What’s a prototype?
1951 How it all began
1952 Corvette EX-122
1954 Corvette Corvair Motorama showcar
1954 Corvette Hardtop Motorama Showcar
1954 Corvette Nomad Motorama Showcar
1955 Corvette Biscayne Show Car
1956 Harlow Curtis SR-2 Lookalike
1956 Corvette Impala Show Car
1956 Corvette SR-2 Sebring Racer
1952 EX-122 Concept Car
1957 Q Corvette
1957 Corvette SS Show Car
1957 Corvette SS XP-64
1958 XP-700
1959 Stingray Racer XP-87
1959 Corvette Stingray
1961 Corvette Mako Shark XP-755
1962 C2 Prototype XP-720
1962 Four Seat Stingray Corvette XP-720 2+2
1963 Corvette Rondine Pininfarina Coupe
1963 Corvette Grand Sport
1963 Wedge Corvette Split Windshield
1964 World’s Fair Styling Study
1964 Clay model for '66 update
1964 Grand Sport GS-II(b)
1964 CERV II
1964 Pontiac Banshee XP-833
1964 Corvette XP-819 Rear Engine
1965 Corvette Mako Shark XP-830
1966 Mid Engine Styling Proposal
1967 Astro I
1968 Corvette Astro-Vette
1968 Astro II-XP-880 mid engine
1969 Astro III
1969 Manta Ray
1969 Mid Engine XP-882
1970 Scirocco Showcar
1970 Corvette XP-882
1973 Corvette 2 rotor XP-897-GT
1973 Reynolds XP-895
1973 Corvette 4 rotor XP-882
1973 Corvette XP-898
1974 Mulsanne Showcar
1976 Corvette XP-882
1979 Turbo Corvette
1978 Corvette Astro-Vette
1980 Turbo Corvette
1982 4th Generation Concepts
1984 Bertone Ramarro
1985 Corvette Indy
1986 GTP Corvette
1987 Corvette Geneve
1989 Corvette DR-1
1989 Corvette ZR-2
1990 Corvette Conan ZR-12 V12
1990 Bertone Nivola
1991 ZR-1 Snake Skinner
1992 Stingray III
2001 Corvette Tiger Shark
2003 Corvette Italdesign Moray
2009 Sideswipe

1967 Astro I

The Astro I appeared in 1967 as a radical-looking fastback coupe designed for the show circuit. It was merely an exaggerated version of the 1968 all-new "Shark" production design. Allegedly good aerodynamics were never proven. The official purpose of the Astro I was to study aerodynamics and new features. Engineers had long known that frontal area and shape were major factors in how slippery a car is in high-speed air. Much of what we take for granted in aerodynamics was new territory in the mid '60s. For this study, function followed form.

To keep the front profile as low as possible, a modified, flat, opposed-six Corvair engine was placed behind the rear wheels. Although a far cry from the rip-snort'n 427's of the day, the little 176 cubic-inch engine was made of alloy aluminum with steel cylinder sleeves and featured single overhead cams, hemi heads, Weber carburetors, and made 240 horsepower. That's 1.4 hp per cubic inch! Fortunately, this was one for the history books.

The car's height was under three feet, and hinged rear body/door section allowed access to the cockpit. A periscope rearview mirror on the roof provided a wide-angle view. The unibody construction had large boxed side sill members that added stiffness as well as housing a fuel cell on the passenger side. The bulkhead behind the driver and the forged aluminum windshield header provided rollover protection.

The front and rear suspension used double wishbones and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheels and tires hadn't gotten fat yet, so 5.5 inch and 7.0 inch wheels were used front and back.

Note the absence of any normal door lines. The entire canopy hinged up from a pivot point behind the rear wheels. Since the car was 35.5 inches tall, 12.3 inches shorter than a '68 Corvette, the seats were fixed to the canopy and actually raised up so that you could step into the interior. This was not a rainy day car.

The Astro I had many styling tricks that were standard for GM study cars; a closet at the base of the windshield for wipers, pop-up spoiler brake lights, access panels on the hood for servicing fluids, and periscope rear view mirrors. The interior had the gauges, warning lights, and twin-grip aircraft-style steering control device. Trick stuff in 1967.

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