Founding Fathers Pt 3 of 6: Bill Mitchell, Creator of the Corvette Look

A few years before his death in 1988, Mitchell has this to say about the C4 Corvette, “That square box is pretty near plastic… the instrument panel – Dracula’s dressing room… it rides like a truck… it isn’t a style car, it’s an machine car… engineers are running it. Earl would never let that – I would never let that happen, and I condemn the guys for it!” Read More


The History of Mid-Engine Corvettes, 1960 to C8: Part 2

But at the height of the Corvair’s popularity, V.P. of Design, Bill Mitchell saw “potential” in the Corvair’s unique platform and set two of his sharpest designers to work on a radical Corvair; Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine. Two cars were built; the Monza GT was a mid-engine coupe and the Monza SS was a rear-engine open-roadster. Neither car looked like anything else on the road, let alone a Corvair. If you ever wondered where the big front fender humps on the Mako Shark-II came from, now you know! Read More


Corvette Timeline Tales: August 22, 1957 – GM designer, Peter Brock submits sketches for a new Corvette design – VIDEO

GM designer, Peter Brock submits sketches for a new Corvette design and Chief of Styling, Bill Mitchell, approves and orders Styling to proceed with Brock’s design. Peter Brock was one of the youngest designers ever hired by GM Styling. Ed Cole was the new general manager at Chevrolet and after the success of his small-block… Read More


Corvette Odd-Ball: Was the 1938 Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine the Genesis of the Iconic Sting Ray’s Roof?

So, on July 20, 2015 when blog.hemmings.com published a story about the 1938 Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine, Corvette fans were in for a surprise! While the car indeed looks large and doesn’t have the look of a “sports car” it was actually raced at Le Mans in 1937, and approximately six were built. While this was in its day, cutting edge and a truly advanced design, from the front and size view, no one would EVER think, “Sting Ray.” But when you get to the rear roofline, it’s, “Oh… My… God!!!” While not “exact” with the sharp, tapered point, split rear-window, and taillight configuration, the resemblance to the 1963 Split-Window Coupe Sting Ray is stunning! Read More

Corvettes at Carlisle – First ZL1 Engine Alive and Well!

When Kevin Mackay told me about his find, he said that like his other restoration work, his intention was to refurbish the ZL-1 back to its Hot Rod cover girl configuration in time for the 2012 30th Corvettes at Carlisle Show. If you have never been to the Corvettes at Carlisle Show, every year, there’s a special feature called “Chip’s Choice” along the long wall of Building T. For 2012 the Chips Choice theme was “The Best of the Big-Blocks” and featured many of Corvette Repair’s magnificent big-block Corvettes. So it was very fitting that Mackay’s fully restored ZL-1 engine was part of the show.

Attending the Corvettes at Carlisle Show is a real pleasure. How often does a Corvette fan get to experience complete sensory overload. With 60 years of history and heritage, plus thousands of Corvettes in all different configurations, “sensory overload” about says it all. After several hours, it’s “Oh, there’s another Grand Sport, and another race car, and another stocker, and another…” So when I was in Building T looking at the ZL-1 engine on display, it was kind of surreal. Read More

1963 Corvette – The First Production Sting Ray

The first 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, The original American Idol – I call the Corvette the “The American Automotive Horatio Alger Story.” It’s the ultimate automotive rags-to-riches story. You could also call it an automotive Cinderella story. While the C6 has taken more flack than it deserves, it’s good to look back to the very beginning to get a really clear picture of how far the Corvette has come in 60 years. Today, new designs are market researched, but in the ‘50s, it was a seat-of-the-pants approach, driven by men with strong personalities. “Father” of the Corvette, Harley Earl, was the director of GM’s “Art and Color Section.” from 1927 to 1958. His successor, William L. Mitchell picked up the mantle and drove the Corvette where Earl never imagined. Read More

Vette Video: 1960 Mako Shark-I Corvette At The Georgia Aquarium

Lucky for us, GM design chief, Bill Mitchell had a fish fetish. Or should we say, a shark obsession. I once read an amusing story about Mitchell and his “shark thing.” He was talking with someone about the Mako Shark-I show car and he said, (sorry for the paraphrasing) “Look at the open mouth in that grille area. You can just see the blood dripping from the opening!” Yea, he was “into it.”

The story goes that Mitchell caught a big shark off the coast of Bimini and had it stuffed and mounted. It must have been his muse because he obviously picked up on three design elements.

Check out the three unique design elements, PLUS the video!!! Read More

Vette Shows: The Sights of C2 Corvettes at the 2011 30th Corvettes at Carlisle Show

Yesterday we showed you some of the C3 Shark Corvettes from the 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Show. We attended on friday and it was a good thing because I read on keith Cornett’s CorvetteBlogger.com that overcast skies on Saturday have vendors packing by noon time. Hurricanes seldom blow up the east coast the way that Irene did, what’a shame it had to be that weekend.

While the 1965 Mako Shark II show car was a total game-changer for Corvette styling, back then no one was saying, “Gee, don’t you think the Sting Ray is looking a little tired?” NEVER HAPPENED. I’ve often wondered what the Corvette would look like today had the shark styling had not happened and the Sting Ray design was allowed to develop and mature, the same way the 911 Porsche did over the years. Today’s 911 Porsche still has the basic look from when the car first arrived as a 1965 model. Read More