Tag Archives: Laughlin

Don’t Tell Enzo – Chevrolet Corvette Italia by Scaglietti

The idea for having an Italian coach builder make a stylish body for a reliable American Corvette germinated in the mind of Chevrolet Dealer Gary Laughlin when he was horrified by the repair bills accruing to his Ferrari Monza in particular the crankshaft.

Chevrolette Corvette Italia, Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

Teaming up with racers Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby, Gary approached Chevrolet’s General Manager Ed Cole and secured three complete Corvette rolling chassis and shipped them to Scaglietti who at the time was responsible for building the 250 “Tour de France” Berlinetta’s for Ferrari. Wanting to keep his American connection away from the prying eyes of Enzo Ferrari it was 18 months before Gary received today’s featured car back with a continental look.

Chevrolette Corvette Italia, Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

Laughlin is said to have been unimpressed with the fit and finish of the car he received and the two remaining cars were sent back with aluminium bodies and unfinished interiors. Chevrolet also pulled the plug on the project by declining the ad hoc supply of rolling chassis in the long term.

Chevrolette Corvette Italia, Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

The car seen here, courtesy of Geoffrey Horton at the recent Dana Point Concours d’Elegance, now belongs to the Peterson Museum and is the only one of the three with a manual transmission. The other two cars all have further detail differences, the one in this linked photo has no bumperette / overiders front or rear, while the third has no intake on the bonnet / hood no vents in the front wings / fenders but it does have quarter bumpers on the front, full rear bumper and a Chevrolet like grill decoration in the nose as can be seen in this linked photograph.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s images from Dana Point Concours d’Elegance.

Thanks for joining me on this “Don’t Tell Enzo” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the Ferrari with the largest V12 ever built at Maranello. Don’t forget to come back now !