Founding Fathers Pt 4: Corvette Godfather, Zora Arkus-Duntov

One of the definitions of the word, “godfather” is; “one that founds, supports, or inspires”. Of all of the Corvette’s “Founding Fathers” none are more deserving of the term than Zora Arkus-Duntov. It is not an exaggeration to say that were it not for Duntov, the Corvette never would have made it past 1970!

Although the Corvette fit the definition of a “sports car”, when Chevrolet released the car in 1953, they said that the car was, “not a sports car”. But when Zora saw the Corvette at the 1953 GM Motorama in New York City, he said that it was the most beautiful car he had ever seen, and knew instantly that he wanted to be a part of the new Corvette team. 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 Tails: Happy 102nd Birthday Zora Arkus-Duntov

So who was responsible for infusing the Corvette with it’s Mojo? Zora Arkus-Duntov. Zora was, without a doubt, the ultimate automotive corporate misfit to ever work in Detroit. By the time he saw the very first Corvette at the 1953 Motorama, he was 44 years old, a seasoned mechanical engineer, race car driver and builder. he was quoted as saying, “When I saw the Corvette at the Motorama, I thought it was the most beautiful car I’d ever seen.” And Duntov appreciated beauty. Just look at his stunning blond beauty wife and former Bluebell Girls dancer, Elfie Duntov. yes, Zora new a good-looking dame when he saw one and one look at the Corvette and he knew where he wanted to be – in the engineering department of Chevrolet, working on the Corvette. Read More

Zora Arkus-Duntov, Ahead of the Curve in 1953!

Zora Arkus-Duntov started working at General Motors on May 1, 1953. His first few months were a little bumpy, plowing through some junky assignments, such as sorting out why a prototype car with a heavy rear end wouldn’t handle right and solving a driveline vibration on a GM bus. A few weeks after Zora started, his immediate supervisor, the very capable senior engineer Maurice Olley, suggested that Duntov quit because he didn’t like Zora’s non-engineering solution to the prototype’s handling problem. And he actually considered it! (for a very short time) Read More