History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters

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Corvette Timeline Tales


1971 – Owens-Corning L88 Corvettte #11 Wins Daytona

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Corvette Milestones: January 30, 1971 – Owens Corning Fiberglass L88 Corvette #11 wins at Daytona – Finishing 1st in GT+2000 class and 4th overall, driven by Jerry Thompson and John Mahler

Dateline February 2016: The Owens Corning 1968 L88 Corvettes raced by Jerry Thompson and Tony DeLorenzo have the distinction of being the winningest L88 Corvette racers. While racing in two series, the team won 22 races in a row, with car #12 winning 11 times from 1969 to 1971. Continue reading


1979 – Dave McLellan Redesigns the Corvette

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Corvette Milestones: January 22, 1979 – Dave McLellan receives approval for a complete redesign of the Corvette

Dateline February 2016: By 1974 it was becoming painfully obvious that the Corvette was in serious need of an overhaul. Between the increased weight due to energy absorbing bumper systems, side door guard beams, and reduced horsepower thanks to increases in emission standards, the Corvette was showing its age. Continue reading


1953 – Corvette Concept Car Debuts at GM Motorama, NYC

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
January 17, 1953 – Happy Birthday, Corvette! Chevrolet’s concept car, the Corvette, makes its debut at the GM Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City

Dateline February 2016: While it is not generally known exactly when Harley Earl first sketched, perhaps on a napkin, his idea of an American Sportscar, built by Chevrolet – we do know when the Corvette made its grand debut to the automotive world. January 17, 1953 should be considered the Corvette’s birthday. Continue reading


1966 – L88 66 Corvette Built for Roger Penske, Daytona & Sebring Racing

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Corvette Milestones: January 14, 1966 – A pre-production L88 1966 Corvette is built at the St. Louis assembly plant, destined for the Roger Penske’s shop in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, then Daytona, and Sebring

Dateline February 2016: For 1966 the new Mark IV “big-block” was offered as it was designed to be, a 427 cubic-inch beast. Duntov’s next step was to offer an all-out racing version of the Mark IV with aluminum heads, as part of what would become his legendary L88 “racer kit” package. Continue reading


1999: Winning Corvette Race Team Tests Two C5-R Race Cars at Daytona

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Corvette Milestones: January 10, 1999 – At the Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona, Florida, the Corvette Racing group tests its two Corvette C5-R racecars

Dateline January 2016: All we can say is that it was about time GM and Chevrolet got behind a factory-supported Corvette racing effort! While Pratt & Miller built the cars, Corvette engineers were right there assisting and observing what worked and what didn’t, then applying their finding to what would become the Z06, the ZR1, the C7, and the C7 Z06. Continue reading


1963: Corvette’s Bunkie Knudsen Produces All New Mark IV Big Block Design

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Views
January 4, 1963 – GM President and Chief Operating Officer, Jack Gordon gives Chevrolet General Manager, Bunkie Knudsen approval to proceed with an all-new big-block engine to replace the W-Series 409/427 engine

Dateline January 2016: When you think of “big-block” Chevy engines, the Mark IV, aka “Porcupine,” Rat Motor” usually first comes to mind. But the first Chevrolet “big-block” was the W-Series engine that was in production from 1958 to 1965 – only eight model years! Continue reading


1983 – Production begins on the First C4 – 1984 model Corvette

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By Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
January 3, 1983 – Production begins on the 1984 model Corvette, the all-new C4 Corvette.

Dateline January 2016: Chevrolet had a lot riding on the all-new C4 Corvette – expectations were very high since the C3 had been riding on the C2 chassis that was designed in 1960! Even though the new C4 used the 1982 Cross Fire Injection, rated at 205-hp, the new structure, modern suspension and brakes, and huge tires made the new Vette handle better than ever. Continue reading


1953 – Production of the 1954 Corvette begins in the St. Louis plant

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 28th,1953 – Production of the 1954
Corvette begins in the St. Louis plant

