CorvetteChief.com Corvette Podcast

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Dave McLellan: A Brief Biography

Dave joined General Motors Proving Ground Noise and Vibration Lab after graduating from Wayne State University as a mechanical engineer. His assignments had him working on the dynamics of cars, trucks and military tanks, then as manager of the newly-completed Vehicle Dynamics Test Area (Black Lake).

Dave’s career next took him to Chevrolet where he led the team that finished the 70 1/2 Camaro development, then to the GM Technical Center to manage John Delorean’s unsuccessful attempt to marry the Camaro and the Corvette platforms. In 1973 he was picked to attend MIT as a Sloan Fellow.

On his return he was assigned to work with Zora Arkus-Duntov and on Zora’s retirement in 1975, appointed Corvette Chief Engineer. Dave would be indelibly linked with the Corvette for the next 17 years. The all-new 1984 Corvette continued to be developed with advanced electronics, and culminated in the 375 hp ZR-1.

In what turned out to be his last development of the Corvette, Dave challenged an R&D team to design a next generation Corvette capable of ZR-1 performance but at standard Corvette prices. Charged with the impossible task of making the Corvette faster, lighter, roomier and more rigid as a convertible, the team adopted the backbone architecture that would be the hallmark of the C5. Dave retired from General Motors in the fall of 1992.

His recent consultant activity includes: Intermap Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Mosler Automotive, Stewart & Stevenson, TACOM, ERIM, Rosen Motors, Tel Tech, Bose, Intermag Technologies, Technologies M4 and Porsche Engineering Services.

He is the author of a recent book, “Corvette from the Inside, the 50 Year Development History” which includes the 17 years during which he and his team made history.

Dave is an SAE Fellow and a recipient of the SAE Edward N. Cole Award for Automotive Engineering Innovation.