Barn-Find Centurion Body

Posted November 12, 2019

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Hot dog! A Fiberfab Centurion body! Since the eBay auction will most likely be over by the time you see this, I’ll keep it short. But with such few examples ever built (less than 12), we had to take note of this fantastic fiberglass body honoring an influential Corvette concept car.

Conceived and personally financed by Bill Mitchell, GM Vice President of styling, the XP-87 Corvette, also known as the Stingray Racer, is one of the most significant Corvette concepts ever built. Its alluring streamlined body was based on intial sketches by Peter Brock and was later refined by Larry Shinoda. Corvette godfather Zora Arkus Duntov also had a hand in the car’s mechanical development, fitting it with a high-compression 283 ci engine with fuel injection in 1959.

As for mechanicals, XP-87 was based on a few earlier development projects, including the Q-Corvette and the Corvette SS. It featured a steel space-frame chassis inspired by the Mercedes 300 SL. Through its development, the car was fit with an array of progressively lighter weight fiberglass bodies, and the car likely weighed around 2,000 pounds in its lightest configuration. Powerplants also varied, with 327 and 350 ci small blocks used, and even a 427 ci big block for a time.

On the track, the Stingray Racer was very successful and won an SCCA National Championship in 1960 with Dr. Dick “The Flying Dentist” Thompson behind the wheel. But in response to the Automobile Manufacturers Association’s ban on manufacturer-sponsored racing, XP-87 was withdrawn from competition despite being raced as a private entry.

Impressed by the now retired Stingray Racer, Warren “Bud” Goodwin of Fiberfab commissioned a close copy of the Corvette body called the Centurion, but only sold a handful before GM and its lawyers stepped in. With less than a dozen bodies built, any Centurion body is a rare find, and this body on eBay is quite exceptional. It’s said to be a recent barn find that’s been sitting in Elmira, Oregon since the early 1970s. The owner states that the body is not perfect and has some cracks and stress marks, but it does appear to be in exceptional condition considering its age.

See it here on eBay.

**The Centurion body sold on Tuesday, November 12 for $9,750. 16 bids were placed starting at $5,500 with several parties interested.**

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