We’ve had a lot of interest in our classic Corvettes, so we’ve decided to revisit the history of the Corvette. Since it spans 60 years there is a lot of history to cover, so we’ve decided to break into a two-part blog. The first post will cover the first 29 years and the second post will cover the later years.
The Corvette first debuted at the 1953 GM Motorama as a convertible concept show car. It was named after a type of small maneuverable warship called the corvette. The Corvette is one of the longest surviving models in automotive history, it is truly an American classic. There have been 7 generations of Corvettes over a period of 60 years.
First Generation – C1 (1953-1962)
The first generation was introduced late in 1953 and was often referred to as the “solid-axle” model. The Corvette’s notorious independent rear suspension didn’t debut until the second generation in 1963. The 1953 models boasted a 150 horsepower “Blue Flame” inline six-cylinder engine and originally were only available in Polo White. While the first generation Corvette lasted for 10 years, it received several face lifts over that time.
Second Generation – C2 (1963-1967)
The second generation Corvette is often referred to as the Sting Ray. Chevrolet completely redesigned the Corvette, building it smaller, with a distinct tapering rear deck, hidden headlamps and a independent rear suspension. This generation Corvette sold in 1963 with 360 horsepower engine, it was increased to 375 horsepower in 1964, and finally a 430 horsepower engine in 1967. While this model was produced for just 4 years, it resulted in some of the most valuable corvettes ever built.
Third Generation – C3 (1968-1982)
In 1968, Chevrolet released their third generation Corvette, it was styled after the Mako Shark II concept car. This model was the first corvette to feature the T-top removable roof panels. In 1978 the Corvette was used as a Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500 for the first time. 1978 also brought the 25th anniversary of the Corvette, which celebrated with a two-tone Silver Anniversary Edition.
Check back in for our next blog post, when we sum up the history of the last 4 generations of Corvettes.