Story and photos by Steve Magnante

Last month we took a look at several Corvette pre-production prototypes, engineering mules and show cars that were sold at the Barrett-Jackson 2009 Scottsdale, AZ, collector car auction. They were part of the GM Heritage Collection and each represented a significant piece of Chevrolet high-performance history. Make no mistake, GM’s decision to divest these one of a kind cars represents a huge shift in corporate thinking.

In the old days, experimental cars were unceremoniously shredded once their duties were complete. It’s a sad fate but a logical one considering Chevy – like all carmakers - is in the business of selling new cars, not hand-built prototypes and dead end engineering exercises. Hollywood movie makers do the same thing and for every scene that makes it into the final cut of a feature film, dozens are relegated to the cutting room floor – sometimes for the best, sometimes not.

But now GM is aware that – like long lost alternate takes and deleted scenes from classic movies – collectors are fascinated by cars that might have been--and are willing to pay dearly for them.

Naturally, these cars are largely non-certified for federally mandated emissions, fuel economy and crash-worthiness, so each is sold with an iron-clad agreement that operation on public roads is forbidden. This is mainly done by furnishing each car with a scrap title or non-viable VIN. Take either to your local department of motor vehicles and they’ll laugh you out of town. That’s the bad news.

The good news is these amazing cars get to live out their lives, usually in collections or museums. Let’s return now to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale and review some more amazing one-off Chevys that found new homes beyond the iron curtain.