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Classic Cars

The Corvette Celebrates 60 Years Since the First Car Rolled Off the Line

Over 1.5 million have been made

 
 
Slideshow
The earliest cars were made by hand

The CorvetteCorvetteChevrolet CorvetteUnited States of America, 1953 > present7 series
138 versions
558 photos
2 videos
is now officially 60 years old. The first car rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan, on June 30, 1953. The cars were first shown publicly at the General MotorsGMGMUnited States of America, 1998 > present8 models
240 photos
Autorama in New York on January 17, 1953. Since then over 1.5 million have been made.

“The very best Corvettes represent the state-of-the-art for their eras in terms of design, technology and performance,” said Chris Perry, Chevrolet’sChevroletChevroletUnited States of America, 1911 > present82 models
3565 photos
7 videos
head of marketing.

It surprises many people today to learn that the first CorvettesCorvette Gen.1Chevrolet Corvette Gen.1United States of America, 1953 > 196218 versions
74 photos
were a complete failure both technologically and in terms of sales. Only 300 cars were made in 1953, and all of them were basically done by hand. A mass produced completely fiberglass car in 1953 was a huge feat, and the early cars suffered from cracking bodies and poor body fit.

All of the 1953 cars were Polo White with a red interior and sold for $3,498 with no available options. Power came from a 3.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 150hp and a two-speed automatic transmission. After the run of 300 cars built in Flint in 1953, production moved to St. Louis, Missouri for 1954 and stayed there until 1981. Since then, all Corvettes have been made in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The first V8s were not introduced until 1955 and were an immediate success by taking 90% of the orders. Chevrolet promptly dropped the six-cylinder in 1956. Until 1963, all Corvettes were convertibles, but Chevrolet did offer a hardtop to make the Corvette more drivable in the colder months.

If you want to learn more about the Corvette, check out the historical overview that we created last year in preperation for the seventh-generation carChevrolet Corvette Gen.7 [C7]Chevrolet Chevrolet Corvette Gen.7 [C7]United States of America, 2013 > present14 versions
85 photos

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