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General Motors Tried to Build a Four-Seat Corvette in 1962

Road & Track logo Road & Track 7/26/2021 Fred Smith
a blue car parked in front of a building: The concept was abandoned almost immediately to focus on the two-seat C2 we know today. © GM Design / Instagram The concept was abandoned almost immediately to focus on the two-seat C2 we know today.

For nearly 60 years, America's car magazines were of a firm belief: General Motors seemed to be no more than 18 months from replacing whatever their Corvette of the day was with a completely new mid-engined offering. This did not actually happen until the 2020 model year, but it did eventually happen. Thankfully, the same cannot be said about GM's other attempt to put something behind the driver's seat in the early Sixties.

This is a four-seat C2 Corvette, modeled in 1962 and shown in color this week on GM Design's official Instagram page. While the final C2 line ended up focusing heavily on serious sports car performance at a surprisingly low price point, the four-seat variant shown here previews a world where Corvette instead pivoted toward a grand touring future in response to Ford's then-successful Thunderbirds that had already grown significantly larger by 1958.

a blue car parked in a parking lot: four seat c2 corvette © GM Design / Instagram four seat c2 corvette

The four-seater was never put into production. According to Corvette Blogger, that happened in no small part thanks to a faulty seat design. A GM executive climbed into the back of this fiberglass model, only to be trapped in place by a locked front seat. Staffers then reportedly removed the front seat entirely to extract him. The four-door C2 model we see here is believed to have been destroyed a few years later.

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Thanks in no small part to the failure of the questionable-looking four-seat C2 concept, Corvettes have stayed with two seats and a heavy focus on sporting performance in the eras since. The Sixties Thunderbirds this car was designed to compete with have been all but lost to history, with the line itself dying as an unrecognizable massive coupe by 1997. Corvettes have soldiered on, only getting faster and more serious from here as they developed into the mid-engined beast we know today.

Via Motor1

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