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Special Coachbuilt Corvettes
Corvette Z06 chassis


We've seen several Special Coachbuilt Corvettes in the past by a.o. Pininfarina, Vignale, Ghia and Scaglietti, but the current model, the C6, has rapidly become the most popular Corvette amongst coachbuilders. The sixth generation Corvette - designed with the European customer in mind - is considered the best 'Vette' ever by car enthusiasts all over the world. Some even say it's the best American Muscle Car of all times. We'd rather leave judgement to the customers, but what we do like to point out, is that the relatively lowtech C6 platform is a very good base for some very interesting Coachbuilt Specials. Let's have a look at seven reskinned Corvettes by four coachbuilders.

 

The sixth Corvette has a very nice rolling chassis without any structural body panels. This leaves much room for a designer/coachbuilder to create an entirely new body. In case of the featured Corvettes it is not only the body work that's new, but also the brand name. They all removed the Corvette brand name in favour of the coachbuilder's own identity. Possibly due to legal restrictions, but also to underline the more exclusive character of the new creations.

Corvette Coachbuilders

Probably the best known Corvette modifier is US based Callaway Cars. Reeves Callaway began tuning BMW's in 1977 and next came turbo Volkswagens, Porsche 924's and Alfa Romeos. In 1985 Callaway received the official corporate blessing from General Motors to modify corvettes. He has been doing that ever since. The 1998 C12 (based on the C5) was Callaway's first step from being 'just' a tuner toward the league of Special Coachbuilding. Callaway's current C6 based offering is the Supercharged C16 Coupe. C16 stands for the 16th Callaway project.

Callaway Corvette C16 Coupe
Callaway C16 Coupe 2005

Callaway's designer Paul Deutschman took the blueprints of the C6's steel chassis and drew some very sexy flowing curves over the Corvette's hard points. The only body panels the car retains from the C6 are the roof panel, the rear hatch, the diffusor and the rear view mirrors. Deutschman smoothened all the sharp edges and added some 'flying buttresses' like the ones on the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. The classically - almost Italian - styled body is very appealing, but unfortunately the flying buttresses look like they are fixed with Velcro... The interior design remains standard, but the client can choose a new leather upholstery.

Callaway Corvette C16 Coupe

The C6's steel chassis is also available as a Convertible and of course the Callaway C16 can be ordered in this open configuration as well.

Corvette C6 Convertible chassis
Corvette C6 Convertible chassis

Callaway Corvette C16 Convertible
Callaway C16 Convertible 2007

In 2008 Callaway modified the C16 model one step further by removing the A-pillars and front windshield, resulting in the Callaway C16 Speedster.

Callaway Corvette C16 Speedster
Callaway C16 Speedster 2008


Reeves Callaway: "This is Callaway Cars' most exquisite vehicle to date. The C16 Speedster marks our 20th anniversary with Corvette and 30th year in business." This very impressive Speedster has just a set of tiny wind deflectors, but luckily Callaway provided two helmets, which house under two bulges behind the seats. Despite the helmets, I would not like to roll over in this Speedster without any roll bars.

Callaway Corvette C16 Speedster

The second company building a new brand on the Corvette underpinnings is California based Anteros Marketing. In 2002, John & Joann Rothman, along with their son David, wanted to create a sports car of uncompromising beauty, power, and elegance. They began implementing their idea drawing inspiration and style from the 60's era with the intent of incorporating the technology of today. Here's something we've heard before...
This approach resulted in the very retro XTM Roadster, built on the steel chassis of the C6 Convertible and fitted with a supercharger from... Callaway.

Anteros Corvette XTM Roadster
Anteros marketing XTM Roadster 2007

With its large meshed grille, oval glass covered head lights and triple vents behind the front wheels, the styling is very Ferrari-like. The only remaining visible Corvette elements are the A-pillars and the interior. Callaway designer Paul Deutschman managed to create a very slim and sexy body for the C16, but the appearance of the Anteros XTM is much debated. You'd be the judge.

