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A 1959 Scaglietti Corvette was at the Marin-Sonoma car show. I did not really appreciate the history of that car until I looked it up today. From a web source (which seems consistent with other web sources):
Five years before the Ford-powered Cobras were unleashed to a fast-growing, power-hungry sports car band of American enthusiasts, three Texans named Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall and Gary Laughlin decided to build a sports car to beat the Europeans at their own game. Jim and Gary both owned Chevrolet dealerships in Texas and, coupled with Jimís and Carrollís connections with some of the top brass at Chevrolet Racing, they were able to purchase three 1959 Corvette chassis -Ėsans bodies Ė to build their ultimate sports car.
From the St. Louis assembly plant to Modena, Italy, three bare Corvette chassis were sent to coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti to be clothed in a lightweight alloy body reminiscent of the Ferrari Tour de France, one of the most beautiful cars ever built. To put their car into production, factory support was needed to obtain frames, engines and gearboxes.
Carroll then presented his completed concept to General Motorsí vice president Harley Earl and chief engineer Ed Cole, who liked the car and approved of the idea. Unfortunately, their superiors did not, as during the carís construction Chevrolet had a policy change that eliminated all racing sponsorship. Years later, Carroll presented this same concept, but using a ford 221-cubic-inch V8 housed in a British-built AC Carsí Ace body instead, to Ford. Thus was born the Cobra and the rest, as they say, is history.
Here are a couple of pics of the Scaglietti from yesterday:
Here are some photos of the other two cars - there were slight variations in the grille treatments, instrument panel configuration, presence/absence of fender vents, etc. The blue car was the only one built with Powerglide.
The red one on the left that John Z posted belonged to Shelby, at one point. If memory serves, all three had FI units. I noticed that the blue one had a carbureted engine. Carrozzeria Scaglietti was an outstanding coachbuilder of the 50s. They were famous for doing the design/builds on the Ferrari 375mm (aka the Ingrid Bergman car), 250 GTO, 250 California and the 250 TR. Those represent the most expensive Ferraris found today. The pic of the blue car is outstanding. The three have lived a life in and out of the Peterson Museum in So Cal.
Last edited by Dan Hampton; 05-18-2009 at 04:23 PM.
I've heard this story many years ago and forgot about it....
Carroll is quite a guy. Been with him a few times over the last few years with the Ford GT group and when he was Grand Marshall for the 50th Anniversary at VIR celebrating his win of the very first race in a Masserati 350 ala 1956.
Just think if the tides were turned I might be driving a Chevy Scaglietti 40th anniversary commemorative and the other car company would be bankrupt
I had the privilege, in the 80's and early 90's, to be able to buy/sell parts from/to all three Scaglietti's while I lived in Southern California. The primary one was the one that Chuck Brahms from Costa Mesa, owned. One, at least at one point, went to Japan. I still have the heater diffuser box from one of them--and only one of them lacks it. At the time when I acquired it, about 18-20 years ago, that owner didn't want it.
Location: going faster miles an hour...with the radio on in browns mills new jersey
It's O.K. but it needs a few things:
Power rack & pinion steering
Modern EFI motor
Tilt & telescope steering column
Remote control stereo w/ Ipod hook up.
17" wheels w/ wider tires
And probably a few more things that are needed to turn it into a comfortable, safe, easy, and fun to drive machine.
During the winter of 2007, one Scaglietti owner sent his mechanic and his red car to Mobile for FI calibration. This car was equipped with a '59 FI unit that had spent some time in Indiana. However, I was able to get it repaired and calibrated with the mechanic's help.
We first got it running properly in the shop. I then asked him to take it out on the street for a test drive. I wanted him to make some full throttle passes to make sure the unit ran well under load. He was in agreement with the plan, but he preferred that I do all the driving.
It was about 10 PM and the streets were wet from rain. The car didn't have working wipers or any weatherstripping for some reason. Anyway, I decided to take it to the closest straight city street and stand on the gas pedal through three gears. That's my standard road performance test. However, that night it was not to be.
We went to a nice straight section of four lane with a median and no traffic, and I floored the pedal while cruising in first gear at about 3,000 rpm. Of course the car went sideways immediately. I pedaled for a while and kept it off the curbs, but I knew it wasn't smart to keep this up through three gears. I tried one more pass (which was also terrifying), and then putted back home. I wasn't too keen on wadding up such an expensive toy. The mechanic probably envisioned his employment coming to an ugly end too if we pushed our luck. He decided that it ran just fine under load and no further testing was necessary.
That is one heck of a story. I would love to see a video of that episode. And I would pay extra for a close-up of your face as you went sideways in a one of three Scaglietti.
Do you have any pics of the red Scaglietti you can share?
The blue Scaglietti I saw yesterday is just drop dead gorgeous. The red versions somehow don't look quite the same. One of the red ones has a corvette grill, which doesn't really look right on the car.
I gather the Scaglietti's had some handling issues. Corvette engine, Corvette chassis, and 400lbs lighter. And the Scaglietti guys did not adjust the handling issues caused by the weight loss.
I have always been a huge fan of Ferrari and the Scaglietti Corvette I have always thought looked great. Kind of the best of both worlds for a guy that appreciates the sound of 12 cylinders but also the throaty sound of American V8s as well. I happen to like the Corvette grill teeth much better as it is A Corvette-I like the egg grate but the Corvette grill teeth is a classic and distinctive grill. Here are some pics I took a few years ago at Amelia Island-Jim
I hunted around for info about the Scaglietti Corvettes yesterday. The FI red car is definitely for sale. And the blue car pictured above is apparently for sale, based on info from the seller of the red car.
Anybody care to make a guess as to the selling prices???
I will wait a bit, and then post the info and links.
Had basically Corvette engines in the backs of Lotus's, McLarens, Chaparrals, in the front of Scarab's etc.. Also the most recent auction of the Rondine was up in the millions. Cool cars! Would I trade my car for one of these three Scaglietti's? No! If I could garage my top ten favorite Corvettes of all time, would I include a Scaglietti? No! If my neighbor had one and was out front of his house washing it, would I go over and talk about it and compliment him on his SCaglietti? Most definitely, Yes! Would I want a ride in it? Most definitely, Yes! Have I photographed any of these Scaglietti's? Yes, two of them and I put those photos in with the Iso Grifo's, the Bizzarrinni's (spelling?), Devin's, Scarab's, and even have a Blue convertible Buick Apollo in that section of my photo album.