RM Monterey 2015 – 1960 Chevrolet CERV I – Zora’s F1 Dream Prototype

1960 Chevrolet CERV IIf there were two words more taboo than ‘racing’ at General Motors in the 1950s, they would be: open-wheeled and mid-engine.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, the world’s largest automaker was a big prude when it came to racecars and production exotics. Safety pressure from DC was woven into the product planning and board rooms with an iron lock.

But the late 1950s opened many doors.

A total ban on racing sponsorship or factory participation was fading fast. Moral leaders and crazy think-tanks of the day were losing their grip on culture thanks to mass media and tectonic advancements in technology.

Flagship of this zeitgeist?

The Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle One.

1960 Chevrolet CERV I



13-15 August 2015

1960 Chevrolet CERV I

$1,300,000 – $2,000,000

  • Chassis no. P-2152

377 cu. in. OHV aluminum experimental V-8 engine, four-speed manual transmission with a lightweight clutch, independent front and rear suspension with variable-rate coil springs, shock absorbers, and a front stabilizer bar, and four-wheel heavy-duty, iron-lined, cast-aluminum finned drum brakes. Wheelbase: 96 in.

  • The most important GM Engineering vehicle ever offered at auction
  • Zora Arkus-Duntov’s personal Corvette engineering test bed
  • Used to develop the 1963 Sting Ray’s independent suspension, among other features
  • Formerly of the Briggs Cunningham and Miles Collier collections
  • Restored in its final 1964 cosmetic and mechanical form
  • Innumerable awards and featured in numerous publications
  • The car from which the modern Corvette was born

The Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle (CERV) was not originally created as a Corvette test bed, nor was it created to do entirely what its name claimed. Ostensibly, it would be a functional single-seat racing vehicle on which Chevrolet engineers could experiment, developing new tricks for the entire range of Bow Tie cars. However, projects in which GM Director of High Performance Vehicles Zora Arkus-Duntov, was involved generally had an ulterior motive. In this case, it was that CERV could actually win races.

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.