Preserving the Legacy

 

It's not every day you're invited by a Corvette Legend to go to a car show and Zora hands you a pen and says, "start signing your autograph." 

These two photos were taken in 1995 and also notice a Detroit auto journalist wrote about Zora helping Richard get his project rolling (2nd newspaper article shown further down; see red arrows). 

"The first time I met Zora Duntov was on a hot summer day in 1966. He was sitting on the back of his boat soaking up rays and I was with my family at the Old Club on Harsens Island -- a 90 minute drive northeast of Detroit and on the other side of Lake Saint Claire that included a car carrying ferry ride to the island. My two sisters and I were walking around with our grandfather, while he was looking at boats in the marina, when he spotted familiar faces and we stepped on Zora and Elfi's boat and our granddad (we all called him Pops) introduced us to the Duntovs," says Richard.

Everyone wants to talk about Corvette's winning heritage, but few are as qualified as Richard Earl. Arriving at this place didn't happen easily, or overnight, and Richard is the first to admit, "After spending a good portion of my life learning about this iconic history, I'm now much more humble, grateful and appreciative of what an honor it is to carry this fantastic legacy forward." 

The article, directly below, nails down the pure and simple essentials where this great American sports car had its humble beginnings.

See red arrows below providing a nice quote on Zora Duntov paying it forward

1951 Watkins Glen, NY -- The First Corvette Brainstorm 

After doing the scholarly research on the most seminal moment in Corvette history, "the beginning" Richard then pitched his idea to the Watkins Glen Star-Gazette newspaper and then this little known side to Corvette history came out during in the 50th Anniv. of the Watkins Glen race article shown above. Having already done first-hand interviews with Nick Fraboni, Richard supplied the necessary facts, photos and content on Nick's role in the story and Star-Gazette writer, Charlie Coon, did a good job sewing the article together.

These two articles above demonstrate Richard's dedication to documenting early Corvette history so it didn't just slip away and future generations could enjoy this history. Oddly, in the decades leading up to this 1998 article, nobody else had tracked down this significant vein in Corvette history, or, gone about encapsulating all the essential facts, such as interviewing Nick Fraboni the original Chevy dealership owner in WG who plays an enormous role in this story. Nick told Richard, "this was the most important thing that ever happened me" and always knew he'd played a valuable part in the formation of the very first Corvette!

Lots of savvy people today, who know a thing or two about auto history, often don't know that besides being a talented artist, Harley Earl was one of GM's top dog engineers over the entire arc of his career. As a matter of fact his first job title coming into Cadillac at GM in 1925 was as a, "consulting engineer" and later on in a 1954 article Harley penned for the Saturday Evening Post  titled, I DREAM AUTOMOBILES, he declared, "I attended Stanford University and studied engineering." 

Harley introduced the modern building technology, (shown above of the C7 in full-size clay model mode) to the entire global automotive economy today. He was the kind of leader who always shared his accomplishments with other players on his team. And back then, GM had legions of players working on what was often billed, "a huge American team effort." 

Full-size C 1 Clay Model

 

 

Click the link below to contact Richard Earl about visiting your auto club.