Just Two Examples Of This Ultra-Rare Corvette ZR-1 Prototype Exist

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It's just one of two surviving examples.

There are plenty of rare Chevy Corvettes out there but only two of this particular type have managed to survive. Not to be mistaken with the C7 Corvette ZR1, this 1988 C4 Corvette ZR-1 (notice the dash mark) was one of two prototypes made in 1988 before series production got underway on the C4-generation Corvette ZR-1 two years later. The ZR-1 was GM's flagship sports car of the early 1990s.

Chevy briefly toyed with the idea (and even built a prototype) of a V12-powered Vette to compete against the Dodge Viper, but that project was scrapped. The ZR-1, however, was in production until 1995 and was dubbed "King of the Hill." Just a few days ago, one of the prototypes was sold for an impressive $75,000 on Cars and Bids.

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Finished in Metallic Blue with a cool blue leather interior, the car was used by Lotus as a prototype in Hethel, UK. Why Lotus? Because Lotus was owned by GM at the time and its chassis tuning expertise was needed in order for the ZR-1 to be a better Ferrari and Lamborghini fighter. Help was also needed with the car's braking and steering systems. And, of course, Lotus designed a new engine, the LT5 V8, good for 380 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

What's particularly interesting about this specific prototype is that it was rescued from a junkyard by a Lotus engineer in the 1990s when development ceased.

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Cars And Bids
Cars And Bids
Cars And Bids

The seller, the owner of Blue Flame Restorations located in Pendleton, Indiana, bought it from the engineer in 2010 and proceeded with the restoration. At the time of sale, it had 59,200 miles on its clock. A total of 25 C4 ZR-1 prototypes were built in July 1987 and, as previously noted, all but two were trashed. This example still has "Not For Sale" molded into the Goodyear tire sidewalls and many of the parts are still original, hand-dated to 7/87. Aside from a few center console trim scratches and nonfunctional radio and heater controls, the vehicle remains in solid shape.

The final sale price was quite reasonable, more or less the same someone would pay for a nicely equipped 2021 Chevy Corvette Stingray. Only this car has a very special place in Corvette history.

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Cars And Bids
Cars And Bids
Cars And Bids

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