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Saturday, April 27, 2024

A gorgeous Italian job on American muscle car

ONE-OFFThe Chevrolet Corvette, an iconic American muscle car, has always captivated enthusiasts with its muscular design and powerful V8 engine. However, its appeal in Europe was limited due to preferences for sleeker European-style cars.
Chevrolet Corvette Rondine concept car by Pininfarina. (Picture from: DriveTribe)
In 1963, Chevrolet recognized the need to attract European consumers and embarked on a transformation journey for the Corvette C2. Teaming up with renowned Italian design house Pininfarina, known for its work with Ferrari and other luxury brands, Chevrolet introduced the Pininfarina Chevrolet Corvette 'Rondine' coupe concept at the 1963 Paris Motor Show.

While retaining the original chassis and 5.4-liter V8 engine producing 360 horsepower, the Pininfarina Rondine underwent significant aesthetic changes. Unlike the fiberglass body of the original Corvette C2, the Rondine featured a steel exterior, altering its weight distribution and handling characteristics.
Unlike the original Corvette with a fibreglass body, the Rondine was made of steel. (Picture from: DriveTribe)
The redesign eliminated the Corvette's distinctive pop-up lights and elongated the front overhang, giving it a unique appearance reminiscent of European grand tourers. Despite these modifications, the response to the Rondine concept was mixed, leading Chevrolet to reconsider its production feasibility.
Interior of Chevrolet Corvette Rondine. (Picture from: DriveTribe)
Ultimately, the Pininfarina Rondine remained a one-off prototype, residing in the Corvette museum as a testament to Chevrolet's experimentation with European design influences. In 2008, it fetched a staggering $1.2 million at auction, highlighting its significance in automotive history.
While the Rondine may not have entered mass production, its legacy endures as a symbol of Chevrolet's endeavor to adapt to global market preferences while staying true to its American heritage. With its fusion of Italian elegance and American muscle, the Pininfarina Chevrolet Corvette 'Rondine' remains a timeless masterpiece appreciated by enthusiasts worldwide. *** [EKA [09082019] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCE | DRIVE TRIBE | MOTORIOUS]
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