As the son of a GM Tech Center employee, John Greenwood started turning wrenches for himself as a teenager. Beginning with go-karts, he quickly progressed to street racing a 1955 Pontiac and then, in the mid-1960s, to the new Corvette Sting Ray. Street racing was then, as now, all about acceleration, and Greenwood quickly learned on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue that “you don’t want to get left behind on the straight parts.”
Bored and stroked big-blocks soon found their way into his cars, and after achieving good success on the mean streets, Greenwood found gymkhana competition and then road racing to his liking. He rapidly earned his regional and then national SCCA licenses, and as the 1960s closed he won the coveted SCCA A Production championship. Greenwood’s simultaneous racing and engineering careers—and his place in history—were underway.
The genesis of the Greenwood G5R body kits for the fifth-generation Corvette C5s dates to early 1974, when Greenwood introduced the first wide-body Corvette he’d designed for IMSA competition. Its dramatic modifications were all calculated to improve downforce and reduce drag for superior road-holding and higher top speeds. Features included an aggressive body rake angle, super-wide fenders with downforce-generating leading edges and drag-reducing vented rears, and front and rear diffusers.
The combination worked spectacularly, thrusting Greenwood’s monster Corvettes to the top of the national road-racing ladder and prompting factory teams from BMW and Porsche to adopt similar design strategies. While the early aero efforts were crafted with then-current third-generation Corvettes, the Greenwood name became synonymous with high-performance Corvette tuning and body designs for years afterwards, up to and including the fourth- and fifth-generation Corvettes.
This 1998 Corvette G5R Greenwood prototype is a truly functional and rare Corvette. It was designed and handcrafted by John Greenwood, who ultimately became one of the most successful Corvette racers in history, and Greenwood also certified this car as the prototype build for the subsequent production G5R body conversions. The specially developed package enhances both handling and stability with a G5R super wing, twin splitters, rockers, rear tunnel quarters, windshield fairing, and a raised twin-nostril Ram Air hood.