Wednesday, August 3, 2016

1959 Scaglietti Corvette

Three bare 1959 Corvette chassis were shipped to Scaglietti of Maranello and constructed with a special lightweight alloy body to Sergio Scaglietti's design. Gary Laughlin, Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby were trying to duplicate Ferrari's lightweight construction with inexpensive Chevrolet power.

Their intention was to race the cars against the Ferrari 250 Testarossas and 250 SWB Berlinettas. Scaglietti's principal customer, Enzo Ferrari, was not pleased, and the cars took more than two years to complete.
The 1959 Scaglietti Corvette Italia was intended to be produced in limited numbers, and would have competed in the same market as high-performance European sports cars.
GM design and engineering bosses Harley Earl and Ed Cole approved the project just about the time GM decreed an end to factory racing, thus killing the project.

Shelby later turned to Ford for backing, but was also declined, although he eventually collaborated with them on the Shelby Cobra and Shelby Mustang.
One of the Scaglietti Corvettes was advertised for sale in Hemmings early this year for $995,000.

Scaglietti Corvette Number One was the only Scaglietti Corvette to come from Italy equipped with the fuel-injected Corvette engine and a four-speed manual transmission. Scaglietti Corvettes two and three were originally fitted with dual carb V8s and automatic transmissions, although they were retrofitted with fuel-injected Corvette engines and four-speed manual transmissions.