60 Years Ago, The ‘Vette Offered Two Options: A Heater and an AM Radio!

chevysketch
A 1953 Corvette sketch, courtesy General Motors

In light of Corvette's 60th anniversary, here is  some of our favorite Corvette trivia: 


• The introduction of the original Corvette took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Jan. 17, 1953. That year, more than 1.4 million people saw the curvaceous design and futuristic approach of the Corvette at displays around the United States.
The enthusiastic response prompted Chevrolet to accelerate production plans and by late June that year, Corvettes were rolling out of a specialized assembly facility in Flint, MI. Only 300 were built in 1953 – all of them white with a red interior. They represented an auspicious launch for a car that would become synonymous with performance, technology, design and aspiration.

•  The Corvette was originally championed by GM’s legendary styling director Harley Earl, who insisted there was room for an American entry in the European-dominated sports car market. It was also his idea for Corvette to have a fiberglass body.

• Corvette was named for a small and fast class of naval ships.

• The 1953 Corvette had a base price of $3,498 and offered only two options – a heater for $91 and an AM radio for $145.


• Every Corvette model has used innovative materials, from fiberglass in 1953 to advanced carbon-nano technology and carbon fiber on the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

• A V-8 engine was first available in 1955. That year, it was selected by 90 percent of customers. After that, all Corvettes featured strictly V-8 power.

• The Stingray name was first used for a prototype race car, the design of which influenced the second-generation Corvette that debuted in 1963. The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split-window coupe has since been called one of the most beautiful and influential designs in automotive history.
   


• The Corvette is the longest-running, continually produced sports car in the world.

• Nearly 2 million Corvettes have been sold since it went on sale in 1953 and in 2012, it accounted for approximately one-third of all sports car sales in America.

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