Happy birthday, Chevy Corvette!
It was 1953. Place? The ballroom at the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, NY. There, General Motors unveiled several concept cars. Americans, minds still fresh from World War II, lined up around the block eager to see the auto industry’s future. In the Astoria’s ballroom, GM had rolled out several concept vehicles, including one internally named XP-122: The Corvette.
Reaction by the public over the Corvette was swift and overwhelmingly positive. GM hastily gave the green light for the Corvette’s production, albeit a limited one, to draw in potential buyers into Chevy dealerships. But the 150 Chevrolet Corvette run doubled to 300 in 1953, then jumped to more than 3,600 in 1954. GM had to move assembly of the Corvette from its original home in Flint, Michigan, to a GM facility in St. Louis, Missouri, to meet that demand.
Since that time, more than 1.5 million Chevrolet Corvettes have been built in the states. Eager fans and news-hungry press continue to scour Chevy’s website and, indeed, the entire Internet, for anything substantial about the next generation C7. What a difference from the press back in the ’50s, who gave the Corvette a thumbs down, saying GM would sell only a few dozen at most.
“No matter what your station in life, when you’re behind the wheel of a Corvette, you’re an Olympic athlete–able to go faster, stop quicker, and turn better than everyone else,” Tadge Juechter, vehicle chief engineer for Corvette, said in a statement. “Very few cars can match that experience. And no other car has delivered that experience as well, or to more people, than the Corvette.”
Source: General Motors