See Zora Arkus-Duntov himself behind the wheel in this original factory film as he smashes the production car record at Pikes Peak with a prototype 1956 Chevrolet.
To car enthusiasts, Zora Arkus-Duntov hardly requires any introduction. Rightly called “the father of the Corvette,” the chain-smoking, Belgian-born engineer played a central part in transforming the formerly dowdy Chevrolet brand into a performance leader in the 1950s. There’s even a Chevy camshaft bearing his name, the famed Duntov 30-30 solid-lifter piece. And while he’s never named in this Jam Handy-produced Chevrolet film entitled Colorado Climax, there’s no mistaking Duntov as the man behind the wheel on this mission, an assault on the class record for production passenger cars at Pikes Peak.
Since the Colorado record run took place on September 9, 1955 but the 1956 Chevrolets would not be formally introduced until November, the hill-climb car was camouflaged with striped paint and a tacked-on set of fake front and rear fender extensions (above). Another interesting moment of trivia: while the car shown with Arkus-Duntov at the start and finish lines is a four-door hardtop, a new body style for Chevrolet in 1956, the model shown in some of the record footage, including on the Devil’s Playground portion of the course, appears to be a four-door post sedan. Hmm, there’s no business like show business. In any case, the record book shows that the existing record of around 17 minutes was smashed by more than two minutes. Video below.