The Untold Story of the Elusive 1961 Four-Seat Stingray Corvette XP-796 2+2!

Prepare to delve into the captivating tale of the elusive 1961 Four-Seat Stingray Corvette XP-796 2+2! Get ready to feast your eyes on a prototype that pushes the boundaries of Corvette design. Chief Ed Cole, with a vision to create a four-seat Corvette, ordered the construction of this unique model on a stretched version of the new C2 chassis. Designed by the talented Larry Shinoda, the XP-796 2+2 left automotive enthusiasts in awe. However, despite its allure, Chevrolet division chief Bunkie Knudsen ultimately quashed the project due to overwhelming demand for the new C2 body style.

Discover the intense battle that unfolded between Bunkie Knudsen and Ed Cole as they clashed over the future of the four-seat Corvette. These two contrasting figures, with vastly different backgrounds and perspectives, found themselves at odds over Cole’s audacious initiative. Knudsen, a man of integrity and a devoted golf enthusiast, saw through the unconventional ideas proposed by Cole, even catching wind of questionable deals and arrangements. Despite Cole’s influence among engineering and design staff, Knudsen fought fiercely to extinguish the hopes of a four-passenger Corvette.

Follow the intriguing entries in Knudsen’s diary, where he documented his relentless efforts to resist Cole’s ambitious project. As tensions escalated, Knudsen’s frustration grew with corporate management and their focus on cost-cutting and integration programs. However, he remained resolute, voicing his skepticism about the practicality of a four-passenger Corvette. Armed with his unwavering conviction, Knudsen even presented a Ferrari 2+2 as a benchmark during discussions with Bill Mitchell, hoping to strike an alliance that would protect the Corvette’s iconic front-end design.

In a dramatic turn of events, the fate of the four-seat Corvette was sealed. Knudsen, supported by GM Vice President Bud Goodman, successfully convinced top management to abandon the project. Despite Cole’s frustrations and threats, Knudsen’s unwavering stance prevailed. The four-seat Corvette was deemed the “wrong thing to do,” and the decision to halt its development was celebrated as the correct one. Delve into the untold story of the 1961 Four-Seat Stingray Corvette XP-796 2+2 and discover the fascinating dynamics that shaped the Corvette’s evolution.


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