One of the most mystical Corvettes ever built is the 1963 Grand Sport, with only five of the very special high-performance vehicles ever made by Zora Arkus-Duntov and his crew before GM brass cancelled the project.
Through the years, sure, there have been replicas made of the Grand Sport. But now, you can buy a brand new Grand Sport, licensed by GM, through Superformance.
In January 2009, Superformance and the Duntov Motor Company LLC announced a partnership to create a continuation series of the street version of the legendary 1963 Corvette Grand Sport (Duntov will produce the racing version under the agreement).
Lance Stander, CEO of Superformance, says he has always had a fondness for the Grand Sport and started approaching GM about 2000 to try and get a license to make the car again.
“All along we knew we didn’t want to do a replica or a kit car of the original car,” Stander said. “Everything we build is licensed by the original manufacturers so we wanted that too (for the Grand Sport).”
After looking at Superformance’s history with other carmakers, Chevrolet’s licensing company relented and gave the go-ahead for a license for the Grand Sport to Stander’s company.
While there have been some production delays, Stander says the first production cars are expected to be available to customers at the beginning of 2013, perfect timing for the Grand Sport’s 50th anniversary.
Superformance is the only company licensed by Chevrolet to build a car and put the Corvette name on it. It’s being built true to the original body shape and configuration, but the engine choices now are nothing short of amazing.
“All GM crate engines will go in this car,” Stander said, “including the LS3, LS7, LS9, and LSA.”
They’ll all go in this car without any issues, he says, and the performance of the first prototype with a Cadillac CTS-V supercharged engine is amazing.
Noting that the CTS-V is one of the fastest production cars around, Stander says, “Now you go put it in something that is 1700, 1500 pounds lighter? Can you imagine what it performs like? It really wants to lift the front wheels off the ground. It’s just a treat to drive!”
All-new precise modern production molds have been produced to assure consistent and correct bodies. Superformance-built street cars feature the original Grand Sport round tube style frame. Superformance Corvette Grand Sports have power brakes, power windows and locks with all the amenities needed in a modern high-performance automobile (and even have a small trunk unlike the originals). As with its other cars, the Superformance Corvette Grand Sport is offered as a complete turnkey-minus unit ready to accept the customer’s choice of engine and transmission.
While the base price is $89,000, the cars won’t cost much to maintain, unlike some exotic high-performance vehicles.
“They’re not complex vehicles,” Stander says. “You never have to worry about $2,000 services.”
And you’ll even get gas mileage in the mid-20s! Not bad for one of the fastest cars in the world.
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