In 2013, Corvette celebrated its 60th anniversary. As a present to its adoring public, General Motors introduced the C7, a 7th generation Corvette.
The first Corvette, a C1, debuted in 1953, with an inline 6 having 150 horsepower. In contrast, the new C7 boasts a small block V-8 engine, with 455 horsepower. However, no matter how time may change a Corvette’s dynamics, a remnant of the past remains. The C7 carries the name Corvette Stingray. The C3 Corvette, in production from 1968-1982, also bore the name Corvette Stingray. As a matter of fact, the 1979 Stingray sold almost 54,000 models, which is a sales record for the Corvette.
At the present time, the name Corvette is a staple in the annals of automotive history. However, the first Corvettes flirted with failure, with quirks in performance and the indecisiveness of General Motors about the future of the Corvette. In addition, national economic problems and government regulations worked to dissuade this fledgling automotive upstart.
Nevertheless, a Corvette culture emerged and grasped the psyche of automobile enthusiasts, throughout the United States.
During the 1960s, the Corvette became an institution, as the C1, C2, and C3 each claimed a niche in that decade. In response to the Corvette phenomenon, rock groups like Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys, incorporated the pride and joy of Chevy-land into the lyrics of songs. A television show, “Route 66,” highlighted the lives of two young men who toured the United Stated in a Corvette convertible, seeking adventure. The Corvette now had an identity of its own.
Today, many Corvette owners belong to Corvette clubs, while Corvette rendezvous draw devotees from across the United States. The icon even has its own temple. Bowling Green, Ky. is headquarters for the Corvette Museum.