Widely considered the Father of the Chevrolet Corvette, GM engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov was wholly responsible for the use of the Chevrolet small-block V8 engine in the car. The V8 debuted in 1955, two years after the car’s introduction in 1953 with the 235 cubic-inch Blue Flame inline six-cylinder engine.
Prior to his hiring at Chevrolet, Zora, along with his brother, Yura, built the Ardun engineering company, which coincidentally manufactured aluminum overhead valves and hemispherical combustion chamber cylinder heads for the Flathead Ford.
Once he took the position as an assistant staff engineer at Chevrolet, he quickly ascended to the title of Director of High Performance. Once there, he authored a document entitled “Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders, and Chevrolet” which quickly gained him favor with his bosses and set the tone for Chevrolet’s strategy pertaining to performance parts that exists to this day.
At the beginning of this week, Chevrolet trademarked the name “Zora,” for use in “motor land vehicles, namely automobiles,” which leads us to believe that there’s some sort of significance to this move.
We have to wonder whether there’s an even more high-performance version of the Corvette in the works along the lines of what Ford has done with the Shelby nameplate on the Mustang – a super-high-performance machine that will be designed to be even more of a world-beater than the 2015 C7 Z06, which offers 650 horsepower but uses the smallish 1.7L Eaton TVS supercharger system to do so.
Given that Eaton makes their TVS design in displacements up to 2.3L, is there an upgrade just a short time away on a Zora nameplated special edition? Maybe 750 horsepower is in the Corvette’s future atop the LT4 powerplant? Time will tell, but we’re sure hoping so.