Corvette Stingray (concept car)

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Corvette Stingray
(concept car)
1959 Corvette Stingray Concept.jpg
ManufacturerChevrolet (General Motors)
DesignerPete Brock
Bill Mitchell
Larry Shinoda
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body style2-door convertible

The Corvette Stingray Racer Concept Car was a privately funded concept car that formed a basis for the second (C2) generation Corvette Stingray. The Stingray racer-concept car was designed by Pete Brock, the youngest designer to work at GM at that time, Bill Mitchell, GM Vice President of styling, and Larry Shinoda in 1959. The basis of the Stingray was the 1957 Corvette SS, a stillborn racing project. The Stingray exists today with a 327-cubic-inch (5.4 L), fuel-injected V-8 of 375 hp (280 kW).

Corvette SS predecessor[edit]

Chevrolet Corvette SS at the Indianapolis Speedway Museum

The 1957 Corvette SS was a racing car project created by a team of engineers headed by Zora Arkus-Duntov as part of the creation of an official Chevrolet race effort, meant to culminate with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Soon after its race debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring, where it retired after 23 laps, the Automobile Manufacturers Association (AMA) banned manufacturer-sponsored racing, and the SS was relegated to test track duty and use as a test mule chassis. The car was both light and fast, at 1,850 lb (839 kg) and with 375 hp (280 kW), and reached a recorded top speed of 183 mph (295 km/h) at Sebring.[1]

Design and development of the 1959 Corvette XP-87 Stingray Racer[edit]

The Stingray used elements of the still-born Q-Corvette design study as well as the SS underpinnings, featuring a 92-inch (2,337 mm) wheelbase. The new car was exceptionally light, with a dry weight of 2,200 pounds, nearly 1,000 lb (450 kg) lighter than a 1960 production car. Its fuel-injected small-block 283-cubic-inch (4.6 L) V-8 engine produced 315 horsepower (235 kW) at 6,200 rpm. The Stingray body design strongly influenced the styling of the next generation Corvette, which saw production as a 1963 model. It also was a test bed for many technical developments, including the four-speed manual transmission, extensive use of aluminum and a de Dion rear suspension.

Operational history[edit]

Billed as a car "built to test handling ease and performance," Bill Mitchell arranged to race the car quite extensively. In the hands of Dr. Dick Thompson, it made its debut at Maryland's Marlboro Raceway on 18 April 1959, finishing in fourth place. It went on to win an SCCA National Championship in 1960.

1959 Corvette XP-87 Stingray Racer on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California in July 2016.

The Stingray was then retired from racing and modified by Mitchell with, among other things, a passenger seat added. The modified vehicle was exhibited as an experimental show car even while Mitchell regularly drove it personally on weekends. This two-seater version appeared as the private car of Elvis Presley's oil tycoon character in the 1967 film Clambake. After its career as a concept car was finished, it was retained by the GM Design Studio as a historically significant vehicle.


1957 Stingray Racer

  • Frame:Space frame
  • Body: Fiberglass
  • Engine location: Front
  • Drive type: Rear wheel
  • Weight: 2,204 lb (1,000 kg)
  • Engine
    • Engine configuration: V
    • Cylinders: 8
    • Aspiration/Induction: Normal
    • Displacement: 283.00 in³ | 4638 cc
    • Valvetrain: OHV
    • Power: 315 hp (235 kW) @ 6200 rpm
    • Torque: 295.00 ft·lbf (400 N·m) @ 4700 rpm
    • Power-to-weight ratio: 7.0 lb/hp
    • Power-to-volume ratio: 68.5 bhp/L
    • Bore: 3.87 in | 98.3 mm
    • Stroke: 3.00 in | 76.2 mm
    • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1

2009 Stingray Concept[edit]

50th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept at the 2009 Dubai International Motor Show.

Also referred to as the Corvette Centennial, the 50th Anniversary Stingray show car debuted at the Chicago Auto Show February 2009. A version of the model was first shown at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show and stars as Sideswipe in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

The Corvette Stingray Concept was developed as an internal design challenge to combine classic Corvette cues with surprisingly high-tech features, modern materials, and a striking new appearance. The car is well-appointed with a clamshell hood, scissor-style doors, ergonomic seats, rear-view camera with night vision enhancement, and a high performance hybrid drive. Interactive touch controls allow the driver to customize the power and efficiency of his or her ride and share it with friends via the in-car camera system and advanced telemetrics.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The car was featured in Season 6 of Mad Men.

See also[edit]


  • Friedman, Dave and Paddock, Lowell C. Corvette Grand Sport: Photographic Race Log of the Magnificent Chevrolet Corvette Factory Specials 1987-1998. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Co., 1989. ISBN 0-87938-382-8.
  • Mueller, Mike. Corvette Milestones. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Co., 1996. ISBN 0-7603-0095-X.
  • Nichols, Richard. Corvette: 1953 to the Present. London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN 0-86124-218-1.
  1. ^ Filiss, John (ed.). "1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS". Serious Wheels. Brash publisher Network. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  2. ^ Chevrolet press release

External links[edit]