Sunday, August 05, 2012

the 1967 Corvette.. behind the scenes

Duntov was so furious that the 67 Vette was on an unimproved chassis, he fired off a memo to the top GM brass. They canned his ass from engineering. Then they disbanded engineering, made Duntov do PR. Other engineers were sent to passenger car work.

 Design was the favorite department, they made the Corvette look good, sell well, and GM was all about the profit, not about the racing. Makes sense from a corporate perspective, less liability in sports cars than race cars.

But the 67 was so bad, Car and Driver editor told the readers, it was unfit for a road test. The aerodynamics were so far off, it floated, and it's quality was horrible.

It looked great, but remember that at the time the unions were causing production problems, and GM couldn't handle that.

Pete Estes quickly got things back in order, restoring Engineering and named Duntov chief engineer. 12 months later, the 68 Vette was named "Best all around car in the world" by Car and Driver. That is astonishing improvement

info from Corvette Sixty Years page 98

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