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Chevrolet Corvette C1

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Chevrolet Corvette

Corvette C1
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Chevrolet Corvette (C1)

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C1 refers to the first generation of Chevrolet Corvette, produced in model years 1953-1962.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Chevrolet Corvette page on 29 March 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. Originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to induce GM to make a production version to sell to the public. First production was on June 30, 1953.

This generation was often referred to as the "solid-axle" models (the independent rear suspension was not introduced until the second generation). 300 hand-built polo white Corvette convertibles were produced for the 1953 model year.

The 1954 model year vehicles could be ordered in Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red, Black, or Polo White. 3,640 were built, and sold slowly.

The 1955 model offered a 265 cu in (4.34 L) V8 engine as an option. With a large inventory of unsold 1954 models, GM limited production to 700 for 1955. With the V8, 0-60 mph time improved to 8.5 seconds.

A new body was introduced for the 1956 model featuring a new "face" and side coves; the taillamp fins were also gone. An optional fuel injection system was made available in the middle of the 1957 model year. It was one of the first mass-produced engines in history to reach 1 bhp (0.75 kW) per cubic inch (16.4 cubic cm) and Chevrolet's advertising agency used a "one hp per cubic inch" slogan for advertising the 283 bhp (211 kW) 283 cu in (4.64 L) Small-Block engine. Other options included power windows (1956), hydraulically operated power convertible top (1956), heavy duty brakes and suspension (1957), and four speed manual transmission (late 1957). Delco Radio transistorized signal-seeking "hybrid" car radio, which used both vacuum tubes and transistors in its radio's circuitry (1956 option).

The 1958 Corvette received a body and interior freshening which included a longer front end with quad headlamps, bumper exiting exhaust tips, a new steering wheel, and a dashboard with all gauges mounted directly in front of the driver. Exclusive to the 1958 model were hood louvers and twin trunk spears. The 1959–60 model years had few changes except a decreased amount of body chrome and more powerful engine offerings.

In 1961, the rear of the car was completely redesigned with the addition of a "duck tail" with four round lights. The light treatment would continue for all following model year Corvettes until 2014. In 1962, the Chevrolet 283 cu in (4.64 L) Small-Block was enlarged to 327 cu in (5.36 L). In standard form it produced 250 bhp (190 kW). For an extra 12% over list price, the fuel-injected version produced 360 bhp (270 kW), making it the fastest of the C1 generation. 1962 was also the last year for the wrap around windshield, solid rear axle, and convertible-only body style. The trunk lid and exposed headlamps did not reappear for many decades.


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
1993 BookCatalog of Corvette ID Numbers 1953-93by Cars & Parts Magazine; Motorbooks


Video

2012 Mecum Fall Premier Auction: 1957 Chevrolet Corvette (Fuel Injected 283ci, Bloomington Gold)
October 26, 2012
Duration: 2:05
Video ©2012 Bill Crittenden
for $100,000 at the Mecum 2012 Fall Premier Auction
Download 2012 Mecum Fall Premier Auction: 1957 Chevrolet Corvette at The Internet Archive


