If you know anything about concept cars, then you know that auto manufacturers typically crush them shortly after they serve their purpose. Every now and then, however, they slip through the cracks, either being given to an engineer, or sold to a private seller with the intention of never being driven again (if they’re even drivable in the first place).
The Corvette XP-819 is one of those cars, and it has been recently rediscovered and is currently under restoration as we speak. Kevin McKay of Corvette Repair Inc. of Long Island, New York is the man responsible for the task at hand, and he and his team have been painstakingly rebuilding the car from scratch.
Many of the original parts are missing, and they are charged with reproducing them using old drawings and blueprints from 1964. We’re pretty sure it isn’t easy, and at times it’s probably less than fun. However, once this handcrafted machine is back on the street and show circuit, this car will drop jaws.
It’s one of several mid-engine Corvette concepts produced over the years by GM, and much of its basic styling features ultimately ended up in the 1968 Corvette C3. It had some interesting features like clamshell engine and trunklids. Instead of having the typical adjustable seats, the seats themselves were stationary, and the pedals were actually electric, and adjusted to accommodate the cabin occupants – very cool.
While the XP-819 never went into production, we’re glad that this lone example is getting a complete, frame-up restoration. It’s an interesting and important part of General Motors history, and thanks to the guys at Corvette Repair Inc., it will have many more years of providing Corvette fans eye candy.