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Father Of Chevrolet’s Corvette Dies At 86

Mon., April 22, 1996, midnight

Zora Arkus-Duntov, the automotive engineer known as the father of the Corvette, died Sunday. He was 86.

A Russian-born, German-trained engineer, he went to work for Chevrolet in 1953 - the Corvette’s first model year. He talked his way onto the Corvette team.

Arkus-Duntov, a race car driver, shaped the Corvette from a tame two-seater into a high-performance auto by 1956 and became the car’s first chief engineer.

“It’s safe to say that without Zora Arkus-Duntov, the vehicle as it is today would not be here,” said William J. O’Neill Jr., Chevrolet spokesman.

Arkus-Duntov’s ingenuity brought several innovations to the Corvette that later were adopted by the rest of the auto industry, such as fuel-injection in 1957 and four-wheel disc brakes in 1965.

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