The designer who dreamed up the iconic second-generation Corvette Sting Ray is back at it again.
Peter Brock, the youngest designer in General Motors history when he sketched the Sting Ray as a teenager, is now in his mid-80s, the last surviving member of the team that brought the world the legendary 1963-67 Corvette.
Now, he’s teaming up with another legendary designer, Ian Callum, to design an updated C2 Corvette for a start-up company based in Ireland named AVA.
“Rather than closing the book on this car’s legacy,” the company says, “it’s time to write a whole new chapter, more powerful, more enchanting, more evocative than ever before – the ultimate classic electric experience.”
That’s right, AVA’s first hyperclassic, as it deems its vehicles, will be a reimagined C2 Corvette that will feature four-wheel-drive and an electric powerplant expected to deliver 1,200 to 2,000 horsepower. That’s performance that engineers in the 1950s and 1960s could never even have imagined.
“Under the skin, each original vehicle is redesigned as an integrated whole, pushing the limits of advanced engineering,” AVA says. “With instant torque powered purely by clean energy, this is a fully electric experience – recrafted and reimagined from the ground up. This is an original, reborn.”
In the 1950s and ‘60s, though, the Sting Ray “was so groundbreaking for an American company, that its creation had to be hidden away from the rest of the complex for fear of the programme being shut down,” AVA says. “In a secret room, behind a secret door, the 19-year-old Peter drew his sketch on a humble piece of paper. The American icon was born, and it transformed the Corvette into one of the most desirable automobiles of all time.” Nevertheless, AVA says, sacrifices had been made in translating the design into production, compromising the styling vision and aerodynamic performance. Now the company strives to design and build what it calls the ultimate C2 Corvette.
“You go back and say … what could have been done better on the car,” Brock says now. “To be involved [in this project] is a tremendous responsibility. It’s already an accepted icon out there in the world of design, automotive design. You want to take all the best aspects of that design and make them a little bit crisper.”
Leading the charge is AVA’s founder, Norman Crowley, a successful businessman who started and sold three companies for more than $750 million before he turned 40. Now, he’s at it again, forming what will be the first company to manufacture cars in Ireland since Ford closed its Cork facility 40 years ago.
Besides Brock and Callum, Crowley has formed a team that has steered some of the biggest brands in the automotive world, from Lotus and McLaren to Williams Advanced Engineering.
Callum – who led Jaguar design from 1999 to 2019 – calls it “hugely exciting” to apply next-generation technology to cars that so many enthusiasts “are fond of and familiar with.”
The first images from this partnership are slated to be revealed later this month when the curtain is lifted on this highly anticipated design.
Only a limited number of AVA Corvettes are slated ever to be built at the facility located in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, with each one embodying the unique personality of its owner. Such uniqueness won’t come cheap, though, as each of the cars is expected to fetch between $1.44 to $2.4 million.
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