Scholarship Honorship

Endowment honors 2nd Corvette Chief Engineer

Andy Bolig - August 05, 2013 12:42 PM


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Dave is not only a friend, but someone I respect for what he has contributed to the Corvette platform

Mid America Motorworks and the Yager Family are excited to announce the establishment of a scholarship in the name of Dave McLellan, retired Corvette Chief Engineer and Father of the Corvette ZR1. 

The David R. McLellan Engineering Endowed Scholarship will benefit mechanical engineering students at McLellan’s alma mater, Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich.

“Dave is not only a friend, but someone I respect for what he has contributed to the Corvette platform,” said Mike Yager, Founder and Chief Cheerleader of Mid America Motorworks. “My hope is that this scholarship will assist young enthusiasts enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program to become the future of Corvette Engineering.”

Upon receiving his Mechanical Engineering degree from Wayne State University in 1959, McLellan immediately began working for General Motors’ Noise and Vibration Lab at Milford Proving Grounds. On Jan. 1, 1975, after years with GM and Chevrolet in many areas including the Vehicle Dynamics Testing Program and as a Staff Engineer under Zora Arkus-Duntov, McLellan became the 2nd Corvette Chief Engineer. He spent 17 years in the position, leaving behind many contributions to Corvette history before he retired.

McLellan’s determination and engineering background led him to success as he and his team managed to place the Corvette into the first rank of international sports cars, a significant feat considering the Corvette’s price versus the leading performance competitors. Some of his technical achievements while Corvette Chief Engineer include introducing tuned-port injection, developing the 1986 Corvette convertible (the first Corvette convertible since 1975), as well as pioneering the 1990-1995 ZR1, and the 300hp LT1 engine. He and his team were also responsible for much of the early engineering that lead up to the C5 platform introduced in 1997.

Mid America Motorworks will honor Dave McLellan at the annual Corvette Funfest Charity Event Friday, Sept. 20th. The Charity Event will be hosted in MY Garage Museum at Mid America Motorworks’ corporate campus in Effingham, Ill. Highlights of this year’s event include a WWII Exhibit, live entertainment, silent auction, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds of the event will benefit the David R. McLellan Engineering Endowed Scholarship. To purchase tickets to Corvette Funfest and the Charity Event, visit