Corvette Grand Sport
In 1962 Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov initiated a program to produce a lightweight version based on a prototype that mirrored the new 1963 Corvette. Concerned about Ford and what they were doing with the Shelby Cobra, Duntov’s program included plans to build 125 Grand Sport Corvettes to make them eligible for international Grand Touring races. After the GM executives learned of the secret project, the program was stopped, and only five cars were built. All five cars 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.The cars were driven by famed contemporary race drivers such as Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt, Jim Hall, and Dick Guldstrand among others.
Dick Thompson was the first driver to win a race in the Grand Sport. He won a 1963 Sports Car Club of America race at Watkins Glen on August 24, 1963 driving Grand Sport 004. So, as Fast Five opens with exotic cars being hijacked straight off a moving train, the studio turned to Mongoose Motorsports. The Ravenna, Ohio, company’s Grand Sport replica is built around a custom fabricated tube-frame steel chassis to which are attached C4-generation (1984-’96) Corvette suspension elements, brakes and a GM V8 engine.
Several Grand Sport replicas were built for various uses in the film. That includes several versions with small-block V8s for generally destructive duty, one that was built on a Volkswagen-powered off-road chassis for jumping, another for green-screen work on a stage and even a couple shells just to be thrown off a cliff. This particular car was used during the train heist as the car Dom drove.
The car suffered quite a bit of damage, especially upon landing in the desert, and has been rebuilt and restored to screen ready appearance.