Corvette Chiefs, Pt. 1 of 5 – Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette’s Nostradamus

As a young man, Duntov was into boxing, motorcycles, fast cars, and pretty girls. After his formal engineering training in Berlin, Germany, Duntov started racing cars and applying his engineering skills to racecar construction. In 1935 Duntov built his first racecar with help from his racing partner Asia Orley; they called the car, “Arkus”. Their goal was to debut the car at the Grand Prix de Picardie in June 1935. But after a series of mishaps, the car caught fire and never raced. From this point forward, all Duntov wanted to do was build racecars. Read More


The History of Mid-Engine Corvettes, 1960 to C8: Part 3

Zora Arkus-Duntov was greatly influenced by the Auto Union and Mercedes race cars of the pre and post WW II era of racing. AWD was often part of the advanced engineering of the world’s best racecars, so it was no surprise that Duntov wanted AWD in his Corvette prototype to race at Le Mans. “Getting there” in a company that makes consumer cars would be a challenge, so Zora was limited to the parts bin. Duntov built his AWD racer using a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission with a modified 11-inch torque converter for the rear wheels, and a Corvair Powerglide transmission with a modified 10-inch torque converter just ahead of the front wheel centerline. There are many ways of driving four wheels in an automobile, but this was so unique that on November 19, 1968 Duntov was awarded U.S. Patient #3,411,601 for the design. Read More