American automakers have always built some of the coolest, most attention-grabbing concept cars on the planet. GM is particularly adept at catching the hearts and minds of car enthusiasts with their concept cars, especially the concepts based around the Chevy Corvette. For decades the Corvette faithful have worshiped these concepts, hoping they point the way towards future ‘Vettes, and often times they have.
But if you missed seeing these concepts on the car show circuit back in the day, then you’re out of luck, as most of these Corvette concepts are either in the National Corvette Museum, the GM Heritage Collection, or private collections. But Hemmings Auto Blog reports that the LeMay-America’s Car Museum will have three classic Corvette concepts on display next month to celebrate the ‘Vette’s 60th anniversary.
The three concepts on display at the Tacoma, Washington museum will be the 1959 Stingray Racer, the 1961 Mako Shark, and the 1969 Manta Ray, all cars that helped influence the design of the all-new 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray. The ‘59 Stingray was built by legends Peter Brock and Larry Shinoda using the Corvette SS tubular frame, weighing in at 1,000 pounds less than the standard production Corvette. With a 315 horsepower 283 V8 under the hood, it was a wickedly fearsome concept car.
The 1961 Mako Shark was another Larry Shinoda creation, and helped herald the age of the Corvette Stingray of the 1960s. While many design elements were toned down, it definitely set the tone for Corvette designs to come, including the 1969 Manta Ray. The Manta Ray is unmistakably a C3 Corvette, and it packs an original ZL-1 all-aluminum V8 under its fiberglass hood.
These three concepts will be on display through December, so if you never saw these amazing cars in person, this might be your last chance. Don’t miss it.