Secrets of Grand Sport 005

Posted August 21, 2017

By Dean Larson

Photos and video by Keith Cornett/

Collector cars are fantastic conversation pieces. Sharing all the different design cues and engineering solutions that go into a car is rewarding and a great way to get people excited about classic cars. One such classic that deals out plenty of excitement is the Corvette Grand Sport. The GS needs no introduction around here, but we were sure happy to hear some insider secrets about one of the lesser-known Grand Sports, GS 005, from its long-time caretaker Bill Tower.

This video posted by the CorvetteBlogger is from a recent visit to Tower’s car collection in Plant City, Florida. Tower, a veteran GM engineer who worked for Chevrolet from 1965 through the mid ’80s, easily entertains a group of Vette enthusiasts with factoids and stories on his beautiful Corvette lightweight. The Grand Sport 005 would be a standout in any collection, but it’s clear Tower and the GS were meant to be together as the car has remained largely original since he purchased it in the late ’70s. 

I’ve always admired GS 005. Car 004 is a beautiful blue, orange and gold combo, but there’s always been something that’s drawn my eyes to 005. Its paint scheme is much different than the other cars from a distance, but looks much more familiar up close when you notice the shade of blue against a red pinstripe. Being the last GS to roll out from behind Duntov’s closed doors, 005 is possibly the most advanced of the group. Its body is done in 7/8ths scale, but it takes a trained eye to notice. 005’s fender flares were done in the molding process, not added on after like the other Grand Sports, making it the lightest of the group. The car’s weight was dialed in to such a high degree, that the 377-cubic inch aluminum engine was offset to balance out the driver’s weight. The car retains a unique fuel filler setup that uses a 55-gallon drum on a stand to force-feed fuel into the larger 54-gallon tank, allowing it to pit faster than cars with smaller tanks. We’ll leave it up to Tower to tell you some of the other specifics in the video, but suffice it to say we learned a thing or two.

The unique looks and storied history of Grand Sport 005 has always left me with one question: Why do we not see more replicas of GS 005?

For more, check out the article from the CorvetteBlogger here.

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