1954 Chevrolet Corvette Test Mule / VE55S001399 Chassis Information

Chassis Num: VE55S001399
This Corvette Test Mule Car, also known as EX-87, was given a prototype V8 engine installed by Chevy engineer Mauri Rose in 1954. After the work was completed, the car was turned over to Zora Duntov for use as a 'Mule Test Car.'

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.

During the development period it is credited with being the first Corvette to:
- prove the performance potential of a V-8 Corvette;
- exceed the 150 mph speed barrier by running 163+ mph
- instrumental in development of the Duntov Cam
- helped create an aftermarket performance industry which is still thriving today.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2014

Chassis# VE55S001399

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