History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters

CARS Magazine Archive: The First Phase III GT Corvette

Here’s how Rosen’s Sharks got started. MORE TO COME!

As if the Phase III SS-427 wasn’t enough, Joel Rosen unleashed his version of what he thought a GT, or “Grand Touring” Corvette should be at the New York International Auto Show in April 1969. The European GT concept was based on a car with a strong chassis, big engine, heavy duty breaks, room for two, plus space for luggage. Rosen ascertained that the only American car that would fit that bill would be a 427 Corvette. While I didn’t get to see the car at the show, I could NOT miss the August 1969 issue of CARS Magazine with what looked like a stunning, blazing red, ‘68 Corvette with some very interesting body work. Actually, the car was Monaco Orange, but it sure looked RED in print.

The standard Baldwin Motion performance enhancements were applied to the already heavy duty Corvette as a starting point. The new big feature was the fastback rear window that opened up the interior space behind the seats, providing more storage space that a C2 Sting Ray Coupe. Reverse side vents were unique and the standard Motion hood scoop, side pipes, quick-fill gas cap, slotted aluminum wheels on fat tires, wheel well flares, and stripes completed the package. What’a beauty!

And this was just the debut! A few months later Rosen showed the new tunneled headlights version of the Phase III GT. A few years later we would see the Motion Maco, the Motion Manta Ray, the Moray Eel, and the Can-Am Spyder. Enjoy this fun article writen by CARS Magazine editor (and VETTE Magazine founder) Martyn L. Schorr.


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