General Motors ordered this vehicle to be scrapped in 1990, but the British automaker didn’t comply with that order. After years of sitting in an auto-recycling yard, the prototype was reportedly discovered by a Lotus engineer and ‘Vette enthusiast who bought it. The owner then subjected the prototype a painstaking restoration of the fiberglass body panels, roof, and a portion of the rear upper surround.
The powerplant, identified as the 43rd LT5 engine built, is a Phase II engine connected to a Computer Aided Gear Selection stick shift from ZF. The six-speed manual transmission – codenamed ML9 – is a quirky design in the sense that you have to shift from first to fourth under low-power urban driving conditions. The system can be bypassed with more revs or by replacing the fuse to trick the computer that everything is fine.
Equipped with 17-inch wheels, power-adjustable mirrors, air conditioning, and Bose premium audio for the AM/FM radio with a tape deck, prototype EX5023 was “recently restored and serviced by the seller, who is the owner of Blue Flame Restorations.” However, the radio and heater controls don’t work, and a fair bit of wear and tear is visible on the center console’s trim.
Currently located at the Lingenfelter Collection in the U.S., the car is offered with tons of documentation and a spare experimental motor at an additional price. The engine is question is a Phase I LT5, namely number 26.