Introducing one of the most important cars in Chevrolet’s history. This is the 1963 Chevrolet Testudo. The one off Testudo sold for $460,000 dollars back in 2011 when it was auctioned off.
This prototype car was built by Giorgetto Giugiaro while working for Bertone, a high end Italian car maker. The story behind this car, reported from The Truth About Cars is that Bill Mitchell at GM Styling sent over two Corvair chassis over to Italy to have a competition to develop a car for the European markets. Well that never came to fruition, but this single car was made in the Bertone office by Giugiaro.
Looking at this car you can see it has a very European feel to it, and theres good reason for that. The name itself, Testudo, is Italian for turtle. While no turtle looks like this car, the inspiration comes from the distinct body line that goes around the car itself. Even after years of building cars, the Testudo held a special place in Giugiaro’s heart. “There’s something special and affectionate about what I feel for the Testudo. It was the first prototype with which I had been given a free hand, without restraints, and the end result captured the attention of the entire automobile world.”
The reason this car is so important is the influences you can see in it. Since the Bertone office owned the car, some of the revolutionary styling influenced the design of other cars. You can see influences of the Testudo in the C3 Corvettes, Ferrari Daytona’s, Lamborghini Miura and the AMC Pacer. Porsche designer Tony Lapine said that this Testudo had a direct impact on the design of the Porsche 928 as well. So while this car didn't necessarily influence a ton of Chevrolet’s, it did influence a variety of other cars and manufactures from around the world.
Now that’s one cool turtle.
Article courtesy of Street Legal TV, written by Tim King.