The radical XP-819 concept Corvette turned heads at the Amelia Concours d'Elegance this past March. The concept, created in 1964, car obtains a controversial rear engine design which is truly something unique for the Corvette. The engineers at Corvette were split regarding their opinion about the viability of the rear engine platform. This was the second time Chevrolet had played with the rear engine concept, the first being the Chevrolet Corvair.
The XP-819 never made it into production because of the engines weight, rear engine positioning, and standard wheel and tire size. During a high speed lane changing test the car witnessed its own demise as it was completely totaled. This was due to the fact that the amount of weight was too great behind the rear axle, resulting in improper balance.
The heap of shambles which was left of the XP-819 went to Smokey Yunick's garage in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was then cut up and stripped for usable parts. The rest of it was then bought by an unknown Corvette collector. Mid America Motorwork's founder Mike Yager, one of the nations leading supplier of Corvette parts, has since rebuilt the car.
"So many valuable prototypes disappear or end up in the junk yard once their usefulness ends," said Bill Warner Amelia's founder and chairman. "I'm glad this one made it back to tell its story. It's a unique piece of GM heritage and design that might have worked if it had more development and testing time; just look at Porsche's 911."
The 2012 Amelia Concours d'Elegance was on the fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The honoree for 2012 was rally and endurance legend Vic Elford and the iconic Ferrari GTO was featured. The shows foundation has donated approximately $1.8 million to Florida's First Coast charities since its inception in 1996.