My Car Quest

November 12, 2019

The Only Steel Bodied Corvette – The 1963 Corvette Rondine

by Mike –

The Corvette Rondine is a prototype commissioned by the Italian coach builder Pininfarina and was displayed at the 1963 Paris Auto Show. Pininfarina is best known as the designer of most Ferrari models over the past few decades.

1963 Corvette Rondine

1963 Corvette Rondine at Amelia Island – March 2013

This unique concept car was in the Pininfarina museum until 2008 when it was auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Auction for $1.76 million.

The Rondine is a interesting example of European style with American muscle. Even though it was styled by American Tom Tjaarda working for Pininfarina it is still European styled, right?

1963 Corvette Rondine

1963 Corvette Rondine at Amelia Island – March 2013

Rondine is Italian for swallow – the bird.

A tip of the hat to my friend Bruce Caron for bring up this subject forcing me to go through my files to find these photos from Amelia Island in March 2013.

Concept cars are design experiments – let us know in the Comments what you think of this design experiment.

 

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Corvette Rondine

Image credit: © Chevrolet. GM Corp

Summary
The Only Steel Bodied Corvette - The 1963 Corvette Rondine
Article Name
The Only Steel Bodied Corvette - The 1963 Corvette Rondine
Description
The Corvette Rondine is a prototype commissioned by the Italian coach builder Pininfarina.
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Comments

  1. I had the fortune to be in close contact with Iso Rivolta chief designer and I heard that Bertone decided to name its new 2 seater berlinetta corvette engined, with the name of Grifo (Iso) because he heard that his competitor Pininfarina named his Corvette based prototype Rondine (swallow as correctly Mike says). The reason was that seems in the mythology the griffons used to eat swallows!!!

  2. Robb Northrup says

    Mke:

    After spending a morning with Tom Tjaard in his studeo in Torino several years ago, I learned that Tom had used his experience with the Rondine as the basis for his excellent Fiat 124 Sport Spyder design. Look closely at the Rondine and you’ll see elements used in the 124: tail, side profile. Tom said that he only had a short time to design the car, and he didn’t even know who the client was! And he styled a classic…

    As Ron Plewscia said about the Apollo: “Don’t think, just do!”

    Robb Northrup
    President, Apollo Registry

    • Terrific post! I was going to say now I know where Tjaarda got his inspiration for the 124, and Pantera’s hood/fenders as well. The Fiat 124 Spider has got the nicest proportions and styling to be found.

  3. Now that congress passed the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, could someone please copy this car? It’s awesome.

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