Barrett-Jackson/Scottsdale 2017: Zora’s 1960 CERV 1 Brings $1.2M

Barrett JAcksonThe prodigal child is coming home. Zora Arkus-Duntov’s secret skunkworks engineering mule, CERV 1 has a new owner. The CERV 1 just sold for $1,200,000, $1.32M with sellers commission added.

Stowed away in Mid America Motorworks guru Mike Yager’s MY Garage for years, CorvetteBlogger is reporting that General Motors won the bidding on this long lost company crown jewel.

GM’s Heritage Center will be a perfect showcase for CERV 1.  It can permanently reside by some of the General’s mightiest prototypes and artifacts.

Barrett-Jackson describes Lot #1390 as follows:

“One of the most important pieces of American automotive history, the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle (CERV) 1 was developed between 1959 and 1960 by Zora Arkus-Duntov as a functional mid-engine, open-wheel, single-seat prototype racing car.

It served as Duntov’s personal Corvette engineering test bed; a platform for engineers to develop and refine the Chevrolet body, chassis and suspension systems. Duntov drove the CERV 1 in demo laps at the U.S. Grand Prix in 1960, but that is as far as its racing aspirations went, due to the ban on manufacturer-sponsored racing at the time.


The car was designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine, and was originally equipped with a 283ci/350hp small-block V8 weighing only 350 lbs because of the use of aluminum and magnesium engine components. The CERV 1 features a four-wheel independent suspension, 4-speed manual transmission, and front disc and rear drum brakes. The steering system features a high-efficiency recirculating-ball-type steering gear of 12:1 ratio; overall steering ratio is a very fast 13.5:1.


Fuel is delivered via two rubber bladder fuel cells with a total capacity of 20 gallons. Fuel-injected small-block technology was developed using this incredible car. Later, for even greater performance, Duntov refitted the CERV 1 with a 377ci aluminum small block, an advanced Rochester fuel-injection system, and Indy-style tires and wheels. Shinoda also redesigned the body structure for greater aerodynamics, and the car recorded a top speed of 206 mph. Includes loads of paperwork and history on the car, which stands as one of the experimental landmarks of GM history.”

Go to Barrett-Jackson’s website for more details and auction results

All pictures courtesy Barrett-Jackson


About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods.
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