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.

 

1979 Chevrolet Corvette
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe
1990 Corvette ZR1
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe spilt window
Alan B. Shepard - William L. Mitchell - Edward N. Cole - 1962 Corvette
1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition
2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Corvette C6-R Race Car
1959 Corvette Stingray with Bill Mitchell
1961 Chevrolet Corvette
2005 Chevrolet Corvette
1955 Corvette top up
2014 Corvette Stingray
1969 Corvette Manta Ray
1958 Chevrolet Corvette
1997 Chevrolet Corvette
1953 Corvette GM Technical Center
2009 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
2014 Corvette Stingray
1973 Chevrolet Corvette
1977 Corvette
2005 Indianapolis 500
1956 Corvette SR2
2008 Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car
1984 Chevrolet Corvette white
1960 Corvettes at Le Mans
1960 Chev Corvette Convertible
1955 Corvettes
1956 Corvette Daytona pace car Betty Skelton
1957 Corvette SS
2014 Corvette Stingray with 1963 Stingray
1959 Chevrolet Stingray Racer
2010 Corvette Grand Sport
1968 Corvette
Grand Sport Corvette
1961 Chevrolet Mako Shark Corvette
1965 Corvette Zora Arkus Dontov
1957 Corvettes oversteer
1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
2014 Corvette Stingray seven generations
1953 Chevrolet Corvette Sketch

1979 Chevrolet Corvette

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

1990 Corvette ZR1

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe spilt window

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

1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition

2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Corvette C6-R Race Car

1959 Corvette Stingray with Bill Mitchell

1961 Chevrolet Corvette

2005 Chevrolet Corvette

1955 Corvette top up

2014 Corvette Stingray

1969 Corvette Manta Ray

1958 Chevrolet Corvette

1997 Chevrolet Corvette

1953 Corvette GM Technical Center

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

2014 Corvette Stingray

1973 Chevrolet Corvette

1977 Corvette

2005 Indianapolis 500

1956 Corvette SR2

2008 Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car

1984 Chevrolet Corvette white

1960 Corvettes at Le Mans

1960 Chev Corvette Convertible

1955 Corvettes

1956 Corvette Daytona pace car Betty Skelton

1957 Corvette SS

2014 Corvette Stingray with 1963 Stingray

1959 Chevrolet Stingray Racer

2010 Corvette Grand Sport

1968 Corvette

Grand Sport Corvette

1961 Chevrolet Mako Shark Corvette

1965 Corvette Zora Arkus Dontov

1957 Corvettes oversteer

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

2014 Corvette Stingray seven generations

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Sketch

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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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