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Discussion in '1959 Chevrolet Corvette Scaglietti Coupe' started by Erica Ferrari, Feb 5, 2006.
Cadillac for the looks
Texas oilman and Chevrolet dealer Gary Laughlin wanted a better looking, lighter Corvette for him and his friends to race. With partners Carroll Shelby and Jim Hall, he approached the famed Italian coach-builder Sergio Scaglietti (Who had been making bodies for Ferrari) to build something special for them. Sergio produced three nearly identical coupes....one for each of them. Laughlin had the 3 complete chassis delivered to Scaglietti in Modena, Italy in late 1959. Sergio proposed to modify an existing coupe body to fit the Corvette chassis (a challenge with Corvette's 4-inch wider wheel track). Still, when finished, the new Corvettes were 400 lbs. lighter than their other fiberglass Corvette siblings. As I stated before, all three coupes had nearly identical lines, with only the slightest differences, and Scaglietti fitted each car with Borrani wire wheels. To make the cars' lineage clear, he installed the "chrome teeth" grille into each one although at least one owner has removed the grille since then. Each was fitted with the 290-HP fuel-injected 283 cubic inch V8 and Shelby's and Laughlin's cars were fitted with 4-speed transmissions. The Jim Hall car used an automatic because he wanted to see how it did in racing conditions. Building the three coupes required shutting down the St. Louis production line to manufacture complete chassis without bodies. It was the shutdown that killed the project; its costs were too high for either Laughlin or Chevrolet to tolerate. All three cars still exist, however, and are most Italian in their sensuous lines.
Price: Start at a million and climb.