In 2008, Anteros Marketing started the development of the XTR Targa. This design is constructed on the all aluminium chassis of Corvette's more potent version, the Z06. The XTR is a Targa for a reason, because the Z06 chassis is only available with a fixed roll bar.

Anteros Corvette XTR Targa
Anteros Marketing XTR Targa 2008


Corvette Z06 chassis
Corvette Z06 chassis


Another coachbuilder making use of the Z06 chassis is Castagna from Italy. The brothers Gioacchino Acampora and Umberto Pietra, who both worked for other Italian coachbuilders, decided to start a company of their own and in 1994 they bought the rights of the Castagna-name. The original Carrozzeria Castagna existed between 1849 and 1954.

While the two above mentioned American coachbuilders clearly opted for classic Italian inspired styling, the Italians appeared more forward thinking and the Castagna Aznom (Monza spelled backward) has become a modern looking sports car.

Castagna Aznom
Castagna Aznom 2007


The Aznom's agressively styled and much wider body is made entirely out of carbon fiber and almost no visual parts have been left unchanged. The only parts that reveil the car's true identity are the wind shield and the diffusor. Besides the steering wheel (of which they forgot to remove the Corvette badge), the interior is all new.

Castagna Aznom
Castagna Aznom

The callaway and Anteros Corvettes are being produced in limited series to reduce the costs. This is because a Corvette may not become too expensive. It will - with all do respect- allways be a Corvette, rebadged or not. The Castagna Aznom, however, is a one-off costing around one million Euros. That's a lot of money for 'just' a Corvette...

Last, but certainly not least, the most radical example of all coachbuilt Corvettes is the Codatronca from Spadaconcept, a design studio established in Turin at the end of 2006 by Ercole Spada and his son Paolo. Ercole Spada has been the chief designer for Zagato for many years, where he had designed many models like for instance the mythical Alfa Romeo TZ1 and TZ2. Those cars were characterized by the back shape called "codatronca", just like Spada's latest initiative based on the Corvette Z06.

Spada Codatronca
Spada Codatronca 2008


Spada did a terrific job in optically disguising the fact that there's a Corvette chassis underneath the dramatically styled carbon fiber body. There are no Corvette elements visible whatsoever. They even changed the shape of the 'green house'. The rear end, looking like a shooting brake, is very aerodynamic and works together with the enormous diffusor to minimalize drag while generating as much downforce as possible.

Spada Codatronca

The double air intakes at the front are a typical styling and aerodynamic feature of Ercole Spada. He already applied a similar twin-intake to the Zagato Ferrari FZ93 back in 1993. Years later, Ferrari copied this item to their Enzo and recently Lamborghini introduced the Estoque with a very similar front bumper.

Spada Codatronca

The Codatronca's interior has become something very special as well. The interior panels have become as edgy as the exterior with many machined parts, making it almost look like a robot. Only this robot is one you control yourselves.

Spada Codatronca

It looks like Spada stayed true to his believes with the project's guidelines: aerodynamics, lightness and driving pleasure. Aerodynamics seem to be in order and with a weight of just 1400 kilos being moved forward by 600 horses we entrust Spada when he assures us this car is a great deal of fun to drive. The car is available at SpadaVettureSport in a limited number every year for about €280,000.- ex. taxes.

Designwise, it is clear the Americans hark back to the good days of old, while the Italians make an effort to create new good days, hoping these days will eventually become good ol' days as well. One thing is certain, the Corvette C6 and Z06 form a good base for coachbuilders who want to establish a new brand on this 'white-label' chassis. Our favorite inititative by far is the highly innovative Spada Codatronca.

Unfortunately General Motors is having a very hard time mainly caused by the current economic crisis and Corvette's future is uncertain. A new Corvette is not to be expected before the year 2013, so there are four more years to go in which we will most likely see more new initiatives on the C6. There are several digital attempts of restyled Corvettes to be seen all over the internet and it will be very interesting to see which of them will eventually see the light of day.

Click here
for the Callaway Gallery.
Click here for the Anteros Gallery.
Click here for the Castagna Gallery.
Click here for the Spada Concept Gallery.
 
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