Pirelli run-flats on stock chrome C5 wheels provide the rolling power, with black powder- coated calipers handling the whoa-power.
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ODD-ENGINED CORVETTES
day. Other details included side cooling intakes for the engine, bifold gullwing doors, and a deep, V-angled front windshield. Chevrolet Interiors created the cabin with plush leather and suede seats, a digital smoked-black instrument display that pivoted along with the telescopic and tilt steering wheel. The center console had more digital gauges, warning lights, radio, climate controls, transmission selector, and handbrake. Both the 2-Rotor and 4-Rotor Corvettes were shown at the Paris Salon Show in October 1973, with mixed reviews, but magazines went crazy with speculation. Regardless, the project stalled on September 25, 1973, when Ed Cole postponed the Wankel project and four days later, retired. The 4-Rotor was never developed and didn’t run well. Full out, it was a bear, anything else, not so good. Designers tried to take the body design and make it a producible car, but every production issue solved detracted from the beauty of the original. “Death by a thousand cuts.” said Jerry Palmer. Late in 1975, Bill Mitchell had the 4-Rotor sent to the Design Center to be retrofitted with the all-aluminum XP-895’s drivetrain and a 400-cid small-block. The new “Aerovette” was relegated to show car duty. Chief Engineer Dave McLellan said, “Showing the Aerovette was a sign of what wouldn’t be produced.” If not for the Wankel distraction, this “might” have been the first production mid-engine Corvette. Duntov later said that the car was equal with the 1957 Corvette SS as his favorite one-off Corvette. When Zora retired, he was given a detailed model of the 4-Rotor. Current V.P. of Global Design, Ed Welburn said that he and his pals used to look at the car on their lunch breaks. “I knew every inch of it, and I didn’t even work on it.” Now that’s inspiration!