Corvette History Through Ads: Can You Spot What’s Missing in ’56?
by Rick Tavel
special to Corvette Forum
? 3-17-2013 All Rights Reserved Do Not Duplicate Without Permission
Our second in a weekly series of looking at the history of the Corvette through advertising is interesting because of what’s not in the ad?the Corvette!
This ad, run to introduce the entire Chevrolet line up in 1956 has no Corvette included. The reason, which at the time was never admitted, was because when the ad was developed in 1955 everyone thought the Corvette had been cancelled and 1955 would be the last year of production. Following a very successful unveiling of the new C1 in 1953, Chevrolet over-produced Corvettes in 1954 and many of the cars went unsold and carried over to 1955.
After a disastrous sales year for the Corvette in 1954 the car’s future appeared bleak and only 700 cars were produced in 1955. This was due to what appeared to be the impending end of the car. So when Campbell-Ewald put together the 1956 Chevrolet model introduction ad there was no Corvette included with the other 19 Chevrolet models. But 1955 was also the year Ford introduced the new Thunderbird. And when Chevrolet realized they would have no car to compete if the Corvette was cancelled, they hurried up with a Corvette restyle and revived the program.
So ironically, as Corvette enthusiasts we can thank the Ford Thunderbird that we still have our beloved car.