Unique Corvette Owned by “Bunkie” Knudsen Goes to Auction

bunkie-5In 1961, Larry Shinoda was the guiding hand behind one of the most famous Corvette concept cars of all time, the XP-755, also known as the Mako Shark. This sexy concept was a huge hit on the show car circuit, with its bold look and external side exhausts. The concept was such a hit that then Chevy General Manager Semon E. Knudsen, also known as Bunkie, commissioned a road-going version to be built for his personal use.

This unique Corvette was driven by Bunkie Knudsen for years until it was lost to history, only being rediscovered and restored inl the 1980s. Autoweek reports that this one-of-a-kind Corvette is going for sale at the Mecum auction event in Houston, Texas next month.

The most obvious modification are the side-mounted external exhaust pipes, which add a level of daring every time you open the door to get in or out of the ‘Vette. The GM team also painted Bunkie’s Corvette a color called Crimson Firefrost, which adorned the rest of his personal fleet of high-class Chevys. This fleet included a Chevy Corvair, Impala, and Nova, all painted the same lovely shade of red. Under the hood was a fuel-injected 327 with all the performance goodies.

The interior got even more modifications, including a steering wheel that used two separate kinds of wood and a custom shift console. The seats and doors were upholstered with white Naugahyde, and it even got instrumentation from the ‘64 cars, even though it was itself a ‘63. After Bunkie sold it, a series of owners progressively neglected the Corvette until Wally Abela uncovered it in the early 1980s, having it restored to the way it was when Bunkie was behind the wheel. This unique Corvette could easily bring over a half-million at auction when the gavel falls in Houston next month.

About the author

Chris Demorro

Christopher DeMorro is a freelance writer and journalist from Connecticut with two passions in life; writing and anything with an engine. This has led him to pursue a full time career as a freelancer with a focus on motor vehicles of all kinds.
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