SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – October 24, 2007 – The world’s only 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Speciale “Rondine” (Ron-di-nay) will be sold at No Reserve during the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event on Jan. 12-20, 2008, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Penned by design legend Tom Tjaarda while he was at the world-renown Pininfarina design house in Italy, the Corvette “Rondine” was built for the 1963 Paris Auto Show and was preserved at the Pininfarina Museum. Hailed as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Events™,” the Scottsdale auction will feature 1000 of the world’s finest collector vehicles and lavish lifestyle events. As always, Speed will broadcast live-coverage of all six auction days.
“Over the past few years, several historically significant concept cars have been sold through the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “This is an extremely rare opportunity to own a car designed to ignite the imaginations of sports car enthusiasts worldwide. Few Corvette concept cars find their way into private hands and the beautiful ‘Rondine’ offers an incredible opportunity to elevate a collection from very nice into the realm of the exceptional.”
Based on the 1963 Corvette C2 Chassis, the “Rondine” features a classic Pininfarina body with strong Italian influence. The front end slopes forward along a smooth curve that ends with a thin, horizontal chrome grille that provides air to the engine. This was an attractive yet practical design element to keep the engine cool. The side panel is accented by a sharp line originating from the grille. The angle runs along the front fender, through the side of the car and ends at the crest of the rear fender, giving the “Rondine” a slender, European look.
The rear end features the celebrated “swallow tail” arrangement, which minimizes the visibility of the car’s tail due to projecting rear fenders. Under the hood of the mesmerizing teal sports car lies a 327ci, 4-speed manual, Fuel Injected V8 that pumps out 360 horsepower. The “Rondine’s” interior features the original white elastic leather surfacing and comfortable wrap-around seats.
“The Corvette ‘Rondine’ is the ultimate marriage of pure American power and bold Italian design,” added Steve Davis, President of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “American Tom Tjaarda, who also designed the Ferrari 330, created a masterpiece at Chevrolet’s behest during his tenure at Pininfarina. Since the Corvette ‘Rondine’ was part of the Pininfarina Museum collection since it’s unveiling, the car is in pristine condition. The important historical significance of this Corvette will make the ‘Rondine’ one of the most anticipated cars available during our Scottsdale event.”
Ironically, the 1963 Ford “Italien” Thunderbird concept will also be sold at No Reserve during the Scottsdale Auction. The “Italien” was designed and built by Ford’s Thunderbird stylists in Detroit. It was showcased in Ford’s 1962-63 “Custom Car Caravan,” numerous Autoramas across the country and in the 1964 New York World Fair’s “Cavalcade of Custom Cars.”
“Forty-five years ago, Ford and Chevrolet were heating up for battle on the showroom floor with concept cars like the ‘Italien’ and ‘Rondine’,” noted Jackson. “With the introduction of several new models from the ‘Detroit 3′, history is repeating itself.”
Pent-up demand for concepts like the “Rondine” makes it a natural for the classic show-car circuit. If the new owner chooses to participate in such events, the awareness and excitement that is sure to follow will continue to elevate the significance of this one-of-a-kind Corvette.
“I am the president of a classic car Concorso which will feature primarily one-off concept cars,” said “Rondine” designer Tom Tjaarda. “I anticipate that an invitation will be issued to the new owner of the ‘Rondine’ to show their car at this prestigious event next September in Rome.”
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Events™” in Scottsdale and Palm Beach, Fla. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit www.barrett-jackson.com or call (480) 421-6694.