Category: Corvette

Was Chevy’s rear-engine XP-819 really a contender for the Corvette badge, or was it something else entirely – Jim Koscs @Hemmings

Was Chevy’s rear-engine XP-819 really a contender for the Corvette badge, or was it something else entirely – Jim Koscs @Hemmings

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One word might best sum up the arrival of the 2020 Corvette, the first mid-engine model in the Chevy sports car’s nearly 70-year history: finally! Mid-engine Corvettes had been teased as engineering cars, prototypes and concepts for more than 50 of those years. If your car magazine collection stretches back to the late 1960s, you likely have issues promising “the next Corvette” as a mid-engine car. Since then, there have been six generations of front-engine Corvettes and, as social scientists could point out, two generations of humans.
The half-century lineage of mid-engine Corvette teasers was on display at this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March. Nine of those cars were gathered in the same place for the first time ever, including Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle I (CERV I), CERV IIGS-II, CERV III, XP-819, XP-895, XP-987 rotary Corvette, the Aerovette and the Corvette Indy.
Among the group, and even among rotary-engine ‘Vettes, the Chevrolet Engineering XP-819 had long seemed to be an outlier due to its rear-mounted, not mid-mounted, V-8. The XP-819’s recently completed restoration by Corvette Repair in Valley Stream, New York, has confirmed, however, that this car was a critical link in the Corvette’s evolutionary chain. Even if testing proved the rear-engine location to be unworkable, the XP-819’s legacy could be found in other engineering, design and safety ideas applied in Corvettes stretching into the 1990s.
This important, intriguing engineering car would have disappeared for good but for the efforts of several passionate Corvette enthusiasts since the 1970s. The restoration itself could better be described as a heroic rescue-and-rebuild, such was the XP-819’s severe state of disrepair and deterioration. “Of all the cars we’ve ever done, this was the most difficult and the most challenging,” says Kevin Mackay, owner of Corvette Repair. The shop is renowned for restoring historic Corvette racecars and ultra-rare production models.

I Was There: How I got to be a part of the split-window Corvette design team @Hemmings

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Joe Feko Junior Detailer
Chevrolet Engineering Center
In the fall of 1961, I was an engineering student at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University). The school offered a cooperative education program that had me alternating between classes in Flint, Michigan, and work assignments at the Chevrolet Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan.
At Chevrolet, I worked on the drawing boards as a junior detailer. Detailing is the final step in the process of creating engineering blueprints for the manufacture of parts and components for new vehicles. Vehicle design starts in the design studios and, in those days, when a concept was finalized, the entire vehicle was drawn on large metal plates called layouts. This contained all vehicle information including all parts and sub-assemblies. Detailers took information from layouts to create individual parts drawings.
As a junior detailer, I was usually assigned to relatively easy tasks such as making drawing revisions, minor drawing corrections, and various drawing updates. Experienced detailers worked closely with the engineers and handled the more difficult and complex parts. They often made design-improvement suggestions during the detailing process. Detailers made design refinements and added the information required to make a finished engineering document. Detailing also served as a review process where parts were examined for conformance to design and manufacturing standards.

From “Blackjack” to Stingray: The Inside Story of How the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Came to Be – Paul A. Eisenstein @TheDetroitBureau

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The original prototype was a “clown suit” hiding the plan to bring out a mid-engine supercar.

Original Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov helped develop these concepts: (l-r) CERV I, CERV III and CERV II.

With the launch of the new, eighth-generation Corvette, Chevrolet finally gets what it – and many fans – have long wanted: a mid-engine design that can truly compete with some of the world’s best sports cars.

Mike Petrucci, the lead development engineer, stands alongside an early C8 “mule.”

It’s been a long time coming. Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette’s first chief engineer, began tinkering with the concept way back in 1960 with the CERV I concept vehicle. He described it as “a design without limit” and an “admirable tool,” contending that it showed GM “what to put in Corvette.”

Throughout the years, Arkus-Duntov and his successors would continue to tinker with the mid-engine concept, launching additional prototypes like CERV II and CERV III. But it would take until the middle of this past decade before senior management at General Motors finally gave the idea the go, according to Mike Petrucci, who served as lead development engineer on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, or C8.

Read on

Sequential series: Pete Vicari putting his trio of pre-production ’63 Corvettes up for sale – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Pete Vicari grew up in a family owned construction and real-estate development business in Harvey, Louisiana, just south of New Orleans. But he also grew up with a love of Detroit muscle cars and especially Chevrolet Corvettes.

