History of 1987 - 1988 Corvette ZR-1 Prototype #EX5O14 (P8Y087)

1988 ZR-1 Corvette #EX5014 as it was foundClassic Sales & Service, Inc. Gene Tucker
6685 Iorsth Road
Macon, IA 31210

Phone 91 2-477-800()
Fax 912-994-4611

January 10, 2001

To Whom it May concern,

The 1988 ZR-I Corvette prototype has 3.738 miles and still retains all four original tires. All tires are stamped (Not For Sale) which is formed into the rubber. The wheels are 1988 design, but are 11 x 17 inches on the rear and 9 1/2 x 17 inches on the front. Notes on the build sheet will indicate these changes. Wheels also have dark gray paint in recessed areas as did 1986 - 1987 16'~ wheels.

Photos will indicate doors assembled by hand with tooling and mold lines indicating where factory tooling was widened to build the doors. Rear quarters also have a course texture indicating early hand fitted parts. All rear quarter and bumper moldings are smooth finish parts indicating limited hand formed parts. Tail lamps have no GM -DOT or other numbers of any kind. There is not an LT5 or ZR1 emblem on the rear bumper cover.

The underhood decal is certificate of exemption for emissions. Tom Hill said the windshield was broken to remove experimental VIN Plate (EX5O 14) which he said was a crude hand stamped plate. Complete AC-evaporator box is intact and includes oil cooler as well as hand built aluminum radiator. Numerous CPC engineering stickers are evident overall with dates as early as March 1987.

After examining the build sheet, Tom Hill and Gordon Killebrew think this may have been the first LT5 installed on the line which would explain the prototype plate on the engine cradle. This cradle or crossmember was not used in production until the 1990 ZR1.

The Dana Corporation plate riveted on the front engine and suspension crossmember is hard to read in the photo since I was having to hold the camera under the car and it was a little out of focus. It is approximately! 3x5 inches and is aluminum which is blue in color and riveted to the front side of the engine cradle.

This car also has a DANA 44 rear using steel rather than aluminum half shafts. Some air conditioning evaporator case components and other firewall areas are hand formed sections. Prototype ECM bracket (rough cast aluminum) is mounted between booster and firewall. This bracket is the same as later refined versions used through 1996. ECM is also with the car. Gordon and Tom also speculate that this may have been DANA's test car which would account for the extremely low mileage. Many parts appear to have stickers and dates written as if to run this prototype on the assembly line. The console plate is special for the 6 speed and also has a unique button beside the shift pattern. Tom Hill said the glue under the hood was to attach insulation as they were trying to control the heat under the hood.

This body has a few nicks and scratches, but you would agree that it is far more original and also nice enough not to do much if any paint work to. The body is very nice, but at the same time it indicates a very early prototype build. Instrument cluster has AC engineering sample printed on it along with a date of 0547 - April 5, 1987.

The floor tunnel is a 4-3 tunnel with special boot and hardware for a 6 speed. Most all special or non-production parts have CPC engineering inspection decals with inspection dates and numbers. The key fob is leather bound with Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada Group and Logo. The clear window in the key fob shows the information in the block below:

Veh # P8Y087
Model Color: Corvette Lt. Blue

The keys look new. Also the door panels, weatherstrip dash, steering wheel, console and most leather trim items look just as ne '. The tires show almost no wear on all 4. Wheels are near perfect with no clear coat discoloration and no fade on plastic emblems in center caps. There are some very light scratches on the wheel surfaces that will probably polish out. The instrument cluster was removed for the first time because we hoped it had an 8000 RPM tachometer rather than the 6000 as the others did that I've seen. We plugged this cluster into a running car and lit it up. Guess What! 8000 RPM! Green line to 6000, yellow to 7000 then red to 8000 RPM. The cluster is in mint condition.

Gene Tucker

A Prototype's Story, by Tyler Townsley (Owner of EX5014)

The list of prototype parts include:

1988 Corvette ZR-1 #EX5014 at the National Corvette Museum
  • Official Designation:  P8Y087 EX5014 1G1YY2180J5100043
  • P=prototype
    8=Projected build date of 1988
    087 is some kind of sequence number and no one seems to know how it is generated. So the car should be correctly listed as an 88.
  • Built in May of 1987 on the 1987 production line in Bowling Green, KY.
  • The car was built on the 1987 production line (after vin 126565) and used custom made parts that were being developed for the ZR1 cars to be built in 1989(slipped to 1990), some 1987 parts, and 1988 parts.
  • Widened doors that show new mold marks
  • Rear body panel for lights and license area that was 3 inches wider and a new design with different taillights and backup lights. It was made in a new mold.
  • Rear body moldings that are hand made. Note the seam in the door where it was widened.
  • Inner aprons that are hand made.
  • Quarter panels that are hand laid.
  • Special lower rocker panels.
  • Front inner splash panels are different to allow more clearance for the LT5 motor.
  • My A/C system and wiper motor cutout had to be hand made so the motor would fit, note the CPC tags on the items that were used as models for later production.
  • The engine mounting cradle was made by Dana and is unique. Tag can be viewed by looking under the car from the front.
  • Does not have a normal vin tag, the EX is for experimental
  • Equipped with 1987 style wheels with the gray spokes but they are 17" x 9.5" in the front and 17" x 11" in the rear.
  • Tires were special made by Goodyear and cannot be sold.
  • Equipped with a special laid back radiator assembly with a matched notched hood.
  • Carpeted door sills without edging.
  • Special water overflow tank.
  • Phase 2 LT5 engine S/N 42
  • Prototye ZF six-speed transmission S/N 210

Specific duties were to do noise control design testing and heat control design testing. Upon completion it was trucked to Milford to avoid automotive spy people and their cameras. It eventually made it to Arizona where it collected some awful sand. It had hardly been driven (3700 mi) when it was decided to destroy the car. The engine, VIN tag and backbone were removed. The car was not crushed but after a long period of storage it was moved and placed in another corner for some years waiting to be turned into a Pro-Street race car.

The new owner installed coilover shocks. A new buyer came into the picture and arrived with Gordon Killebrew and Tom Hill. Upon confirmation of originality by Gordon Killebrew and Tom Hill, it was sold again to an enlightened buyer who kept it in his showroom.

The car was eventually sold again to a new owner who called upon an Ex-Lotus engineer who built and installed the Phase 2 (P2 S/N 42) LT5 engine. It is the only P2 simplex chain LT5 motor running in the world. He also found a prototype ZF transmission (S/N 210) that had a low miles and a broken shifter fork, which was installed.