Four Door 1980 Corvette Prototype?

No longer will you have to worry or feel bad about not being able to haul the whole family in your Corvette! This 1980 is said to be one of 5 prototype four door Corvettes built for GM. To build it, two Corvettes had to be cut up and then pieced together. The result is surprisingly attractive and sure would be a fun car to haul the family to car shows in! The current owner claims this survivor is the only one left, as the other 4 were wrecked or destroyed. Whether that’s really the case or not will be difficult to prove, but it’s rare and unusual no matter what. The question is, is it truly worth the seller’s $275k asking price? You can find the listing here on craigslist in San Diego, California.

It’s really difficult to put a price on a car like this. For one the seller doesn’t offer any current photos of it, leaving us wondering what kind of condition it is in today. Secondly, this car’s historical significance and value is tied to whether it was in fact commissioned by GM as a prototype. Hopefully, the seller has documentation connecting it to GM or Chevrolet. Valuing it would be a little easier if there were other examples that have recently sold to compare it to. As it is, the price comes down to is what someone is willing to pay for it. Perhaps there’s someone out there that really really wants a four door Corvette to haul their family around in and is willing to fork up the cash to do it. So how much would you be willing to spend if this is in fact a GM commissioned prototype?

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  1. slickb

    I cant say how happy I am that that never became a really thing!!!!!!

    • The Walrus

      Unfortunately, it sorta did. It’s now called the Porsche Panamera, and seeing one will cause that same nauseous feeling and a little bit of throw up in your mouth, just like this car does.

      • Milt(2)

        Well said! When Porsche came out with their SUV, Road & Track made the ultimate comment “…imparts all new definition to the word Prostitution”

  2. Huh?

    No GM did not build this. In 1980 they were starting a redesign of the Corvette and it would make absolutely no sense to build a variation that would be in production (as if anybody would have bought one to begin with) for such a short time.

  3. sir mike

    Well it was the 80’s afterall…

  4. Nathan Avots-Smith Member

    The “America,” as this creation was dubbed, was the February, 1979 cover car on Road & Track. I’ll have to dig up the issue when I’m home, but I doubt very much that GM had anything to do with the design or creation of these. It was built by California Custom Coach in Pasadena.

    • Andre

      That car was a pre-‘80 model Corvette. This one wears the correct (I use the term loosely) 80-82 body work. Different cars.

  5. Greg D

    Can’t be a legit sale. Seller wants this kind of money and doesn’t post any photos of it. What he did post could be any photos from any source on the internet. I call BS on this Craigslist ad. Which, btw, would not be an appropriate place to list a car such as this.

    • Tony S

      It can be part of a good sales strategy – get people to call.

  6. Rx7turboII

    WOW! Another person who thinks they have the only four door Corvette in the world! Must be a lot of one only 4 door vettes still

    • MikeL.

      That February 2017 ebay car sold for $20,000.00!


    WHY why and WHY??????? GOOFY AND UGLY

  8. Andy Rezsnyak

    Yous guys failed to see what makes it car even more special…


    Decades a head of its time…

  9. CCFisher

    I would be surprised if the claim that GM commissioned these is true. The Corvette had a record sales year in 1979, and an all-new Corvette was in the works. What would be GM’s motivation? It’s more likely that a high-volume Corvette dealer ordered the cars.

  10. Rock On Member

    Yeah, that would be one way to lower your sales volume!

  11. Pa Tina

    Does it have both engines to pull this land yacht along at a brisk 55mph? If they thought it was viable, GM would have built their own prototype. I picture Corvette owners breaking land speed records running away from this answer to a question nobody asked.

  12. LAB3


  13. JimmyJ

    Owner should google it i found a silver, bronze and white one!

  14. Steve65

    Somewhere buried in a box I have a book from that era, detailing about ten “elite” cars. A 4 door Corvette built by some 3rd-party converter was one of them. It’s been a while but I remember it looking just like this one.

  15. Tom Member

    If I buy one more bright red car I am going to kill myself!!!! I know RED is known as “retail or resale red” but in the past 35 years of buying cars the ones that were not red had something radically wrong that killed the sale and the ones worth buying were mostly bright red.

    Pretty cool car and fun idea. Still wrong though.!

  16. Vince H

    This does not come off any better than the 4 door Avanti.

  17. gbvette62

    The 4 door Corvette America was built by California Custom Coach, the same people that made the “new” 1930 Auburn Boat Tail Speedsters in the 70’s.

    Depending on who you talk to, there were somewhere between 4 and 6 built, all of them either 79’s or 80’s. The first one built was the red 79 “prototype”, with wire wheels and a stainless trim piece separating the front and back t-tops. At least 2 1980’s were built, this red one, and a silver one. The silver one was originally owned by a performer, and eventually found it’s way into the collection of Corvettes owned by Mike Yager, of Mid-America Corvette fame. Yager later sold it to someone in Florida, who I think still has it. Like everyone else, the owner of the silver one, claims his is the only remaining one.

    The owner of this red one, has been trying to sell it for 7 or 8 years now. If I remember right, he previously was advertising it for $300,000, so the price has come down some!

    I’ve heard the story before, that GM planed on building 40 or 50 of these a year, but from what I recall, I don’t think GM was involved with the project at all?

    I have a 79 Corvette America in my collection, of course it’s in 1/24th scale. Around 79-80, Monogram made a model of the Corvette America prototype, and I have an unbuilt one among the old Corvette kits that I’ve collected.

    • hyperv6

      You are correct.

      This was well documented in several magazines and was in no way connected to GM.

      I also had the model kit too.

      This was just a custom conversion that was an answer to a question no one asked

  18. Corey G

    A friend of mines Mother from the Grosse Point area of Detroit had a red one – not sure if it was a 79 or 80. Their family owned Verhouven Chevrolet on 8 Mile rd. Got to ride in it. Sure “creaked” a lot. No idea where it went.

  19. gto4ever

    ****** Somethings you can’t un-see!!!!!


    Reminds me of the 4-door Thunderbird. Never would have caught on with the buying public.

  21. ACZ

    Sick thought

  22. MFerrell

    Here’s a good article about them:

    Includes some pics of a 1963 4-seat Corvette.

    • Michael thomas

      wrong link

  23. DazedandConfused

    I would rather take the money and get another car!

  24. Chebby Staff

    I have a $275,000 item for sale and I am going to put it on craigslist…with three pictures. A winning strategy.

    Like 1
  25. Gray Wolf

    Saw a white one at the Veterans Day Car Show in HUNTINGTON Beach, Ca. How rare????

  26. Clay Bryant

    Back n 79 I ordered out the sales kit for one of these. (Back-up reading for the john) Still have it buried away and never flushed it at the time which was a crossing thought. Somewhere out there is a diesel Corvette that showed up at the Corvette Homecoming back in the early 80s. Fantastic mileage but would probably get tiring trying to bust into the 28 second bracket and it would have a downer effect when some kid blew your doors off in his peddle car…………

  27. Paul

    They should replace the wheels with ski runners and enter it in the Winter Olympics as a 4-Man Bobsled!!!

  28. jim prowse

    My pal Gerry Russo ,well known Rod & Kustom builder in the L-A area , tells me he worked at this shop, California Custom Coach , back in the day , and helped build this car , for a private client in the San Diego area , who played in a band ,,

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