For whatever reason, rumors of a mid-engine Corvette have persisted for decades. Whether it is because of persistent wishlists from fanboys like ourselves, or GM’s constant toying with mid-engine Corvette concepts, the idea has even leaked into rumors for the next-gen C7 Corvette.We’re pretty sure the next Corvette won’t be mid-engine. But if you absolutely must see a Corvette with an engine mounted anywhere but under the hood, Hemmings Auto Blog reports that a rear-engine Corvette concept will head to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March.
This one-off concept vehicle was the brainchild of Frank Winchell, who convinced father-of-the-Corvette Zora arkus-Duntov to give a rear-end Corvette a try. Duntov eventually came around, giving birth to the XP-819. This concept used a marine version of the small-block Chevy to drive the rear wheels, and it was reportedly a very good handler on the track.
Unfortunately, an accident due to incorrectly-sized wheels and tires put an end to the XP-819 and the rear-engine Corvette scheme. The XP-819 changed hands multiple times over the years, finally ending up with Mike Yager of Mid America Motorworks in 2002. The fully restored XP-819 will be on display… but not for sale.
A rear-engine Corvette: Good idea, bad idea, or who-cares-because-it-ain’t-ever-happening?