Throughout automotive history, some automakers were rumored to have secret projects in which they experimented with turbine engines. And then there was the Granatalli family, which was known for fielding Ken Wallis’ STP-Paxton Turbocar Formula 1 racer at Indy in the 1960s. A decade later, Vince Granatelli — son of Andy “Mister 500” Granatelli — stuffed a turbine motor into a 1978 Corvette, resulting in an 880-horsepower output. After being completed, the car resided in a private collection for years, but it will be auctioned off between January 10 and 18, 2015 at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.
To make this special Corvette street-legal, Vince fabricated a subframe, reinforced the driveshaft, installed a reduction gearbox to keep the revs more down to Earth, rewired the car for a new, flight-age instrument panel, replaced the factory brakes with oversized NASCAR-spec discs, and installed new fuel lines and a muffler system. Motor Trend tested this one-off back in the day and turned a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, but Vince Granatelli claims it’s been clocked at 2.5 seconds.