1968 Chevrolet Astro-Vette
Astro-Vette was one of Chevrolet's big auto-show stars in 1968, touring
the country with Astro II XP-880. As far as concept cars go, its styling
is not as radical as it may appear at first glance. The Astro-Vette is
based on the all new production 1968 Corvette. The new body style was
termed the "Shark". It could trace its lineage back to an earlier and
well-known concept car, the Mako Shark. Astro-Vette was built as an exaggerated
version of the production Corvette. Its plexi-glass windscreen, disc-like
wheels and rear wheel skirts allude to a high degree of aerodynamic efficiency.
In 1968, GM unveiled the AstroVette show car. According to an official press release, “This clean-contoured, experimental Corvette is a study vehicle, which will provide useful information in yet another area of automotive design investigation”. The car was actually based on a blue production '68 convertible. It was built in the spring of 1968. The shape and the aluminum wheel covers suggested a land speed record Bonneville salt flat racer. The paint was pearlescent white and the blue interior was dyed black. Other than a non stock steering wheel, the interior is pretty much production stock. The side flaps in the front fenders are non functional. They are only scribed in the body. The original 400hp L-68 427 engine mated to an automatic Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was not modified, except for some chrome items. Tall narrow Firestone tires added to the Salt flat racer look.
The car was not very popular at first and it earned the name "Moby Dick". Soon after its unveiling, it was relegated to secondary show car circuits and eventually put in storage. At some point in time, the car was repainted orange, and in 1992 the car was restored to original show car specs.
Photographed at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (AACA) in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Photos by Douglas Wilkinson