Posted in: Cars,
by Gregg Laskoski on Jul 6, 2013 06:00 AM
Believe it or not, the Corvette's initial production began June 30, 1953 at Flint, Mich.
To mark the birthday Chevrolet is now turning out a special edition of the radically redesigned 2014 Corvette. Just 500 will be built, loaded with nearly every option available on the 2014 Corvette.
USA TODAY's James Healey says the base model starts at $51,995 including shipping. Figure on another $20k to cover the all the 'special edition' options.
Healey says the first Corvette two-seater was intended to give an American automaker something to rival the European two-seat sports cars of the time.
Only 300 of the 1953 model were made. More than 10 times as many were built the second year and it seemed a bright future. But not all those were sold, production in 1955 dropped to 700 and even then surplus cars stacked up.
Of course, competition became tighter when the Ford Thunderbird was introduced. It also was a two-seater, powered by a V-8 engine and graced with a solid top and weather-tight roll-up glass windows. Corvette had a leaky convertible top and fabric side curtains, and had only begun to adopt GM's powerhouse, "small-block" V-8.
Newly hired engineer Zora Arkus Duntov, who would become as famous and respected as the car itself, successfully convinced GM brass that discontinuing the Corvette would be an embarrassing failure globally and would dampen innovative thinking within the company.
GM kept Corvette and let Duntov turn it into a high-performance machine. Ford kept the T-Bird conservative, bulked it up to seat four or five and finally killed it due to poor sales.
The rest as they say, is history. Corvette is among the most iconic automobiles in the world and the special 60th anniversary edition might be a terrific investment. It might be a lot of fun to drive too!