Birth of an Icon: First-ever Corvette Changed History 65 Years Ago Today

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This 1953 Chevrolet Corvette is the 91st one ever made.

History Channel reminds us that June 28, 1953 is a very important day for all Corvette enthusiasts.

Corvette is a brand built upon an impressive history. Few other marques can claim such a long and deep heritage. It seems that The History Channel knows this too: For their daily “This Day in History” web segment, they devoted June 28 to the Corvette.

History does an excellent job of telling the story of June 28, 1953, and we highly encourage you to read the tale. For Corvette enthusiasts of every generation, and of all ages, this is an important story to know.

That said, here is a primer on Corvette heritage, circa 1953. The original fiberglass wonder was named after a legendary World War II naval vessel. GM debuted the Corvette at the 1953 New York Autorama show to much fanfare. It should be said that the Autorama itself is as much a piece of GM history as the Corvette, but that’s a tale for another time.

After receiving strong feedback, the car was quickly put into production. However, Corvette assembly didn’t begin in Bowling Green. Instead, the first Corvette was built in Flint, Michigan. Famously, the 1953 Corvette was basically built with one spec. A Polo White exterior, and red interior, wrapped around the oft-maligned Blue Flame straight-six. Based on European sports cars, the straight-six was the sole engine choice until part way through the C1 life-cycle. Eventually, the Blue Flame six was dropped in favor of the increasingly popular V8. From there, the rest is history.

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Jake Stumph is the Content Editor who runs Corvette Forum, and several other Internet Brands Automotive websites. He enjoys track days, drifting, and autocross, at least, when his cars are running right.

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