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26 Interesting Sports Car Concepts Detroit Never Produced

Vukasin Herbez April 8, 2019

Photo Credit: Motor 1

5. Ford Mustang Mach I Concept

This car was introduced during the 1966 Detroit car show and immediately became one of the most interesting models even though it was still just a prototype. The Mach I was the first sporty and muscle Mustang released and it showcased not only the 1967 redesign and sexy Fastback lines but also a new name that will be used in 1969.

Photo Credit: Vista Pointe

With a chopped roof, square headlights, Plexiglas side windows with racing-style cut-outs, cool wheels, and beautiful burgundy color, the Mach I was a muscle car Mustang at its finest and captured the imagination of car enthusiasts all around the globe. Even today, it is one great-looking car.

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4. Corvette SS

They revealed the Corvette SS in 1957 as a fully functional racing car. In fact, Zora Arkus Duntov, the “Father of the Corvette” developed the car himself. Duntov was a racer, so he always wanted to create the ultimate competition version. The GM management allowed him to start a racing program and the SS was the first car he introduced.

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The Corvette SS featured many firsts. Also, it was a capable racing car, setting the track record at Sebring International Raceway. But most importantly, the SS was the first in a long line of racing Corvettes that dominated race tracks all over the world.

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3. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Rear Engine

The Boss 429 Rear Engine is one of the most interesting Mustang prototypes. Despite the fact it didn’t appear on the show circuit back in the late ’60s, it caused a lot of controversies. Basically, they took the 1969 Boss 429 and moved the engine to the trunk. Then Ford extensively tested it to see if this conversion had significant advantages over the standard layout. They placed the engine longitudinally in the trunk and connected it to the rear wheels over the C6 automatic transmission unit.

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Next, they turned the rear glass into a hatchback door to provide access to the engine. In fact, the entire conversion was surprisingly trouble-free. The Boss 429 Rear Engine had a 40/60 weight balance. The added weight over the rear axle helped launch it off the line and reduced wheel spin. However, Ford realized there weren’t any significant performance improvements, so they decided to kill the project.

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2. Corvette Stingray XP-87

The story of the 1959 Stingray Concept is interesting since this car was much more than just another styling exercise. In fact, this car not only presented the ’63 Corvette design but they also based it on the 1957 Corvette SS experimental race car. And it even won the 1960 SCCA championship.

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Using a lightweight plastic body, race chassis, and aluminum, the Chevrolet engineers managed to keep the weight down to only 2,200 pounds. With its fuel-injected 283 V8 engine delivering 315 HP, the Stingray Concept provided a fantastic performance, becoming quite successful at racing. They even featured the car in the Elvis Presley movie, Clambake, with a red paint job.

Photo Credit: Auto Week

1. Pontiac Banshee 1988

Most of the 80’s car concepts were wedge-shaped cars with angular designs, straight lines, and sharp edges. However, the 1988 Pontiac Banshee concept is a prime example of an 80’s concept that still looks aggressive and cool. The 1988 Banshee was the fourth concept car to carry that name, but the first to directly influence production cars afterward. Most design elements of the 1988 Banshee appeared several years later on the 1993 Pontiac Firebird.

Photo Credit: Dreaming Of Y2k

However, this concept car was more than a design study for the fourth generation F-body. It was the vision of Pontiac’s sports car future. They powered the car by a 4.0-liter all-aluminum V8 producing 230 HP to the rear wheels over its five-speed manual gearbox. The suspension was fully independent with adjustable dampers. They constructed the body from lightweight materials with a superb aerodynamic coefficient. All in all, the Banshee was something closer to a Ferrari than to a muscle car. Sadly, Pontiac never built the Banshee but many people think this Pontiac would still around if GM let them produce cars like this. These are 26 of the coolest and most interesting sports car concepts Detroit never produced. Which one was your favorite? Sadly, none of these cars ever got to hit the streets, but they did change automotive history.

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