December 2015 Dateline: As Corvettes got better and better in the late 1950s and through the 1960s, new Corvette enthusiasts weren’t aware that the first batch of 300 Corvettes were built in a make-shift assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, that was previously a large garage. While the St. Louis plant was a big improvement, it left a lot to be desired. Built in 1920, the early days of big American industry, the plant was described in Mike Mueler’s 2009 book, “The Corvette Factories” as, “… not only archaic, it was also lacking in size and scope. Expansion was out of the question, as was modernization…” Continue reading


Dec 25 1909 – Happy Birthday to Corvette Godfather Zora Arkus-Duntov

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 25th, 1909 – Happy Birthday to Corvette Godfather Zora Arkus-Duntov

December 2015 Dateline:  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. Regardless, Zora Arkus-Duntov’s part in the Corvette story is just as important as the original design of the car. Continue reading


1978 – Bill Tower, of Plant City, Florida buys Grand Sport #005 from Dave Erwin

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 24, 1978 – Bill Tower, of Plant City, Florida
buys Grand Sport #005 from Dave Erwin

Dateline December 2015: Duntov’s Grand Sport program is arguably one of the most beloved Corvette stories of all time for several reasons. It was the ultimate “could have been” Corvette program. The basic design of the Grand Sport was fine for 1962, when pencil was first put to paper to create Duntov’s beast. But road racing was developing at such a fast pace that by the time Roger Penske owned one of the Grand Sport Roadsters and raced at Sebring in 1966, the car was seriously outdated. Continue reading


1987 – Subcontractor Mercury Marine starts the first pre-production prototype LT-5 engine for the ZR-1 Super Vette

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 24, 1987 – Subcontractor Mercury Marine
starts the first pre-production prototype LT-5 engine for the ZR-1 Super Vette

Dateline December 2015: Mercury Marine is generally known for their superb outboard boat motors and chainsaws. They even fielded a NASCAR Ford racer in 1955 and 1956 that won their championship with Buck Baker and Tim Flock driving. By the 1960s their MerCruiser stern-drive line of boats had 80% of the world market. Mercury Marine was one of the world leaders in the design and assembly of all-aluminum performance engines. Continue reading


1961 – The final design of the all-new 1963 Corvette Sting Ray is approved by management

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 24, 1961 – The final design of the all-new
1963 Corvette Sting Ray is approved by management.

Dateline December 2015: A total design change for any automobile is a big deal. Millions of dollars are committed to a design that won’t be proven “successful” until almost a year after the new car is released. Designs are looked at, reviewed, challenged, and scrutinized, until the day arrives then its decision time. Continue reading


1962 – Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen argues his case to GM’s top management for a special Corvette exemption from the 1957 AMA Racing Ban.

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 19, 1962 – Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen argues his case to GM’s top management for a special Corvette exemption from the 1957 AMA Racing Ban

Dateline December 2015: Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen was an unusual corporate executive. His dad was William “Big Bill” Knudsen, General Manager of Chevrolet then President of General Motors before WW II. But his son didn’t get many breaks. When his dad gave him a car, it was in pieces that Bunkie had to put back together. During summer breaks from college, the young Knudsen worked on a Pontiac assembly line. Continue reading


1999 – A Millennium Yellow 1999 Corvette convertible becomes the 1,000th RPO R8C Corvette Museum Delivery car.

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by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 13, 1999 – A Millennium Yellow 1999 Corvette convertible becomes the 1,000th RPO R8C Corvette Museum Delivery car

Dateline December 2015: What a stroke of genius having the National Corvette Museum across the road from the Bowling Green Kentucky assembly plant. The Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant officially opened for production on June 1, 1981. The National Corvette Museum opened on September 2, 1994 Continue reading


1958 – V.P. of Design and Styling, Harley Earl retires from GM. Bill Mitchell becomes General Motors’ new chief stylist.

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by Scott Teeters a written for Vette Vues
Timeline Tales: December 1, 1958 – V.P. of Design and Styling, Harley Earl retires from GM. Bill Mitchell becomes General Motors’ new chief stylist.

Dateline December 2015: This was more than just a changing of the guard; it was then end on one era and the beginning of another. Each era, in their own right, was distinct, unique, and beautiful. Harley Earl is acknowledged as the father of automotive styling, the annual model styling change, and the GM Motorama. Continue reading

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