Zora Arkus-Duntov: The Legend Behind Corvette
by Jerry Burton
Zora at an Allard facility in London circa 1952, standing next to a J2X Le Mans race car, the same model he drove at the 24-hours of Le Mans that year. Previous J2X models had a more traditional body with narrow cowl and mudguards over the wheels. But the FIA mandated that Le Mans race cars have an all-enveloping body without wings or mudguards, hence the new, sleeker shape. Underneath the bodywork, the J2X chassis remained unchanged. Zora made his first appearance at Le Mans in 1952, co-driving with Frank Curtis. They ran competitively despite Zora experiencing a complete brake failure at the end of the Mulsanne Straight. He drove through barriers on the escape road until coming to a safe stop. Later, Zora broke an axle shaft around 6 a.m. at the 14-hour mark. The car did not finish the race.