The Corvette is an extravagant sports car with supreme American car authenticity. It is produced continuously since 1953 as a subdivision of Chevrolet and General Motors. Eight iterations have been built, the beautiful song titled 'Corvette', derived from a small and agile warship 'corvette', is far from a lullaby, it just keeps going. In 2020, the eighth Corvette, the C8, hit the market, and it is extraordinary, in fact, it could only be described accurately using superlatives. The ninth Corvette, the C9, has already been presented and will be available for sale in 2028.
After World War II, General Motors did mobile car shows called 'GM Motorama'. They travelled all over the United States to the largest American cities, showcasing their latest designs, being prototypes. Based on the audience's reaction, they decided whether to proceed with the production of the showcased car(s), or not. In 1952, this same thing also happened with a prototype of the brave Corvette, ‘brave’ being an understatement, the American automobile market had a void in it when it came to sports cars, as sports car concepts had previously only come from Europe and were produced by prominent European carmakers. The Corvette seemed to aim at venturing into uncharted territory and making a name for itself there. The Americans were wildly enthusiastic, and production started in summertime 1953. Only 300 Corvettes rolled off the assembly line in the first production year, yet they kept believing, and the production continued, never ceasing since.
The Corvette is the flagship model of Chevrolet and General Motors, and it comes always equipped with the most modern and innovative technology. Exploring uncharted territory, as mentioned before, clearly does not bore the Corvette, it is its goal.
The Corvette was brought to the market by Chevrolet in a hurry as a response to the overwhelming enthusiasm during the GM Motorama. ‘Haste makes waste’ is what General Motors learned the hard way back then as the Corvette did not meet people’s expectations, furthermore it was too expensive. When Ford's Thunderbird entered the ‘battleground’, things escalated even further. Nevertheless, the Corvette stood its ground, and after some trial-and-error, the C1 managed to evolve into an icon.
In 1953, only around three hundred C1’s were manufactured. Despite the innovative use of fiberglass, which was the material of the C1 bodywork, the anticipated success did not materialize. The straight-six engine, that was geared with a two-speed transmission, did not captivate the American audience. Therefore, in 1955, the decision was made to equip the C1 with a V8 engine, which took over completely in 1956 as the straight-six’s production was discontinued. Changes, both mechanical and aesthetic, occurred with each model year. In 1958, the car's exterior underwent significant changes to align with the trends of the time: the tail fins on both rear sides were erased, and the headlights were doubled, thus the C1 featured four headlights instead of two. The C1 was succeeded by the C2 in 1962, which in fact bore strong resemblance to the later C1 models.
What initially appeared to be heading towards a financial setback for General Motors eventually transformed into an icon in the automotive world, as it is considered to be the first post-war American sports car that outshone the European sports cars that had conquered the American roads.
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