On January 17, 1953, General Motors made automotive history when it unveiled the first ever Corvette at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The unveiling was part of the Motorama auto show, which was GM’s very own display of new cars and concept vehicles that traditionally coincided with the New York International Auto Show.
The car stunned those in attendance as it was unlike any other vehicle many in the crowd had ever seen – a true sports convertible offering speed and good looks in a package that could move and a price that wasn’t out of reach. At the time, all the best performance convertibles were made by foreign marquees and were much too expensive for the regular American consumer.
That first model year, GM produced 300 polo white convertibles for sale to the general public that wore the Corvette badge. Seventy years later, more than 2 million Corvettes have rolled off the assembly line, accounting for roughly a third of all sports car sales, according to GM.
To commemorate the anniversary of the Corvette’s original debut, Chevrolet has brought the all new 2014 Stingray, which debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week, to New York to go on display before the public for an entire week.
A lot has changed since the 1953 Corvette was unveiled. For starters, the first-generation model is often referred to as the “solid-axle” generation, as independent rear suspension didn’t appear until the 1963 Stingray.
Much remains the same, however, as the Corvette is still one of the few great American sports cars in production. Although the Dodge Viper is set to return this year, the Corvette remains arguably the supercar with the most value for the dollar, and if initial reactions are any indication, the 2014 seventh-generation Stingray will continue that legacy.
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