So for our Throwback Thursday, let’s check out a couple of Chevrolet’s concept cars of the past.
1954 Corvette Nomad
With the success of the new Corvette in 1953, Chevrolet decided to try a new idea, the Corvette station wagon. The 1954 Corvette Nomad was designed by Harley Earl and his design staff, and debuted at the 1954 General Motors Motorama in New York City. Although the wagon possessed many design cues from the Corvette—and did make use of many Corvette components, the Nomad was actually built on a modified 1953 Chevrolet sedan chassis.
This four-door hardtop was heralded by GM as “an exploration in elegance.” At the 1955 Motorama, the car made its debut and featured the all-new 265 cubic-inch small-block V-8 engine. Sitting in the cockpit, the driver was greeted by a “Stratospheric” windshield that curved into the roof line, and swiveling front seats were incorporated to aid vehicle entry and exit.
1956 Corvette Impala
Appearing at the 1956 GM Motorama show was the Corvette Impala. This five passenger conveyance featured a Corvette grille and grille surround, as well as other Corvette components. The Corvette Impala emblem on the front, and rear license plate, led show-goers to believe that the Corvette was to become a passenger car.
Show goers had no idea how correct they were, as Chevrolet built this Corvette-inspired passenger car to find out if such a vehicle was desirable. Apparently, the design did not garner the appeal that Chevrolet was hoping for. Not only did the car have design features from the Corvette, it also sported the 265 cubic-inch V-8 from the production two-seater. Just like the Corvette, the Corvette Impala was built with fiberglass body panels.
Probably the most famous of Chevrolet’s concept cars is the XP-755 concept car known as the Mako Shark. The car was designed in 1961 by Larry Shinoda with General Motors’ Styling and Design supervisor Bill Mitchell.
1967 Waikiki Camaro
Before Camaro became a household word, Chevrolet wanted to test different variants of the car. This led to the 1967 Waikiki concept. This was an uncharacteristically low-budget concept car designed to show the versatility of the new Camaro.
1970 Camaro Kammback
If you’re like us, your first thought when seeing this concept has to be, “really?” The Chevrolet sports-wagon ponycar was actually on schedule for a 1970 introduction, but never appeared in showrooms.
When the 1967 Camaro went on sale, General Motors designers were already planning their next-generation ponycar, as work was ongoing to design the all-new 1970 model. When looking at optional models for the ponycar, development of an F-body sports-wagon was contemplated as a companion model for the hardtop. The idea seemed practical, as many consumers still remembered the 1955-1957 Nomad wagon and its two-door styling.
Management at Chevrolet wanted the Kammback to go into production, but they worried that the extra tooling expense was cost-prohibitive, and the project was scrapped.
Article courtesy of Chevy Hardcore, written by Randy Bolig.