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
A few years before his death in 1988, Mitchell has this to say about the C4 Corvette, “That square box is pretty near plastic… the instrument panel – Dracula’s dressing room… it rides like a truck… it isn’t a style car, it’s an machine car… engineers are running it. Earl would never let that – I would never let that happen, and I condemn the guys for it!” 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
Hanspeter Bohi from Muenchenstein, Switzerland builds a spot-on replica of the most important concept Corvette ever! Dateline 2-4-18, Photos by Hans Peter Bohi and GM Archives – This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Vette Magazine. The 1965/1966 Mako Shark-II set down the basic look and proportion for all Corvettes going forward.… Read More
Obviously this is a “1959 Stingray Racer” wanna-be. I personally would not have finished off the car this way. The dual headrests is one too many, the Stinger hood is out of period by eight years, the side vents are odd, and the wheels should have been polished Hildebrand-style wheels.
But hey! It’s a customized kit car. I’m sure it’s fairly light in weight, and with the 283 Fuelie and 4:11 rear, it’ll be a hoot to drive.
The car was recently restored and despite my own personal quibbles, I’d say the car was, WELL BOUGHT. Whom ever is the new owner, I hope you really enjoy your cool new ride! – Scott Read More
What the Centurion that is up for auction has going for it is that, aside for the Stinger hood, it appears to be period correct in many ways and very well crafted. The interior looks very much like the real Stingray Racer. The side pipes are close to the real car’s and the engine is a 283 with an early Rochester Fuel Injection setup. The black-spoke American Mags are 1960s style and the Firestone Wide Oval tires are mid-60s size.
This “may well be” one of the best Fiberfab Centurion cars built. There is NO RESERVE on this car, so someone just might be able to scoop up an interesting car for not much cash. This will might be an interesting auction that I will have to record and put on our YouTube channel. The auction date is January 19th and 20th, and the Centurion’s Lot number is 1009.1. Read More
My monthly column in VETTE Magazine, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” is now in its 21st year. I’m in the middle of a series I’m calling, “The Corvette’s Founding Fathers” that covers the careers of Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus Duntov, Larry Shinoda, and Peter Brock. Each of these men played a foundational roll in setting the pattern and personality of the Corvette. Without them, the Corvette might not have survived the 1950s. Read More
But at the height of the Corvair’s popularity, V.P. of Design, Bill Mitchell saw “potential” in the Corvair’s unique platform and set two of his sharpest designers to work on a radical Corvair; Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine. Two cars were built; the Monza GT was a mid-engine coupe and the Monza SS was a rear-engine open-roadster. Neither car looked like anything else on the road, let alone a Corvair. If you ever wondered where the big front fender humps on the Mako Shark-II came from, now you know! Read More
In the early days of the Corvette’s existence, GM had an odd relationship with the car. Power-players such as Harley Earl, Ed Cole, and Bill Mitchell went to bat for the struggling sports car many times. And then there was the wild Russian engineer with the funny name, Zora Arkus-Duntov that pushed to make the car a successful racecar. But GM is all about sales and Chevy wasn’t selling many Corvettes. By the end of 1957 Chevy sold 14,446 Corvettes in total from 1953. In 1957 alone, Chevrolet sold 254,331 4-door Bel Air Sedans! Read More
A fascinating vintage document has surfaced and is available as a free PDF download thanks to the GM Heritage Center. The 23 page document walks the reader through topics that includes everything a Corvette owner needs to know about how to race his Corvette! Read More
Bill Mitchell launches a purpose-built 1956 Corvette race car As Director of Styling under Harley Earl and the appointed heir to the Earl throne, Bill Mitchell enjoyed some sweet perks – one being that he could have custom cars built by the Chevrolet styling department. Harley Earl’s son, Jerry caused some upper management concern when… Read More
August 30, 2002 – National Corvette Museum, inducts James Jeffords, Myron E. Scott, and John A. Cafaro into the Hall of Fame. Dateline: 8.30.15 – The Corvette has lasted longer than Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Zora Arkus-Duntov, and Bill Mitchell ever imagined back in the 1950s, thanks to the continuing passion of men and women… Read More