Red Chevrolet Corvette from 1962, eight cylinders, 4637 cc, 233 HP, max. speed 190 km/h. Period: 1953-1962.

First generation (C1; 1953–1962)

The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year, appearing as a show car for the 1953 General Motors Motorama, January 17–23 at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. At the time, Chevrolet general manager Thomas H. Keating said it was six months to a year away from production readiness. The car generated sufficient interest for mass production to begin on June 30, 1953.

Uniquely, the original Corvette used fiberglass bodywork, its reiforcement placed by hand. This generation was often referred to as the “solid-axle” models, with independent rear suspension appearing in the next. Three hundred hand-built Corvette convertibles were produced, all Polo White, for the 1953 model year.

The 1954 model year vehicles could be ordered in Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red, Black, or Polo White; 3,640 were manufactured.

The 1953, 1954, and 1955 model years were the only Corvettes equipped with a 235 cu in (3.9 L) version of the second-generation Blue Flame inline-six rated at 150 hp (112 kW; 152 PS).

The 1955 model offered a 265 cu in (4.34 L) V8 engine as an option. Despite the poor sales of the Corvette at the time, the brand-new V-8 was an overwhelmingly popular option. Only 6 of the 1955 models were produced with the inline-six. With a large inventory of unsold 1954 models, GM limited production to 700 for 1955. With the new V8, the 0–60 mph time improved by 1.5 seconds, and saw three new competitors called the Ford Thunderbird and the Studebaker Speedster introduced that same year, and the larger Chrysler C-300.

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