100 Important Automotive Designs Invade Pasadena

More than 50 years ago, Bill Mitchell—the head of design for General Motors and an avid fisherman—was inspired by the powerful and hydrodynamic bodies of sharks and stingrays while at sea. He returned to his design room with the vision, and Peter Brock—the youngest designer on the GM team in ’59 and an Art Center College of Design alumnus—came up with the 1959 Corvette Stingray Racer XP-87, which will be a showpiece at the Art Center College of Design’s upcoming Car Classic in Pasadena, Calif., on October 27.

The Stingray’s design was based on that of the 1957 Corvette SS racer, which literally burst onto the scene at a top speed of 183 mph at the 12 Hours of Sebring. However, the Automobile Manufacturers Association banned manufacturer-sponsored racing, and the SS was retired from the track soon after the race. Thus when designing the ’59 Stingray, which shares a chassis with the 1957 SS Sebring Racecar, Brock had to keep the car under wraps.

The Stingray is one of roughly 100 cars at the event; they span classic, modern, and conceptual vehicles and have each been selected for their unique or innovative design. Other notable models will include a 1939 Bugatti Type 64 Chassis No. 64002 from the Mullin Automotive Museum; a three-time Grand Prix winning 1970 Ferrari 312B Formula 1; and the London International Motor Show’s display car, a 1964 Morgan Plus 4 Plus Coupe—one of only 26 models that exist worldwide. (626.396.2304, www.artcenter.edu/carclassic)

Read Next Article >>
Photo by James Lipman
Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
Porsche 918 Spyder
See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
Photo by Max Earey
The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
Photo by Yakima Products Inc
The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…