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Corvette Concepts Cars: Developing America’s Favorite Sports Car

Corvette Concepts Cars: Developing America’s Favorite Sports Car

In 2020, I was approached by CarTech Books to write a book on the history of the Corvette thru the lens of the men and women who designed each generation of this amazing sports car.  The book, which took nearly a year to write and another year to assemble, was published in May 2022 and is now available everywhere books are sold.  While it is arguably a bit self-serving, I wanted to take a minute to promote the book here on Corvsport.com for two reasons: 1.) The holiday season is quickly approaching, and 2.) I wanted to make myself available to anyone who might want their copy of the book signed in advance of the holidays.

Okay, a bit of history first.  I launched Corvsport.com in 2010 and have been a contributing author to the site ever since.  In 2016, I sold the website to A07online, an absolutely incredible web development and management company.  Their generosity and willingness to work with me allowed me to continue creating content for the Corvsport.com website even after I had relinquished ownership of the brand.  What’s more, the management team at A07 has given me immense creative freedom and has allowed me to build content I felt was relevant to the website and has never impeded me from doing so.  I am grateful to continue to have this opportunity to work with them, and I am excited by the immense growth I’ve seen with not only Corvsport.com, but all of their properties over the last decade.

When CarTech Books approached me about the “Concepts Car” book, it was because they’d seen my work on Corvsport.com.  Initially, they’d proposed writing a book that documented the restoration of a fourth-generation Corvette, but as I had no time or resources for such a project (at least at that time), I had passed on the assignment.  They returned to me with the idea of working on the book I am now sharing with you here, and the rest is history….metaphorically speaking of course.

Once the ink was dried on my contract, the work really began.  For nearly a year, I spent a lot of time and effort researching each of the cars, designers, engineers, and other pioneers that make an appearance in this book.  Between working with General Motors, the National Corvette Museum, the Bortz Auto Collection, Dan Vaughn at ConceptCarz.com, Richard Earl (grandson of Harley Earl….yes, THAT Harley Earl), as well as dozens of other collectors, enthusiasts, photographers, and more, I cobbled together a cohesive narrative that outlines Corvette’s nearly 70-year history.   Unlike most other Corvette books, however, this book didn’t focus on the production models, or give a year-by-year history of each generation, but instead focused on the backstories that led to the creation of those cars.

The book starts at the end of World War II and explores the absence of an American sports car before the arrival of Harley Earl’s original Corvette concept car.  The book then delves into the history of Earl himself, exploring his early days in California, his meteoric rise at GM as the VP of Design, and more…it leads us to the introduction of the 1953 Corvette concept car at that year’s Motorama in New York City.  It then progresses thru the many other “turnstile concepts” of the 1950s that influenced the first-generation Corvette….cars that included the LaSalle Roadster, the Chevy Biscayne, the Corvette SS, and more.

The original EX-52 Corvette Concept car at the 1953 Motorama in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.  (Image courtesy of GM)
The original EX-52 Corvette Concept car at the 1953 Motorama in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Image courtesy of GM)

Each successive chapter explores the history of another designer or engineer, including such names as Zora Arkus-Duntov, Bill Mitchell, Larry Shinoda, Dave Mitchell, Tom Peters, and many, many more.  It tells how each became involved in the automotive industry and how each eventually found their way to General Motors.  It looks at how these amazing individuals transformed the Corvette from a show car into a genuine sports car thanks to the ambitions Bill Mitchell and Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Corvette’s “Godfather,” in the early 1960s.  It was their combined ambitions to put the Corvette on the racetrack that would give to the Corvette’s long-term success as a sports car.  Moreover, it was Zora’s early ambitions during that era that set the Corvette on a trajectory to become the mid-engine supercar we have today.

Packed with controversy, political and societal uncertainties, ever-increasing government regulation, and more, the book looks at the often uncertain future of the Corvette and celebrates the ambitions of the scores of people who remained invested in its success, even when the odds seemed utterly overwhelming.

Sounds like the perfect gift for your favorite Corvette owner or enthusiast, am I right?

The book contains eight chapters, each outlining a significant era in the Corvette’s design history:  Chapter 1: “Making ‘Dream Cars’ a Reality,” Chapter 2: “From Show Car to Sports Car,” Chapter 3: “Sharks and Stingrays,” Chapter 4: “Swept Back and Streamlined,” Chapter 5: “Evolution of the Mid-Engine Corvette: Part 1 (1960–1970),” Chapter 6: “Evolution of the Mid-Engine Corvette: Part 2 (1970–1975),” Chapter 7: “The Changing of the Guard,” and, Chapter 8 “New Century, New Concepts.”

“Even if you are not a Chevrolet or Corvette fan, the history, and the more than 350 incredible photographs alone. are worth the price of admission. To find new photos and material on a subject that goes back 65 or 70-years is really difficult, but Scott Kolecki pulled it off. This book will go into my Corvette reference library. It’s that good.”  –Daniel G Burrill (from a review of the book at Amazon.com)

In Time For Christmas

The book is in-stock and available wherever books are sold, so getting a copy of the book ahead of the holidays will not be a problem.

For anyone interested in a signed copy of my book, here’s what I can offer.  You can purchase a copy of the book thru me and I can then sign the book for you (you can email me what you want the inscription to say, who to make it out to, etc.), and I can then put the book in the mail to you.  The price of the book thru me is the same as it is with Amazon.  The only added cost I’ll have is for shipping, which is approximately $7.00 per book.

Additionally, the book is available at CarTech Books, at the National Corvette Museum, at Amazon.com, and at most major online booksellers.  If you wish to purchase directly from one of these but also happen to live in middle Tennessee, I can make arrangements to meet you and sign your books.  Finally, if you are planning a visit to the National Corvette Museum between now and December, let me know when you plan on being there and I might be able to arrange a time to meet you.  Given the distance, I’ll be limited to weekend visits but we’ll see what we can work out.   If I can’t get it signed before the holidays, I am also a regular attendee at most of the Corvette Museum’s major events (including the Bash, Homecoming, etc.) and I would always be happy to sign it after the fact.

If you do decide to purchase a copy of my book, please feel free to reach out to me anytime…I’d love to hear from you!  I can be reached thru the comments section of this article or thru the website.

If I don’t hear from you beforehand, Here’s wishing you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!