2023 Induction
GM – Chevrolet Category

Dave was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1953, so it is no wonder that he gravitated toward Corvette and automobiles in general. From an early age, he found himself interested in how mechanical and electronic things functioned. Growing up in the golden era of muscle cars, he was fascinated by everything about them, especially the Corvette. Dave earned an engineering degree, hoping for a career at GM, but he landed a job at Ford instead, working on electronic engine controls. However, Dave’s dream was always to work at the GM Proving Grounds. He had read articles about this special place where test vehicles were pushed, developed, refined, and proven to go into production. It was a series of tracks designed to find the limits of cars and a laboratory for engineers on the forefront of their field.

In October 1977, he applied for a position at the Proving Grounds, and on January 5, 1978, his dream of working there came true. Dave’s skills, work ethic, and dedication caught the attention of Fred Schaafsma, Manager of the Corvette Development Group, who made Dave Corvette Test Engineer. He would go on from there to manage Corvette development activities at the Milford Proving Grounds. Dave has worked on Corvette with every chief engineer since Dave McLellan. He was the Test Engineer for the launch of the C4 Corvette and served as Lead Development Engineer for the C5 Z06, C6, and C7 platforms. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing total vehicle development integration and validation from prototype development through production.

“When I was 16, there was an article in the October 1969 issue of Motortrend called ’10 Second Trip’ which featured the ZL1 Corvette with quotes from the engineers working on it at the Proving Grounds. I would read that magazine over and over and over again thinking about how cool the car was, and how incredible it would be to have the job of working on these cars. I thought this was the ultimate that could ever happen to you. To go from reading about it as a kid and riding around in my cousin’s 1962 Corvette, to being an engineer
on Corvette working at the Proving Grounds, was a dream that had come true for me.”