The instrumental Russian American figure behind the development of the Corvette

An unexpectedly absorbing article. Among the things we learned:

  • That engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, won at Le Mans in 1954 and 1955 in a Porsche 550, reminding us of another towering American figure in both motorsport and sports car development who also won at Le Mans.
  • Arkus-Duntov also set a record at Pikes Peak. In a Chevy Bel Air.
  • Arkus-Duntov had wanted a mid-engine Corvette but was ultimately thwarted by GM’s then-head of design, who preferred the existing long-hood, short-deck look.

In summary, we could totally see Arkus-Duntov ruffling feathers at bureaucratic, top-down 1950s and ’60s GM. Were it not for his brilliance, he probably would have been shown the door, his name subsequently relegated to a footnote in the annals of automotive history.

~ by velofinds on June 28, 2012.

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