Vette Videos: Zora Speaks! Zora Arkus-Duntov’s Last Public Interview

Dateline: 8.21.11
Former Hot Rod Magazine editor and publisher, Jim McFarland interviews Zora Arkus-Duntov in 1991

So, if you happened to have an extra $580,000, one of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s most famous “racer kit” cars could have been yours! The 1969 John Greenwood 427 ZL-1 BF Goodrich Corvette racer WOWed the crowd, but the bidders were tight with their bids. Very few people know how much the seller paid for the car in ‘06 when it was purchased from the Chip Miller Estate, or how much the restoration work by Corvette Repair cost. Suffice to say that the car was “well bought.” That’s auction-speak for “someone get a GREAT deal!”

Restored old Corvette race cars have become quite the prized possession for Corvette collectors. In early ‘09 the ‘63 Gulf One Z06 Corvette sold for an astonishing $1.113 Million. With the depressed economy as it is, it’s hard to say if the same car would fetch the same price today. No one knows for sure, but, ah, it’s not likely. What IS likely is that restored old “racer kit” Corvettes will continue to be high-profile machines at the auction, regardless of their sale price. From 1957 to the end of his working career, Mr. Duntov always made sure his beloved racers had “the good stuff” readily available from any Chevrolet Parts Department catalog. No one worked the corporate manufacturing system like Zora did and before the age of CNC machine tools being available to specialty parts companies, the GM-designed racer kit parts were a great deal.

So, lets listen in on what was the last public interview with the Godfather of high-performance Corvettes, Zora Arkus-Duntov. Enjoy this presentation from the 1991 Superflow Advanced Engine Technology Conference with former Hot Rod Magazine Editor and publisher, Jim McFarland. Zora suffered a stroke in 1969 that made his already hard to comprehend Russian accent even more challenging to understand – but it’s not too bad.  Duntov was 82-years old and although he sometimes has trouble finding and forming his words, the man’s mind was still sharp. Enjoy! – Scott

PS – Duntov fans, you’ll enjoy my “Grand Sport Corvette Legend” essay, HERE.

Zora & Alfie Duntov's home.

PSS – Just for a little sense of “value/perspective,” in May 2010 the Grosse Pointe Woods, 3-bedroom house where Zora and Elfie Duntov lived was listed by a local Weichert Realitor for just $325,000. The house is no longer listed and I wasn’t able to find out what it sold for but the Greenwood Corvette cost $255,000 MORE that Duntov’s house! Here’s how Keith Cornett at www.CorvetteBlogger covered the story…

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