The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – GM CERV III

Sun 12th May 2019

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

GM’s CERV (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle) project began way back at the start of the 1960s and with that key word, research, you know you are in deepest concept territory.

CERV I and CERV II passed by without too much fanfare at the start of the 1960s and you might have thought that the project was all but dead as more than 22 years passed before we were talking about CERV again.

But in 1986, at the Detroit Automobile Show, the CERV III was unveiled as a Corvette Indy prototype. Featuring 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering and CRT cockpit screens, the CERV III certainly lived up to the idea of a true futuristic concept dream.

The prototype would be developed over the next four years and in 1990, again at the Detroit show, the CERV III returned, whist time with an engine to match it’s earlier futuristic ambitions. Built from carbon-fibre with a fibreglass-finish coating, under the bonnet was a huge V8 5.7 litre 32 valve engine, capable of achieving 650bhp and a top speed of 225mph.

The CERV III was an unbelievable achievement of design, technology and engine power and represented the very best of Corvette’s capabilities. Unfortunately the finance guys at GM loved the car, but didn’t love the maths and even back in the 1990s, the CERV III would have cost in the region of $350,000 to put together, which for a company with a drop of 50% in sales in five years was simply a step too far.