Within a period of less than two years, the original Corvette, filled with promise as it was, was underperforming on the roads of America and in salesrooms across the country. But then came "The Turning Point."
Russian born engineer and race driver Zora Arkus-Duntov appeared on the scene. With a background in engineering at Allard, Porsche, and Daimler-Benz, and experience in V-8 engine development, Arkus-Duntov wrote a three passage internal GM memo to Maurice Olly elaborately titled "Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders, and Chevrolet."
This original December 16, 1953 memo, framed and preserved for posterity at the National Corvette Museum, laid out a proposal to GM to help "refocus future Corvette design efforts toward a luxury, performance proven car engineered after the philosophy of the great European car manufacturers." Of course, this approach worked as Corvette immediately rolled out a V-8 engine and a new philosophy that would bring unparallelled success.
To honor the memory of Zora Arkus-Duntov, at this request, his ashes are maintained in a quiet but effective memorial at the National Corvette Museum.