Alpha & Beta

See Them at Corvette Funfest This Weekend

Courtesy of JMPR - September 14, 2011 09:18 AM


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It is no secret that Mike Yager and family have a taste for rare Corvettes. From CERV I to the last C4 and a variety of styling cars, Yager's collection offers a glimpse at the history of America's Sports Car. This weekend, two more pages of that history will be added to the collection with the unveiling of the Alpha and Beta Build C5 Corvettes.

In 1988, GM began development of the C5 Corvette. As designs were transformed into test vehicles, just 14 Alpha Build cars were assembled for testing. The Alpha cars were a close design of how the C5 Corvette would look. The Beta, an improvement on the first incarnation of research, perfected the use of hydro-formed frame rails and the all-new Gen III powerplant.

"Most pre-production vehicles are destroyed during testing or soon after they are no longer needed and there are no Alpha and Beta Corvettes in existence from any prior Corvette generation," said Mike Yager, Chief Cheerleader and Founder of Mid America Motorworks. "We are thrilled to add these cars to our collection. I can't think of a better time to unveil them than at Funfest with fellow Corvette enthusiasts."

The black Alphas and white Betas were camouflaged to help GM engineers keep them under wraps during testing. The Alpha has been preserved in as-tested condition, battle scars and all, as a testament to the research process.

The Alpha and Beta Corvettes join another research vehicle in the Yager stable that played a part in the creation of the C5. In 2009 Michael and Blake Yager, Mike and Laurie’s sons, purchased the CERV-4b at auction. The CERV-4b was used as a research vehicle for the revolutionary Corvette C5 chassis. While the car appears to have a C4 body, it has many C5 upgrades such as the interior, exhaust, suspension, gas tank filler and rear convertible trunk entrance. The addition of the Alpha and Beta C5 Corvettes round out the planning stages of the C5 Corvette.

Corvette Funfest is scheduled for Sept. 15-18 at Mid America Motorworks' corporate campus in Effingham, Illinois. For more details on "America's Star Spangled Corvette Party," visit