An insightful interview with Zora Arkus-Duntov interview just before he retired.
Dateline: 2.2.21 – To download this PDF E-Book, CLICK HERE –A few months ago at one of our Highlands Corvette Club (Lake Placid FL) monthly Corvette car shows a fellow came up to the sign-in table where I was working and he had a box with several dozen issues of Corvette News from the 1970s.
The June/July 1975 issue had what might have been one of Duntov’s last interviews before retiring as Corvette Chief Engineer. The article starts out, “As we entered his office at Chevrolet Engineering, Zora greeting us warmly…”
What followed is an insightful, warm, eight-page interview with the Godfather of Corvettes.
Enjoy and feel free to share with your Corvette friends. – Scott
Here are the PDF download links to all 4 of the Duntov Files, as of 2.16.21.
Printable PDF files of 13 “Corvette News” Magazines from 1958-to-1962
Dateline: 10-22-18 –National Sales Promotion Manage, Joe Pike came up with a brilliant idea in 1957/1958. To build a Corvette community, Pike created “Corvette News”, a quarterly publication that was only available to owners of new Corvettes! Talk about an exclusive club! I am pretty sure that “Corvette News” was the first-ever regularly published magazine for a specific model automobile. Joe Pike was one of the first batch of six men that were inducted into the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame in 1998.
I was recently perusing around the GM Heritage Center’s website. The “GM Historical Brochures” section of the “Archives” section, has 16 different subjects covering; Cadillac, Camaro, Chevrolet Engineering, Chevrolet History, Chevrolet Trucks, Consumer Information, GM History, GMC, Manufacturing Facilities, Events, Portfolio, Service and Training, Corvette Historical Brochures, and Corvette News.
The Corvette Historical Brochures section has 47 sales brochures and the Corvette News section has 13 issues of Corvette News from Vol 1, Number 4, (1958) to Vol 5, Number 2 (1962).
The earliest issue covers the Corvette Rally scene, Pebble Beach coverage, information about Corvette Gymkhana events, a story about falconry and the U.S. Air Force Academy, front-end alignment, and Tuning Your 1958 Corvette. Most interesting is the one-page “Corvette Club Directory” listing a total of 13 Corvette Clubs in America!
If you would like to add paper version of the Corvette News magazines to your Corvette library, modern local printers can print the high-resolution files in full color, and saddle-stitch them for you are very reasonable prices.
Each issue is a time capsule, a visual look back at a simpler Corvette and a simpler time in America. It probably didn’t seem like “simpler times” back then, and the Corvette was considered an advanced Chevrolet sports car. Modern electronics and computers allow today’s Corvettes to do the unimaginable from back then. But there’s a special kind of joy these purely mechanical performance cars gives.
I sure do hope that the webmasters at www.GMHeritageCenter.com add more vintage “Corvette News” issues soon. We’ll just have to keep checking back! To access the 13 available issues, CLICK HERE. – Scott
PS – Here’s an anecdotal personal story I think you’ll find to be interesting.
I discovered Corvettes in 1965 when I accompanied my big brother Bob to the local Chevrolet dealer where he had just purchased a used 1957 Bel Air. He told me to wait in the showroom while he went back to the Service Department. On the showroom floor was a 1965 Sting Ray Coupe. I though it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen!
I must have looked bedazzled because a salesman came up to me and said, “You like that car, don’t ya, kid?” I said, “Yea!” Then he gave me a brochure and scribbled his name on the cover, right over the picture of the red Corvette! Maybe he thought my Dad would buy a Corvette. THAT wasn’t going to happen! I took the brochure home and must have read it a hundred times! That’s how it began for me.
About a year later one of my friends told me that his older brother once had a Corvette and that when he bought the car new, he got a free magazine. By that time I was buying every magazine I could find with anything about Corvettes, as well as building model car Corvettes. But when I saw a few of the issues of Corvette News, I copied the mailing address for Chevrolet. I knew who Zora Arkus-Duntov was by then (he kind of reminded my of my grandfather), so I decided to write him a letter asking for “specs” for Corvettes!
A few months later a package arrived from Chevrolet! Inside was a letter from Chevrolet Marketing (not Mr. Duntov, DRAT!), several Chevrolet General Specifications documents and a few issues of Corvette News. The letter thanked me for my interest and informed me that they were adding my name and address to the Corvette News mailing list!
Not only did I not have a Corvette (except for many 1/25th scale versions), I was about five years from getting my driver’s license! I kept getting Corvette News until around 1970 and still have many of them today in my Corvette library. Who knows, I might have been the only kid to be on the Corvette News mailing list! HA! – Scott
Dateline: 8.16.11 Bentley Publishing keeps the Duntov legend alive in the world of Social Media – 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. To check out the Duntov Facebook page, CLICK HERE.
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.
Burton’s book lays it all out: Zora the dare devil. Zora the race car builder and driver. Zora the corporate man. Zora the backdoor man. Zora the rake. Zora the corporate Robin Hood, and more. I could not put the book down. When I was finished, all I could say was, “WOW! What’a life!”
I’d like to share here is a Duntov story from my youth. I got the Corvette bug when I was 11 years old in 1965. Over the next few years I built every model car kit and read every magazine I could get my hands on. Car Life, Hot Rod, and Car & Driver is where I learned about Duntov. I thought, “Who is this COOL old guy?” he kind of reminded me of one of my grandfathers.
I wanted to know everything I could about Corvettes, so I wrote Dr. Duntov a letter when I was around 12. I don’t exactly remember what I wrote, but I think I was asking for detail specifications. A few months later, a 9×12 envelope came addressed to me from “CHEVROLET.” It wasn’t from Zora and unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to the letter. But I do recall what else was included. Continue reading “ZORA ARKUS-DUNTOV LIVES… On Facebook!!!”→