CERV 1 stands for “Chevrolet Research Vehicle number one”. CERV 1 was the darling of the engineering master Zora Arkus-Duntov and was a test bed for the independent suspension geometry that was introduced in the production 1963 Corvettes. It was also an engineering test bed for powertrain, receiving seven engines for testing over its lifetime. The first engine was a stock block cast iron 283, the second a 283 special Aluminum block, the third a 327 iron block, the fourth a special 286 aluminum block sporting twin turbos, the fifth went back to a 327 turbocharged, the sixth was an Iron 327 and Hobby Horse injection. The seventh, which it has today, is a 377 cu in all aluminum GS engine, of which only 6 were ever made.
The fuel injection is also a one of a kind design Hilborn type unit. The 377’s were specially cast by Alcoa for Chevrolet in 1963 at a staggering cost of $284,000.00. With this special engine and towards the end of the car’s test life at Chevrolet, CERV 1 rounded the oval test track at Milford, Michigan at over 204mph, ten years prior to anything achieving that speed at Indianapolis. CERV 1 was designed by Larry Shinoda in 1960, who was also the accredited designer of the 1963 split window coupe. CERV 1 was the Space Age design of its time and Zora the Buck Rogers of Chevrolet.
■ CERV 1’s dry weight is 1650 pounds
■ CERV 1’s bare Chrome-Moly frame weighs 125 pounds
■ CERV 1’s bare fiberglass body weighs 80 pounds
■ CERV 1 is the very first vehicle to receive rubber safety foam
filled fuel bladders. It has two ten gallon tanks mounted on its sides.
■ CERV 1’s Original Experimental fuel injection (on display in MY Garage) acquired two different nicknames, “Mail Box” from the automotive writers and “Hobby Horse” from the GM Engineers.
■ CERV 1 was also a test bed for the Firestone tire