We managed to get our hands on these never-before-seen videos shot during testing of the first generation Corvette. The videos just discovered in the GM Media Archives show a very early Corvette prototype undergoing a series of evaluations at the Milford Proving Grounds and include a cameo by Zora Duntov. Read on to be one of the first people in a very, very long time to view the video.
Sometimes a person is least appreciated in his homeland.
That was once the case with Zora Arkus-Duntov, the engineering genius who guided the Corvette through its early years after he emigrated from Europe.
But now Jerry Burton, who is the author of “Zora Arkus-Duntov, The Legend Behind Corvette” and longtime editor of Corvette Quarterly, says the Russians have recently discovered the magic of Zora for themselves.
Back before the C4 Callaway Twin Turbos, aftermarket company American Custom Industries (ACI) partnered with Zora Arkus-Duntov on a limited run of custom Corvettes. This rare 1980 Duntov Turbo Corvette is one of the products of that partnership and is currently for sale on Craigslist.
At Saturday’s Russo and Steele auction in Scottsdale, a very special 1989 Bright Red Corvette was driven up on the block. With 26,412 Corvettes built during the 1989 model year, what could be so special about this particular Corvette that would give it a coveted Saturday evening auction slot? This ’89 Corvette Convertible was owned and driven by the Godfather of Corvette: Zora Arkus-Duntov.
Here’s a fun Corvette that we wouldn’t mind having parked under our Christmas tree. This 1954 model is currently for sale on EBay. The white on red roadster is a tribute to the famous 1955 Duntov EX87 test mule that ran 163mph in 1955.
Fifty-Seven years ago today, an assistant staff engineer working for Chevrolet recognized the burgeoning hot rod market was made up of young men who invariably turned to Ford parts and accessories for performance. The engineer also deduced that once these men progressed in age and income, they would trade in their jalopies for used Fords and then for new Fords. For Chevrolet to be able to compete for these new performance-minded customers, the company’s anticipated V8 engines should also be made available with a ready line of engineered performance parts including cams, pistons and valves. And so the assistant staff engineer wrote a memo to his boss detailing this epiphany.
Little did Zora Arkus-Duntov realize the paradigm shift that would take place after he penned his now famous letter “Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders, and Chevrolet” on December 16, 1953 to his boss, Chevrolet Chief Engineer Ed Cole.
Article Contributed by Steve Burns
The white text near the bottom of the front cover of Mecum Auctions’ lot catalog reads simply: “The World Greatest Chevrolet Collector”. After flipping through just a few pages of the paper or online catalog versions, it would be very difficult to disagree with that statement. Bob McDorman has been in the Chevrolet sales business for nearly 50 years. In that time he’s accumulated countless classic and modern Chevy’s in his immense collection. On Saturday, November 6th, Bob will sell the final portion of his collection all at no reserve in a sale hosted by Mecum Auctions at McDorman’s dealership in Canal Winchester, OH. In addition the numerous other models of Chevrolet’s being sold, there are nearly 90 highly desirable Corvettes up for grabs as well. With model years ranging from 1953 to 2009 there’s sure to be something for everyone. Celebrity owned, GM styling cars, early VIN’s, and one off’s fill the docket. Even neon signs, go-karts, and posters are for sale.
The Detroit home that was owned by Zora Arkus-Duntov and his wife Elfie is now on the market. Located in Grosse Pointe Woods just three blocks from Lake St. Clair, the 2,600 square-foot,3 bedroom/1.5 bath home has a unique style…just like the former first chief engineer of Corvette. Since Duntov’s passing in 1996 at age 86, Elfie lived in the house on the corner whose road sign “Duntov Way” told Corvette enthusiasts that this was Mecca.
RM Auctions was in the Tampa Bay area this weekend to auction off the collection of antique and classic cars belonging to noted automotive collector Al Wiseman. Included in the auction was this very significant 1955 Corvette Roadster that belonged to Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette’s first Chief Engineer.