Yesterday, June 30, 2013, marked the anniversary of sixty years of Chevrolet's production of the Corvette, the iconic American sports car. The first Corvette went into production in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953 and since then Corvette has grown to become an American icon.
"During the past six decades, the Corvette has been woven into the fabric of American culture, as the sports car of choice for movie stars, musicians and astronauts," said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. "The very best Corvettes represent the state-of-the-art for their eras in terms of design, technology and performance."
The Corvette, the world's longest-running, continuously produced passenger car, made its debut as a concept vehicle on January 17, 1953 at New York City's General Motors Autorama. It was a hit, so a limited run of 300 production Corvettes began on June 30, with approximately 1.56 million produced since then.
All 300 of the 1953 models were produced in Polo White with a red interior and were sold for $3,498. They have become so sought after that in 2006, the third 1953 Corvette produced sold for an incredible $1.06 million at auction.
Until 1955, the Corvette was exclusively available with an inline V-6 engine, so that year when the V-8 engine was available as an option, it was ordered by 90 percent of buyers. Given the success of the V-8, Chevrolet dropped production of the V-6 Corvette the following year.
The first decade of Corvettes were available as convertible only. In 1963, the fixed-roof "split-window" Corvette Sting Ray coupe was released, which launched the second generation of the Corvette. Because of this change, drivers in colder climates could drive it year-round and sales doubled.
Corvette production has been handled at three facilities - Flint, Michigan in 1953, St. Louis, Missouri from 1954 to half-way through the 1981 production year and Bowling Green, Kentucky for the rest of 1981 until present day. Not a single 1983 Corvette was sold to the public, as the model year was skipped in preparation of the all-new 1984 Corvette, the beginning of the fourth generation. There were 44 1983 Corvette prototypes of which one remains. It is currently on display at the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.