Ever since its inception, there has been one defining feature of the Chevrolet Corvette that has helped separate it from the competition. That feature is the all-fiberglass body, which made it a standout among the American automotive scene in the 1950s. By the time the second-generation Corvette rolled around though, the fiberglass body was a cornerstone of the Corvette, which makes this next story all the more odd.
Motor Authority reports that at this year’s Corvettes at Carlisle event, a very special and unique Corvette will be on hand. The steel-bodied Corvette Rondine (pronounced “Ron-di-nay”) will be on display at Carlisle, giving Corvette fans a rare look at a unique concept car.
Built for the 1963 Paris Auto Show, the Corvette Rondine was actually assembled by coachbuilder Pininfarina on the then-new Corvette C2 chassis. The elegant lines and smooth-flowing design excited patrons at the Paris Auto Show, but this concept remained just that, and the steel body is the only one on a Corvette, concept or otherwise.
Looks-wise, it shares the Corvette’s basic shape, but little else. There are no flip-up headlights, no round tail lights, the whole thing is very “European,” and the design went on to influence other Italian cars.
The Corvette Rondine remained with Pininfarina until 2008, when it went to auction and sold for more than $1.75 million, the most ever paid for any Corvette. That is one pricey Corvette, and as such it is rarely seen in public. But it will be seen at the Corvettes at Carlisle event August 23 – 25. This may be your one and only chance to see a real steel Corvette, so don’t miss it!