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First Coast Gears: Happy 60th Birthday Corvette!

12:26 PM, Jun 30, 2012   |    comments
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Who would have thought an underpowered V6 fiberglass two-seater with no roll-up windows would make it to 60.

RELATED: 'Vettes at the Village | SLIDESHOW

On June 30, 1953 the first Corvette rolled off the Flint, Mich., line. The first cars weren't known for their performance, but that quickly changed and the styling was a knockout from day one.

Chevy bills its Corvette as "America's sports car" and for good reason. It has become a cultural icon and remains a bargain, compared to exotics like Porsche's 911 or Ferarris.

"Through the years, Corvette certainly offered state-of-the-art features, designs, technologies and performance," said Tadge Juechter, vehicle chief engineer for Corvette said in a news reelase. "However, I think what has made the Corvette such an enduring concept is the exciting experience of driving one."

Corvette was first created under the code-name XP-122 to provide Americans with a glimpse of a European-style sports car designed for this side of the Atlantic. It was one of several concept cars unveiled in January 1953 at the GM Motorama show in the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, according to General Motors.

Initial plans called for about 150 Corvettes, primarily to help draw potential customers into Chevrolet dealerships scattered across the U.S.'s then-48 states. Overwhelming demand doubled the first-year production to 300 units. The following year, the Corvette moved to a GM assembly facility in St. Louis, Mo., where 3,640 Corvettes were built for the 1954 model year.

Just about everyone has a favorite story surrounding the Corvette. Mine is of a gentleman in Wilmington, Del., who gave me a ride in his then-new yellow 1974 T-top. I was a teenager and don't remember the engine, or even his name. But I remember the thrill of my first ride in a 'Vette.

What's your favorite generation Corvette or memory of America's sports car? Share your comments with the Facebook form below and here's hoping the Corvette is around for another 60 years. 


First Coast Gears

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