General Motors Just Bought CERV 1 at Barrett-Jackson for $1.32 Million


General Motors Just Buy CERV 1 at Barrett-Jackson for $1.32 Million

The Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle known as CERV 1 is one of the most significant engineering examples from Zora Arkus-Duntov and his team and it’s considered the car from which the modern Corvette was born.

CERV 1 was Zora’s personal Corvette engineering test bed and it was used to develop the 1963 Sting Ray’s independant suspension and a host of other features. The transverse leaf-spring is the predecessor of the same design still being used on Corvettes today. With its 377 cubic inch OHV aluminum V8 engine, Zora drove the car to 206 mph at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds!

When CERV II was developed, CERV 1 was headed for the crusher. But Zora talked the brass into donating it to the Briggs Cunningham collection and that’s how this rare engineering mule made its way to the outside.

For the last 21 years, the car has resided in Mike Yager’s MY Garage. It was offered last summer but failed to sell and so Mike offered it again under the bright lights of the Barrett-Jackson Auction.

On Saturday night, CERV 1 took its turn on the auction block in Scottsdale. Bidding for the rocket body was fierce and when it was over the the hammer fell at $1.2 million! With the seller’s commission, the total price was $1,320,000!

Following the sale, we heard from multiple trusted sources who told us the buyer of CERV 1 was General Motors!

If that’s the case, it could be a sign of good things to come! General Motors still owns a significant collection of vehicles, many of which are on display at the GM Heritage Center outside of Detroit. As the car offers significant historical value with its connection with Zora Arkus-Duntov and the Corvette program, we are glad to hear that it’s coming back home.

Our friend Lance Miller was at Barrett-Jackson and shared this live video of the CERV 1 auction on Facebook:

Barrett-Jackson / Twitter

[VIDEO] CERV 1 – Chevrolet’s First Engineering Research Vehicle
Join Mike Yager and Mid America Motorworks for the CERV 1 Adoption Party
RM Sotheby’s Offering Zora Duntov’s 1960 CERV 1 at Monterey Auction



  1. […] Zora Arkus-Duntov and the Corvette program, we are glad to hear that it’s coming back home. General Motors Just Bought CERV 1 at Barrett-Jackson for $1.32 Million – Corvette: Sales, News &… John Fortunate owner of "WRP SPD," our Z06! [7M, stage 2+ coupe]. List of mods here:Hidden […]

  2. Many years ago, I bought a strange Rochester Fuel Injection Unit with the air meter on the rear and I later realized it was the original one used on the CERV 1 car. I put it in my showcase on display at Tracy Performance in Roseville, less than 4 miles from Chevrolet Engineering at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren Michigan. Zora Arkus-Duntov was a friend and customer of mine at that time after we both had previously worked at Chevrolet Engineering. One day when he was at my shop, I asked him how many of that style fuel injection they made and he told me “Only one”! That fuel injection was sold a couple of times since I owned it and I don’t know where it is now. Obviously, it was not on the CERV 1 as is went through the recent auction, but I am sure Zora changed the intake many times for various tests.

  3. Unless he has sold it within the last few months, Mike Yeager still owns the final FI unit with the air meter on the rear. Don’t know which one Dennis owned, but I own and have restored the original testing FI unit for Mike’s final that is known as the “Hobby Horse” because the tall tunnel-ram runners, the plenum, which looks like a street-side mailbox, and the air meter together make it resemble a Hobby Horse. My unit is featured in three of Ken Kayser’s 50-years-ago-this-month articles in the March-May 2009 issues of Vette Vues. I bought it from Rick Boyd mentioned in Ken’s articles. Ken and I currently have an article on the Hobby Horse in the cue for publication in the NCRS Corvette Restorer. Wish I could post a pic.

  4. […] After a dramatic back and forth among bidders, the hammer came crashing down for a $1,200,000 price ($1,320,000 with buyer commission). The buyer of the CERV wound up being a representative from General Motors, according to multiple reports. General Motors is including this piece of American automotive history in its Heritage Center in Detroit. The sale was first reported by […]

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