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 Run-Up to the C8 Corvette – The History of Mid-Engine Corvettes, Part 1 – 1960 CERV-I

At Riverside Raceway in 1960, Duntov unveiled one of the most unusual cars of his career at GM, the CERV I. (CERV – Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle) The car’s official reason for being was, “A research tool for Chevrolet’s continuous investigations into automotive ride and handling phenomena under more realistic conditions.” (wink, wink, RACING!) But everyone knew better. Duntov first got the idea of building a rear-engine racer in ‘57 while working out the details on the SS Corvette. Since R&D work was also going on with the Corvair and its unique transaxle, a mid-engine V-8 wasn’t outside of legitimate research. This alone may have been what got the project approved. Read More

Vette Videos: 1973 4-Rotor, Mid-Engine AeroVette

With all the chitter-chatter in the C7 Corvette rumor mill about a possible mid-engine Corvette, we thought it would be fun to take a trip back to 1973 for a look at what many thought would be the replacement for the C3 Mako Shark-styled Corvette. Corvette chief of engineering, Zora Arkus-Duntov had been pitching the mid-engine layout since the 1960 CERV II car. Not only was the AeroVette a mid-engine layout, it was to be powered by a 420-horsepower, 4-rotor Wankel rotor-motor engine. GM had licensing rights to develop the radical rotary engine that seemed to have a lot of potential. Read More