What If the Original Corvette Had Its Engine Mounted in the Middle All Along


What If the Original Corvette Had Its Engine Mounted in the Middle All Along

We have featured work from Abimelec Arellano’s time machine to an alternate past in these pages before (A late-May edition of Quick Shifts reveled in his outstanding “1959 Escalade“). So impressive was Arellano’s work, that our amigos at Hagerty Media have snapped him up for a new series entitled, “What If?”

After taking readers back to a version of 1970 where Ford made a Raptor trim level of the Bronco, Abimelec set his sights on America’s Sports Car for the second official running of his new column.

So, with his DeLorean set for 1953, Mr. Arellano set off to a timeline where Chevrolet’s sporty halo model had been mid-engined from the get-go.

This is an intriguing version of history for a Corvette enthusiast to ponder. It was the 1953 Motorama Corvette that attracted the “Father of the Corvette,” Zora Arkus-Duntov to General Motors. He then spent his tenure as Corvette chief engineer attempting to get his bosses to sign off on moving the ‘Vette’s engine to the middle. What if Zora was already on board at GM when work on the Plastic Fantastic was beginning? Would he have succeeded in producing his mid-engine vision with the inaugural Corvette? Was he already dreaming of an engine behind the driver in 1953? The possibilities of what could have been if these, and infinite other, circumstances would have been slightly different are endless and Abimelec’s render is a fascinating view into what could have led to a completely different heritage for our favorite vehicle.

Be sure to head on over to Hagerty where each new render is accompanied by a fictional, period-correct review. The ME ’53 short take is a parody of our other friends at Jalopnik (or in this case, a ‘50s version called Jalopies and Knick-Knacks) and their propensity for trying a bit too hard to come off as edgy and hip, humorously highlighted by the excessive use of outdated slang.

We are looking forward to the next time that a Corvette is subjected to a What If? transformation, seeing C’s 2-7 professionally reproportioned for a mid-mounted motivator is a tantalizing prospect but, we suspect, Abimelec has something even more creative up his sleeves!


[PICS] Aria Group’s Fast Eddy Mid-Engine Concept with HRE Wheels
[PICS] Chazcron Renders Zora with the C8 Corvette
[PICS] Chevrolet CERVS Up Historic Mid-Engine Prototypes at the Concours D’elegance of America



  1. If Corvettes were mid engine all along they probably would have been experimenting with front engine for the last 40 years and now we would be raving about the new front engine vette!!

  2. The concept is interesting but the cockpit would need to be moved forward at least 2 more feet to have room for the engine. The seats are only 1 foot at best forward of the wheel wells. The engine shown looks to be 1/2 scale. The only way to make it work as drawn is to make it rear engine. Back to the Drawing Board.

  3. Zora dnfed at LeMans driving front engine Allards in 1952 and ’53. In ’54 he won his class co-driving a mid-engined Porsche 550 Spyder. After the Corvette SS cooked driver John Fitch at Sebring in 1957, Duntov concluded ‘heat source (engine) must be behind the driver.’ Thereafter, all his enthusiasm was aimed at designing, developing, and selling a mid-engine Corvette. A mid-engine ’53 model is fantasy. Duntov first saw the Corvette at a GM Motorama show but had nothing to do with its design.

  4. Agree with Don S. – More than likely, a lot of things would have changed if the Corvette had been mid-engine all along. Maybe the car would not be a 100K base price and going up from there. We just don’t know. One thing for sure. No mid-engine C8 buzz, like nothing we’ve ever seen, would have happened as mid-engine would be old hat by now. History is being made. Now it all depends on what Corvette decides to do with the home run they’ve already hit. AF


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.