Vin Car Pic: 1953 Corvette

The first 300 Corvettes were largely hand-assembled. (GM archives)

The first Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Mich., on June 30, 1953, according to a report in Only 300 Corvettes were made for the 1953 model year — all Polo White with red interiors.

The first generation of the Corvette was produced through 1962 and is commonly referred to as the “solid-axle” generation, according to Wikipedia.

All 300 1953 C1 Corvettes were Polo White with red interiors. (GM archives)

“The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car’s early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course.

The C1 assembly line. (GM archives)

“To keep costs down, GM executive Robert F. McLean mandated off-the-shelf mechanical components, and used the chassis and suspension design from the 1949–1954 Chevrolet passenger vehicles.

“The drivetrain and passenger compartment were moved rearward to achieve a 53/47 front-to-rear weight distribution. It had a 102-inch wheelbase. The engine was a 235 cubic-inch (3.85-liter) inline six-cylinder, similar to the 235 engine that powered all other Chevrolet car models, but with a higher-compression ratio, three Carter side-draft carburetors, mechanical lifters and a higher-lift camshaft. Output was 150 horsepower.

The C1 Corvette assembly line. (GM archives)

“Because there was currently no manual transmission available to Chevrolet that was rated to handle 150 horsepower, a two-speed Powerglide automatic was used. 0-60 mph acceleration was 11.5 seconds.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Mororama Show Car. (GM archives)

Today, the 2020 Corvette Stingray is back in normal production at the Bowling Green, Ky., assembly facility following the shutdown due to the pandemic.

According to a Chevrolet spokesman, production of the 2020 model has been extended through fall to meet demand. The MSRP for the 2021 will remain the same, he said.

An advertising image for the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette. (GM archives)

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