1 The optional Auxiliary...
1 The optional Auxiliary Hardtop (C07) would have been included with the GMP model. The St. Louis factory produced 6,880 of these tops in 1967.
At a recent Barrett-Jackson auction, a '67 Tuxedo Black 427/435 Sting Ray roadster sold for $130,000. While few Corvette enthusiasts have that kind of spare change lying around, many of us were looking forward to purchasing GMP Diecast's 1:18-scale '67 roadster as an affordable substitute.
2 The L71 engine in the prototype...
2 The L71 engine in the prototype model was fitted with recreations of the RPO L89 aluminum heads. These were only installed on 16 Corvettes for the 1967 model year.
Unfortunately, GMP was forced to close its doors last year, due in part to changes in federal banking regulations. Some of the company's assets were purchased by ACME Trading Company in Auburn, Georgia (www.acme diecast.com
). ACME sells die-cast models of significant muscle cars, but not Corvettes. We contacted an ACME representative and were told that the company has no immediate plans to start Corvette-model production. This is a major loss to collectors of GMP's impressive street and race Vette miniatures.
3 The windows actually rolled...
3 The windows actually rolled up and down by turning the window crank. The glove box opened, and the shifter could be rowed through the gears.
The '67 would have been the third release in the company's high-end Masterpiece Corvette Collection series. The two previous models were a Rally Red '65 fuelie Roadster and a '65 Nassau Blue big-block coupe, both of which sold out quickly.
4 Lifting the rear hatch...
4 Lifting the rear hatch revealed the neatly stored convertible top. The seat backs even moved forward for better access to the luggage compartment.
The model was to be presented in Tuxedo Black (Code 900), with a Rally Red (Code 974) "stinger" hood, Off Road Exhaust System (N11), and Cast Aluminum Bolt-On Wheels (N89). Other planned features included an L71 427/435 engine with three two-barrel carburetors and RPO L89 aluminum heads, along with an M-21 four-speed transmission. Each model would have been serialized and numbered.
5 Everything in the underside...
5 Everything in the underside was extremely detailed, right down to the parking-brake cables and springs.
When we inspected and photographed a prototype of the stillborn model, we found it to have extraordinary detail that would make any Corvette aficionado smile. The paint was flawless, and all of the working parts moved smoothly and fit tightly.
The convertible had a working front and rear suspension, a rotating driveshaft, a movable shift lever, rotating headlight assemblies, removable wheels, and even an opening gas-filler cap. An optional RPO C07 Auxiliary Hardtop was also included. The black interior featured seat backs that tilted, a glovebox door that opened, and windows that rolled up and down.
GMP's 1:18 '67 roadster would have retailed for $289.95, a reasonable sum given the level of detail involved. While it appears unlikely the model will ever see production, we thought it only fitting to share with you a few photos of the Corvette model that could have been.