Killed by the Corvette
In 1964 Pontiac developed a four wheeled response to the Ford Mustang. The car was a two-seater, rear wheel drive, sports car powered by a straight-six engine and four speed transmission. It was small, sharply designed, and Pontiac called it the Banshee XP-833. The man leading this project was John Z. Delorean. Same man who would later stuff a V8 into the Tempest and called it the GTO. He would go on to create the DMC-12.
The Banshee could have been a pony-car contender but the overlords of General Motors decided to scrap the idea out of fear that this smart looking sports car would steal the Corvette’s sales thunder. That is rule one in the GM hierarchy – you can’t make a car that is better than Prince Vette. Ironically, the Banshee’s styling cues would later go on to influence the 1968 Corvette Stringray’s design.
The Banshee idea was scrapped, but the working prototype was saved by a GM employee who convinces the power at be to sell it to him – with a salvaged title. Thus saving the car from a fate that claims most prototypes and test mules. This is the only coupe Banshee ever built. Silver with red interior and options include Rally II wheels, adjustable pedals, and AM radio.
This prototype has survived the test of time and is still around today sporting its original hardware and less than 1,500 miles on its odometer. It’s managed to outlive Pontiac! Most recently the car has been part of a used car inventor for Napoli Kia in Milford, Connecticut. Of all the places for a vehicle like this to end up a Kia dealership was definitely nobody’s guess.
According to Napoli Kia, the owner of the Banshee passed away in 2006, and the car has been up for sale ever since. It is listed on their website with a whopping $750,000 asking price. Understandable considering this is one of kind, low mileage, mint condition sports car with history embedded in its sheet metal. Napoli Kia even knocked $3,950 off the price to make it a cool even $750K.
What is funny about Napoli Kia’s listing of the car is that they “will consider interesting trades”.