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						Grand Sport Tribute13
Corvette Grand Sport Tribute

Mid-America Industries Grand Sport

By Dean Larson

While only five original Corvette Grand Sports were ever built, its skunkworks inception, and the game-changer it could have been, have elevated the GS to its own level of General Motors stardom. It’s near to impossible to even view one of these original cars without taking out your wallet, so naturally fans have looked to the replica market to scratch their GS itch.

 These days, Grand Sport replicas come in a few different flavors. Superformance sells arguably the best GS available, complete with General Motors licensing and assembled less an engine. The exacting nature of these builds and the benefits that come with GM licensing command a premium price though, between $120,000-$180,000. You’ll also find licensed offerings from Duntov Motor Co. and Mongoose Motorsports.

If you’re in the market for a GS on a budget though, you’ll most likely find a converted car like this Grand Sport tribute for sale through Streetside Classics. Starting out as a standard 1966 Corvette, this car was converted at some point using reproduction fiberglass panels from Mid-America Industries. One look at the finished product will prove that the builder wasn’t shooting for a straight replica though, and the car is pretty radical. 

Most of the body lines up well with an original, including the pronounced wheel arches, rear quarter-panel scoops, and venting in the front and rear quarters and taillight panel. The differential oil cooler on the rear deck, a unique feature of the Grand Sport, has been omitted on this example and it also lacks the ventilated hood scoop. It’s also plain to see that the clear headlight covers have not been fitted, and these would finish off the sharp leading edge of the GS. While these deviations from the original might sacrifice some for die-hard Grand Sport fans, they do give the car a unique restomod identity with a smooth profile.

Fitting with the car’s altered image is the wheel choice, which will definitely be a point of contention for Grand Sport fans. The wheels feature the same as-cast five-spoke pattern as the originals, but have been enlarged to 17-inch diameter. Interestingly, the wheel center looks to be the same size as the standard 15-inch wheel, but a 2-inch band has been added between it and the barrel. It’s an aggressive look, and I like it when pared with the wide Goodyear tires (275/40ZR17 front and 315/34ZR17 rear).

Powering the altered GS is Chevrolet’s LS1 engine, which produces 345 hp and 350 lb-ft in stock form. A four-speed 4L60E automatic transmission handles gear changes and power disc brakes on all corners bring everything to a halt.

Streetside Classics, a huge consignment dealer, has the car listed on their site for $87,995, close to dead center of the Grand Sport replica market. It comes in cheaper than most of the brand-new options, but is still $20,000 to $30,000 more than the cheapest Grand Sports out there like this D&D for sale on Craigslist.

What are your thoughts on this Grand Sport: worthy restomod or better left original? Let us know in the comments below.

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