In 1962, father of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Dunkov, undertook a radical concept project designed to compete with the Ford GT40 on the international racing circuit. Called the Corvette Engineering Research Vehicle II, or CERV II, this incredible car featured a number of cutting-edge technologies, like an innovative all-wheel drive system and use of titanium and magnesium to keep the weight down.
It also helped fuel rumors for the next 50 years or so that the “next Corvette” would be either mid-engine, all-wheel drive, or both. Even after retiring from the show circuit and moving into private hands, this Corvette has remained the stuff of legends. And now it can be all yours, if you can pony up the estimated $1.3 million to $1.8 million the CERV II is expected to sell for, reports Hemmings.
RM’s annual Art of the Automobile auction is held in conjunction with Sotheby’s, and is a rather exclusive auction that includes many rare and valuable vehicles, as well as works of automotive art. The CERV II certainly fits the profile, as the 500-horsepower Corvette initially sported a cutting-edge all-aluminum 377 cubic-inch engine with Hilborn injection, though by the time it was sold it had a more humdrum 427 cubic-inch ZL-1 V8.
The CERV II also sported a mid-engine setup with a dual torque converter transmission sending power to all four wheels. Extensive use of lightweight materials kept it at just 1,400 pounds, and not only would it have been able to compete with the Ford GT at Le Mans, but it probably would have utterly dominated the GT40 and everything else.
Too bad the supposed “Super Corvette” never materialized, though GM seems to have finally gotten that much right. As for the CERV II, it’s going to make a very nice addition to a very valuable car collection, somewhere.