Chevrolet Corvette: Quotes, Stats & History

The Chevrolet Corvette, also known more informally as the Vette, is the epitome of cool cars. The roar of the engine, the sleek design of the body, and the status that comes with the car adds to its appeal. The Corvette is so popular that it even has its own movie called Corvette Summer, made in the 1980s. Its color, classic red, is famous as well. The Corvette is the American muscle car that has been roaring down the streets since 1953. This car was the image of retirement or for the super wealthy.

History of the Corvette

The history of the Corvette begins in 1953 when it was created by Chevrolet. A brief history on the Corvette at Northeastern Illinois University states that GM was known for its strength, size, and technology. However, in order to outdo its competitor, Ford Motors, it built the lightweight, small, and super-fast Corvette. Because of its small size and amazing speeds, it was named after a military naval ship called a Corvette. In 1953, the Corvette price tag was around $2,500, or about $50,000 by today’s standards.

Six generations later, AutoZine states that it is America's only mass-produced sports car. Bryant University tells us that the body of the car was made of fiberglass at first, instead of sheet metal, which caused some pushback from those who supported steel. Four years later, the engine would be re-designed with fuel-injection and that would give the car 1 horsepower per cubic inch displaced, making the Corvette the first car to have that kind of power.

In 1968, the Corvette received a new body after many complaints about the rear window blocking the view of the driver. This would be the most productive year for the Corvette. In 1984, the car received a V-8 engine that could take it from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds. It could reach speeds of up to 138 miles per hour. The outer body would be redesigned again in 1997.

In 2005, visible headlights were available while previous models had hidden headlights. An optional power top was also offered with a new body design and a 400-horsepower small block V8 engine. Ten years later, the C7.R edition Z06 would only have a production of 500 cars.

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Facts and Statistics

Several fun facts and vital statistics about the Corvette can be found at Corvette Collectors.

  • In 1953, only 300 Corvettes were produced, and all sold out.
  • During the 1950s and 60s, they changed to a fuel injection engine and had hydraulic convertible tops.
  • In 1963, the Sting Ray became the first Corvette coupe and began the C2 series.
  • In the 1960s, the engine also grew larger; up to 530 horsepower. Only 20 models with this large engine were made and it is a highly collectible car.
  • There was no manufacturing of Corvettes in 1983 due to a production issue.
  • Mattel released a Hot Wheels version of the new 1984 Corvette before the actual car was released.
  • In 1997, the top speed of the Corvette was 168 miles per hour.
  • The C6.R model became the racing Corvette model.
  • The ZR1, released in 2008, could reach speeds of 205 miles per hour, had a price tag of $100,000, and was equipped with a LS9 engine.
  • GM has also re-released the Sting Ray models, returning to the classic look of the cars produced in the 1950s and 60s.

Enjoy more trivia and facts at Capitol City Corvette Club, Corvette Collectors, and Gear Heads.

Chevy Corvette Quotes

The Corvette is iconic, not just in the car industry, but also in culture. Tadge Juechter, the chief engineer at Corvette, says that the hardest part is bringing the car into the 21st century while making it look like a Corvette. “We don't want to do retro," Juechter says. He has spent 20 years on the Corvette and almost 40 at GM, so is very familiar with the vehicle and its history. "We don't want to go back and do like some manufacturers [and] go relive the glory days. It has a low roof and big wheels and a low hood ... It looks really fast."

NPR: With redesign, Corvette ushers in new era of American muscle cars

Tony George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, seems to agree. "The Indianapolis 500 and Chevrolet have had a longtime relationship. It's an honor to have the 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette make its world debut at the head of the pack and to have Chevrolet return to open wheel racing with its new Chevy Indy V-8 for the Indy Racing League."

Super Chevy: Celebrating 50th anniversary at Indy 500

“After 23 uninterrupted years of competition, the car was worn out but complete, with its essentials still intact. Over time it had been hit in every corner, but remarkably it still retained its factory chassis and body tub. The original roll bar was there, complete with its unique SCCA-assigned serial number. Also still intact were a number of its special parts, including offset rear trailing arms, heavy-duty brakes with twin-pin rear calipers, dry-sump system provisions, and the original Harrison engine-oil cooler. And sitting in the glove box was another special part: the original SCCA logbook, documenting the car’s history.”

Corvette Magazine: A legend reborn

“But true to the American spirit, there are few car-based problems that a big V8 and lots of horsepower can’t fix, and the Corvette has followed that timeless formula ever since, much to the joy of car fans from sea to shining sea.”

New York Daily News: 7 best Corvettes of all time

Corvette Forums and Clubs

There is a large community for Corvette owners today. If you are interested in purchasing or discovering more about the Chevrolet Corvette, check out some of the links below. You can also find your local Corvette club on Google.