But a young, Russian-born engineer named Zora Arkus-Duntov fell in love with the car ... so in love that he wrote to GM headquarters and asked to join the project.
Maurice Olley, GM’s head of R&D, took a shot and hired him.
Arkus-Duntov gave the ’vette its first V-8 engine and entered one in the 12-hour race at Sebring in 1957. Demand soared, and the Corvette roared into automotive history.
But it all started with a single “can do” letter from a young immigrant who had the vision to take a long shot and follow his dream
.— Adapted from “Genesis: the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Arrives With a Rich Heritage,” David Kimble, Road & Track.