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The Corvette was named after a small, fast naval vessel, an appropriate name to describe Chevrolet's new "sports car".
In the late 1940's and early 1950's European sports cars such as MGs and Jaguars began to trickle into the US. American servicemen had enjoyed these fast, fun, sports cars and in the exuberant climate of postwar America, there was increasing demand for a sports car built in the United States.
Chevrolet built the first Corvette as a "dream car" to display at the New York City Motorama in January, 1953. The EX-122 General Motors Motorama dream car created such tremendous interest that Chevrolet pushed ahead and put the car into actual production, virtually unchanged from its debut, in June that same year.
To help speed up delivery and to save the cost of metal dies for the production of sheet metal bodies, Corvettes had bodies made of reinforced fiberglass, a first for production cars. The design of the Corvette was the product of a 30-month cooperative development program between Harley Earl's Art & Colour Studio and the Chevrolet Division Engineering Staff.
Only 300 Corvettes were built in 1953, all of them in Polo White. The colors of Blue, Red, and Black were added for the nearly identical 1954 model with the anticipation of selling 10,000 cars. Only 3,640 were built in 1954 and nearly one third of those went unsold by year's end.
Thankfully, things got better and the Corvette became one of the most prestigious and best known Chevrolet models. The Corvette is now in its 6th generation of design. Details about each of these generations can be found at the links below.