Sixty years ago, onlookers lined up on Park Avenue in New York City waiting to get their first look at the car that changed the way we view sports cars. They were waiting to see the first generation Corvette on display at the General Motors Motorama show. Well, 60 years to the day, the Corvette returned to New York in a big way.
Chevrolet Vice President of Marketing Chris Perry had this to say about the American Legend making it’s return to New York:
The all new 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most advanced and engaging Corvette in the long, prestigious legacy of this uniquely American success story. It is a car woven into the fabric of American Culture and its got its start right here in the Big Apple
The introduction of the Corvette took place at the Waldorf Astoria on January 17, 1953. More than 1.4 million people saw the curvaceous design and futuristic approach of the Corvette. This prompted Chevrolet to accelerate production plans by late June of that year…So much so that Chevrolet created a special facility in Flint, MI to build them. That year only 300 were made, all of them white with red interior, much like this one:
The 2014 Corvette remains true to its roots as a two seat sports car. It will deliver an engaging driving experience through very advanced engineering and lightweight materials. New technologies are supported by influenced design and features engineered to work cohesively and deliver the most connected driving experience in the nameplate’s history. The Stingray is also going to be the most powerful base model ever. Featuring 450 horsepower and a 0-60 time of less than 4 seconds. Not to mention, it will have a fuel economy of more than 26 mpg.
Here’s some more fun facts about the Corvette’s storied history:
- The Corvette was originally championed by GM’s legendary styling director Harley Earl who insisted there was room for an American entry in the European-dominated sports car market. It was also his idea for Corvette to have a fiberglass body.
- Corvette was named for a small and fast class of naval ships.
- The 1953 Corvette had a base price of $3,498 and offered only two options – a heater for $91.00 and an AM Radio for $145.
- Every Corvette has used innovative materials, like fiberglass in 1953 to the advanced carbon-nano technology and carbon fiber of the 2014 Stingray.
- A V-8 engine was first available in 1955. That year, it was selected by 90% of everyone who purchased one. After that, the V-8 became the standard engine on the Corvette.
- The Stingray name was first used for a prototype race car, the design of which influenced the second-generation Corvette that debuted in 1963. The ’63 Stingray split-window coupe has since been called one of the most beautiful and influential designs in the automotive industry’s history.
- Corvette’s legacy of mainstreaming technology was previously reserved for high-end luxury cars. This includes the introduction of fuel injection in 1957, independent rear suspension in 1963, four-wheel disc brakes in 1965, antilock brakes in 1986 and a tire-pressure monitoring system in 1989.
- Corvette is the longest running, continually produced sports car in the world.
- Nearly 2 million Chevrolet Corvettes have been sold since it went on sale in 1953.
- In 2012 the Corvette accounted for approximately 1/3 of all sports car sales in America.
Just in case you haven’t seen the 2014 Corvette yet…Take a look!