June 30, 2006

Today In Automotive History

1953 First Corvette produced

The first Chevrolet Corvette, a white convertible roadster with a red interior, was produced in temporary facilities in Flint, Michigan. The Corvette was born as a dream car for the 1953 Motorama. The first all-fiberglass-bodied American sports car, the Vette turned heads with its release. The sleek lines of the 1953 edition are among the best produced by American car design. But underneath its exterior, the first Corvette's inner workings were less than impressive. They were comprised mostly of existing General Motors' (GM) parts, including a "Blue Flame" inline six-cylinder engine, a two-speed automatic transmission and the drum brakes from Chevrolet's regular car line.

The Corvette was at best a half-hearted attempt at a sports car. Events, however, combined to keep the Chevrolet Corvette in production in spite of its dismal sales record early on. Ford's release of the T-Bird in 1954 necessitated the existence of the Corvette as GM's answer in the small, sporty market. GM gradually improved the vehicle's design until, by 1961, it was undoubtedly America's favorite sports car. Unique in American history in its longevity as a model, the Corvette has remained an impressive machine throughout its lifetime. In recent years, GM has been able to rank the Corvette among the world's elite sports cars in 0 to 60 times, top speed, and overall muscle. The Corvette's list price modestly remains half of its European competitors.

Posted by Quality Weenie at June 30, 2006 06:55 AM | TrackBack