1967 Astro I Concept
2012 Carlisle Blue Concept
2011 Jake Edition Concept
2011 Z06-X Concept
2009 Stingray Concept
2005 SEMA Z51 Concept
2005 SEMA Street Concept
2002 Moray Concept
2002 White Shark Concept
2001 Tiger Shark Concept
1993 CERV IV b Concept
1992 CERV IV a Concept
1992 Sting Ray III Concept
1991 ZR-1 Spyder
1991 ZR-1 Snake Skinner Concept
1990 Cerv III Concept
1990 Bertone Nivola Concept
1990 ZR-12 Concept
1989 ZR-2 Concept
1989 DR-1 Concept
1986 EX-4607
1986 Indy Concept
1984 Bertone Ramarro Concept
1984 C4 Concepts
1980 Tubro Concept
1979 Turbo Concept
1977 Aero-Vette Concept
1973 XP-895 Concept
1973 XP-897 Concept
1973 XP-898 Concept
1973 XP-882 4-Rotor Concept
1970 XP-882 Mid-Engined Concept
1970 Scirocco Showcar
1969 Manta Ray Concept
1969 Astro III Concept
1968 Astro-Vette Concept
1968 Astro II Concept
1967 Astro I Concept
1966 Mid Engine Concept
1965 Mako Shark II Concept
1964 XP-833 Banshee Concept
1964 XP-819 Rear Engine Concept
1964 GS-II Concept
1964 CERV II Concept
1964 Update Concept
1964 World's Fair Concept
1963 Corvette Rodine Concept
1963 Wedge Concept
1962 XP-720 Concept
1962 XP-720 2+2 Concept
1961 Mako Shark Concept
1959 CERV I Concept
1959 Sting Ray Concept
1958 XP-700 Concept
1957 Corvette SS Show Car Concept
1957 XP-64 Corvette SS Concept
1957 XP-84 Q Concept
1956 Impalla Concept
1956 SR2 Lookalike
1956 SR-2 Concept
1955 Biscayne Concept
1955 LeSalle II Concept
1955 EX-87
1954 Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 Hardtop Concept
1954 Styling Concept
1954 Nomad Concept
1952 XP-122 Concept
1951 Buick LeSabre Concept


Chevrolet introduced a concept car for the 1967 show season that was clearly Corvair-derived, though it was not promoted as such. It was the radical Astro I, and nearly 40 years later, it still remains one of the most innovative Dream Cars ever to come from General Motors.

The Astro I was designed under the direction of GM Vice President of Design, Bill Mitchell, with the actual work being led by Larry Shinoda. The first thing that showgoers noticed about the red and black two-seater was how low to the ground it was, with an overall height of just 35.5 inches.

Up front, the nose design of the bright red Astro was quite similar to the Mako Shark show car, and also predicted the 1968 production Corvette, though on a smaller scale. Twin rectangular grilles were set in a V’d nose section, while hidden pop-up headlamps were located on the leading edge of the hood section, just above the grilles. A small hatch was located on the hood surface to facilitate access to the master cylinder, windshield washer tank and the battery. A three-element periscope was used in lieu of a rear view mirror. It gave the driver a wider field of view and compensated for the lack of rear glass.

The rear of the Astro I actually resembled a design one might find on a Can-Am of the era. Pop-up panels provided air braking when needed and air extractors on the rear deck vented engine compartment heat. A recessed license plate housing was trimmed in chrome and set in the middle of the tail panel. A large lip that merged the quarter panels and deck framed the tail panel itself. Simulated vents, located on the tail panel directly behind the wheels hid the small, slotted tail lamps.

Without a doubt, the Astro I’s most unusual feature was its method of allowing passengers in and out. With such a low overall height, conventional doors were not going to work. Instead, Mitchell’s team went with a wild clamshell entry system that really made the show car crowd stop and take notice. The entire body aft of the windshield was one piece and tilted up and back with a large screw mechanism. At the same time, the two bucket seats lifted out of their normal positions to aid getting in and out. Once the driver and passenger were seated and strapped in, the clamshell would close and they would be lowered into their normal semi-reclined seating position. Once inside, the driver was presented with a variety of aircraft-inspired design cues, ranging from the "head-to-toe" bucket seats, the control pod to the left of the driver and the twin handgrips that replaced the conventional steering wheel. Very little was conventional about the Astro I.

The Astro I also sported a complete four-wheel independent suspension system. Custom control arms were used at all four corners, as were disc brakes and custom magnesium eight bolt wheels, which featured removable outer rims available in a variety of widths. The two-seater was fitted with 5.5-inch wide wheels in the front and 7-inch wide wheels in the rear. Prototype Goodyear redline tires were used.

Due to its very low profile, a conventional V8 engine could not be used, so a Corvair powerplant ended up in the one-off machine. Chevy engineers came up with a very special variant of the air-cooled, horizontally-opposed six-cylinder. New cylinder heads were designed for the larger engine. They featured a belt driven, SOHC valve train, hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valves. The carburetion came from a pair of prototype GM three-barrel, inline carburetors that used Weber internals. The castings were designed to place the carburetor barrels right over the ports, giving the air-fuel mixture a straight shot at the valves.

Although it was never a runner, the 1967 Astro I was a huge hit for Chevrolet and for GM Styling. Show goers were simply astounded by the two-seaters proportions. It seemed impossible to them that a closed car less than three feet high could actually accommodate passengers-until the clamshell entry system was revealed. The Chevy Astro I is still owned by GM and was completely restored several years ago. Now it is part of the GM Heritage Center Collection. Though the Astro I was never intended as a production car, it nonetheless features a variety of innovations that have yet to reach the marketplace, all packaged in a design that looks very modern-even today. As it did 41 years ago, at its debut at the 1967 New York Auto Show, it still has no problem blowing away present-day car enthusiasts.

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