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						Corvette Xp700

Corvette XP-700 Project Car

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Celebrating the arrival of the mid-engine C8, we found ourselves surrounded by wonderful Corvette concept cars while walking the greens of Amelia Island last year. It was truly serene to see all those priceless concepts on display, like a step-by-step lead up to the new C8 — a stunning display of innovation indeed. GM’s research and styling teams have never been afraid to take big design risks though, especially the case when looking at the radical work of GM’s then Vice President of Design, Bill Mitchell. One of Mitchell’s early and less known designs was the XP-700 Corvette, a futuristic bubble-top canopy coupe that Mitchell drove himself for an entire year. Celebrating this one-off custom ’Vette is a 1961 XP-700-style project car, currently up for grabs on eBay for $37,000.

Right off the bat you’ll notice several things that are quite odd about the XP-700. For one it has a radical elongated nose section with scoops and a large overhang, which was primarily believed to be based on Mitchell’s fascination with Grand Prix race cars of the day. The rear bodywork was replaced entirely with new panels from the upcoming C2 and a very futuristic bubble-top canopy was added, thought to be partially influenced by Harley Earl, who was quite fond of the feature. Quite interestingly, the top was made from laminated plastic and shaded to minimize glare, with a metal strut leading from front to back. A unique periscope-style rear-view mirror was also added to the top.

As unusual as the XP-700 was visually, it was predominantly based on a box-stock 1958 Corvette, and Mitchell drove the car for an entire year before it was debuted in 1960 at the Fourth International Automobile Show in New York. Despite its warm reception, the XP-700 would eventually be torn down and serve as the basis for the XP-755 concept car.

However, a few enthusiasts have been inspired by XP-700 over the years and have built re-creations like this 1961 model on eBay. It has solid bones as a 283 ci V8, four-speed car, and the seller claims the engine has been rebuilt and includes a matching fuel-injection unit. The body shows all the correct modifications in the nose and C2 tail section, but it does not appear that the telltale bubble-top roof is included in the sale, and that’s going to be a tough component to recreate. The car also needs mechanical and interior work, and there’s no shortage of small jobs required to get it up and running again.

But there’s no doubt you’d be surrounded at your local Cars and Coffee event with a time machine like this. The price of admission is $37,000, so I hope your time is free! Check out the XP-700 Corvette here on eBay.

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