Without a doubt, Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Sting Ray race concept is a car central to the legendary history of the Corvette, and it showed the way to the mid-year cars that incorporated many of the design cues it premiered. Stunning as it is today, imagine the effect back in ’59 – this was a car that set the sports car world alight with its styling.
It’s no wonder, then, that the car would inspire Fiberfab founder Warren “Bud” Goodwin to turn his efforts into making what we’d call today a ‘replicar’ kit called the Centurion that closely followed the look of the ’59 Sting Ray. So closely, in fact, that he drew the ire of General Motors’ legal department, who would have undoubtedly put a stop to the Centurion if Goodwin’s own personal life hadn’t beaten them to the punch.
The story goes that Goodwin caught his wife involved, shall we say, inappropriately with one of his employees, and “accidentally” shot her, which led to a jury intentionally sending him to prison. Consequently only seven Centurion bodies were built, and it’s unclear how many ended up as completed cars built on C1 or C2 running gear. In any case, this eBay auction purports to be one of the seven, and at the time of this writing, bids have topped $31k without meeting the reserve.
The car is pretty rough, with underhood shots showing a lot missing from the small-block engine, and the interior as rough as a corncob as well. For the right enthusiast, this car would make a good starting point for a very interesting project with a cool backstory, but just how much of a premium that history is worth remains to be seen.