Chassis #: EXP 019 Vehicle 1920
The XP-987 GT, also known as the two-rotor Corvette, was one of two mid-engined Corvette prototypes designed by General Motors Styling Division to promote the smooth and high revving Wankel Rotary engine. This was intended to power some GM passenger cars from 1974, so both cars were shown at the major worldwide auto shows from September 1973 to April 1974. Unfortunately the rotary Wankel engine proved to be both thirsty and polluting compared to the conventional piston-in-cylinder engine so the simultaneous gasoline shortage and strict Federal emission legislation sealed its fate. After the last show appearance in Europe it lost the rotary engine and was sealed in a plywood case and stored at the British GM Division Vauxhall Motors Design Centre in Bedford, England. Scheduled to be crushed in 1983, it was rescued by English Corvette author Tom Falconer with the assistance of then GM Head of Design, Chuck Jordan, and has been displayed in Kent, England until recently.
This Zora Arkus-Duntov was one of the last mid-engine Corvette concept cars that Zora would engineer prior to his retirement from General Motors in 1975.
The European styling for this Corvette came from the design sketches of Kip Wasenko while under the direction of Bill Mitchell, Vice President of Styling. Consequently, it included a Mitchell signature feature, a split windshield with the radio antenna integrated into the center seam. Although completely designed at General Motors, the chassis would be shipped to the famed Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina to have the steel bodywork completed.