prototype was a hardtop, silver with a red interior, while the V-8 roadster was white with black trim. When powered by the six the prototype two-seater weighed only 2,200 pounds, one-quarter less than the comparable 1953 Corvette. Though it would doubtless have accrued some pounds in production form, this showed good work by Pontiac’s engineers. Although GM’s powerful Engineering Policy Group rejected the XP-833 when Estes and DeLorean present-ed it as a concept in 1964, the charismatic DeLorean told his engineers to go ahead and build the proto-types. Even their undoubted appeal, at the second time of asking, was not enough to sway the 14
ﬂoor, as the aerie of the corporation’s top executives was known. Bunkie Knudsen certainly mounted a stout de-fense of his Corvette as GM’s one and only sports car and his sporty Corvair as a worthy stablemate.
The project’s cancellation did not bring destruction of the prototypes. Bill Collins was able to buy the V-8 roadster in the 1970s. As Pontiac’s assistant chief engineer he often visited Design Staff, where a Pontiac concept car called the “Banshee” had been created. “I found two sets of chrome-plated Banshee nameplates,” Collins recalled. “As the leader on the XP-833 project I felt the right to name them ‘Banshee.’” Thus this name, now associated with these cars, came well after their creation and abandonment.
Completed in 1964, two XP-833 prototypes represented serious potential competition for the Corvette from sister GM division Pontiac. Though designed as a simpler vehicle to compete at a lower price point than the Corvette, Pontiac’s XP-833 had a handsome cockpit with real sports-car looks. While one Pontiac XP-833 prototype—later dubbed the “Banshee”—had a V-8 the other was powered by the division’s pioneering overhead-cam six.