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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

Posted February 12, 2019 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Built atop a shortened Porsche 914/6 chassis, fitted with a steel body designed by GM but crafted by Pininfarina, and powered by a GM two-rotor engine mounted amidships, the 1973 Chevrolet Corvette XP-897 GT concept hinted at a future that might have been – but never was – for America’s sports car. Rescued from the crusher by British Corvette enthusiast and author Tom Falconer, this evolutionary dead end will make a rare North American appearance at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, taking place on Sunday, March 10, at The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida.

In the early 1970s, GM, Ford, Chrysler and AMC all looked to the Wankel rotary as the engine of the future. It was significantly smaller and lighter than piston-equipped equivalents, and with fewer internal components, easier and cheaper to build.

However, looming energy shortages and technology challenges resulted in this Corvette being a unique specimen.

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#1

Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/12/2019 7:24 PM

Looks like a cross between a Sting Ray, Pacer, and a 928.

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#4
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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/13/2019 7:44 PM

To me, the front looks like a Gen 2 Firebird.

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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/13/2019 8:37 PM

There is a lot of similarity there.

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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/14/2019 4:00 PM

When I was in college, I had a 1980 Camaro (standard one with a 305 V-8). My friends and I did some performance upgrades to the engine and put a posi 3.31 rear axle. It had those steel Chevy Rally wheels and I was able to get a set of 1982 Firebird magnesium wheels (like on KITT), but I didn't put the disc cover on. I wound up falling asleep one night and slammed into a median (lucky it was there, because it kept me from going into oncoming traffic). Blew out the two left tires and cracked the wheels. I got a set of those Pontiac wheels (like the one in the picture) with gold centers. Looks kinda funny on a Camaro - I liked the 1982 wheels better.

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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/14/2019 4:19 PM

I was never a fan of the Pacer. And for that matter, I really didn't like the 928 too much either. I thought the 911 was a much better looking car - thank goodness Porsche didn't stop production of it!

The 914's are getting some nice money. Even the 4 cyl models. The hot ones are the early versions with the chrome lower bumper.

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#2

Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/13/2019 9:46 AM

Seems like Pina had only one body style in the 70's

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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/13/2019 7:37 PM

Like this one? Mr Farina at his best!

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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/13/2019 8:44 PM

Those Alfas have nice clean lines. Definitely a classic.

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Re: A Mid-Engine Corvette with Rotary Power – the 1973 XP-897 GT Concept

02/14/2019 4:01 PM

I love the Alfa's. Great looking, classic sports cars. They have gone up quite a bit in the past few years. Can't get a good one for under $7K anymore. Though there is a lot of junk out there for sale.

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