1960 Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle | Barrett-Jackson photo
Editor’s note: This is the 18th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 14-22 during Barrett-Jackson’s 46th Scottsdale auction.
Offered at the 46th annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction is one of the most important pieces of American automotive history, the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle (CERV) 1.
CERV 1 was developed between 1959 and 1960 by Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov as a functional, mid-engine, open-wheel, single-seat prototype racing car and served as Duntov’s personal Corvette engineering test bed and as a platform for engineers to develop and refine Chevrolet body, chassis and suspension systems.
Duntov drove the CERV 1 in demo laps at the U.S. Grand Prix in 1960, but that is as far as its racing aspirations got because of the ban on manufacturer-sponsored racing that went into effect.
The car was designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine and was originally equipped with a 283 small-block V8 engine, rated with 350 horsepower, weighing only 350 lbs because of the use of aluminum and magnesium components. CERV 1also was used in the development of fuel-injection for the small-block V8.
The open-wheel car features a four-wheel independent suspension, 4-speed manual transmission, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Fuel is delivered via two rubbe- bladder fuel cells with a total capacity of 20 gallons.
Later, for even greater performance, Duntov refitted the CERV 1 with a 377 aluminum small block, an advanced Rochester fuel-injection system, and Indy-style wheels and tires. Shinoda also redesigned the body structure for improved aerodynamics and the car recorded a top speed of 206 mph.
The sale includes paperwork and history on the car, which stands as one of the experimental landmarks of GM history.
For more information on 46th annual Scottsdale Auction, visit the Barrett-Jackson website.