Zora Arkus-Duntov was the man most responsible for building this special 'Vette. That's him in the photo with driver John Fitch. Besides its super light magnesium alloy body, the SS featured a tube frame chassis and a 283 ci fuelie V8 pumping out more than 300 horsepower. The modifications shaved more than 900 pounds off the curb weight of a standard production Corvette.
Although they had high hopes for the car at Sebring, the SS lasted just 23 laps in the 12 hour race. The plan had been to use Sebring as a test for the LeMans 24 Hours, but changes in the regulations meant it would never race again officially. So the first Chevy "SS" ended up spending its days at the test track. Of course, it did reappear a few years later in the form of Bill Mitchell's 1959 Stingray. Now we have the new Corvette SS hopefully making its official debut in the near future, which should manage to re-spark the SS brand quite nicely.
[Source: Bad Boy Vettes]