Zora Arkus-Duntov was born on December 25, 1909 and would have been 103. Zora often joked that he had the birthday curse being born on Christmas Day. When you are a kid and your birthday is on Christmas you tend to not get double gifts. But Duntov made up for any toy deficiency as a child after he took over the Corvette program. Arguably, no one had more fun playing with Corvettes inside Chevrolet than Duntov. Not only did he design and develop the go-fast parts we all came to know and love, but he usually did his own track testing. What’a lucky guy! Here’s our Happy Birthday tribute to Zora Arkus-Duntov and a big THANKS to Don Theune. Read More
Search Results for: Duntov
Vette Videos: 505-Horsepower LS7-Powered Duntov Motors Grand Sport
Today you can go to your local Chevrolet dealer today and buy a Grand Sport Corvette to your liking. Almost 50 years ago, there were only five Grand Sport Corvettes in existence and they were NOT for sale. “Unrealized potential,” “the ultimate could’a been Corvette” and many other expressions tell the original Grand Sport Corvette story. Unlike today’s C6 Grand Sports, the originals were all-out racing Corvettes, designed to give the Cobras a good run for it.
This is a very cool Corvette video! Read More
Corvette Timeline Tails: Happy 102nd Birthday Zora Arkus-Duntov
So who was responsible for infusing the Corvette with it’s Mojo? Zora Arkus-Duntov. Zora was, without a doubt, the ultimate automotive corporate misfit to ever work in Detroit. By the time he saw the very first Corvette at the 1953 Motorama, he was 44 years old, a seasoned mechanical engineer, race car driver and builder. he was quoted as saying, “When I saw the Corvette at the Motorama, I thought it was the most beautiful car I’d ever seen.” And Duntov appreciated beauty. Just look at his stunning blond beauty wife and former Bluebell Girls dancer, Elfie Duntov. yes, Zora new a good-looking dame when he saw one and one look at the Corvette and he knew where he wanted to be – in the engineering department of Chevrolet, working on the Corvette. Read More
Zora Arkus-Duntov’s Mule Corvettes – Zora’s Toys
Zora Arkus-Duntov Birthday Weekend continues here at CorvetteReport.com. Over the last few months we told you about several of the customized Corvettes that were built for Chevrolet executives. But to the best of my knowing, the man that found the Corvette’s Mojo never got a full-out Chevrolet styling department customized Corvette. He did buy a ‘74 Corvette coupe upon his retirement and by all accounts it didn’t have any performance enhancements, but it did get a unique stripe paint job. Read More
Zora Arkus-Duntov, Ahead of the Curve in 1953!
Zora Arkus-Duntov started working at General Motors on May 1, 1953. His first few months were a little bumpy, plowing through some junky assignments, such as sorting out why a prototype car with a heavy rear end wouldn’t handle right and solving a driveline vibration on a GM bus. A few weeks after Zora started, his immediate supervisor, the very capable senior engineer Maurice Olley, suggested that Duntov quit because he didn’t like Zora’s non-engineering solution to the prototype’s handling problem. And he actually considered it! (for a very short time) Read More
Vette Videos: Zora Speaks! Zora Arkus-Duntov’s Last Public Interview
Lets listen in on what was the last public interview with the Godfather of high-performance Corvettes, Zora Arkus-Duntov. Enjoy this presentation from the 1991 Superflow Advanced Engine Technology Conference. Zora suffered a stroke in 1969 that made his already hard to comprehend Russian accent even more challenging to understand – but it’s not too bad. Duntov was 82-years old and although he sometimes has trouble finding and forming his words, the man’s mind was still sharp. Read More
Vette Videos: Zora Arkus-Duntov Biographer, Jerry Burton Speaks!
Yesterday we shared with you the Facebook page for Zora Arkus-Duntov. I don’t know if GM still has this policy, but back in Duntov’s day, GM had a manditory retirement age of 65. So on January 13, 1975 Zora had his official GM Retirement Dinner. Aside from a few minor consulting projects, Duntov has was out of the Corvette picture. It’s almost hard to believe that he’s been out for over 36 years now. In retrospect, he was only involved with the Corvette for 22 years but obviously made a tremendous and lasting impact. In part 1, Jerry talks about his involvement with Chevrolet and the Corvette team.
In part 2, Jerry talks about possible technologies that might be used in the Corvette as a means of complying with the ever increasing fuel efficiency standards that all new cars will be required to meet. Read More
ZORA ARKUS-DUNTOV LIVES… On Facebook!!!
The other day while I was looking for the Wikipedia link for “Zora Arkus-Duntov” in Google, I noticed an interesting link. I said to myself, out loud, “What? Zora’s on Facebook???” Obviously Zora didn’t create his own Facebook page, Bentley Publishing, the publishers of his biography, “Zora Arkus-Duntov – The Legend Behind Corvette” by Jerry Burton created the page. If you’re a Duntov fan, this is a delight! The Facebook page is lots or comments, compliments, and photos – LOTS of photos that I’ve never seen before and I’ve been following this man for a long time.
If you haven’t read Jerry Burton’s Duntov book, READ IT! You’re in for a treat. Some people really are larger than Life. People such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Elvis Presley, and many others, just seemed to shine brighter than most. They’re just “people” with the same foibles and shortcomings as the rest of us. They just do extraordinary things and have an unusual exuberance for Life that shines through their life’s work. Read More