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XP-819 A Truly One-of-a-Kind Corvette

The XP-819 was slated for demolition. However, racer and performance driver Smokey Yunick requested this car as the basis for a new race car design. Smokey never completed the racer and later sold the XP-819. When purchased, the car had been cut into several pieces and was almost unidentifiable.

Corvette Rear Engine One-Off Concept Car
Corvette XP-819 – termed the ugly duckling at the time of its development – was an engineering exercise to test a concept for the rear-engine Corvette. The design proved to be ahead of its time and before further refinement could take place, the project was scrapped. Luckily, XP-819 was tucked away and later rescued, to enjoy a second life and bring this page of Corvette history to enthusiasts.
XP-819 Blueprint
XP-819 Side View
Developed in the 1960s by Frank Winchell and Larry Shinoda, XP-819 is the only rear-engine Corvette prototype in existence and one of only two monocoque chassis cars Chevrolet ever produced.
Winchell, then head of Chevrolet Research and Development, built this futuristic Corvette platform, leaving the styling to Shinoda, designer of the 1963 Stingray Split Window Coupe and CERV-1. Styling cues that later appeared in Shinoda’s famed 1968 “Stingray” design can be seen on XP-819.
A GM marine, reverse rotation engine was factory-installed in the car, allowing the two-speed transaxle to operate properly. XP-819 was developed at a time when Chevrolet and Frank Winchell worked closely with Jim Hall and his Chapparal program. In fact, all Chapparal development expenses were written off at Chevrolet under the futuristic XP-819. The entire chassis, suspension and steering are custom made components unique to this car, yet some of these parts also found their way to later production cars. The Chapparal cars and XP-819 shared a handful of components, including two speed transaxle, Larry Shinoda designed wheels, and the first rack and pinion steering used by General Motors.
XP-819 and C2 Side-by-Side
XP-819 Chassis and Interior
Features Include:
Adjustable Electric Brake And Accelerator Pedals
Telescoping Steering Column
The First Use Of Urethane Front And Rear Bumpers
The Rear Engine Design Required A Reverse Rotation Engine
All Chassis Components, Coil Over Shocks, A-Arms, Spindles, Ball Joints And Disc Brakes Are Unique Prototypes
As testing concluded, XP-819 nearly suffered the fate of many factory experimental vehicles – crushing! However, famed racer and performance guru, Smokey Yunick, requested this car as a basis for a new race car design. Smokey never completed the racer and later sold XP-819 to some Corvette enthusiasts, who recognized this important chapter in Corvette’s history.
On August 17, 2002, Mid America Motorworks was fortunate enough to add XP–819 to the MY Garage Collection. XP-819 has returned to the MY Garage Museum after undergoing a partial restoration by Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair Inc. It returned to Mid America Motorworks as a drivable chassis. Complete restoration is planned; however, as each part of XP-819 is 100% custom, the restoration timeline has been extended to account for new fabrication of unique parts.
XP-819 Top-Front View, Key and Chassis Blueprint
XP-819 at Amelia Island
Mike Yager acquired XP-819 in 2002 when he bought it at RM Auctions in Monterey, Calif. He enlisted the help of Kevin Mackay, expert restorer and owner of Corvette Repair, Inc. in Valley Stream, N.Y., to complete a frame-off restoration. As Mackay dug into the restoration, he realized that this would be the most challenging project he ever worked on. Each missing part had to be handmade, as no other car in the world shares XP-819’s build.
“I am looking forward to the day when the finished
XP-819 finds its way back home to MY Garage Museum,” Yager said. “It will be exciting to show guests a Corvette that I can confidently say they have never seen before!”

Watch the XP-819 at Amelia Island 2013 - Jay Leno's Garage
Kevin Mackay and Mike Yager with the XP-819
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