Throwback Thursday – Unusual encounters with Zora and Elfi, the Father and First Lady of Corvette
As Halloween night approaches this week, Throwback Thursday continues its October tradition for tales of the unusual and macabre. This week gives you one more eerie tale from an unexpected, yet internationally-known, southern Kentucky landmark, the National Corvette Museum.
Zora Arkus-Duntov was known as the Father of the Corvette. Born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1915, to Russian-born Jewish parents, he grew up with a fine education from Charlottenburg in Berlin and was fascinated with all things motors. He met young Elfriede “Elfi” Wolff there, who studied ballet and later moved to Paris as a dancer with the famous Folies Bergere. Zora and Elfi married in 1939 at the outbreak of WWII, fled Nazi Germany to the United States, and became American citizens.
Zora worked for Porsche as both an engineer and racecar driver until the mid 1950s. But when he saw Harry Earl’s original 1953 Corvette prototype at the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf in New York City, he instantly applied at General Motors as an engineer. Zora’s brilliance with high performance motors and careful attention for the hot rodding fad popular with young buyers raised the Corvette bar from casual sporty to America’s racecar. He supported the Corvette years after his 1975 retirement, even running e bulldozer at the groundbreaking for the National Corvette Museum. After his death in 1996, his ashes were entombed at the museum, and Elfi’s were entombed with his after her death in 2008.
This is where our story gets spooky. With the Father and First Lady of Corvettes’ ashes living permanently in the museum, some staff say unusual things have been known to happen in their forever home. Pieces of cars go missing, and then turn up later without suspicion. Someone else’s hand washing has been heard in a bathroom when an employee is alone. Throat clearing out of thin air has shocked late night staff locking up after an event. Are these just coincidences, or are they Zora and Elfi having a little fun?