Peter (Pete) Brock grew up in the Sausalito area of Northern California. He was always passionate about automotive design growing up. When he was 16 years old he saved up enough money to purchase a used 1949 MG. He rebuilt and painted it and turned it into his daily driver. He attended his first road race in 1951 at Pebble Beach and photographed many of today’s historic drivers.
His family moved to Menlo Park, a small city south of San Francisco near Palo Alto, California. Pete grew up surrounded by the California car culture. He purchased and customized a 1946 Ford convertible and installed a Cadillac engine and named it a “Fordillac”. Pete’s Fordillac won the Oakland Roadster show twice. His second Oakland Roadster show victory was shortly before he left California at the age of 19 to become a stylist with General Motors. He was hired by GM while he was a student at the Art Center School of Design. Pete was one of the youngest designers to work at GM at the time.
Bill Mitchell was a passionate racing and Corvette enthusiast. When he became VP of Styling for GM he was troubled by company’s anti-racing stance and lack of enthusiasm for Corvette. Word was trickling down from the corporate suites that top management wanted to kill the Corvette. He decided to secretly build a prototype Corvette that used a test chassis called “the Mule” to develop the original 1957 Corvette SS race car. He found the Mule chassis in a GM storeroom and purchased it for his personal use. He quietly charged his team of young designers with the task of sketching some ideas for him in a secret styling studio deep inside GM. Mitchell selected Pete Brock’s sketch, which was refined by Brock and fellow designers Chuck Pohlmann, Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine. The end product became the XP87 race car and was called the Sting Ray. Dr. Dick Thompson drove the XP87 to a C-Modified sports car championship in 1959. The Sting Ray drew wide acclaim from journalists and the public. The Sting Ray styling cues influenced the second generation Sting Ray and can be still seen on the current C7 Corvette.
Pete left GM in 1963 and had a lengthy career in motorsports that included designing and building racing cars like the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. He has written books, articles and is an accomplished photojournalist. He has captured the history of Corvette racing in the ‘50s with the first generation Corvettes all the way to the current C7’s racing today. Pete started Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) and has won numerous sports car championships with his creations from that company. He has worked with a number of marques over the years, but he has a special place in his heart for Corvettes, especially the Sting Ray. Vette