1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS

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Automotive history is filled with a series of "what-ifs," and few of these "what-ifs" are as intriguing to Corvette racing fans as the 1957 Corvette SS project.

In the early days before the Corvette was an American icon, and at the time even in danger of being discontinued by GM management, one obvious tactic to shore up the Corvette's sports car image and spur sales was to institute a racing program.  Thus was born the short-lived Corvette SS project, with the initial goal of winning at Sebring.  Led by the gifted Zora Arkus-Duntov, a team of engineers created this ultra-lightweight (1850 lbs) and powerful (307 bhp) racecar.

Success at Sebring for this stunning racer was unfortunately not in the cards.  Although the SS was extremely fast for its day (top recorded speed of 183 mph), a series of mechanical problems forced it to retire after 23 laps in the Sebring 12-Hour race.  Shortly thereafter, the ban on factory-sponsored racing efforts by the Detroit manufacturers spelled the end of the SS project.