Sixty years of Corvette

With some help from the GM photo archives, MCG takes a look back at six decades of Corvette history—and what the future might hold for America’s sports car.

 

Is the new Corvette a hit? Seems far too early to say. Until the driving impressions are in, the public dialog will focus on the styling, where there’s a surprising range of opinion. People seem to like the C7′s angular, chiseled nose well enough, but the new tail is more controversial. It’s a departure in many ways, starting with the taillamps: They’re not round. The word Camaro has come up more than once.

Sure. The Corvette is now six decades old and, fairly or unfairly, it hauls along with it a weighty set of expectations—baggage, you could call it. Corvette owners are now six decades old as well, reportedly. Various surveys seem to place them at 58 to 62 years old.

Corvette designers have a daunting task. With each new generation, the Corvette must be both brand new and same as it ever was. Where does the latest version of the Corvette fit in the historical continuum? In pondering these questions, maybe there’s food for thought in the gallery below.

 

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

1959 Chevrolet Stingray Racer

1959 Chevrolet Stingray Racer

1957 Corvettes oversteer

1957 Corvettes oversteer

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

1958 Chevrolet Corvette

1958 Chevrolet Corvette

2014 Corvette Stingray

2014 Corvette Stingray

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe spilt window

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe spilt window

2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Corvette C6-R Race Car

2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Corvette C6-R Race Car

2014 Corvette Stingray

2014 Corvette Stingray

1956 Corvette SR2

1956 Corvette SR2

2005 Chevrolet Corvette

2005 Chevrolet Corvette

2005 Indianapolis 500

2005 Indianapolis 500

1961 Chevrolet Corvette

1961 Chevrolet Corvette

1973 Chevrolet Corvette

1973 Chevrolet Corvette

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

2014 Corvette Stingray seven generations

2014 Corvette Stingray seven generations

Alan B. Shepard - William L. Mitchell - Edward N. Cole - 1962 Corvette

Alan B. Shepard - William L. Mitchell - Edward N. Cole - 1962 Corvette

1990 Corvette ZR1

1990 Corvette ZR1

1961 Chevrolet Mako Shark Corvette

1961 Chevrolet Mako Shark Corvette

1997 Chevrolet Corvette

1997 Chevrolet Corvette

1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition

1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition

1959 Corvette Stingray with Bill Mitchell

1959 Corvette Stingray with Bill Mitchell

1968 Corvette

1968 Corvette

1956 Corvette Daytona pace car Betty Skelton

1956 Corvette Daytona pace car Betty Skelton

1955 Corvettes

1955 Corvettes

2014 Corvette Stingray with 1963 Stingray

2014 Corvette Stingray with 1963 Stingray

1979 Chevrolet Corvette

1979 Chevrolet Corvette

1984 Chevrolet Corvette white

1984 Chevrolet Corvette white

1960 Chev Corvette Convertible

1960 Chev Corvette Convertible

1977 Corvette

1977 Corvette

1965 Corvette Zora Arkus Dontov

1965 Corvette Zora Arkus Dontov

2010 Corvette Grand Sport

2010 Corvette Grand Sport

1957 Corvette SS

1957 Corvette SS

2008 Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car

2008 Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Sketch

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Sketch

1969 Corvette Manta Ray

1969 Corvette Manta Ray

1955 Corvette top up

1955 Corvette top up

1960 Corvettes at Le Mans

1960 Corvettes at Le Mans

1953 Corvette GM Technical Center

1953 Corvette GM Technical Center

Grand Sport Corvette

Grand Sport Corvette

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6 thoughts on “Sixty years of Corvette

  1. A thread in another forum has got me thinking about what the Corvette would be like if Chevy had taken the Porsche approach and essentially frozen the shape early one.

    I’m probably in the minority in that I wouldn’t want the 1963-67 design being made immortal. I think the 1968–82 is more amenable to refreshes that mirror current trends while evoking the original. The 1957-62 and 1997–04 were pretty sharp too.
    Never liked the C5 and the C6 is overwrought. I trust that they’ll dial it back a bit sometime around 2018.

  2. There seems to be a general concensus that that is the right shape for a car, and that is the right shape for a woman.

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