His passion for such muscular machines led to the founding 25 years ago of the Vicari Auction Company, which regularly conducts collector car sales in Mississippi, Texas and Georgia. Vicari’s next sale is scheduled for April 17-18 at Biloxi, and will be followed just a couple of weeks later by an annual auction in Nocona, Texas.

While such auctions are very public events, a week ago Vicari shared some previously very privately held news: Not only had he collected three pre-production 1963 Chevrolet Corvette prototypes — and with sequential serial numbers — but he has decided it is time to sell them.

However, there is a catch:He wants the cars to stay together as a set.

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1967 COPO Corvette ordered by GM designer Bill Mitchell set for auction – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The well-documented one-of-a-kind convertible will be offered by Russo and Steele at its Scottsdale sale in January

A one-of-one 1967 Chevrolet Corvette COPO, special ordered by General Motors design head Bill Mitchell for his wife, Marianne, to cruise around in, will be auctioned in January during Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale sale.

Mitchell is credited with the styling of the second-generation Corvette with its signature hideaway headlights, and he obtained this final-year model as a Central Office Production Order, through which dealers and other insiders could create sensational COPO performance cars.

The well-documented one-of-a-kind convertible will be offered by Russo and Steele at its Scottsdale sale in January

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Related – Bill Mitchell’s wife didn’t drive an ordinary Corvette

NOS, in the GM crate, 1963 (64-65) Rochester Fuel Injection Unit 7017375

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Rochester Fuel Injection Unit

Rochester Fuel Injection Unit

Very Rare part for that special restoration, 1963 Corvette Z06, split window coupe or simply adding to the parts collection. Part number is 7017375, but can be used on 64-65 vettes too, part # 7017380.

The listing is here

Related – STU HILBORN – INCREDIBLE INJECTOR MAN

 

 

Bill Mitchell’s wife didn’t drive an ordinary Corvette – Kurt Ernst @Hemmings

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Happy wife, happy life.

Bill Mitchell’s wife didn’t drive an ordinary Corvette

Drop the term COPO, or Central Office Production Order, and most enthusiasts conjure up images of big-block-powered Camaros. The COPO program had more pedestrian roots, however, and was typically used by dealers to special order de-contented vehicles for fleet sales. Sometimes, it served other purposes, too, such as when GM head of design Bill Mitchell wanted to order a new 1967 Corvette convertible for his wife, Marian.

Mitchell had a particular fondness for the second-generation Corvettes, citing a Bahamas diving trip as his inspiration for the Larry Shinoda-designed Corvette Sting Ray. Around April 1967, four months before the third-generation Corvettes entered production, Mitchell reportedly placed an order for a Corvette roadster, using the COPO system with the assistance of Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Read the article here

Related – A farewell to the front-engine Corvette on Route 66

Cars We Remember: Getting to know Zora Arkus-Duntov, his Grand Sport Corvettes and an upcoming 2020 mid-engine ‘Zora’ Corvette – Greg Zyla @AledoTimesRecord

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Known as the Godfather, Father or Immortalizer of the Corvette, (take your pick) Zora Arkus-Duntov was born in Belgium in 1909 to Russian-Jewish parents and then moved with them first to Berlin, Germany, and then Leningrad, Russia. When World War II broke out and after serving in the French Air Force, Zora found his way to the United States where he and his brother, Yura, established the Ardun Mechanical Company in Manhattan, New York. (Ardun is from ARkus DUNtov while Zora’s hyphenated last name combines both Arkus (his father) and Duntov (his stepfather after his mother remarried). Zora was also a successful race driver himself, winning many important events from Pikes Peak to first in class at LeMans. Ardun was famous for its hemispherical Flathead Ford V8 aluminum cylinder heads that pushed horsepower to an astounding 300-plus. Ardun was also one of the very first major eastern seaboard aftermarket performance parts companies as most operated out west ala Isky, Offenhauser and Edelbrock to name a few.

Read the article here

The Last Unrestored Triple Black 1969 Corvette L71 – Josh Mortensen @BarnFinds.com

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From Reader Jonathan H – So it’s kind of a long story but here goes…  I had a Corvette Coupe and I was cleaning the engine compartment one day when I found a metal ID tag on the radiator from a radiator shop in Saginaw Michigan. I called the shop to see if they remembered working on the car and if they knew who the owner was back then. They gave me the owners name and I found his phone number through Google. I called him up to talk to him about the Corvette he used to own and he thought I was calling about another black Corvette, a convertible :). I said what convertible? He said the 435 hp black convertible. Isn’t that the car you are calling on? I said no but I would love to hear about it!

Read more of this great story at Barnfinds.com