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The First Corvette

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1953 Corvette

The first Corvette was a true boulevard cruiser, without much power and with no color selection - it seemed a nice car for movie starlets.

Photo courtesy of RM Auctions

Year(s) Made:

The first Corvette was made on June 30, 1953, as a 1953 model year car. Corvettes of 1954 and 1955 were substantially similar.

Engine and Transmission:

The 1953 Corvette came with a 150 horsepower "Blue Flame" inline six-cylinder engine fed by three single-throat Carter carburetors. The only available transmission in 1953 was the two-speed Powerglide unit.

Model Notes:

The 1953 Corvette was Chevrolet's first foray into modern sports cars, and it was not well-received. Just 300 Corvettes were made in that first model year, of which about 225 remain in existence today.

All 1953 Corvettes were painted Polo White, with a black convertible top and red interior. The only options available in this year were a signal-seeking AM radio and a heater. Both options were included on every 1953 Corvette.

The prototype EX-122 Corvette was unveiled at the GM Motorama show in New York on January 17, 1953. Production began in the old truck factory in Flint, Michigan 6 months later.

The Corvette was not changed for the 1954 model year, though the car could be ordered in blue, red, or black in addition to Polo White. In 1955 a V8 option and a 3-speed manual transmission were available in the same body.

An excellent condition 1953 Corvette sells today for $125,000 to $275,000.

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