Built atop a shortened Porsche 914/6 chassis, fitted with a steel body designed by GM but crafted by Pininfarina, and powered by a GM two-rotor engine mounted amidships, the 1973 Chevrolet Corvette XP-897 GT concept hinted at a future that might have been – but never was – for America’s sports car. Rescued from the crusher by British Corvette enthusiast and author Tom Falconer, this evolutionary dead end will make a rare North American appearance at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, taking place on Sunday, March 10, at The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida.
Noel Bangert launched his first car to the public in 1954. Called the ‘Stag’, it was modeled after Indianapolis race cars and was raced on the West Coast by famous drivers such as Bill Pollack at Willow Springs and other tracks.
Spurred on by success, Noel brought out his second car in 1955 called the Manta Ray aimed at both the sports and race car market. His second car met with great acclaim with production reaching 20 to 30 cars and bodies. Magazines featured his sports cars and racing versions appeared on the West Coast. It even appeared at the 1955 Petersen (Hot Rod, Motor Trend Magazines) Motorama.
This Manta Ray was purchased as a body by Elwood Cauffman of Whittier, CA, who built a custom tubular frame and installed a rebuilt high performance V8 engine. This is one of four known Bangert Manta Ray sports cars that exist today (Source conceptcarz.com)