Car: Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
What makes it special: Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov initiated a program in 1962 to produce a lightweight version based on a prototype that mirrored the new 1963 Corvette. Duntov's program had planned to build 125 Grand Sport Corvettes to make them eligible for international Grand Touring races, but when General Motors executives learned of the secret project, the program was stopped with only five cars built.
What made it famous: The Corvette Grand Sports were raced with several different engines, but the most serious factory engine was a 377 cu in, all-aluminum, small block V8 with four Weber side-draft carburetors, that was rated at 550 hp. It had body panels made of thinner fiberglass to reduce weight and the inner body structure 'birdcage' was aluminum instead of steel. Several famed race drivers drove the Grand Sports, but it was Dick Thompson that became the first to win an SCCA race at Watkins Glen on August 24, 1963, driving Grand Sport 004.
Why I would want one: The easy, quick answer: LOOK at it !
Fun fact: All five Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sports have survived and are in private collections. They are among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built, not because of what they accomplished, but because of what might have been.
( 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport photo from conceptcarz.com )