General Motors once considered a four-seat Chevrolet Corvette, even building a prototype in 1962. A photo of that prototype recently popped up in an Instagram post from the automaker's design department last week.
Based on the C2-generation Corvette that was about to launch for the 1963 model year, the four-seater was an answer to the Ford Thunderbird, according to the post. By the early 1960s, the T-Bird had grown from a traditional sports car into a cushier "personal luxury car."
Aside from its stretched wheelbase, the prototype looks similar to the production 1963 Corvette. It even sports the split rear window that was unique to the 1963 model year. While it looked cool, the split window limited rear visibility, and was quickly deleted.
The C2 wheelbase was stretched by 6.0 inches, to 104 inches, according to a Corvette Blogger post. The roof was also slightly taller than a standard C2 roof, according to the post.
GM design staff hated the four-seat Corvette, but what actually killed it was a GM executive getting stuck in the back seat, according to the post, citing a later interview with designer Larry Shinoda. As the story goes, after an executive got in the back seat, the front seat locked, leaving him trapped. Not the best first impression, admittedly.
The Corvette has remained a two-seater ever since. Now that the 'Vette has adopted a mid-engine configuration, the only way a four-seater could reach production will likely be if rumors of a Corvette-badged electric SUV prove true.