Development of the Corvette began in late 1951 as "Project Opel" and was the brainchild of famed General Motors designer Harley Earl.    

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
1
of 39

In January of 1953, the world would get its first glimpse of the Corvette in concept form at the General Motors Motorama auto show in New York.    

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
2
of 39

After a positive response at Motorama, GM rushed the Corvette into production.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
3
of 39

Six months after its Motorama debut, production versions of the Corvette began rolling off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
4
of 39

The 300 Corvettes produced during 1953 were all powered by a 3.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine churning out 150 horsepower. It was mated to a two-speed automatic transmission.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
5
of 39

All of the fiberglass bodied cars were painted Polo White with red interiors and carried a sticker price of $3,490.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
6
of 39

The Corvette's performance wasn't anything to write home about needing 11.5 seconds to hit 60 mph.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
7
of 39

At the end of 1953, production of the Corvette was moved to St. Louis.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
8
of 39

Performance improved in 1955 when a 4.3-liter V8 making 195 horsepower connected to a three-speed manual gearbox became available thanks in large part to an engineer named Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
9
of 39

Throughout the remainder of its run, the first-generation Corvette became a more credible sports car with the six-cylinder disappearing and a manual transmission becoming standard in 1956.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
10
of 39

Corvette assembly in 1953.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
11
of 39

The first Chevy Corvettes being put together in 1953.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
12
of 39

1953 Chevrolet Corvette assembly.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
13
of 39

First-generation (C1) Corvettes used a modified chassis from Chevrolet's passenger car lineup, which featured a central X-brace and accommodated the car's 102-inch wheelbase, which was 13 inches shorter than a Bel Air sedan.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
14
of 39

1953 Chevrolet Corvette flag logo.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
15
of 39

1953 Chevrolet Corvette interior.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
16
of 39

1953 Chevrolet Corvette at the Motorama show.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
17
of 39

1953 Chevrolet Corvette sketch.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
18
of 39

1954 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
19
of 39

1954 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
20
of 39

1955 Chevrolet Corvette illustration.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
21
of 39

1957 Chevrolet Corvette. 

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
22
of 39

1957 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
23
of 39

1957 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
24
of 39

1957 Chevrolet Corvette SS Race Car piloted by Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
25
of 39

1958 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
26
of 39

1959 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
27
of 39

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer Concept.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
28
of 39

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer Concept.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
29
of 39

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer Concept.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
30
of 39

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer Concept.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
31
of 39

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer Concept.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
32
of 39

1960 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
33
of 39

1960 Chevrolet Corvette.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
34
of 39

1960 Chevrolet Corvette at Le Mans.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
35
of 39

1960 Chevrolet Corvette.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
36
of 39

1960 Chevrolet Corvette at Le Mans.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
37
of 39

1961 Chevrolet Corvette.

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
38
of 39

1961 Chevrolet Corvette.  

Read the article
Published:Caption:Photo:General Motors LLC
39
of 39
Up Next

2020 Chevrolet Corvette blends the new and the familiar