Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced in 1953 as a combination of performance of standard sport cars with engine and transmission from the muscle cars of the era.

The first "solid-axle"generation deserved its name due to the fact that independent rear suspension wasn't available until 1963. The Corvette was definitely unique in comparison to the competition, with the fiberglass body built by hand.

The innovative two-seater convertible in Polo White with a "Sportsman" red interior dazzled the potential buyers. Their black canvas convertible top could be manually folded into a storage space behind the seats.

The "Blue Flame Special" engine installed in the model was an upgraded version of the 235 in³ 6 standard Chevrolet engines which produced 150 bhp. The power was often criticized by the automotive press but nevertheless light weight and a quicker steering gear provided excellent handling and road feeling.

First generation Corvette had limited production due to the time required to hand build and assemble particular unit. That is one of the reasons why 1953 Corvettes are also the rarest and most popular models. Only 314 cars were produced, with a rather high starting price at the time of $3513. As a result 183 sold, however the number was 75% higher than the initial company predictions.

From the original production around 200 units are still conserved in the hands of various collectors. In 1956 new Corvette design established the vehicle as a performance machine as well as a true American hot rod. Several changes included brand new integrated body styling, new front fenders with chrome-rimmed headlights, external door handles and roll-up windows.

A chrome-outlined concave side body coves and sloping made instant impact along with taillight-integrated rear fenders. Interior design also changed. The seats were surrounded by a body-colored frame that divided the passenger space. Upholstery colors were limited to beige or red, but six nitro-cellulose lacquer body colors available for the public (Onyx black, Polo white, Venetian red, Cascade green, Aztec copper, and Arctic blue).

The new body was gorgeous from the chrome details and a removable hardtop offered as an option for the first time. An optional fuel injection system was made available in the middle of the 1957 model year. It had one of the first mass-produced engines with the ability to reach 1 bhp per cubic inch and marketing campaign used a "one hp per cubic inch" slogan for advertising the 283 bhp Small-Block engine as an advantage.

Along with power windows, heavy duty brakes and suspension and four speed manual transmission the model begun to gain more and more attention from the usual automotive public. Corvette's popularity grew dramatically when the company leaders decided to include the model in racing competitions at Florida's Daytona Speedweeks.

One car was driven to a two-way average of 150.583 mph at Daytona's Flying Mile. John Fitch also set a record of 90.932 mph for the standing-start mile at Daytona and 145.543 mph in the production sports car class beating the performance of Ford Thunderbird by significant margin. Even today, many Chevrolet lover agree the '56 model is the most beautiful Corvette of all time.

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