Sixty years ago tomorrow, spectators lined New York City’s posh Park Avenue, waiting to get a glimpse of the ground-breaking Chevrolet Corvette on display at the General Motors’ Motorama show. On Thursday, the Corvette will be back in The Big Apple, marking the historic milestone with the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The all-new Corvette Stingray debuted earlier this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“The all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most advanced and engaging Corvette in the long, prestigious legacy of this uniquely American success story,” said Chris Perry vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “It is a car woven into the fabric of American culture and it got its start right here in the Big Apple.”
The introduction of the original Corvette took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Jan. 17, 1953. That year, more than 1.4 million people saw the curvaceous design and futuristic approach of the Corvette at displays around the United States.
The enthusiastic response prompted Chevrolet to accelerate production plans and by late June that year, Corvettes were rolling out of a specialized assembly facility in Flint, Mich. Only 300 were built in 1953 – all of them white with a red interior. They represented an auspicious launch for a car that would become synonymous with performance, technology, design and aspiration.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray remains true to its roots as a two-seat sports car that delivers an engaging driving experience through advanced engineering and lightweight materials. Its technologies are supported by a racing-influenced design and features engineered to work cohesively and deliver the most connected driving experience in the nameplate’s history. It is also the most powerful standard model ever and the most efficient, with 450 horsepower (335 kW) that enables 0-60 times of less than four seconds and projected highway fuel economy greater than 26 mpg.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013.
Corvette Fast Facts:
- The Corvette was originally championed by GM’s legendary styling director Harley Earl, who insisted there was room for an American entry in the European-dominated sports car market. It was also his idea for Corvette to have a fiberglass body.
- Corvette was named for a small and fast class of naval ships.
- The 1953 Corvette had a base price of $3,498 and offered only two options – a heater for $91 and an AM radio for $145.
- Every Corvette model has used innovative materials, from fiberglass in 1953 to advanced carbon-nano technology and carbon fiber on the 2014 Corvette Stingray.
- A V-8 engine was first available in 1955. That year, it was selected by 90 percent of customers. After that, all Corvettes featured strictly V-8 power.
- The Stingray name was first used for a prototype race car, the design of which influenced the second-generation Corvette that debuted in 1963. The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split-window coupe has since been called one of the most beautiful and influential designs in automotive history.
- Corvette’s legacy of mainstreaming technology previously reserved for high-end luxury cars includes the introduction of fuel injection in 1957, independent rear suspension in 1963, four-wheel disc brakes in 1965, antilock brakes in 1986 and a tire-pressure monitoring system in 1989.
- Corvette is the longest-running, continually produced sports car in the world.
- Nearly 2 million Chevrolet Corvettes have been sold since it went on sale in 1953 and in 2012, it accounted for approximately one-third of all sports car sales in America.