Try and purchase one of the original 1969 ZL-1 Corvettes, and you’ll instantly see how their rarity contributes to their value. Now, keep that in mind when you view this also-rare, one-of-two remaining 1980 four-door Corvette. Sure, it may not have the torque of the aluminum-block 427, but it was envisioned by Chevrolet for a specific purpose. Thanks to attrition and neglect, it is only one of two left from the original half-dozen (five production and one prototype) examples built.
Officially called Corvette America, Chevrolet intended them to be built at a rate of 40 units per year. The four-door Corvette’s assembly was handed off to California Custom Coach in Pasadena, California, and entailed two Corvettes being severed in half, with the two usable parts fused in the middle. This lengthened the entire car’s wheelbase by 30 inches.
The five production Corvettes were special-ordered, but due to the fact that owning one would cost more than the price of owning two brand-new Corvettes, only five were ever completed. The radical changes and inclusion of another set of doors meant that all door latches were now operated electronically. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are no door latches on this car. The rear hatch also operates remotely and opens to allow stuffing items into the rear compartment without climbing over the other passengers.
This particular example is reportedly the one used by Road & Track back in the day to promote the custom Corvette. While it may have made for the ultimate family truckster in the ’80s, this particular car didn’t get used all that often and only has 20,000 miles on the clock. It is currently for sale on Craigslist by NBS Auto Showroom in Milpitas, California.
Enjoying the same rarity as the famed ZL-1 Corvettes, and likely the subject of rumor, but just as rarely seen as it’s big-block brethren, one has to ask what the value of such an oddity may actually be? If NBS Auto Showroom has any say, they’re betting that an enthusiast of super-rare Corvettes that isn’t quite quick enough to catch a ZL-1, may be willing to part with over 200-K to have “the other one” in their collection.
Whether or not you agree with the price is irrelevant, but you have to admit that as far as rarity is concerned, it’s right up there with the best of them, even more-so than the coveted ’63 Grand Sports. Let that sink in!