The History of the Chevy Corvette
When most people hear the phrase “Corvette” a lot of images pop up in their mind. This is because it’s one of the best-known vehicles in the Chevy line. It is renowned for its excellent history of high performance sporty driving, and has become the car most synonymous with Chevy and GM. Overall, the Chevrolet Corvette has been through six generations since 1953 and continues to be the dream car for many in Itasca and Elk Grove Village.
The Origins and First Generation
The first Corvette was a convertible designed by Harley Earl and was introduced as a concept show car. It debuted at the GM Motorbama in 1953 and was named by Myron Scott. It was a solid-axle model as it did not have an independent rear suspension, and came with a 4.34L V8 engine as well as a two-door, two-speed automatic transmission. Solid updates occurred throughout the years, such as new face and side covers on the 56’ model, as well as disappearing tail lamp fins. The first generation was retired in 1962.
The Second and Third Generation
In 1963, the second generation of Corvette’s were debuted. They were known as the Sting Ray Coupes and were designed by Larry Shinoda. This generation featured a tapering rear deck and a split rear window in the 1963 model. It also had hidden headlamps, independent rear suspension, and a maximum horsepower capacity of 360. The Third generation was one of the longest lasting generations, lasting from 1968 to 1982. During this period, the Corvette was used as a pace car by NASCAR due to its solid 5.7L engine.
The Fourth and Fifth Generation
The fourth generation of the Corvette lasted from 1984 to 1996. It included such updates as four-speed automatic transmission, a more powerful V8 engine, aluminum brake calipers, and more. The fifth generation lasted from 1997 to 2004 when the Corvette competed against such Japanese vehicles as the Nissan 300ZX and the Mazda RX-7. As a result, they improved the Corvette in nearly every way including a higher top speed, better outer design, and a more powerful engine overall. The engine featured a small, distributor-less engine with a new cylinder firing order that increased horsepower to 350.
The Sixth Generation
The six generations of the Corvette have run from 2005 to the present day. It retains only the front engine and rear transmission design of the C5 but has a completely new look including exposed headlamps, a larger passenger area, a 6.0L engine, and a wider wheelbase. Through all its changes, the Corvette remains one of the most intriguing and highly valued cars on the market.
Itasca and Elk Grove Village drivers are welcome to visit our dealership in Glendale Heights to take the newest iteration of the Corvette out for a test drive and learn more about models like the Corvette C8. Feel the power that comes with a half-century of engineering and take your dream car home.