The Consulier GTP is the American supercar that most people have completely forgotten. While it didn’t have a large engine or 1,000 horsepower like the next-gen Porsche racecar, it was very forward-thinking. It even had most of the supercar features we all know and love today. It was mid-engine and rear-wheel-drive. It had a super sleek shape. It had a giant rear panel that looks wild when it’s open, and it is seriously fast.
Why, then, isn’t it well known and well-loved today? Turns out that none of its amazing features was enough to get it off the ground. Let’s take a deep dive into the supercar that flew under the radar.
Its Creator Was A Club Racer
Warren Mosler got the idea to create the Consulier GTP from the fact that America didn’t have a lightweight sports car on the market. He had spent many years in club racing and knew how fast cars like the Corvette were. At the same time, he knew that lightweight cars like those from Lotus were also incredibly quick.
After making his money as a hedge fund manager, Mosler created Consulier Industries and released this, the GTP, in 1988. According to the advertising of the time, the GTP weighs just a shade over 2,000 pounds. For reference, that’s around 600 pounds lighter than the Lotus Esprit of the same year.
It Was Groundbreaking
The entire body wrapping around the GTP is made from a Kevlar and fiberglass composite. The Consulier GTP is actually the first car ever sold to the public with panels using that composite that didn’t have metal scaffolding of sorts holding it together. That composite changed the game for Consulier.
Not only did it allow for a smaller, lighter engine that would still be capable of getting the car moving quickly, but it also provided the basis for a race car variant. That racecar variant was really one of Mosler’s biggest goals, and he took it straight to the IMSA race series.
The Engine Came From Another Special Car
Above is the fantastic Dodge Omni GLH or the “Goes Like Hell”. It was developed to provide buyers with a small but sporty little hatchback, and it did a great job. At a time when big V8s were struggling to make 250 horsepower, this little thing made 170. Mosler bought the same engine directly from Dodge and used it for the GTP.
After the first 70 examples were made, the next version of the engine was installed in the GTP which made 220 horsepower. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to allow the GTP to reach 60mph in just over 4 seconds. That’s more than a second faster than the 1985 Chevrolet Corvette, despite having less power.
Mosler Knew His Car Was A Corvette Killer
Warren Mosler was so certain that the Consulier GTP was faster than a Corvette that he created an advertising campaign built around that idea. He actually offered up $25,000 for anyone who could beat his GTP with a Corvette. One day in 1991, he got a call from Car & Driver saying that he owed them the prize money.
They claimed that they had indeed beaten the GTP around a racetrack with a C4 Corvette and were entitled to the reward. What was wild was how odd of a test this seemed to be. Car & Driver claimed that it was a 1992 C4 Corvette that was used, but they hadn’t been released yet. The truth is stranger than fiction.
The Test Wasn’t Apples To Apples
First, the folks at Car & Driver only procured the Chevrolet through back channels which would’ve been totally fine, except for the fact that they did the opposite when it came to the GTP. To obtain the Consulier, they found a racing school that had one for testing and used it. That meant that it would go up against a brand new, unreleased Corvette with used tires and used brakes.
Despite having worn-out brakes and nearly bald tires, the Consulier GTP only trailed the new Corvette by half of a second. Mosler offered to send a professional driver and a new set of tires and brakes up to Car & Driver to redo the test with equal footing. C&D refused and subsequently called foul on Mosler for not simply paying up.
It Won Its First Race
Its very first race at Lime Rock Park proved an incredible success. Not only did it win, but with four cars in the field, it ended up snagging four of the top eight spots available. In its second race, the top three cars placed third, fifth, and sixth respectively, which made it clear that this was a serious car to be reckoned with.
In its third race, it cemented its reputation for speed by winning again. Oh yeah, it took second, third, and fifth as well. It was so fast that things couldn’t continue this way for IMSA and the car was required to carry ballast to slow it down moving forward. Now hamstrung, it wouldn’t win again.
Around 60 Were Built
Despite its success, many factors played a role in its demise, and somewhere around or beneath 60 total units were produced between 1985 and 1993. While many numbers have floated around the internet for years and some estimates are as high as 100 cars, Mosler himself believes there to be around 60 or fewer.
Every once in awhile they’ll trade hands and still go for far less money than one might think that they’re worth. Here’s a super clean example from 1992 that had less than 6,000 miles on it at the time of the sale. It sold for less than $60,000 which is about as much as a base Corvette runs these days. Of course, a new Corvette isn’t nearly as historic.
The GTP Didn’t End The Story
When sales didn’t meet expectations, Mosler went a bit more traditional with the company’s flagship car. While largely based on the GTP, the new car would get a whole new name, the Intruder. Only four were ever built, which is a crying shame because this car was wildly fast.
Behind the driver now sat a Corvette engine, but that’s not all. The four used for the Intruder were all tuned by Lingenfelter and made somewhere around 300 horsepower. These cars also ended up being wildly successful in racing… until they were, again, kicked out of competitions for dominating too easily.
A New Car And A New Brand Name
What lies before your eyes is a Mosler Raptor. It was the first car to be created under the Mosler brand, and it featured a sharply angled windshield. While many said this was only beneficial aerodynamically in a straight line, the car won the “Race Around America” in 1997 and 1999.
While the car now weighed some 2,700 pounds, it had more power in the form of a 6.3-liter V8 pumping out 456 horsepower. Its unquestionable dominance caused Brock Yates, the brains behind the operation, to ban it from further competition. Noticing a trend here?
The Decendant Of The GTP Is Still Fast
Ultimately, Mosler stopped crafting brand-new supercar killers after creating this, the MT900. Some variants exist beyond it, the MT900 came with a carbon fiber chassis, a 350-horsepower V8, and rear-wheel-drive. It could hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds and crush a 1/4 mile in just 12.
The MT900S came out in 2005 and used a 600 horsepower V8 bolted into the 2,200-pound car. While it still didn’t light the world on fire, it did have at least one famous buyer. The first production car went to none other than George Lucas himself. Certainly fitting for a car that’s a proper moonshot.
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