Images

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1953 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Heidi Walczak
Event:  2003 Chicago Auto Show
View photo of 1953 Chevrolet Corvette - 787KB
50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) Subject:  50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT)
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Auction Info:  Sold for $60,000.
View photo of 50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) - 3.7MB
50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) Subject:  50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT)
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Auction Info:  Sold for $60,000.
View photo of 50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) - 3.7MB
50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) Subject:  50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT)
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Auction Info:  Sold for $60,000.
View photo of 50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) - 3.7MB
50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) Subject:  50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT)
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Auction Info:  Sold for $60,000.
View photo of 50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) - 3.6MB
50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) Subject:  50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT)
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Auction Info:  Sold for $60,000.
View photo of 50th Anniversary 1953/2003 Chevrolet Corvette by Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) - 3.6MB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Source:  www.cepolina.com
View photo - 85KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Grzegorz Polak
License:  GNU Free Documentation License
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 77KB
1956 Gas Pump - Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette Themed 1956 Gas Pump
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Mecum 2012 Fall Premier Auction
Auction Info:  Sold for $2,500.
View photo of 1956 Gas Pump - Chevrolet Corvette - 1.7MB
1957 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1957 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Stephen Foskett
License:  GNU Free Documentation License
View photo of 1957 Chevrolet Corvette - 236KB
1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 Subject:  1957 Chevrolet Corvette Serial Number #832
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2009 Meadowdale, Motorsports & Memories
View photo of 1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 - 3,587KB
1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 Subject:  1957 Chevrolet Corvette Serial Number #832
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2009 Meadowdale, Motorsports & Memories
View photo of 1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 - 3,076KB
1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 Subject:  1957 Chevrolet Corvette Serial Number #832
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2009 Meadowdale, Motorsports & Memories
View photo of 1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 - 3,286KB
1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 Subject:  1957 Chevrolet Corvette Serial Number #832
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2009 Meadowdale, Motorsports & Memories
View photo of 1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 - 2,873KB
1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 Subject:  1957 Chevrolet Corvette Serial Number #832
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2009 Meadowdale, Motorsports & Memories
View photo of 1957 Chevrolet Corvette #832 - 3,038KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  "KMJ"
License:  GNU Free Documentation License
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 92KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Barrington, Illinois Cruise Night: 19 July 2007 View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 2,811KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Barrington, Illinois Cruise Night: 19 July 2007 View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 2,960KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Source:  www.cepolina.com
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 60KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Source:  www.cepolina.com
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 59KB
Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette
Source:  www.cepolina.com
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette - 79KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2008 Sunburst Corvette Club Show
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette - 2,417KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2008 Sunburst Corvette Club Show
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette - 3,119KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2008 Sunburst Corvette Club Show
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette - 3,399KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Engine Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2008 Sunburst Corvette Club Show
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Engine - 3,194KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  "Chris 73" (Wikimedia Commons)
Event:  2005 Kitzbühel Alpenrallye
License:  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette - 323KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Stephen Foskett
License:  GNU Free Documentation License
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette - 490KB
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  "Softeis"
Location:  Sylvensteinspeicher, Germany
Date:  May 2004
License:  GNU Free Documentation License
View photo of 1958 Chevrolet Corvette - 176KB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Miller's Dog N Suds Cruise Night: 2 June 2012 (Ingleside, Illinois)
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 2.6MB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Miller's Dog N Suds Cruise Night: 2 June 2012 (Ingleside, Illinois)
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 1.9MB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Miller's Dog N Suds Cruise Night: 2 June 2012 (Ingleside, Illinois)
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 2.4MB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Miller's Dog N Suds Cruise Night: 2 June 2012 (Ingleside, Illinois)
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 2.3MB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Miller's Dog N Suds Cruise Night: 2 June 2012 (Ingleside, Illinois)
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 2.2MB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  Miller's Dog N Suds Cruise Night: 2 June 2012 (Ingleside, Illinois)
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 2.6MB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Rich Daswick
Event:  2006 Free State Corvette Club Weekend
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 60KB
1960 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1960 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Rich Daswick
Event:  2006 Free State Corvette Club Weekend
View photo of 1960 Chevrolet Corvette - 272KB
1962 Chevrolet Corvette Subject:  1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Photographer:  Stephen Foskett
License:  GNU Free Documentation License
View photo of 1962 Chevrolet Corvette - 395KB
Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car - 2.5MB
Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car - 2.2MB
Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car - 2.0MB
Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car - 2.3MB
Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette C1 Drag Car - 1.9MB
Chevrolet Corvette C1 Subject:  Chevrolet Corvette C1
Photographer:  Matthew T. Rader
Location:  Texas
License:  Unsplash
View photo of Chevrolet Corvette C1 - 2.1MB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
16 February 2006Retro Rides, Part 4:  Chevrolet CorvetteBill Crittenden
12 March 2009Dream Cars: Chevrolet C1Bill Crittenden
18 March 20111953 Chevrolet Corvette: King of All CorvettesWilliam Jason


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