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Corvette No. 002 found?

Rob

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Corvette No. 002 found?

By Old Cars Weekly staff

Ken Amrick reports in the Fall 2006 issue of On Solid Ground that the body from Corvette No. 002 may have been located. On Solid Ground is the publication of the Solid Axle Corvette Club.

Corvette%20No.%202%20in%20March%201954.jpg


Many modifications and oddities about the early Corvette body appear to be consistent with records showing that body No. 002 served as a test car for production Corvettes, including whether the then-developmental small-block V-8 would work in the two-seater.

GM records show body No. 002 was assigned duty as an engineering test vehicle (and assigned No. 3951), and was used in various V-8 design tests, as well as cooling system, 12-volt power, Powerglide and exhaust development. The body that was recently found was removed when car No. 3951 received a new body in May 1955.

Among the contributing evidence for the found body to be No. 002 are:

• The body has a one-piece floor, thought only to exist among the first 12 Corvette bodies.
• The fiberglass finish is extremely crude, especially in trunk and behind seats, per early cars.
• The right-side inner fender has been reworked to fit a 12-volt battery.
• The brake pedal arm and emergency brake have differences from any other Corvette.
• Several sets of holes in the firewall indicate multiple placements of heater motor and hoses.
• The normal exhaust holes were covered with factory-type materials, and there is evidence that extra exhaust holes were cut in rear fenders, as on 1956-’57 V-8 models. An early photograph known to be of body No. 002 shows two sets of exhaust holes, and they are in the same location on the body of the car in question.

The earliest known Corvette is No. 003, which has been restored to show condition. Corvette No. 001 is known to have been destroyed in a burn test by General Motors.

For more on this early Corvette body, watch your upcoming Old Cars Weekly editions for expanded interviews surrounding this car. If you have any details about Corvette No. 002, please contact the owner, Pete Wilzbach, at peterwilzbach@msn.com.

For details on joining the Solid Axle Corvette Club, contact Lucy Badenhoop, SACC secretary, P.O. Box 2288, N. Highlands, CA 95660, call 916-991-7040, or e-mail badenhoop.lucy@bigfoot.com.

Source: http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/Default.aspx?tabid=520&articleid=4032&articlemid=1549#1549Articles
 
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Where?

Hmmm-I wonder where it has been hiding all these years? And what else is in that building?

Very interesting read. Thanks, Rob. :)

Rick
:gap
 

SebringBill

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I'll go out on a limb and say that this body (when attached to its earlier chassis) became EX-122 (the V-8 test car) now better known as the Kerbeck abortion, not the original Motorama car (oops, did I say that? me bad...:eyerole )
 

Tom Bryant

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Yes you did say that and I agree. The car was beautiful when it was restored as it was when it left GM as a '55. Now it's just something that never was.

If the body found is in fact number 2 what do you do with it? To build a car out of it would be as fake as the Kerbeck car. I would think that the right thing to do would be to preserve it as is and display it in the NCM.

Tom
 
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Yes you did say that and I agree. The car was beautiful when it was restored as it was when it left GM as a '55. Now it's just something that never was.

If the body found is in fact number 2 what do you do with it? To build a car out of it would be as fake as the Kerbeck car. I would think that the right thing to do would be to preserve it as is and display it in the NCM.

Tom

Tom,

I might have missed a few threads, so would you like to elaborate a little, on your statement regarding the " Fake " Kerbeck Corvette. !

Stepinwolf
 

Tyler Townsley

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If the body found is in fact number 2 what do you do with it? To build a car out of it would be as fake as the Kerbeck car. I would think that the right thing to do would be to preserve it as is and display it in the NCM.

Tom

I agree, and that is what I said when I heard about it in June.

Tyler
 
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Rob

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Tom Bryant

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Tom,

I might have missed a few threads, so would you like to elaborate a little, on your statement regarding the " Fake " Kerbeck Corvette. !

