This is the Corvette prototype that made its debut at General Motors' Motorama in January, 1953. It was definitely the hit of the show, and GM announced that it would go into limited production by June. The first Corvettes were more 'eye candy' than sports car. They were grossly underpowered with Chevy's 'Blue Flame' six coupled with a two-speed automatic transmission. This prototype was retained by GM's engineering department and later used as a test bed for the new V-8 that would see production in 1955.
In 1953 the Corvette was debuted at the Motorama display at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. It was conceived by Harley J. Earl. It was a two seat convertible built by GM aimed at capturing the small car market from manufacturers like Jaguar and MG. All 1953 Corvettes were convertibles with black canvas tops, Polo white with red interiors, and built by hand.
Power came from an existing Chevrolet 235 cubic inch 6 cylinder engine. Modifications were done to it such as a three carburetor design and dual exhaust which resulted in higher horsepower ratings. The 150 hp 'Blue Flame Special' engine was paired with a a2-speed automatic gearbox. The first twenty-five vehicles used the standard Chevrolet 'baby moon' passenger car wheel covers due to a shortage of wheel covers.
During the 1953 production year, 300 Corvettes were produced making it the rarest Corvette. 255 are still in existence. In 1953 the base price for the Corvette was $3,498 with a heater and AM radio offered as optional equipment. The heater could be purchased for $91.40 and the AM Radio for $145.15. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2008
• Harley J. Earl Corvette will Cross Mecum's Block at Chicago Auction Oct. 10-12 Walworth, WI - September 24, 2013 -- The factory-styling Sting Ray gifted to the father of the Corvette – Harley J. Earl – will cross the block at Mecum's Chicago auction this Oct. 10-12 at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Among an anticipated 1,000-car lineup, this car stands out as the personal driver of GM's head designer who was one of the most significant innovators in the history of the Amer...[Read more...]
MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 9, 2013 – From August 16-18, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will pay tribute to the enduring legacy of the all-American Chevrolet Corvette, which stunned the auto world at its debut at the 1953 Motorama Auto Show in New York City. Now 60 years later, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where historic automobile racing premiers as the only track-action competition during the Monterey Peninsula's annual Classic Car Week, the Corvette will star as the event's specia...[Read more...]
Custom 'none-of-a-kind' Fleetwood V-16s from 1930s featured Aug.16-19
A pair of one-of-a-kind Cadillac Fleetwood V-16s that were available but never ordered by customers during the Great Depression will be among the cars on display at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Carmel, Calif., this week.
Cadillac's exhibit, open to the public Aug. 16-19 at Peter Hay Hill, features Cadillac's newest cars, along with the two custom-built Fleetwood Convertibles from 1934 and 1937. ...[Read more...]
One-off Sport Customs designed to turn heads while tooling down Main Street USA will roll onto the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links for the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 19.
This year, for the very first time, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is hosting an entire class dedicated to Sport Customs.
'These are one-of-a-kind cars built in the US, on modified American production chassis with American engines by individuals, designers and craftsmen,' explains auto...[Read more...]
As GM Design celebrates its 85th birthday this month, the 1,900 men and women in GM's 10 global design centers are focused on the future, united in their vision to entice consumers to fall in love and see vehicles as they do: art that moves you.
'Our global team is united around its passion for designing vehicles that make an emotional connection with customers,' said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design. 'What was true 85 years ago is still true today: A designer's role is to create...[Read more...]