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

While Duntov lead the charge when it came to racing Corvettes, he wasn’t the only power player inside Chevrolet with a vision for a mid-engine Corvette. Frank Winchell was a low-profile company man who, unlike Duntov, did not like or seek out fame and attention. He was comfortable in his role as a corporate man. Winchell ran the Chevrolet R&D group from 1959 through 1966 and was a “take no prisoners,” “lets try it” kind of guy. While not a degreed engineer, he had a natural sense of how things worked and specialized in the design and development of automatic transmissions. Read More

The XP-819 REAR ENGINE Corvette Will Get Its Day

When the topic of mid-engine Corvettes come up, the name “Zora Arkus-Duntov” is almost unanimously, and immediately connecter to the subject. But there was “another guy” that championed mid AND rear-engine Corvettes. That would be, Frank Winchell. I’ve covered the XP-819 and Winchell’s Corvettes in my Illustrated Corvette Series VETTE Magazine column. Most of the Corvette blogs are talking about the newly restored XP-819 by by Kevin Mackay and his team at Corvette Repair. I thought it would be interesting and different to share with you the Frank Winchell / XP-819 story. Read More