It has endured the tests and ravages of time, and is currently considered to be at par with some of the best cars in the world.
The early Corvette made in 1953, was a manifestation of the styling flair of Harley Earl, who convinced GM that two-seater sports cars were the ultimate American dream. The title Corvette comes from a tiny maneuverable fighting frigate. The early Corvettes were almost hand constructed using fiberglass rather than steel to the lightweight effect. At that moment, Chevrolet was known for producing exceptional performing cars in a no nonsense package. So, although the cars were good value, sales continued to decrease.
The Corvette history would have ended with this small chapter but for the coming of Zora Arkus-Duntov from the technology department of GM. Duntov single handedly altered the Corvette from a two-seat automobile to a genuine sports car by taking a 265 variant of the engine and applying the three-speed manual transmission to it.
Corvette history covers 6 generations of the famous Corvette cars beginning from C1 through to C6. The C1s are usually known as solid-axle, and were in production until 1962. By 1963, turbulent times lay ahead for the Corvette, with various other cars trying to outshine each other. The Corvette rose into the contest with the C2 that began rolling out in 1963. This season saw the dramatic prevalence of the Corvette Sting Ray coupe with its split rear end window, and non-functional ford-like vents. The split window has been removed the very next year because of safety concerns, making this version of the car among the most sought after by vintage collectors. Greater engine power, four-wheel disk brakes, and side exhaust pipes appeared in the later versions and were available till 1969.
The famous L88 version of the Stingray was another landmark in Corvette history. A true blood racing car, the L88 was in production for only three decades, and was quickly gobbled up by a marketplace which was thirsting for the trendy sports beast. The L88 was never actually meant for public use. The high performing car had many capabilities that were relatively unknown to most users of the moment.
The C3 was patterned after Chevrolet’s Mako Shark design. This series began rolling out in 1968 and continued until 1982. Small changes in styling left the Corvette more stylish and lightweight. 1973 saw the last of the Corvettes with chrome bumpers. 1975 was the last year a Corvette convertible was created, and in 1980, the Corvette got a new aerodynamic design overhaul which drastically reduced drag.
The C4 was a total redesign and the emphasis on this model was handling. The mid-eighties saw GM collaborating with Lotus for developing the pricey ZR-1. The Grand Sport version of the Corvette published in 1996 marks the end of the C4 series. High performance and superb appearances were emphasized in this model. The C5 rolled out in 1997 and was in action till 2004.
The look of the car had improved substantially in this version. The performance also proved that this version was much superior to the previous versions. The C5-R and the Z06 are other remarkable cars in this collection. The C6 isn’t very much different from its predecessor. The major thrust of the upgrade appears to be aimed at perfecting the older model and removing some snags and hitches. The new Z06 came in 2006. Corvette history is full of the various awards and prizes won by Corvette both for its looks and performance.