The Corvette has become an iconic nameplate tied to the American automobile history. But, little do some know, the first Corvettes were actually outfitted with 150 hp straight-six engine. It wasn’t always the V8 sport coupe we’ve come to know.
In fact a Mr. Zora Duntov, credited as the father of the Corvette, was the man responsible with fitting an experimental V8 engine under the hood. That would be the Chevrolet small-block V8. And Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has provided a quick snapshot of the car as it was moved around their facility.
In 1954, Chevrolet had low hopes for the Corvette as sales slowed immensely. Looking for a shot in the arm, Zora put together a one-off prototype Corvette featuring a 265 cubic-inch V8. The V8 produced more power and torque than the inline-six, but Duntov wasn’t satisfied. In his pursuit for a 150 mph top speed, the engine was bored to increase displacement up to 307 cubic-inches, and a racier cam was engineered. The car cracked a 163 mph top speed when it came time to test the build. Mission complete.
With history doing its part, the Corvette became what we know it today. With that history in the back of your mind, you can now come to appreciate how special this 1954 Duntov Corvette mule really is. Follow the link here to have a listen and a look.