberglass sports car is what. This car really was ahead of its time as an awesome Grand Tourer coupe. It was powered by a 225 HP turbo V8 engine, Powerglide transmission, and a wraparound windshield that curved up into the stainless-steel roof.
3. The Corvette with the Wankle Rotary Tattoo
Once upon a time in the 1970s, Chevy proposed a 4-rotor to replace the outgoing fourth gen Corvette model. This new totally new design would have Mercedes 300SL Gullwing doors and a wankle rotary engine mounted midway with an output of 350 HP and 7K RPMS. This car never got anywhere near a production line, but if it had, it would have altered the course of the Corvette from what we have come to known.
4. The 1986 Corvette Indy
This futuristic coupe was a rolling laboratory for GM and was used to test engine and suspension ideas for future Corvettes. Many far out ideas of the time that were included in this concept car actually came to pass in not just GM cars but beyond. It had a 600 HP twin-turbo V8 mounted BEHIND the passenger seat, a CRT based instrument panel with navigation, and a LOTUS-based active suspension. The body had panels that were comprised of carbon fiber and Kevlar that went into very expensive cars in the future.
5. The Sting Ray III
This concept was reminiscent of the Mako Shark cars of the mid-sixties but had a new look. It had all-wheel steering and cast-aluminum wheels that were hugged by Z-rated 35-series tires. The interior access was wide enough that the armrests were part of the seats instead of being molded into the door panels. The seats were fixed and the steering wheel with pedals was adjustable. Unfortunately, the engine was a V-6 and saddened many Corvette enthusiasts when it was paraded around the show circuit. This Corvette was scrapped but the body shape lived on to become the Cavalier convertible.
6. The 50th Anniversary Stingray
This car was featured in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as “Sideswipe” and features some far out pieces that won’t make it to a production Chevy anytime soon. There are scissor-style doors, night vision enhancements, and interactive touch controls to customize the ride. There is even an in-car camera so that you can share your experience with your friends through e-mail or social media.
For information on maintenance or repairs, please check out our do-it-yourself technical articles at https://www.corvetteforum.com/how-tos/.