Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Corvette SS and The 12 Hours of Sebring, 1957
After Zora drove a 1956 Corvette at 150 mph on the sand beach at Daytona Florida, his Chief Engineer, Ed Cole, wanted him to take the Corvette racing. After a fitful first start in the 1956 Sebring 12 Hour race, Zora showed up the following year with the car he really wanted to go racing with, the Corvette SS. Sebring was a race that attracted the world’s best race drivers and the manufacturers who sold their cars based on their racing success. The white test “mule” for the SS was a sensation in practice. Juan Manuel Fangio was faster in it than the previous year’s lap record. As you will see in this video it was also driven in practice by Sterling Moss. The late arriving Corvette SS is also featured with its eventual drivers, John Fitch (Corvette Hall of Fame) and Piero Taruffi. A total lack of testing before the race plagued the SS and led to its early withdrawl. Zora’s plan to race the SS in the Le Mans 24 Hour race that June was dashed when GM agreed to the Automobile Manufacturers Association (AMA) ban on racing.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
This was fabulous, I thoroughly enjoyed the clip. Keep them coming, I enjoy the historical value in these clips!
Very enjoyable to watch. Thanks for posting it. Interesting how safety has changed, with the course being marked with hay bales and pylons, with spectators just feet away from the cars.
Very cool film of the vintage race back in 1957. Thanks for sharing this. It surely made my day!!!
Many memories were brought back while watching your clip on the 1957 S.S. corvette.
I was present at that race in 1957.
I drove to the race in a 1956 Corvette from Atlanta Georgia.
At the time I was interested in drag racing only and that race was my introduction to sports car racing. Needless to say I fell in love with the S.S.
I also Filmed the S.S. Corvette (8 mm film) at the first Daytona speedway race in 1958. Duntov was running the car for exibition,
I only filmed a brief moment as it sped by at an unbelievable 150 mph. Stockcars were running about 135 as I recall.
I put the clip in my favorites so I can stay up with your web page.