Famous “Big Banana” Corvette Magazine Build Could Be Yours!

We love C3 Corvette. From its pointy beak to the ducktail rear end, the road-going Mako Shark show car flipped the automotive world upside down when it debuted in the fall of 1967. The 56-year-old design looks as good today as it did back then, and will go down in history as one of the most beautiful Corvettes ever built. We love every iteration of the C3 Corvette as well, from an innocent chrome bumper starlet to a long-in-tooth, tarted-up disco sled.

Big Banana Corvette

The only problem with the C3 Corvette styling was that it was so good, so pure from the factory, that it has never really taken well to body mods. Very few C3 customs elevate the design to a new level although many have tried. This brings us to our 1968 Corvette roadster you see here, the Big Banana Corvette.

Affectionately named The Big Banana, it was the first street-going, wide-bodied C3 and if there ever was an automobile that summed up the excess of the ’70s on four wheels, this car hits the bullseye. Although dated in many ways, it is now a historic artifact from a bygone era. We think time has been kind to this car as well, and we have to concede, it looks very cool in 2023. Now for sale on Facebook for $39K, this time capsule could come to live in your garage.

The seller breaks it down for us, “This car was on the cover of the November 1975 issue of Car Craft and was featured as a project in ten consecutive issues until August 1976. The Big Banana is also featured in a two-page color spread in the December 1976 issue of Motor Trend as well as on the cover of Car Freaks 1976. This was the first street-wide body Corvette. The car design was inspired by the newly released IMSA fender flare kit from Chevrolet that gave the car the Corvette GT-inspired look made popular by John Greenwood.

Big Banana Corvette

“Custom painter Butch Brinza spent many hours duplicating the original graphics and then hand pinstriping them. A mechanical rebuild including a rebuilt 383 stroker small block, turbo 400 trans, 3.08 rear, A/C, PS, PB, new brakes, and exhaust was completed by Corvette specialist Frank Saenz with parts supplied from Corvette Pacifica in Atascadero, California. The “CC Vette” (Car Craft Vette) was a truly one-of-a-kind C3 Corvette build. Comes with all magazine articles, original 15×8 and 15×10 American vector rims, and commemorative Matchbox scale cars.”

To many folks, converting a chrome-bumpered 1968 ‘Vette to this winged, rubber bumper beast seems a shame. Although we’ll stick to our guns and say that most C3s are better left alone, the Big Banana Corvette is so wild, and such a survivor that we say yeah, baby, yeah!  We can only guess the commotion this thing would cause at the local cars and coffee or holding court at Corvettes At Carlisle. If all this sounds good, go here for more info.

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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