The Corvette Moray is a slippery one — in many senses of the word!
Named after the shimmery Moray eel and styled to glide through this world without disturbing the air, the Moray Corvette from ItalDesign in 2003 is interesting for a few reasons.
First off, though, let’s discuss what it is under these sleek new panels and triple glass bubble canopy. It is a C5 underneath — so the guys had their work cut out for them in making it special and respected at Pebble Beach and in Geneva.
It is a full reskin from tip to tail, with ultra-smooth and uninterrupted surfaces, curving flow and just a few detail accents like the hood-top wedge and the ultra-slim LED lamps.THat nose is actually quite cool and sexy, with an even-lower leading edge of the hood than the factory Corvette, a razor-sharp splitter in the bumper, and finely-crafted LED pods with polished-alloy strakes. Much like the almost-blind Moray eel’s eyes, we presume.
The tail is smoother than ever and only four chrome gills in the front fenders serve as air channels for the 6.0-liter V8 under, plus a slim diffuser under the rear bumper.
The rear action, as you can undoubtedly see, is in that fighter-jet canopy. Three canopies, in fact. The first windshield glass is a huge near semi-circle of glass that offers a lower cowl and more rear-ward, but more upright, A-pillars than the stock Vette.
The rear two pieces open upward to let you enter the cabin, and have another party trick: they can be removed altogether. (And carefully, **carefully!!**, stored in a garage, not in the car.)
With the rear glass removed, the Moray Corvette became a delicious cabrio with just that spindle of chrome framework down the middle of the car’s back.
Two places where the Moray influenced the Chevrolet Corvette design teams? The flowing crease from the glasshouse into the tail and trunk-top, forming a flip right at the CHMSL point, is something that the C6 and C7 Corvettes have integrated into their designs. The other? That Jet Blue color! It was an instant hit as the launch shade of the ZR-1 C6 and lives on today as Night Race Blue on the C7 and C7 Z06.
The design of the Moray’s roof is interesting, to say the least. Not super practical, or super desirable as a C5 under the skin, but definitely intriguing.
It caused a flurry of excitement in Pebble Beach more than a decade ago. Among a crowd of people so fancy they’d never usually think of a Corvette — that was an achievement for Giugiaro.
The last reason the Moray Corvette is slippery? Very few high-quality photos of the car exist today online.
ITALDESIGN Corvette Moray
The American dream as dreamed by Italian dreamers.
The Moray was Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro’s homage to 50 years of the Chevrolet Corvette, a truly iconic American sports car.
This version of an extreme yet elegant sports car, produced on a Corvette chassis and mechanicals is distinguished by a pure profile, shaped by the waves and characterised by long, tapering, headlights, which suggested its name.
The door window half dome, which is the side window and roof at the same time, opens with a gull wing mechanism and is hinged to the rear pillar to promote access to the passenger compartment. These easily-removable door wings allow the Moray to be easily converted from a coupè characterised by a roof in a single glass dome, to a near roadster. The sensation of open-air driving is amplified by eliminating the B door pillar, replaced by a structure with a central steel arch to which both wings are hinged.
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.