1954 Chevrolet Corvette Test Mule
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Engine/Mechanical Component Photos
As this was an experimental car, it was continually modified over the years. In 1955, Zora added a fiberglass toneau cover, small windshield, tail cone, and a three-speed transmission. Later that year, in November, all the unnecessary equipment was removed to further reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. Objects that were removed included the heater, wiper assembly, passenger seat, interior mufflers, and more.
Worked continued on the engine, increasing the displacement from 283 to 307 cubic-inches. Other work included adding a special camshaft. The car was brought to the Arizona Proving Grounds were it was driven by Arkus-Dunto to 163 mph. After the testing was complete, the engine was pulled from the car and installed in Corvette #6901, another famous car, which was set a new record at Daytona with a run of 150.583 mph.
Smokey Yunick passed away in 2001. Steve Tate discovered the original engine in Smoky Yunick's shop after Smokey had passed away. He was also able to locate the car itself, with the Chevrolet experimental logbook, then owned by the Bible Broadcasting Company. He reunited the original engine with the record car and brought the car back to its original configuration as Zora's famous test bed and the world's first high-performance Corvette. The enormous restoration took one year. Upon completion, the car was featured at the 2003 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show.
The car was later sold at Mecum Auctions.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2012
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