1953. A gallon of gas was 20¢, the average cost of a new car was $1,650, Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England…
And the Chevrolet Corvette was born.
When that first Corvette rolled off GM’s Flint, Michigan assembly line, many thought the concept wouldn’t last long—after all, it had just two seats, no roll-up windows or exterior door handles, and a fiberglass body. But, oh, what a drive…what a ride!
Originally code-named the XP-122, the car that would become the Corvette debuted at the GM Motorama show in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in January 1953. It proved to be quite popular with attendees, so Chevrolet put it into limited production. The initial run of 150 cars doubled to 300 in its first year, and the next year the Corvette moved to a GM assembly facility in St. Louis, where 3,640 Corvettes were built for the 1954 model year. Since then more than 1.5 million Corvettes have been built.
Every edition of the Corvette over its 60 years has been a beautiful piece of automotive design and engineering, making it the father of great American sports cars. Check out this photo gallery of past Corvettes.