What does it mean to be “Corvette Powered”?
It’s winning your class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and finishing 9th overall in 1965, cruising over the waves at 60+ mph in the late 1990s and early 2000s, winning the country’s most prestigious automotive award concerning custom and hot rod car owners and builders – the Ridler Award, and it ALWAYS means that there is a Corvette engine involved!
Visitors to the National Corvette Museum can now step into an exciting exhibit, Corvette Powered, that showcases vehicles, specifically mid-century non-General Motors/non-Corvette vehicles, that utilized Corvette engines, and drivelines.
At a time when America’s automotive industry was lacking, the small-block Chevy V8 engine changed everything. It was quickly discovered that other engines could not compete with Chevrolet’s engineering of the Corvette engine. As a result, some manufacturers, rather than developing their engines, approached Chevrolet and purchased Corvette engines or drivelines for their cars.
As Ed Cole once said, “when the 1955 Chevrolet engine was in the design stage, we were aware of its potential as the hot-rod-able V8. We wanted a high-performance V8, and we achieved our objective.”
The use of Chevy’s small-block was used in European and American sports cars to boats showcasing that the Corvette engine has powered more than just Corvettes over time. As explained by Director of Collections/Curator, Derek E. Moore, “this exhibit shares a piece of Corvette history and explores the stories of unique vehicles and their use of Corvette engines.” Vehicles to see in the exhibit include a 1958 Scarab, 1967 Bizzarrini Strada, 1965 Impala built by Chip Foose, a 1966 Excalibur, 1969 Mangusta, 1977 Avanti II, and more.
The new Corvette Powered exhibit explores select stories and the reason they chose Corvette engines to power their vehicles. Stories from Italy to America, Wisconsin to California, and from paved roads to glass-smooth lakes will grace the Exhibit Hall at the Museum until Bash of 2022.