Classic Car Archive Specs, Facts, & History
Chevrolet decided to produce a two-seater sports car to meet a small, but very demanding interest.
Sporting legendary GM Styling Chief Harley Earl’s design, the first Corvette drove away from the assembly line on June 30, 1953, only six months after the debut of the concept car at the GM Motorama. It was only available in Polo White with red interior and the exterior was constructed out of fiberglass, rather than the traditional steel. Only two options were available, AM radio and heat. It offered excellent handling and exceptional looks.
The Vette basically had the suspension from the ’52 sedan, a hopped up 150 hp 235ci inline 6 (Blue Flame), a two-speed auto Powerglide transmission to handle the “massive power”, and of course the modern fiberglass body.
Contrary to the popular belief that fiberglass is fragile and dangerous in accidents, GM stuck with the material after rolling over the test Vette that survived with little damage.
At nearly $3500, it cost more than a Cadillac or Jaguar, and underperformed them. It was aimed to cost the same as an American sedan, but failed miserably.
|Engine||0 to 60 MPH||Quarter Mile||Source|
|235ci/150hp||11.0 sec||17.0 sec @ 76 mph||Estimate|
Ask Corvette expert Richard Ehrenberg