CORVETTE CONVERTIBLES 1953 to 1972
The Chevrolet Corvette, colloquially known as the Vette, is a sports car manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors (GM). In 1951 GM broached the idea of selling an open sports car that would sell for around the price of a mainstream American sedan, which eventually lead to the development of the Corvette.
First Generation C1 (1953 – 1962)
The first generation Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year and this generation is often referred to as the "solid-axle" models. To keep costs down the body was made of fiberglass, engine was an inline-6 (that powered all Chevys ~ 150 BHP) and a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. It was later in 1955 that GM offered a 265 cu in V8 engine as an option
The car was refreshed in 1956 with a new "face", side coves and panel integrated tail lamps. An optional fuel injection system was made available in 1957. It was one of the first mass-produced engines in history to reach 1 BHP per cubic inch and Chevrolet's advertising agency used a "one HP per cubic inch" slogan for advertising the 283 BHP, 283 cubic inch. Other options included power windows (1956), hydraulically operated power convertible top (1956), heavy duty brakes and suspension (1957) and four speed manual transmission (1957).
The 1958 Corvette received a body and interior freshening with quad headlamps, bumper exiting exhaust tips, a new steering wheel, and a dashboard with all gauges mounted directly in front of the driver.
Second Generation C2 (1963–1967)
The second generation Corvette, which introduced Sting Ray to the model, continued with fiberglass body panels and featured hidden headlamps and an independent rear suspension. Four-wheel disc brakes were introduced in 1965 and popular options included "big block" (396 cu in) V8 engine and side exhaust pipes.
Third generation C3 (1968–1982)
Engines and chassis components were mostly carried over from the C2, but the body and interior were new. With a sleek nose and aggressive fenders the car garnered attention. Most of the external chrome was removed and pop up headlights added to the smooth look. C3 coupes featured the first use of T-top removable roof panels.
In 1970, the body design was updated including fender flares. The interior featured redesigned seats and indication lights near the gear shift. Due to government regulation, the 1973 Corvette's chrome front bumper was changed to a urethane bumper cover. 1973 was also the last year chrome bumpers were used.