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GM Archives: Corvette’s Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe

by Keith Cornett on January 14, 2010

Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe

If something doesn’t quite look right with this 1963 Corvette Coupe, you get a gold star! That’s because this was a prototype for a “four place” Corvette. That’s right, a Corvette with back seats! The idea came from Ed Cole who wondered if a four-place Corvette could rival the successful four-seat Thunderbird.

Designer Larry Shinoda was given project and stretched the already penned 2-seat midyear coupe to accommodate the back seats and the extra legroom required. Six inches was added to the C2′s wheelbase to stretch it out to 104 inches. The pictures below show that the four-seater Corvette’s doors are much longer and shaped differently than the production 2-seater. The roof is also slightly taller and the rear glass looks to be longer as well.

Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe
Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe
Corvette's Almost 4-Seater 1963 Split Window Coupe    

The design staff at GM pretty much hated the four-seater Corvette according the Design Director Chuck Jordan. However, in a later interview Larry Shinoda explains that perhaps the real reason the extended Corvette was a no-go was due to a faulty seat. Apparently, one of the GM bigwigs came down to get a look at the prototype. He got into the back seat, but then the front seat locked when he tried to exit. The story goes that workers had to remove the front seat for him to get out and that was end of the four-place Corvette.

It’s too bad that GM destroyed the prototype a few years later, but fortunately the concept was recorded with these pictures.


Source:
Hemmings

Related:
Dream Makers: GM Employees Inspect a 1963 Corvette Split-Window Clay Model
Deal of the Year? The “Ed Cole” 1967 Corvette Coupe L89 sells for $205,000

 

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