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Get lost in this unique Bermuda Green Corvette Prototype

This one-of-a-kind 'Proposal Car' predates the Corvette production run and boasts many unique features not found on the mass-market models. Now this American icon could be yours as it heads to Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction.

Production of Chevrolet’s iconic Corvette began on June 30th, 1953, but as you’d expect, a number of public and private concept cars and prototypes were produced before the assembly line got to work. This 'Proposal Car' is one such example, and its roots lie with those iconic Motorama concepts that captured the hearts and minds of petrol heads across the globe in 1954. Featuring hand-laid fibreglass bodies, these early Chevy concepts were a labour of love designed to usher in the future of the automobile, but many were dismantled, destroyed or repurposed, making any surviving prototype from this era an incredibly rare find. 

These extremely early cars were referred to by internal codes rather than VIN numbers, and the history of this example starts with S.O. 2000, the code given to the pale yellow hard top concept that debuted in 1954. It is believed that two of these hard tops were built, and one was disassembled to produce this car, S.O. 2015. In the hallowed halls of GM’s famous Art and Colour department, legendary designer Harley Earl oversaw S.O. 2151’s transformation into the stunning roadster you see here. As the department’s 'Proposal Car' for 1955, S.O. 2151’s job was to convince GM’s big wigs of the design direction for the next year’s Corvette. 

S.O. 2151 was given a restyled body with many distinctive features, including a decorative hood scoop, egg crate front grille, bumper-exit exhaust tips and a distinctive trunk design highly reminiscent of that seen on the Motorama fastback Corvair, S.O. 2071. Another remnant of this Corvette’s role as the 'Proposal Car' are the the slanted front-fender vents, which were painted body colour on the passenger side and trimmed with chrome on the driver side to give GM executives two different looks to choose from. The lovely Bermuda Green paint job perfectly complements the stunning bodywork, while the Corvette script incorporated a gold “V” as a visual flourish to hint at the 1955 model-year Corvette’s optional V8 engine. 

Recently restored back to its full glory, a process that consumed three years and more than 1,800 man hours, this 'Proposal Car' now looks arguably more spectacular today than it did in the 1950s. As one of the few surviving Motorama-era prototypes, this Corvette could easily sit atop any great collection of American icons. If it had a European badge on the bonnet, we imagine a car as significant as this could easily stray into eight figure territory, but even so this is unlikely to be a bargain with an estimate of between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 dollars when it crosses the block at Gooding’s Pebble Beach sale on August 18th