A New Book by Peter Brock
BRE Press Release
We’re very excited to announce the upcoming release of the new book by Peter Brock, “Corvette Sting Ray: Genesis of an American Icon”.
As a young designer at GM Styling in 1957, Brock’s involvement with the design of the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray has been well overshadowed by his successes at Shelby American but they are no less fascinating. Brock shares the inside story of how the ’63 Corvette Sting Ray came to be, including never before seen images of Harley Earl’s design (full size models) for a second generation (C2) Corvette in 1955, which include a split window! Earl knowing he would retire in ’58 handed the future of the C2 project off to his heir apparent, Bill Mitchell, in 1957. The rest as they say is history, but the history of the origin and evolution of the Corvette Sting Ray design from ’55 through ’60 has been relatively unknown, until now. Brock takes us on a spell binding journey through the automotive industry with his first-hand account, including the dynamics of working with Earl, Mitchell, Ed Cole and Zora Arkus-Duntov. It’s an insider’s view seldom shared or understood. Thanks to GM’s support in allowing Brock to share never-before-seen photographs of GM Styling from 1955 through 1963, combined with more than 20 sketches drawn by Brock at GM Styling from ’57-’58, this book will become an instant classic and must-have for any enthusiast’s collection.
Gallery of images from the book, Courtesy of Peter Brock
Sting Ray—even the word has a special quality that transcends the popular image of America’s best known sports car. Who created it and how? What was the unusual combination of personalities and events that enabled its production? Peter Brock knows the story intimately as he was part of it.
Just 19 and fresh out of California’s prestigious Art Center College of Design he had little idea that corporate circumstances far beyond his understanding would deliver the opportunity of a life time; a chance to interpret the vision of William “Bill” Mitchell to create the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.
In 1957 the Corvette program was in jeopardy. America’s first modern sports car was just four years old and projected sales were nowhere near meeting upper management’s goals. A corporate mandate by General Motor’s President had already been issued to terminate any hint of “performance” across GM’s entire line. There seemed little hope the Corvette would survive. Bill Mitchell thought otherwise. A 20 year advocate of exciting automotive beauty, with a love of performance and classic design, he took it upon himself to defy authority and create, in secret, an entirely new Corvette that would reverse all corporate opposition and set a new standard of aesthetic design and technical excellence for Chevrolet and ultimately GM.
Brock’s new book on the creation of the first Corvette Sting Ray tells the inside story, from the foreign inspiration to the adoption of prior dreams that never made it, to the actual design of the prototype that did. More than 180 never before seen images share the behind the scenes history and evolution of the Sting Ray, including Brock’s original design studio drawings showing the variations that were contemplated along with the sketch Mitchell ultimately chose as the direction to pursue. This story is about far more than the design of an American Icon; It’s a personal history of the era and the inside story of the team that collaborated to create the iconic 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.
About the Author
Peter Brock’s involvement with high performance automobiles dates backs to the early 1950s. Just 12 years old, long before he even knew that automotive design could be a profession, he convinced the dubious owner of a small “foreign car” garage that his team of three mechanics could operate far more efficiently with a non-paid “gopher” to sweep floors and wipe tools. Being around fast cars and the men who built and raced them was his entre to an adult world that fired an interest in beautiful equipment that has never diminished. After almost seven decades in the fascinating world of high performance cars of all types, Brock has traveled the world racing his own cars or those of manufacturers he’s been hired to work with as a driver, designer, consultant or team owner/manager. His role at GM Styling in the late 1950s has been well overshadowed having joined Carroll Shelby in 1961 where he designed the Daytona Cobra Coupe that won its class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 and then scored America’s first FIA GT World Championship in 1965 for Shelby American. After that he formed Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) winning several national SCCA and 2.5 Trans-Am championships in the late ’60s and ’70s.
Brock’s interest in aviation then led him to pioneer flex-wing flight with foot-launched hang gliders that won the World’s cross country championships six years in a row. This was followed by a return to his first passion, automotive design, as a popular instructor at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. Now based in Henderson, Nevada Brock is married to his business partner Gayle. For numerous years they have spanned the globe covering racing of all kinds as photojournalists for a number of American and foreign publications. Brock is also the author of the highly acclaimed tome Daytona Cobra Coupes: Carroll Shelby’s 1964 World Champions and the following companion book Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX 2601: World Champion.
Title: Corvette Sting Ray: Genesis of an American Icon
Author: Peter Brock (GM Design ’57-58, Shelby American ’61-65, BRE ’65-present)
Foreword: Ed Welburn, VP of GM Global Design
Release: August, 2013 Monterey Motorsports Reunion Week. Preordering available.
Dimensions: 11.25″ x 8.75″, 144 pages, Hard Cover with Dust Jacket, Special foiled slip case available.
If you contact BRE and order a book, let them know if you found out about it on Dean’s Garage.