Boasting performance upgrades alongside an impressive Hollywood CV, this Corvette is one of only 56 built for the inaugural Corvette Challenge race series
This 1988 Chevrolet Corvette is unlike most. Whereas the majority of celebrated Corvettes are captured on film exercising their muscle with A-listers or racing legends at the wheel, this highly-tuned example has instead worked behind the lens for a number of the industry’s leading directors.
Used to capture some of modern Hollywood’s greatest chase scenes, including various pursuits and stunts from Michael Bay’s explosive Transformers franchise, this low-mileage Chevy camera car is now seeking a new home through an eBay auction. However, the vehicle houses a racing heritage alongside its behind-the-scenes stardom that very few seem to know about.
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Tuned and modified by Powell Motor Sports, the ’88 Corvette was built to Corvette Challenge specifications; featuring upgraded intakes, a computer chip upgrade, high flow exhaust, modified disc brakes and an increased torque band. All upgrades were installed to ensure the Chevrolet could match supercar speeds and grind to a halt in double-quick time, allowing same manoeuvres both onscreen and off.
There was a reason for that, and it wasn’t all in the name of silver screen immortality. The Corvette appears to have been constructed to capture film footage from the 1988 and 1989 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge series of motorsport events. Used for promotional and heritage purposes, the material was instrumental in selling showroom Corvettes to the masses.
John Powell’s tuning firm built 56 examples for the first year of the Corvette Challenge in 1988, churning out 245bhp through a Cross-Fire fuel injected powerplant mated to Doug Nash 4+3 manual transmission.
Each Chevrolet received the same complement of racing equipment, including a full roll cage, racing seats, Bilstein shock absorbers and unique wheels to meet the demands of highly competitive racing.
The event wasn’t cheap to enter. In addition to the $33,043 cost price of a Corvette Challenge car, Powell Motorsports charged entrants a further $15,000 for the cost of race prep and the season's entry fee. That’s roughly $108,000 with contemporary inflation.
Besides running gear upgrades, the Corvettes went through aesthetic changes with each machine draped in bespoke paintwork and accompanying unique finishings. After the inaugural race, the majority of Powell’s 56 Corvette racers entered private ownership, although very few remain as of 2018.
Only one Corvette boasts these upgrades but with added clout, however. One of an estimated 30 vehicle surviving from Powell Motor Sport’s batch of tuned Chevrolet Corvette C4s, this motion picture platform not only captured some of the most exciting on-track Corvette footage, it then became a Hollywood stalwart. That makes it pretty special and ultimately unique.
Currently for sale on eBay, the asking price for this unusual Corvette is currently $18,500. Get a closer look here.