Chevrolet Corvette: Celebrating 60 Years as an Icon
Elizabeth City, NC – On June 30, 1953, the first of a new kind of Chevrolet – indeed, a new kind of American car – rolled off an assembly line in Flint, Mich.
The car had only two seats. There were no roll-up windows, or exterior door handles, for that matter. Its body wasn’t stamped from steel but, rather, molded from reinforced fiberglass.
While the postwar Baby Boom was in full swing, this was definitely not a family car. This was a very personal vehicle, one that promised an Elizabeth City driver and passenger all of the thrills of the open road.
Skeptics gave the car little chance of lasting beyond an initial run of a few dozen units. However, 60 years later the Chevrolet Corvette survives, and thrives as an American automotive and cultural icon.
“The Chevrolet Corvette has touched the lives of countless individuals in Elizabeth City,” said Trey Colbert, Internet Director of Performance Chevrolet. “We’re excited to join Chevrolet in celebrating 60 years of the Corvette – an American automotive icon.”
Barely five months before Tony Kleiber, a Flint plant body assembler, drove that first Chevrolet Corvette off the line and into automotive history, the icon in the making was little more than a designer’s dream.
Corvette was first created under the code-name XP-122 to provide Americans with a glimpse of a European-style sports car designed for this side of the Atlantic. It was one of several concept cars unveiled in January, 1953 at the GM Motorama show in the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
With a world war not far behind them, people wanting a glimpse of the automotive future lined up around the block to view the new concept vehicles. At the Waldorf Astoria – and at every other Motorama stop across the country – Chevrolet’s sporty little roadster ignited many Americans’ imaginations.
In fact, the Corvette was so popular Chevrolet executives decided to thrust the two-seat roadster into production, albeit on a very limited basis.
Initial plans called for about 150 Corvettes, primarily to help draw potential customers into Chevrolet dealerships scattered across the U.S.’s then-48 states. Overwhelming demand doubled the first-year production to 300 units. The following year, the Corvette moved to a GM assembly facility in St. Louis, Mo., where 3,640 Corvettes were built for the 1954 model year.
Those first Corvettes sparked Americans’ 60 year love affair with the Corvette. Since 1953, more than 1.5 million Corvettes have been built. Those cars have become synonymous with American performance – from cruising down Americana on Route 66 to taking the checkered flag at the world’s most prestigious road race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
During the coming months, Chevrolet will kick some tires, open the hood, and climb behind the wheel to highlight 60 years of Corvette design, performance and technology milestones. We hope you enjoy the ride.
About Performance Chevrolet
If you would like to learn more about the Chevrolet Corvette, please view our website for more information or just stop by our store and we will be happy to field any questions you might have.
Performance Chevrolet is proud to serve the auto dealership needs of cities such as Elizabeth City, Edenton, Hertford, Currituck, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Moyock, South Mills, Camden, Williamston, Ahoskie, Chesapeake, Columbia, Shiloh, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and counties that include Dare, Chowan, Perquimans and Pasquotank in North Carolina and Virginia. We provide exceptional customer service, a warm and friendly environment, auto financing options to fit your budget, and an inventory of great new and used cars, trucks, SUV’s and crossovers. Our ASE Certified Service Technicians at the Performance Chevrolet Service Center service and repair all makes and models both foreign and domestic. Call us at (252) 338-9100 or stop in at 1005 W. Ehringhaus St, Elizabeth City, NC, 27909 and check out our great GM inventory.