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The Corvette Story

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by Cathy Richey

The Corvette is unequaled in the automotive world. The qualities that have endeared the Corvette are that it has always been the best at whatever it does and accomplishes that task with confidence, flair, and at least a medium dose of arrogance. Corvettes excel everywhere: on the racetrack, as a styling tour de force, a boulevard cruiser, or simply providing their owners with a magnificent driving experience.

In 1937, Chevrolet hired Myron E. Scott as an assistant director for the Public Relations department, where he was responsible for photography of new cars, designing of press kits, graphics and special events. In 1953, a special executive meeting was arranged to find a name for a new Chevrolet sports car then in the developmental stage. The company wanted a name that began with a "C" and a review of over 300 names began.

None of the 300 names made the cut. But that night at Scott's home when he searched the C section of the dictionary, he stopped at the definition of "corvette." It read, "...a speedy pursuit ship in the British Navy." Scott suggested "Corvette" the next day, and the group loved it.

Myron Scott retired from Chevrolet in 1971. Scottie was inducted into the National Corvette Museum hall of fame. Their legacy lives on. The Corvette has captured both the fantasy and imagination of the public and remains one of the more sought after vehicles in the United States and abroad.

Many limited edition and classic Corvettes have sold for serious money at auction, proving that the desire for these cars is not temporary. The Corvette continues to be the epitome of “cool.” Here are some fun facts that you may not have known about the Chevrolet Corvette:

Corvette story continued below....

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The Corvette Story, continued...

How many of these Corvette facts did you know?
  • The original front emblem logo on the Corvettes that made the trade show circuit featured a checkered flag and an American flag crossed. Later, Chevrolet was alerted to the fact that it is illegal to use an American flag on a trademark and the logo was changed.

  • As revolutionary as the Corvette was when introduced in 1953, the only part or component included in its manufacturing that was not already available in other Chevrolet models was the fiberglass body.

  • Manual transmission was listed as an option on the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, but no model was ordered, manufactured, or delivered that year with a manual transmission.
     

  • The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette was the first ‘Vette with factory installed seat belts.

  • The first year that an AM/FM radio was offered as an option in a Corvette was 1968. Yes, that's a six.

  • The 1963 through 1967 Corvettes were known as “Sting Rays.” The model name disappeared in 1968, but returned in 1969 only to be spelled as one word, “Stingray.”
     

  • The last Corvette manufactured to run on the old style “leaded” fuel was produced in 1974.

  • The largest number of Chevrolet Corvettes ever manufactured in one year was over 53,807. The year was 1979.

  • The first Corvette produced with windshield wipers that clear water in the same direction instead of opposing directions was made in 1997.
     

  • In 2005, Chevrolet manufactured Corvettes without the famous pop-up headlights for the first time since 1962.

  •  Of the 300 Corvettes hand built in 1953 only 183 were sold because of "average" performance at a relatively high price, $3513. The popular Jaguar XK120 sold for $3345; $168 less than the Corvette.

  • The Corvette's floor is made of balsa wood. Yes, that's right: the stuff you use to make airplanes out of.
     
  • The Corvette was made in only three places in its history: Michigan, Missouri, and now Bowling Green, KY, known as "the home of the Corvette."
  • There is a National Corvette Museum. It's across the street from the Corvette Assembly Plant.
  • Owners of new Corvettes can take delivery on them at the Museum for an additional fee and see their car being built at the Assembly Plant.
     
  • When a new Corvette design is being worked on, General Motors has to disguise the car while test driving it to prevent spy photographers from getting a glimpse of it before it is launched to the public. There are people who make their living trying to "spy and photograph" the new 'Vettes.
  • 160 Corvettes are made at the Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY, every day.
  • People all over the world use their Corvettes for positive purposes. Corvettes Conquer Cancer, which raises money at Corvette events and donates the money to the American Cancer Society in that town, is a good example.
     
  • The brand has its own racing team, "The Corvette Racing Team." Melanie Correll is the team's official timer.
  • A caravan of Corvettes from all over the United States gathered together to honor the 9/11 tragedy. They made stops at all three locations in PA, Washington, D.C., and N.Y. presenting American flags to local officials. The flags had been donated by Corvette clubs during the caravan's travels.

Below is some information on a 2009 Corvette 2 door ZR1 Coupe:

  • Gas Mileage: 14 mpg city/20mpg highway.
  • Engine: V8 Supercharged 6.2 Liter.
  • Transmission: Manual, 6 Spd.
  • Drive: RWD.
  • Price w/destination charge and required equipment : Invoice $95,104.00. MSRP: $103,300.00

The Chevrolet Corvette has been one of the most popular American-made sportscars for decades, and with good reason. From its high performance design that delivers amazing on-road results to the innovative thinking that brings new options and developments with almost every new model, the Corvette has set itself up to remain the standard by which all other American sportscars are judged.

 

About Cathy: She and her Doberman Trooper conduct research into all kinds of topics and produce articles like the one you see here. To contact Cathy, write to thecathyfactor@yahoo.com. Get the facts from Cathy, and let the Cathy Factor give you an edge.


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