R.I.P. Vette Magazine 1976-2019

In the spring of 1997 I pitched then editor, Richard Lentinello a concept I called, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” as a monthly column. Lentinello liked the idea, but didn’t have an open page for another columnist, so it was, “Thanks, but no thanks”. A week later Lentinello called me to ask if I still wanted to do a column, as one of his other columnist informed him that he could no longer do his column. Of course I said, “Yes!” My plan was to cover every year Corvette in chronological order; so maybe I’d have 50 installments. When Vette magazine was shuttered last December I had completed 275 installments and got a book deal from Car-Tech Books in 2010. Read More


The Motion Performance Experience – Part II

Scott: Welcome back to Far Out Radio. Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen and Marty Schorr, the creators of the Baldwin Motion Phase-III supercars of the 1960s and 1970s, are here with us this evening. We’re doing some bench racing and talking about those ground-pounding Chevy supercars from back in the 1960s and 1970s. So Joel, you got the drag racing bug, huh?

Joel: Yea, yea, I got that drag racing bug. One of the things, just to digress just a bit, is that back in the gas station I had, I was one of the first guys with a dynamometer in New York. I was into things like oscilloscopes before people knew what an oscilloscope was – on a car anyway, and I started to teach myself about that stuff. Then a product came out that was a capacitive discharge ignition system, the forerunner of all of the capacitive discharge units, and MSDs and all that. It was an EI-4 and an EI-5, and started to read up on this and the material said that you could run .005 to .006 sparkplug gaps and the engine will run much better and keep it in tune, bla, bla, bla. Read More


An intimate conversation with Baldwin-Motion Phase-III Chevy Supercar Creators, Marty Schorr & Joel Rosen – Pt.1

This interview appeared in the July 2017 issue of Vette Vues Magazine. Part 2 coming soon! – Marty Schorr is the former editor of CARS Magazine, the founder of Vette Magazine, and is the current editor and chief of CarGuyChrolicles.com, and PMPR, an automotive public relations form. Joel Rosen is the former owner of Motion Performance, on Long Island, in New York, and currently owns and runs Motion Models, a world-renowned, scale military model company in Florida.
 
In June 2013 I had the pleasure of interviewing Marty and Joel on my radio program, “Far Out Radio.” And now, you get to read the story from the guys that made it happen – Marty Schorr and Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen. The guys created a legend and we’re still talking about it over 50 years later! Read More


First-Ever 1963 Z06 Corvette Stingray – Dave MacDonald Picks Up, Then Races Z06 #684 At Riverside

The original Z06 was Duntov’s “racer kit” for the then-new 1963 Sting Ray. Unlike modern Z06s, there was no flash to the first Z06, it was strictly hardware designed for the racetrack – no badges, special body panels, or designations at all! But considering the official “we don’t race” policy of GM, 199 1963 Fuel Injected Corvettes with heavy-duty brakes and suspension, wasn’t anything in GM’s big picture. But, if you wanted to race your Corvette in ’63, it was everything, and Duntov made sure you got what you needed.

Racers handpicked to campaign the new Z06s included: Dave MacDonald (the Don Steves Chevrolet car), Jerry Grant, Bob Bondurant, and Mickey Thompson. The goal was for the four Corvettes to race in the October 13, 1962, L.A. Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Getting the Z06-equipped Corvettes built, delivered, and prepped for the race was going to be tight. To expedite matters, Duntov arranged to have Dave and Sherry MacDonald, Jerry Grant, and Bob Bondurant flown to St. Louis to pick up their Z06 Corvettes. The MacDonalds and Bondurant drove back to California and Grant to Washington to prep their cars for the October 13 race. Read More


Wil Cooksey’s 2013 Interview on Scott Teeters’ Far Out Radio Program

Yesterday we told you about the 2015 Corvettes at Carlisle show and that Wil Cooksey is one of the special guests for the event. Actually, ever since Wil put on that stunning, explosive burnout display back in 2007, he’s become an almost permanent fixture of the Corvettes at Carlisle show.

On April 5, 2013 I had the pleasure of interviewing Wil Cooksey on my Far Out Radio program. The YouTube version of the program, here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBNkyoi72kc Read More

Vette Polls: Would You Buy A New, Factory-Built Retro Corvette?

Now this would never, ever, ever happen – but it’s fun to imagine. The basic idea would be this. Start with two Corvettes from each of the first three generations. Take the original designs and update the drivetrains, wheels, tires, and brakes, safety requirements, and interior materials and creature comforts. Aside from modern paint colors, wheels, and tires, they would look very much like their original counterparts. They need not be quasi race cars, loaded to the gills with hi-tech hardware. Just brand new, modernized, old-style Corvettes. Sound interesting? Let’s look at each component. Read More

Corvette Pace Car Files: 1986 Indy 500 Pace Car Corvette

The second piece of big news for ‘86 was that a Corvette would pace the Indy 500 for the second time. Retired general Chuck Yeager was enjoying celebrity status as a result of the book and movie, “The Right Stuff.” But Chevrolet was still smarting from the heavy criticism over the ‘78 Corvette Pace Car debacle and seemed to go in the opposite direction. Rather than producing a set number of pace car relicas, ALL ‘86 Corvette convertibles were designated as a “Pace Car Replica” and came with dealer or customer applied decals for the doors. Many said, “Why bother.” Read More

Corvette Timeline Tails: Happy 99th Birthday Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen

Within the machinations of a big corporation, to get things done, it’s good to have an angel. Zora Arkus-Duntov had several angels. We’ve talked about Duntov’s relationship with Chevrolet honcho Ed Cole. But one angle that doesn’t get much attention was Simon “Bunkie” Knudsen.

Simon’s father was former GM president, William S. Knudsen. While this was helpful for the younger Kneudsen’s career, things weren’t handed to Bunkie – he had to work for what he accomplished. Like many teenage boys of his generation, Simon was interested in mechanical things. When he asked for a car, his Dad gave him one… in pieces for the young man to out back together. During his college years, Summer break meant a stint working at Gm… on the assembly line. Upon graduation, Knudsen got a job at Pontiac in 1939 and quickly rose up through the management ranks. By 1956 he was the general manager at Pontiac. Read More

1996 LT4 Small-Block Chevy – The Finished Classic SBC?

When the Cadillac-derived Small-block Chevy engine first arrived in 1955, I’m certain that Ed Cole and his team of Chevrolet engineers never imagined that their efforts would have such a profound and long lasting impact on the automobile industry. The little 265-cubic-inch engine had just 162-horsepower. By 1970 the 350-cubic-inch LT-1 engine was packing 370 gross horsepower. Beginning in 1973 Gm started rating their engines in “net” figures making it look as if the legs had been cut out from under all of their motors. While it’s true that there were emissions restrictions and reduced compression, the “net” power ratings were in real-world terms, closer to reality.

From ‘73 to ‘96 it was a long slow slog, but the last SBC to use the basic original design was the 330-horsepower LT4. So, what would be the ”gross” horsepower rating of a ‘96 LT4? That would be anyone’s guess, but somewhere close to or over 400-horsepower would be a good guess. Read More