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

1974 Mulsanne Showcar

Only Bill Mitchell could get away with this. Bill always managed to have a hot daily ride. Engineering prototypes that weren't street-legal stayed behind the fence, but many of the show car Corvettes managed to go home with Bill. His usual statement on his "design study" cars was, "This thing runs like a bear!" For the Mulsanne Bill added, "This is the best Stingray ever."

The Mulsanne actually had three previous lives. Born as a stock 350 '68 Corvette, the car was originally the '69 "Aero Coupe" show car used to preview the '70-1/2 styling changes. It had a ZL-1 all-aluminum engine and a prototype four-speed automatic and was, well, a "real bear."

A short time later the Aero Coupe received the slim, Manta Ray-style side pipe covers, got a new paint job with the front bumper-grille assembly painted body color, and was renamed the "Scirocco."

For the next four years the car worked as a pace car at Can-Am races. These were the days of heavy ZL-1 powered McLarren dominance. Mitchell thought it was cool that his Mulsanne pace car had the same basic engine as the McLarens. Like all of the Mitchell show cars, the Mulsanne had a large crowd around it at the '75 New York Automobile Show. Bill didn't pen every line on the Corvette, but his style was always present.

Painted bright metallic silver, the Corvette Mulsanne wore '75-style front and rear bumper covers. The pop-up headlights were replaced with four rectangular lamps under body-fitting clear plastic covers. The new hood had a raised center section with recessed, functional scoops on both sides. The curved A-pillar, high-mounted racing mirrors, and electric rear window were all carry-overs from the Scirocco exercise. Since the Mulsanne was made to be a pace car, Mitchell kept the removable one piece roof panel, but added a periscope rearview mirror system. The interior was completely trimmed in leather with fixed seats and adjustable pedals and steering wheel.

Mitchell couldn't have a "stock" ZL-1, this engine was bored out to 454 cubic-inches and wore an experimental Rochester fuel injection system. Chaparral lace wheels and flames exiting the fender vents added show car splash. Mitchell wanted the speedometer to look like a gunner's site. So a roller-type speedometer reflected speed numbers on to the windshield. This was so that the driver could watch the road while "blasting" past lesser cars. Designer Chuck Jordan said, "The man had flair!"

Home | Hot Rod | Movies | Music | TV | Calendar | Links
© 2009 High Performance Web Sites. All Rights Reserved