Chevrolet Corvette C 1: white convertible. Power – 315 hp. Made in 1956. Moscow transport museum
The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the Corvette sports car produced by Chevrolet. It was introduced late in the 1953 model year and produced through 1962. This generation is commonly referred to as the “solid-axle” generation, as the independent rear suspension did not appear until the 1963 Stingray.
The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car’s early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet decided to make necessary improvements.
The most expensive Corvette (C1) to sell in history was sold by Barrett-Jackson in the United States in March 2021 for $825,000 (£591,470).
Harley Earl, as head of GM’s Styling Section, was an avid fan of sports cars. He recognized that GIs returning after serving overseas in the years following World War II were bringing home MGs, Jaguars, and Alfa Romeos. In 1951, Nash Motors began selling an expensive two-seat sports car, the Nash-Healey, that was made in partnership with the Italian designer Pininfarina and British auto engineer Donald Healey, but there were few moderate-priced models.
Earl convinced GM that they needed to build an all-American two-seat sports car, and with his Special Projects crew began working on the new car in late 1951. The last time Chevrolet offered a 2-door, 2-passenger convertible/roadster body style was in 1938 with the Chevrolet Master.