Ford is expanding the Mustang lineup this year with a four-door electric utility vehicle called the Mach-E that represents a shocking departure for the brand as it looks to reach new customers. But could Chevrolet do something similar with the Corvette?
General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently told Motor Trend she’s “not going to say never,” but indications are that such a move won’t happen anytime soon.
However, it nearly did 40 years ago when Chevrolet commissioned a four-door version of the third-generation Corvette. Six of the cars were built by California Custom Coach in Pasadena to test the market, each requiring two donor cars for a build that preserved the stock front and rear ends while creating a four-seat passenger compartment under double-T-top roof.
According to Super Chevy, the plan was to sell a factory-backed model called the Corvette America at a rate of 40 each year, but a projected $35,000 price tag at a time when the Corvette started at $13,000 doomed the car and just one prototype and five customer cars were built by California Custom Coach before the project was shelved.
One of the two that are known to still exist is currently up for sale at a car dealer in Milpitas, Calif., for $102,526. BarnFinds.com reports that it was previously listed on Craigslist last October for $119,650 and for $275,000 in 2017. The seller, NBS Auto Showroom, claims the very red-on-red hatchback is a numbers-matching original with 21,000 miles on its 350 cubic-inch V8.
If Chevrolet ever decides to build a four-door Corvette again, it’ll have to find a different way to do it. The all-new 2020 model features a mid-engine design that would make a stretch like this a bit of, well, a stretch.