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Corvette History From 1953 to 2011

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On this page you'll find links to pages that chronicle the Corvette's 57+ year history as America's Sports Car. Each era and each model year is covered in some detail.

In addition, we've got profiles of historically important Corvettes. They've been making Corvettes for 57 years now, and through that period, there have been well over a million great Corvettes that were the standard everyday run of the factory. But the Corvette enthusiasts among the designers, engineers, and executives at Chevy have always pushed to make special Corvettes. This list of profiles is a partial (but growing) inventory of those special cars.

Some of these Corvettes are limited editions, some of them are unique or nearly unique, some are the first year or last year of a given feature, some are just the biggest, baddest, fastest Corvettes in history. They're all special.

  1. Technical Specifications for 2012 Corvette, Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1
  2. Corvette History - General Items
  3. Corvette History by Generation and Model Year
  4. Profiles of First Generation Corvettes - 1953-1962
  5. Profiles of Second Generation Corvettes - 1963-1967
  1. Profiles of Third Generation Corvettes - 1968-1982
  2. Profiles of Fourth Generation Corvettes - 1984-1996
  3. Profiles of Fifth Generation Corvettes - 1997-2004
  4. Profiles of Sixth Generation Corvettes - 2005-2012

Technical Specifications for 2012 Corvette, Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1

2012 Corvette Centennial Edition

Technical specifications, option and feature lists for the entire Corvette line for the 2012 model year.

Corvette History - General Items

1963 Corvette Z06 Front View

These items don't fit neatly into any category - they include biographies, trivia, and other notes for your education and amusement.

Corvette History by Generation and Model Year

1964 Corvette Coupe

These pages provide detailed information about each of the 6 major generations of Corvette and production and engine data for each model year.

Profiles of First Generation Corvettes - 1953-1962

1959 Corvette Roadster with Hardtop

The C1 Corvettes of 1953 - 1962 had several significant models that defined the brand. These are the Corvettes that set the standard for the decades to come. Also known as "Solid Axle" Corvettes because they are the only Corvettes to use a traditional one-piece rear axle housing, rather than independent rear suspension.

Profiles of Second Generation Corvettes - 1963-1967

1963 Split-Window Coupe

The age of muscle defined the Corvettes of the 1960s, as the cars received independent rear suspension, new bodywork including a coupe form, and bigger, more powerful engines than ever before.

Profiles of Third Generation Corvettes - 1968-1982

1972 Corvette Stingary

Corvettes of the late 1960s and the 1970s have received mixed reviews, as horsepower ratings dropped and styling grew questionable. But the last Stingrays and the glassbacks have been moving into a better light after decades of being ignored by collectors and enthusiasts.

Profiles of Fourth Generation Corvettes - 1984-1996

1984 Corvette

The Corvette underwent major changes in 1983. Production was suspended that year while an all-new Corvette was developed and production moved from St. Louis, Missouri to Bowling Green, Kentucky. The new 1984 Corvette was sleeker and more modern than its predecessor, and sales were among the highest ever. The Corvette convertible returned in 1986 after an 11-year absence, and the first of the modern ZR1 Corvettes staked its claim to high-horsepower supercar status in 1990.

Profiles of Fifth Generation Corvettes - 1997-2004

2005 Corvette Convertible

The C5 Corvette was a major step in taking the Corvette into modern supercar territory. As the first Corvette with a rear-mounted transaxle, weight balance was improved along with a whole new suspension design. This was also the beginning of Corvettes with a hydroformed aluminum chassis. In this generation, Chevy returned the Corvette to a base model/performance model setup with some real teeth to the Z06 performance editions starting in 2001.

Profiles of Sixth Generation Corvettes - 2005-2012

Corvette Grand Sport

The C6 Corvette is a world-class supercar, with a base engine at 430 horsepower and ranging all the way up to the leading ZR1 at 638 supercharged horsepower. The C6 comes in a variety of body styles including a convertible and coupe, modified bodywork in the Z06, and an ultralight wide-body with ample carbon fiber in the ZR1. The C6 is a breathtaking street car, and has also enjoyed tremendous racing success worldwide.

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