X

GM Design Shares Photos Of Four Seat C2 Corvette Prototype

The GM Design team has shared an interesting series of color photographs showing the unique four-seater C2 Corvette Sting Ray prototype that Chevy developed back in 1962.

This stretched C2 Corvette was conceived by the GM Design team as a direct rival to the Ford Thunderbird, which was significantly outselling the Corvette at the time. The car was commissioned by then-Chevy boss Ed Cole in August of 1962, who assigned C2 Corvette designer Larry Shinoda to the project.

According to an article written by Ronald Ahrens and published in the December 2007 issue of Corvette Fever, GM purchased a Ferrari with a 2+2 seating layout and brought it into the styling department to serve as inspiration for its new four-seat Vette. GM executive Bunkie Knudsen told the styling team that “ours should be slightly longer,” than the Ferrari, which would have made it better suited to ferrying around large American passengers.

While Knudsen was involved in the four-seat Corvette project, he wasn’t a fan of the idea and engaged in a drawn-out battle with Cole to have the idea scrapped. Knudsen later discussed the idea with GM Vice President Bud Goodman, a close confidant of his, telling him it was “the wrong thing to do.” Three days later, Goodman scheduled a meeting with those involved in the project, informing them it had been thrown out. Knudsen apparently believed a four-passenger Corvette would taint the Corvette brand and wouldn’t sell in large enough numbers to justify its existence.

These photos show the only four-seater C2 Corvette that was built in the studio at GM Design. There’s no proof this prototype was ever driven and it seems as though it was unable to move under its own power, with GM Design describing the vehicle as a “fiberglass model.” The vehicle was eventually crushed, so these photos (and some other black and white images that are floating around the web) are the only lasting evidence that it ever existed.

Subscribe to GM Authority for more Corvette newsChevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.

  • Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2021 C8 Corvette Z51 Convertible. Details here.
Sam McEachern: Sam loves to write and has a passion for auto racing, karting and performance driving of all types.

View Comments (23)

    • What a strange comment. Usually people use this cliche statement about newly introduced vehicles so i reckon this is first time you have ever seen a second gen Corvette. FYI C2 Corvette is contemporary of Jaguar xke if it's not older. By the way products of same period reflect the same design aesthetics of that era. Somebody else might say same thing about other roadsters of the era from Mercedes and Ferrari also.

    • Absolutely! I agree. This may have been directed at thunderbird, but it was more in line with the XKE coupes and 2+2's.

  • They did a nice job on this one to retain the propositions.

    I am just glad they passed. Ford killed the Tbird with 4 seats,
    .

    • Interesting enough what also killed the TBird was the Mustang (small/sporty) and the Galaxy (luxury/power/4-6 seats). Although I like the ideal of the 4 seat Vette, the Chevelle did a better job in offering a smaller luxury sports coupe in the 60s.

  • Reminds me of the 2+2 coupe that Jaguar made out of a slightly stretched XKE. GM should do this to the C7 platform and call it a "Camaro". It wouldn't harm Corvette sales at all, they can't build enough of them as it is, and it would bump the Camaro nameplate up considerably. It would be a good way to build upon the momentum and prestige the new C8 has brought to the brand. Cars like this ratchet up their entire line.

    • To me, crushing a prototype implies a lack of respect for the people, their talent, enthusiasm, hard work, that created this car. These cars are to GM executives just things that can be sold and not things that can excite and delight. Did you notice the people they showed inside the car? I remember 1963 well enough to know that Corvette buyers were not even remotely this "square". Conceivably they were GM executives and their wives. Says a lot!

  • Thank goodness the GM leaders of that time stayed focused. Today’s woke GM leadership just don’t get it.
    All EV beginning 2030! So sad.

  • That year 1963 was a wonderful design. Love the split window and feel it was well ahead of his time. I always love Chevy my whole life and loved working on the.
    I had a 1966 Chevy II. Also had many Camaro’skeep up the good work.

  • The original Buick Riviera filled this design void perfectly. Good thing Chevy cancelled the 4 seater Stingray.

1 2 3 5