What Were They Thinking: 1978 Corvette ‘America’ Concept

March 21, 2012

There are moments within the extended life-run of an iconic, homebred sportscar where ambitious minds and questionable visions intersect to create something that begs to ask a question that was never even asked in the first place… In this case – ‘Why wouldn’t a Corvette owner/enthusiast desire a 4-door version to haul his family and friends around in…?’

I know. There are so many responses to counter that question, but it didn’t stop Chevrolet from embarking on a… erm…. ‘design study’ in 1978 to flesh out the possibilities of a 4-door family ‘Vette.

The Corvette ‘America’ (snappy name) was designed and built by California Custom Coach in Pasadena, California in very small numbers – one prototype and five ‘production’ models – achieved by basically taking two Corvettes, cutting them in half and then stitching/welding them up, hence the increaed 30-inch wheelbase and subsequent visual awkwardness…

At the time, a base-model Corvette would stretch you back about $13,000-$14,000. So when the $35,000 price-tag was announced for the 4-door America, orders didn’t exactly flock-in as they had anticipated…

In the end, only the 6 were made and the silver ‘vette pictured here is the only known remaining survivor – the others having succumbed to uncaring owners and/or crashes of various sorts… I couldn’t even imagine what an oversteering moment in one of these would feel like. Probably frightening.

I think one left is enough.

Though, in its defense, I can’t help picturing this above red version as the sort of vehicle that the characters from The Banana Splits would have driven, if they could have…  And that makes it instantly cool in my books.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Classic Porsche Reborn: The Gullwing-America P/904 Carrera

March 5, 2012

The original Porsche 904 GTS Carrera of 1964/65 arrived at the tail-end of Porsche’s exiting from Formula 1 (in ’62) and set the stage for their ensuing dominance in subsequent road-racing efforts (take a long, well-deserved bow, Porsche 917). For homologation purposes, Porsche built 106 street-legal versions of the original 904, of which instantly deemed it a rather rare occurance to see one in-the-metal over the years…

The iconic 1964 Porsche 904 GTS

Since then, the 904 has gathered an almost legendary plume of respect and admiration amongst Porsche enthusiasts, collectors and race fans the world over. To own an original 904 would be a dream come true… To drive one would be a treat unlike any other, as the driving-legend himself, Walter Rohrl, found out last year…

Now though, Gullwing-America has unwrapped its modern-day take on the iconic 904 with its retro P/904 Carrera. Based on the 987 (’05-’11) Boxster platform, the P/904 retains the same 3.4L engine (rated at 295 bhp) and also borrows the same slick 6-speed manual transmission, the ABS and the power-steering unit to aid in the updating of a classic design flourished with modern-day familiarities.

Those modern-day ‘updates’ include a full instrument panel and center console with Sat-nav (GPS) and an iPod dock along with air conditioning as well. Bespoke seats, dashboard and steering wheel are also part of the unique 904 re-creation process. Outside, you’re treated to LED lights, a retractable rear-spoiler, a lowered ride-height and tasty 18″ Fuchs design wheels…

Cost for the total conversion comes in at a hefty 70,000 euros (approx $91,000) not including the donor porsche Boxster… but if you already own an ’05-’11 Boxster and you’re looking to ‘upgrade’ to something utterly unique, sexy and forever desireable then this might just be what you’re looking for… I mean c’mon…. Look at it…!!

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


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