Peter Brock: The Man Who Penned the Sting Ray Dateline: 2-28-19 – Images: GM Archives; Graphics & by K. Scott Teeters Of the six men in our “Corvette’s Founding Fathers” series, Peter Brock had the shortest career at GM, but his contribution was enormous. Like all of the Founding Fathers, Brock had “gasoline in his… Read More
Larry Shinoda was the perfect designer/stylist for GM VP of Styling Bill Mitchell. In the same way that Mitchell fit with Harley Earl, Shinoda clearly understood what Mitchell wanted. As VP of Design, Mitchell’s job was to hold the vision for what he knew would be new and fresh, then lead his designers and stylists to bring his vision into reality. Corvettes were always Mitchell’s pet projects and he was famous for saying, “Don’t get cocky, kid! I design Corvettes around here!” Mitchell’s Corvettes were about design, speed, power, and performance. And for that, he needed a designer/stylist equal to Duntov’s engineering/racing prowess. Larry Shinoda was his man. Read More
One of the definitions of the word, “godfather” is; “one that founds, supports, or inspires”. Of all of the Corvette’s “Founding Fathers” none are more deserving of the term than Zora Arkus-Duntov. It is not an exaggeration to say that were it not for Duntov, the Corvette never would have made it past 1970!
Although the Corvette fit the definition of a “sports car”, when Chevrolet released the car in 1953, they said that the car was, “not a sports car”. But when Zora saw the Corvette at the 1953 GM Motorama in New York City, he said that it was the most beautiful car he had ever seen, and knew instantly that he wanted to be a part of the new Corvette team. Read More
Ed Cole was born on September 17, 1909 and grew up on his family’s dairy farm. As a kid, Ed designed, built, and sold radio sets and when he was old enough, the natural mechanic started working at an auto parts supply store and building hot rods. For a time, Ed thought he wanted to be a lawyer, but that “car thing” got in the way. Read More
Harley J. Earl’s accomplishments were staggering. His beautiful concept cars and subtle innovations (such as turn signals and wrap-around glass) that live on today, unnoticed, aren’t nearly as impactful as his greatest legacy, the Corvette. His quote, “The Corvette was a little thing I started.” is one of the all-time great, automotive understatements. Sixty-five years after Earl took his LeSabre concept car to the 1951 Watkins Glen sports car race and was inspired, we are still captivated by Corvettes. That’s one heck-of-a legacy! Read More
Zora used to joke that he had the birthday-Christmas curse, which means you won’t get double the number of gifts – which is funny coming from him because he was Jewish. The man had an awesome sense of humor! Regardless, Zora Arkus-Duntov’s part in the Corvette story is just as important as the original design of the car.
When Zora went to work for GM on May 1, 1953, no one inside GM knew anything about serious sports car racing. If it hadn’t been for this gray-haired, wild Russian with more passion for racing than anyone inside GM had ever seen before, surely the Corvette would have floundered and not lasted through the 1950s and never made it out of the 1960s. Read More