Credit: photo credit: Georg Schwalbach (GS1311) via photo pin cc
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to own a Chevrolet Corvette. Not just any Corvette either, but a 1975 Corvette Stingray model, fire engine red with black leatherette interior. These cars have always fascinated me with their sleek design and speed. In trying to figure out what grabs me about the1975 Corvette Stingray, I decided to dig a little and find out how this vehicle came into existence and where it is today.
The Evolution of the 1975 Corvette Stingray has been an extraordinary journey. General Motors was one of the biggest companies in the 1950’s with products ranging from locomotives to appliances. They were also well known auto makCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvetteers. The one type of car they had not tried their hand at was sports car. Harley J. Earl, the chief designer was about to change all of that. Earl came up with the ideas for the first corvette and then turned them over to Robert F. Mclean. The original cost estimated by Earl was around $2000 and Mclean trying to keep in line with that used mostly off the shelf parts to keep the costs down. Their combined efforts produced the first concept car.
This convertible model Corvette was shown at the GM Motorama in 1953. Where did the name come from you may ask? It came from Myron Scott who was an assistant advertising manager for Chevrolet, who named the car after a warship by the same name.
The Ever-Changing Corvette Style
Since that first corvette came on the scene, there have been a total of six generations of Corvettes, C1 through C6. From 1953 to 1962, the Solid Axel Model (C1) was introduced. They started out with 300 Polo White Chevy Convertible Corvettes in that first year. In 1955, the small block V8 engine became an option. A new body style was introduced to the world in 1956 with an optional removable hard top. The exterior of this model was made to resemble that of a cockpit. These changes made the Corvette stand out as the premiere two-seater with high performance as standard. In 1957, fuel injection and the T-10 four speed manual transmissions were introduced. In 1958, another body style change came about. This model was saiCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvetted to have been overdone. The exterior featured double headlights, side scoops, hood louvers, chrome everywhere and a longer front end. There were over 9,000 of this model built and it became a big hit with Corvette enthusiasts. The 1959 version was a sleeker model; having removed some of the chrome gave this Corvette a cleaner look. In 1960, the only change for the vehicle was more horsepower. The 1961 model came with a 24 gallon fuel tank option, a changed rear design which included a “duck tail” rear end, and the final year for white wall tires. Finally in 1962, as the end of the (C1) generation came to a close; horsepower was improved increasing its speed capacity. The time had come for a change in the Corvette.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Years
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_CorvetteWhat followed in succession were (C2) or Sting Ray years 1963-1967, which were my personal favorites, the (C3) or Mako Shark years from 1968-1982, the (C4) years from 1984-1986, the (C5) years from 1997-2004 and the current generation (C6) from 2005 to present.
Many great changes and achievements came throughout the generations; I would like to touch on a few of those:
C2-The Corvette Sting Ray appeared, it was smaller and introduced a coupe model. This classic featured hidden head lights and independent rear suspension. There is one version that stands out during this time and that is the Grand Sport Corvette. Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_CorvetteOriginally there were supposed to be 100 of this model made, but only five were ever produced. This car is the most coveted of all the Corvettes; and even today sit in private collections.
C3-During this time the Sting Ray actually made a second coming, only this time Stingray was one word and much better quality. This also marked the era; during 1976, no convertible Corvettes were sold as Chevrolet stopped making them.
C4-The 83 models are not listed during this time because due to quality issues and difficulty in getting parts only 43 were ever produced. They were never sold to the public and were eventually destroyed. Hatchback bodies came into existence during this generation as well as the reintroduced convertible. 1992 saw the making of the one millionth Corvette a white convertible. How impressive is that?
C5-The new LS1 Engine debuted during this time. The trunk on the convertible reemerged from 1962 and the Active Handling System option was offered. This generation also marked the 50th Anniversary of the Corvette which was commemorated with a 50th Anniversary Edition.
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_CorvetteC6-From the beginning, the Corvette has been blessed with a winning style and class all its own. This generation of Corvettes continues to build on that. Fixed headlamps, LS3 engine was introduced, and The Grand Sport Coupe and Convertible came out to play. The overall quality of the Corvette presently has improved and strangely enough with a cheaper price tag than some previous models.
The Chevrolet Corvette is an American Icon.
Many of us have grown up watching these cars evolve into the world class vehicles they are today. Through numerous generations of upgrades this classic has continued to be loved the world over. From 1953 to the present, the Corvette has made us cheer for cars built the “American Way.”