Vintage News

1/17/2014 - Peter Brock Captures 2013 Dean Batchelor Award

LOS ANGELES, CA - At the Motor Press Guild's 19th Annual awards banquet, held at the Petersen Automotive Museum, automotive designer, racer and author, Peter Brock, took home the big prize, capturing the Dean Batchelor Award for his new book, "Corvette Sting Ray: Genesis of an American Icon." Brock's latest work also won MPG Best Book of the Year.

Bill Mitchell wanted an American evolution of the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, and Mitchell accepted Brock's sketches. Based on the Corvette SS project car, the Sting Ray won an SCCA national championship in 1960 with Dr. Dick Thompson at the wheel. As should be obvious to any casual observer, Brock's Sting Ray served as template for the 1963 Corvette production car designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine. (Lapine later moved to Porsche where he designed the 924 and 928.)

After leaving GM Design, Brock worked with Carroll Shelby in the design and development of the Cobra Daytona Coupe, famous for its Kamm tail, and of course its class victory over the Ferraris at Le Mans with Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant sharing duties behind the wheel. The Superformance Coupe currently built in South Africa and available to American collectors as a rolling chassis is Brock's subtle reinterpretation of the Daytona Coupe's shape, with a modern chassis underneath.

In the late '60s Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) brought Datsun (and the Japanese) their first taste of American racing glory with the BRE Datsun 2000 roadsters, which were followed by the BRE 240Z, and BRE 510 that secured a national championship in the under-2.5-liter class. The BRE 510 is considered the grandfather of all Japanese sport compact cars.

In a recent visit with Peter at his Nevada HQ, he told us about the many ventures he and his wife, Gayle, currently have underway. He walked us around the prototype of the second-generation Aerovault enclosed car trailer, which will feature composite roof and fenders to shave more than 200 pounds off the curb weight, and also feature a revised door/ramp. He sold about 35 of the first-generation trailer. A vintage 240Z project is nearing completion, a perfect showcase for Peter's many BRE Datsun accessories. The Sting Ray book is selling well, with roughly half the initial print run already shipped. And there is an ongoing relationship with Superformance.

Because winter is the season for auctions, we should mention that the Cooper- Monaco-based King Cobra that's up for auction with Barrett-Jackson also has a Brock storyline. Peter accepted a commission to loft and construct new body panels for one of the two King Cobras. Shelby American bought two Cooper Monacos to build and enter in the 1963 USRRC.

The best quote from Pete during our visit? "I have everything I want in life, and all at the same time. An amazing wife who is a fantastic business partner, plenty of design work, writing and photography, opportunities to speak in public, and our BRE accessories business. Everything." —Mark Ewing

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