Called the Chevrolet Corvette Rondine, the car seen above is the world's only steel-bodied Corvette ever produced. It is a concept car that was created for the Paris Auto Show. Based on the 1963 body-style, this metal machine was housed in the Pininfarina museum in Italy until 2008. From there it wound up crossing the stage at a Barrett-Jackson auction where it fetched $1.76 million and became the most expensive Corvette ever sold at auction.
In the early 1960s when many manufacturers were switching to a unitary chassis, the fiberglass-bodied Corvette was a popular subject for Europe's coachbuilders. At the 1963 Paris Auto Show, Pininfarina launched this Corvette-based, steel-bodied Rondine Coupe commissioned by Chevrolet. The car featured a 327 cubic-inch, 360 hp V8 with a 4-speed transmission and power brakes. This historically significant prototype has been stored and persevered at the Pininfarina Museum in Italy for almost 45 years and has been shown only on very few occasions. It was finally sold earlier in 2008. 2008 was its first appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
For the 1963 season the famous Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina prepared this unique coupe based on the new Corvette Sting Ray. It was penned by U.S. born designer Tom Tjaarda, while working for Pininfarina. This dramatic design incorporates such elements as an increased front overhang with a prominent sloping nose to give the car an even longer appearance. Its large wrap-around windscreen and white leather upholstery give the car's greenhouse a particular bright appearance. While it's 'pinched' rear deck, with the rear fenders kicked up over the wheel arches is similar to a Fiat of the late 1960s. This fabulous one-off Corvette was retained by Pininfarina for over 40 years and displayed in their lobby.