Stepinwolf

Without going into great detail on how and when the car was discovered here are the basics. The motorama car was used for testing and whatever for a time after the Motorama shows were over. Eventually the car was stripped to it's bare chassis. The original body, driveline and all was discarded and believed to have been distroyed. The bare chassis was recycled with a V8 and all new body and sold as a 1955 model Corvette. So when this car left GM's hands it was a 1955 red car and was restored to that condition by prominent NCRS authorities. It was in this condition that the car was displayed at the NCRS Flint National in 1978? I have a bunch of slides of the car taken there if I could only find them. I have moved a couple times and they are buried in the archives someplace.

So what Kerbecks have recreated is a motorama looking car that only has a few parts that remained from the original car. All of the special body trim ect was recreated and the car still to this day has the V8 installed. To use todays terms it is a clone built on the original frame. To those of us that put meaning to this sort of thing this car is no more real than to take the data plates off of a totally distroyed 1967 L88 and build a new car around them with parts sorced from non L88 cars.

The most correct thing to do with this car was done when it was restored to the way it left GM. The car was always known to have the motorama frame under it but that was the extent of it.

Tom
 
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Agreed

I'm with Tom and Tyler - leave it alone and place it in the NCM.

I'm also with Stepinwolf-tell me about the Kerbeck car. Very curious...:confused

Rick
:gap
 
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The Kerbeck car is a sham - a total clone/"re-creation"; next time you see it on display, ask the guy standing next to it in the Kerbeck uniform why he won't open the hood. :eyerole
 

Fuelie

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I agree with others, that the body should be displayed along with the story of how it has arrived to this point and time in history.
 

53 Blue Flame

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#002

The car was last painted a light blue metallic and there are pictures of as such. I believe it is being painted that way again. It had various paint colors tried on it while at GM. It's a neat piece of history.

I am currently building a replica of the Waldorf Motorama car for Pete Wilzbach from another car, with "every" body modification as the original. There were many modifications that are not seen on the Kerbeck car, even though it was very nicely done. The engine compartment will also be as the Waldorf car, right down to the correctly dated and stamped block.

Neat project and fun to do. :)
 

53 Blue Flame

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Hi Loren. Body #002, owned by Pete Wilzbach. When the body was #3951, it was last painted a silver blue metallic before the body was replaced with the Kerbeck 1955 body.
 

Tyler Townsley

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The car was last painted a light blue metallic and there are pictures of as such. I believe it is being painted that way again. It had various paint colors tried on it while at GM. It's a neat piece of history.

I am currently building a replica of the Waldorf Motorama car for Pete Wilzbach from another car, with "every" body modification as the original. There were many modifications that are not seen on the Kerbeck car, even though it was very nicely done. The engine compartment will also be as the Waldorf car, right down to the correctly dated and stamped block.

Neat project and fun to do. :)

The 3 Fisher Body cars were done like a boat and had no side seams. If you look at the old pictures they do not have the side trim from front to back. Are you going to glass the top and bottom togeather like they were?


GM contracted with Fisher Body for 5 cars, the first 2 were shown on the Motorama ckt and a third was completed but the 4 and 5 cars were never done. Aparently GM was doing a car on thier own on the QT to see if could be done as parts and assembled on a production line. I would not be suprised to learn that this (002) is that car. It has all the earmarks of a very early car and there are pictures showing it remained in engineering hands until at least 55.

Tyler
 

53 Blue Flame

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The sides have been smoothed on the replica. It will look exactly as the Waldorf car did. Making emblems and special gull wings and trim. Already made the Corvette script for front and rear by laser. A very competent engineer made them for me.
 

Loren Smith

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Hi Loren. Body #002, owned by Pete Wilzbach. When the body was #3951, it was last painted a silver blue metallic before the body was replaced with the Kerbeck 1955 body.

Did this body come with a 002 VIN tag and/or title? Any idea what happened to the frame?
 

53 Blue Flame

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Did this body come with a 002 VIN tag and/or title? Any idea what happened to the frame?

If I'm quoting correctly, the frame is underneath Kerbeck's car. I would have to refer to John Amgwert's article on the Earliest Corvettes. The #3951 body was on that chassis and was replaced by a new 55 body before it left GM....if I'm quoting correctly.

The body did have 002 marked on a couple of body panels. The dash rail, I believe, was one panel. Pete Wilzbach can best explain what was found.
 

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