Chev Corvette Reviews and Road Tests

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Chev Corvette

The first Corvette was designed by Harley Earl and introduced for the 1953 model year. America's first sports car was named by Myron Scott after the Corvette ship of the same name, and has been produced in six generations in convertible, t-top coupé, targa coupe, and hardtop coupe body styles.

The Corvette C2 was designed by Larry Shinoda under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell, and produced between 1963 and 1967. It was the second generation or mid-year Chevrolet Corvette built and marketed by Chevrolet. 1963 would see the introduction of the new Corvette Sting Ray coupé with its distinctive split rear window and fake hood vents as well as an independent rear suspension. The split rear window was discontinued in 1964 due to safety concerns. Because they made the design too busy, the hood vents were also cut. Power for 1963 was at 365 hp (272 kW) hitting 375 hp (280 kW) in 1964.

Four-wheel disc brakes were introduced in 1965, as was a "big-block" engine option (the 396 in³ (6.5 L) V-8). Side exhaust pipes appeared on the 1965 Stingray and persisted through 1969. Chevrolet would up the ante in 1966 with the introduction of an even larger 427 in³ (7 Litre) version, creating what would be one of the most collectible Corvettes ever.

1967 saw a L88 version of the 427 introduced which was rated at 430 hp (321 kW), but unofficial estimates place the actual output at 550 hp (410 kW) or more. Only twenty such engines were placed in the 1967 Corvette, and the cars can fetch US$600,000 or more in auction today. From 1967-1969, the 1282 cfm Holley triple two-barrel carbuetor, or Tri-Power, was available on the 427. The 1967 Corvette originally was going to be the first of the C3 generation; however, due to delays the C3 had to be put off until 1968. Other early options available on the C2 included AM-FM radio (mid 1963), air-conditioning (1963), telescopic wheel (1965), head rests, presumably to prevent whiplash (1966).

The 1965 introduction of the 425HP 396 c.i. big block was ultimately the harbinger of doom for the Rochester fuel injection system. The 396 425HP option cost $145. The 327-370HP Fuelie option cost $500. Few people could justify spending $355 more, for 55 hp less. When less than a thousand fuelie cars were built in 1965, Chevy stopped the program. It was indeed short sighted. Chevy was way ahead of its time and had they continued every car that says Lucas or Bosch fuel injection now, may have said Rochester.
1953 Chev Corvette C1  

Chevrolet Corvette C1 53/54

1953 - 1954
Sports car sales got off to a shakey start in the US after World War 2. Understandably, many had postponed family plans, and so the resultant baby-boom made the family car a top seller, and the sports car remained a mere whimsy for the wealthy. More >>
1955 Chev Corvette C1  

Chevrolet Corvette C1 Update 55/57

1955 - 1957
By the end of 1956 only 3,467 Corvette's had been manufactured, in comparison with over 15,000 Ford Thunderbirds. But the direction of the Thunderbird was about to change, the decision to make it a "personal car", somewhere between a sports car and a family car, would make it easier for the Corvette to wrest the mantle of being America's favourite sports car. More >>
1958 Chev Corvette C1  

Chevrolet Corvette C1 Update 58/61

1958 - 1962
The 1958 Corvette saw another body freshening. This year had the most exterior chrome of the C-1 generation. From its quad headlights and hood louvers to its twin trunk spars and bumper exiting exhaust, it was the flashiest Corvette built. 1959-60 saw little changes except decreasing chrome and increasing HP. More >>
Chev Corvette C2  

Chevrolet Corvette C2

1963 - 1967
The second generation, or mid-year Corvette was designed by Larry Shinoda with major inspiration from a previous un-produced design called the "Q Corvette" by Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlmann, under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell. The design had several inspirations. The first was the contemporary Jaguar E-Type, one of which Bill Mitchell owned and enjoyed driving frequently. Mitchell also sponsored a car known as the "Mitchell Sting Ray" in 1959, because Chevrolet no longer participated in factory racing. More >>
Chev Stingray

Chevrolet Corvette C3

1968 - 1982
The third generation Corvette was patterned after the "Mako Shark II" concept car. The C3 was introduced for the 1968 model year and lasted through 1982, and at 15 years was the longest running Corvette generation. It came out on top of the performance era of the 60's, sold in record numbers through the EPA rules and gas crunch of the 70's, and stood its ground against its competition into the early 80's. More>>
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