Published March 08, 2013
| The Wall Street Journal
As Chevrolet rolls out its seventh-generation Corvette, people who have followed the car’s evolution for decades may recall the many experimental versions of the sports car that never made it to production, The Wall Street Journal reports.
One of the most interesting was the rear-engine XP-819 of 1964. At the time General Motors executives and engineers were considering a number of new layouts for the Corvette that were exotic compared with the production model’s traditional front-engine setup.
While many Corvette fans speculate about the potential of numerous mid-engine prototypes developed as potential Corvettes, they tend to recall the XP-819 with less fondness if they remember it at all.
Now the car, which was nearly scrapped more than 40 years ago, is about to make a high-profile comeback. At least part of it will appear at the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance that begins today.
Mike Yager, founder of Mid America Motorworks, a supplier of aftermarket parts and accessories for Corvettes, bought the XP-819 at a 2002 auction and later began a frame-off restoration. More than 3,500 hours later it is not quite finished. So Yager said he will display its functioning, drivable chassis without bodywork and hopes to have the complete car ready for next year’s show.