I am 300 pages into Karl Ludvigsen’s latest book, Corvette, America’s Star Spangled Sports Car. Most Corvette books seem to just hit the highlights. Not so Karl’s book. It chronicles the incredible effort made by a few dedicated performance enthusiasts attempting to point the world’s largest corporation, General Motors, in a new direction. This is hard to do. I worked for GM.
Before reading Karl’s book, I dismissed the Corvette SS as mostly a styling exercise. Chevrolet’s racing effort was too little too late, and certainly not comparable to European factory racing efforts. To those companies, racing was part of their DNA. But considering the corporate obstacles that Duntov and Ed Cole had to overcome to create the car, and the Herculean effort it took to field not only the SS, but three other corporate sponsored Corvettes, it was an unbelieveable success no matter what the outcome. Add to that, the undeveloped Corvette SS was competitive. And it was a styling exercise to boot.
Corvette SS Preps for Race at Sebring 1957
This film features the Corvettes and shows Stirling Moss and Jaun Fangio test driving the SS Mule at Sebring. They were both fast in the SS, and praised it. Read all about it in Karl Ludvigsen’s book.
Corvettes at Sebring, 1957
The two production Corvettes did well at Sebring.