Dave McLellan had some pretty big shoes to fill as Corvette’s 2nd Chief Engineer. After the retirement of living legend Zora Arkus-Duntov in 1975, Dave took over the program during what is considered by many to be the low point of Corvette’s history. By the end of his tenure however, not only had a he turned around the Corvette with the successful launch of the new C4 Corvette in 1984, he may have single handedly reignited the horsepower wars with the development and introduction of the 375 hp Corvette ZR-1 in 1990. Dave’s tenure as Corvette Chief ended in 1992 when he stepped down after 33 years at GM and the baton was passed to Dave Hill.
Dave McLellan’s latest venture is the launch of a new website and podcast series called CorvetteChief.com. I met Dave McLellan at the NCRS show in Kissimmee in January and listened to a discussion he was having with enthusiasts on the development of the C4 Corvette ZR-1. With his impact felt in three separate Corvette generations – the C3, C4 and C5, Dave’s experience within GM and his current contacts should provide valuable insight – not only into Corvettes of the past – but future Corvettes as well.
The first podcast on his new site focuses on one of the more persistant rumors surrounding a future Corvette design – the midengine Corvette. Taking us through the previous midengine designs, the Cerv-1, Cerv-2 and the New York Show Car, we learn that GM has had an eye on that type of design configuration for quite some time. But other than John Delorean, there has been little support at the top of GM to push the program further – let alone a call from the Corvette enthusiast community to make it happen. Lastly, one of the insights I found most interesting is that Dave doesn’t accept the premise that a midengined Corvette would cost too much – something we keep hearing as the primary obsticle that would be needed to be overcome for production to happen.
You can hear Dave McLellan’s first podcast at CorvetteChief.com
Video: In the CorvetteBlogger.com Garage – V1.2
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