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

Corvette Chassis History Pt. 1: C1 1953-1962

But the unkindest insult leveled against the C1 Corvette was that it was a clumsy attempt by Chevrolet to build a “parts bin sports car.” As if to say that Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Maurice Olley, and Mauri Rose slap-dashed together car and presented it as “America’s sports car.” I will dispel this myth once and for all. Although it was Harley Earl that came up with the concept and directed the shape of the first Corvette, it was Chevrolet’s new chief of engineering and soon to become general manager, Ed Cole that was the corporate driving force behind the project. Cole was part of the generation of WW-II era men with a “Let’s get it done, now!” attitude. Cole loved being a corporate rebel. His motto was, “Kick the hell out of the status quo!” Cole liked to “shake things up” so he created his Dream Team to create his Chevrolet sports car. Read More


Z06 Corvette History, Pt 1 – The 1963 Z06 Racer Kit

Corvette racers never had a better friend than Zora Arkus-Duntov. After the heavy lifting was completed and the new Sting Ray’s design was basically finished, Duntov and his team set out to create their Racer Kit for the new car. It is not known exactly how the moniker “Z06” was chosen, perhaps by chance, but it sure sounded sexy and no one knew that almost 40 years later there would be a separate performance model with the heart and soul of the Racer Kit, wearing a Z06 badge. Read More


Corvette Timeline Tales: August 20, 1954 – Chevrolet races 1953 Corvette at a NASCAR-sanctioned Raleigh Speedway.

Yes, these were the first Chevrolet-built Corvette race cars. They don’t look familiar because in this promotion photograph the cars had yet to be decorated. The young man to the left and in the back is Bill France, Jr. in 1953 Corvette VIN #211 and the man on the right and in front is Joe Hawkins in 1955 Corvette VIN #1399. The names of the bathing beauties are not known. Back in the NASCAR’s early days they had a “Sports Car Series,” sometimes called the “International Class” that ran as support races for the Grand National races. Read More