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10 Cars That Paved the Way for the Mid-Engine C8 Corvette

Car and Driver Logo By Alexander Stoklosa of Car and Driver | Slide 1 of 11: Two hours into the 1957 12-hour Sebring Grand Prix, driver John Fitch dove into the pits to abandon his Corvette Super Sport. Officials were told a failed rear-suspension bushing prompted the DNF, but the real reason behind the early retirement was that Fitch couldn’t take the heat. Literally. Exhaust pipes snaking through the experimental sports racer’s magnesium body had cooked his feet. Pondering the demise of his Sebring project, Corvette patron saint Zora Arkus-Duntov concluded, “The heat source must be behind the driver.” From then on, Arkus-Duntov’s pursuit of a mid-engined Corvette never wavered. His legacy is this family album of experiments, prototypes, concepts, and stillborn production proposals, all of which lead (eventually) to the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.

Two hours into the 1957 12-hour Sebring Grand Prix, driver John Fitch dove into the pits to abandon his Corvette Super Sport. Officials were told a failed rear-suspension bushing prompted the DNF, but the real reason behind the early retirement was that Fitch couldn’t take the heat. Literally. Exhaust pipes snaking through the experimental sports racer’s magnesium body had cooked his feet. Pondering the demise of his Sebring project, Corvette patron saint Zora Arkus-Duntov concluded, “The heat source must be behind the driver.” From then on, Arkus-Duntov’s pursuit of a mid-engined Corvette never wavered. His legacy is this family album of experiments, prototypes, concepts, and stillborn production proposals, all of which lead (eventually) to the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.

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