Cars

Throwback Thursday: The First Corvette

The first Corvette was noteworthy for many reasons. Among them: it was the first mass-produced fiberglass car and it set the stage for America to start competing with Europe in the performance game. The first production models rolled off the assembly line 61 years ago this week, so let's take a minute to remember it with the original car’s brochure.

Credit where it’s due: most hyperbolic boasts made for publicity’s sake don’t pan out. Six decades later, this one’s probably safe.

Of course, truth in advertising only goes so far. The original Corvette interior is many things, but spacious and having “capacious stowage” isn’t really one of those things. Nor should it have been, really.

As a testament to how on-point the car was when it debuted, nearly every element Chevy draws your attention to is stereotypical 1950s awesomeness. Knee Action front suspension!

To put some of the numbers into perspective, if a new Corvette weighed the same 2,900 pounds as the original, it would destroy nearly anything else on the road...unless it had the original’s 160 hp, of course.

The first cars were penned mainly by design icon Harley Earl, who only a few years prior had ushered in the automobile’s “jet age” by modeling Cadillac tail fins from a P-38 Lightning. So the fact that it had a “jet-type tail, stop, and direction signal lights in [the] ends of air-fin fenders” really should have surprised no one.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. It’s been a full two weeks since he’s seen a 1953-built Corvette in person.