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At the early beginning, the Corvette project was an Opel one, with "quiet" specifications : a simple body shape, a small 6 cylinders engine with a prehistoric 2 gears gearbox. The idea at the origin of the project was to create a real american sport car to compete with Jaguar or Porsche.

he Corvette C1 was launched during the 1953 edition of the Motorama show, in New York. Sadly, only 300 cars were sold during the first year due to a very expensive price (3500 $) compare to the performance. Only one combo : white with red interior.
1954. The engine was upgraded from 150 hp to... 155 hp!
New colors were available : red, blue and black.
1955. New small block V8 engine 4,3L
1956 - 1957 : the metamorphosis
The Ford Thunderbird launched in 1954 was a success : 16000 models sold in one year, compared to the 700 Corvette C1 sold in 1955.
A restyling was carried out in order to give a sexier shape to the Corvette. The engine was a 3,9L V8 that developped almost 280 hp.
1958. new cosmetic evolutions
double front lights, lateral air intakes, chromed lines and fake air intakes on the engine bonnet, the V8 develops 290 bhp.

1959 - 1960. Chevrolet's designers decided to simplify the C1 style. The dummies air intakes on the bonnet were suppressed as well as the chromed lines on the boot.

1961. New evolutions with always a simplification of the body shape. The radiator was just a grid, unchromed front lights and a complete new back part, with 4 circle lights.
1962. The last cosmetic change with a new deletion of first C1 traits. The lateral air intake was lightened, the chromed lateral lines and the two tones optional paint were suppressed. The engine was now a 5,3 L V8, that developped 360 hp.
In 1963, the new generation of Corvette was presented with a complete new shape and a name that will become a legend : Sting Ray.

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