The 1954 Corvette Corvair is the Coolest Car That No Longer Exists!

For the first time, a 1954 Corvette Corvair concept automobile has been brought back to life.

A long time has passed since the concept of concept vehicles (or is it the concept of idea cars?). Even before the internet, a concept automobile was a terrific method to see how the public reacts to new and occasionally revolutionary car designs. Furthermore, building a small number of cars is much less expensive than committing to a full year of production for a car that may turn out to be a dud.

Once they’ve been showcased, what happens to Concept Cars?

It’s a shame that so many concept automobiles have been lost to time. Why? They can’t be sold or even driven on the road because most of them don’t have valid VIN numbers. As a result, the manufacturers must either pay to keep them or just send them to the crusher after they have been stripped of any useful components. They have no other choice. A few are still around thanks to sly workers, and a few important ones have been preserved in the historical collections of manufacturers, but for the most part, they simply vanish. Corvair concept automobiles were a similar situation. The first fastback was debuted at the 1954 Motorama Show at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, and GM appears to have constructed five of these to show off the design. Convertibles, sporty fastbacks, and a charming two-door station wagon were among the many Corvette variants offered by General Motors. The Nomad, a station wagon that became a full-size vehicle, was the exception. The Corvair, which has four seats, a rear-mounted engine, and a futuristic look similar to the fastback pictured here, was built using the same fastback body form (a portmanteau of “Corvette” and “Bel Air”).


Brett Henderson of Blue Flame Restorations hand-built this 1954 Corvette to look exactly like the Motorama Corvair coupe concept car. Every attempt was made to properly duplicate the original. AC Delco shocks and a 1956 rear end are included in the package, as well as genuine 1954 front suspension and steering components. With its 265ci (4.3-liter) V-8 engine and 700R four-speed automatic transmission coupled to a two-speed Powerglide shifter, it has better stopping power thanks to the car’s disc brakes up front. A period-correct set of Firestone whitewall tires covers the 15-inch steel rims, adding to the vehicle’s period-correct genuineness. With a fresh coat of Crystal Red paint, the inside features custom-made Al Knoch bucket seats, custom-made window glass, and instruments from a 1956 dashboard put in the factory 1954 dashboard, among other things. Also in 2015, the car was named a personal favorite by famed custom car builder George Barris at the Corvette Funfest, where it was entered into the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Is there a reason why GM never made a Corvette Corvair?

There were just 300 1953 Corvettes produced, despite the fact that they were revolutionary in terms of style and construction thanks to the use of fiberglass. The Blue Flame inline six-cylinder engine and two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission contributed to a lack of competitive performance in comparison to European sports cars. Many people couldn’t justify buying a Corvette since it lacked a manual transmission in competition with German, Italian, and British models. As a result of the Corvette’s poor sales, Chevrolet considered discontinuing the model.


You may know him from his flathead Ford OHV engine kit with Zora Arkus-arrival. Dunkov’s Zora was knowledgeable about performance and had ambitious plans for making the Corvette more competitive in the sports car sector by introducing V-8 engines and manual transmissions. Although he was able to salvage the Corvette, he couldn’t save the Corvette Corvair design in time, and the concept cars were obliterated. A Seafoam Green variant (some say it was the same car, repainted) was shown around the country before pulling the same disappearing act as the red one copied here, which vanished shortly after the Motorama event.