Founding Fathers Pt 4: Corvette Godfather, Zora Arkus-Duntov

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


Z06 History Pt. 2 – The C5 Z06 Arrives!

For its day, the Z06 was a runner, so let’s just right to the performance numbers. With a power-to-weight ratio of 8.09:1, the Z06 could clock 0-to-60 mph in just 4.0-seconds and the quarter-mile in 12.0-seconds at 114-mph. Top speed was just over 170-mph! This was Dreamland in 2001! The best part was that this kind of performance could be ordered from your local Chevy dealer for about the same cost as the Corvette roadster. Gas mileage for this beast was astonishing. So long as you weren’t hot-dogging around, the Z06 could get 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Read More


Z06 Corvette History, Pt 1 – The 1963 Z06 Racer Kit

Corvette racers never had a better friend than Zora Arkus-Duntov. After the heavy lifting was completed and the new Sting Ray’s design was basically finished, Duntov and his team set out to create their Racer Kit for the new car. It is not known exactly how the moniker “Z06” was chosen, perhaps by chance, but it sure sounded sexy and no one knew that almost 40 years later there would be a separate performance model with the heart and soul of the Racer Kit, wearing a Z06 badge. Read More


Ken Hazelton’s 1963 Split-Window Coupe Corvette Racecar

Ken Hazelton’s Sting Ray shows that not everyone raced Z06 and Fuelie Corvettes. When Ken bought the car in 1991, it was pretty much in its original racing configuration. The car was raced occasionally and never abused or wrecked. Frame was excellent, body was great except for a damaged nose. It looked like a jigsaw puzzle that someone put back together and not very well. Ken replaced the nose, mid tire forward with an original style nose. The 327 small-block with a Holly carburetor was not the original motor, but similar to what it came with from the factory. It had a 1965 drivetrain with a M22 transmission, and a heavy-duty rear with 3.55 gears. The car came with a 3.70 rear that Ken used until it broke, then replaced it with a 3:90, and eventually a 3.55 gear-set. Read More


First-Ever 1963 Z06 Corvette Stingray – Dave MacDonald Picks Up, Then Races Z06 #684 At Riverside

The original Z06 was Duntov’s “racer kit” for the then-new 1963 Sting Ray. Unlike modern Z06s, there was no flash to the first Z06, it was strictly hardware designed for the racetrack – no badges, special body panels, or designations at all! But considering the official “we don’t race” policy of GM, 199 1963 Fuel Injected Corvettes with heavy-duty brakes and suspension, wasn’t anything in GM’s big picture. But, if you wanted to race your Corvette in ’63, it was everything, and Duntov made sure you got what you needed.

Racers handpicked to campaign the new Z06s included: Dave MacDonald (the Don Steves Chevrolet car), Jerry Grant, Bob Bondurant, and Mickey Thompson. The goal was for the four Corvettes to race in the October 13, 1962, L.A. Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Getting the Z06-equipped Corvettes built, delivered, and prepped for the race was going to be tight. To expedite matters, Duntov arranged to have Dave and Sherry MacDonald, Jerry Grant, and Bob Bondurant flown to St. Louis to pick up their Z06 Corvettes. The MacDonalds and Bondurant drove back to California and Grant to Washington to prep their cars for the October 13 race. Read More

The Owens Corning L88 Corvette Goes On the Block and It’s a NO SALE!

Well I hope that you were able to catch some auction action, live from Monterey, California. High-end auctions, such as the RM and Mecum events draw some of the finest and most interesting cars in the world. For car lovers, these auctions are the proverbial box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. The winningset Corvette race car of all time went ON THE BLOCK Friday night. Check out the results HERE! Read More

August Auction Action – Watch RM Monterey and Mecum Monterey, Live!

Busy Friday night?

It’s turning out to be a very interesting weekend for Corvettes at the high-end car auctions, with two big-time events going off at about the same time and area. I checked the RM Auctions website and saw that they have updated their home page and added a “VIEW AUCTION LIVE” link at the top of their homepage. So, they made it easy for us. Auction action starts at 6:60 PM Pacific time (9:30 Eastern Time). If you click the page link before the scheduled start time, all you’ll see is a black box where the streaming video will be. This won’t change until the event starts. After the feed begins, look for the button to Fill Screen, kick back, and enjoy!

For more info, click the blue title above! Read More

Corvette Legends – The Great, Dave MacDonald – Part 1

Could there have been a more exciting time and place to be into cars than Southern California in the 1950s? Probably not. It was postwar America, California only had about 1/3 its current population, Rock’n Roll was in its infancy, and the car culture was revving up. El Monte was just a semi-rural community in Los Angeles County, the perfect place for young Dave MacDonald and legions of other guys to pour their hearts and souls into cars. What’a time!

Life was extraordinary for the young family. Dave was one of the young lions or racing, yet he remained soft spoken and down to earth. Once, Sherry’s boss asked her if Dave would be willing to speak at a church function about auto racing. Afterwards her boss told Sherry that everyone was quite taken with this slight built, soft spoken, articulate young man who confidently answered all of their questions. Perhaps they were expecting a ham-fisted, daredevil type. Instead, they got family man and devoted husband, Dave MacDonald. Read More

Corvette Book Review: “Legendary Corvettes”

Let me get this out of the way, up front. I love this book! For Corvette lovers, like us, this book is a visual delight. Veteran automotive writer, Randy Leffingwell and seasoned photographer, Dave Wendt have teamed up to present a visual and literary trip through 18 unique Corvettes.

As you page through the book, keep in mind that the images you see have not been PhotoShopped – they are “photographs.” Now “novel.” Wendt is a master at lighting. This is photographic “art.”

Keep in mind that our criteria for this book is, “Vettes Made Famous On Track And Screen.” After I had that settled in my head, everything was fine. Our visual trip begins at the beginning – the 1953 Corvette. The images draw out the inherent beauty of the car. It was just too good-looking to give up on, by a few very important people. That’s where Leffingwell’s prose lays out the stories. Read More