Zora!

After the trip to Corvettes at Carlisle I have the car in my brain more deeply than ever. For example, I hope to visit a “local” restomod Corvette shop tomorrow (if I can stay out of doctors offices long enough) to have very preliminary discussions about what I want and what it might cost. How does this look?

See the source image

From corvetteforum.com a picture of a 1967 restomod. Hey, how does one add words to the WordPress dictionary? I am tired of restomod or resto-mod being underlined in red as being misspelled.

My restomod will preferably be a convertible, but with the auxiliary hardtop welded in place to create a one-off hardtop coupe. The person with whom I’ve been communicating has been very helpful and very thorough with his email replies. One “bright” spot is that to get good HP (550+) will not necessarily require supercharging or turbocharging. That fact will help keep the price manageable. Of course, in a dream world where money is no object I would get them to build a 1,000+ HP engine, maybe a twin-turbo stroker motor.

Of course, the big news in the Corvette world right now is the anticipation of the debut of the C8, the eighth-generation Corvette. It is widely expected that the C8 will finally bring Zora Arkus-Duntov’s dream of a mid-engine Corvette to life. Road and Track is keeping track (pun intended) of C8 rumors here. I would like to show you their photos of the camouflaged C8 prototypes, but their pictures are copyrighted and it is never my intent to violate copyright laws.

According to Road and Track Mark Reuss, head of Global Product development at GM, says that the C8 will be “revolutionary.” To some Corvette watchers, that can only mean one thing: a mid-engine Chevy supercar. While some had hoped the car would be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this past January, the best guess now is that the car will be shown for the first time sometime in 2019, perhaps to go on sale later in the year as a 2020 model.

From Road and Track: “The only reason the Corvette would switch to a mid-engined layout is for performance. Engineers at GM understand that there is a limit to how much power a front-engine supercar can put down, and how much cornering grip it can achieve. Although the current Corvette is a fantastic sports car, it’s inherently held back by its front-mid-engine layout. With the engine in the middle, the car’s weight distribution can be optimized, with turn-in and corner holding capabilities benefitting as a result.”

Also from Road and Track: “A member of the mid-engine Corvette forum recently discovered that Chevrolet has begun to trademark the name ‘Zora’ in several different countries, including the US, the UK, China, Japan, and Australia. If you’re not familiar with the name, Zora Arkus-Duntov was the GM engineer responsible for much of the early Corvette’s development, engineering, and racing success. He worked on the Corvette program from 1953 up until his retirement in 1975 at the age of 81 years old. Though he didn’t create the car, he’s known throughout the car world as the ‘father of the Corvette.'”

For some Corvette aficionados it is a matter of “I’ll believe it when I see it” in terms of a mid-engined car. In my opinion, the Corvette is already the best performance car in the world, dollar for dollar. No, even the ZR-1 will not keep up with a Bugatti Chiron, but the Chiron costs millions and the ZR-1 is about $140,000. What would a $1 million Corvette be able to do? Of course, how many $1 million Corvettes could GM/Chevrolet sell? Who knows, maybe more than I think.

For those Corvette fans out there, I keep asking what do you think about the seeming inevitability of a mid-engined Vette? Will the almost guaranteed higher price change the makeup of the Corvette market? What do you think about the likelihood that two generations of Corvette will be offered simultaneously for the first time?

As always, I hope to read your thoughts. Also, if you were to build a restomod Corvette without an unlimited budget, what would you want?

 

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4 thoughts on “Zora!

  1. A mid engine Corvette to compete with the current Ford GT. Maybe a V6 twin turbo.For about $200,000.. No restrictions and half the price.I guess we will all be surprised when it is finalized.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, C/2. Yes, I don’t think anyone outside of GM/Chevrolet knows what will happen next. I just hope that pricing for the C8 is not too aggressive.

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    1. Many people like to drive their cars hard and/or take their cars to the track. Many cars have been built with a mid-engine configuration, just not that many in the US. I believe both Lamborghini models are mid-engined and I think that GM/Chevrolet are taking aim at that market with the new Corvette, although not quite at that price. That, in and of itself, will make the C8 a very desirable car for enthusiasts.

      By the way, just so everyone is clear, mid-engine means the engine is behind the passenger compartment, but in front of the rear axle. Modern technology such as rear cameras will no doubt mitigate some of the inherent disadvantages of a mid-engine design, such as poor rear visibility.

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