Chevrolet Corvette History and Info - C1 Generation (1953 - 1962)

The first generation of Corvette made was the generation C1 Corvette. This is classified as a sports car, it was built by Chevrolet directly affiliated with General Motors AKA GM. The generation C1 Corvette was made from 1953 to 1962.


First generation: 1953 – 1962
Manufacturer: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette (C1)

The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. The Corvette was originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated so much interest it prompted GM to make a production version available to consumer. The first production car was on June 30, 1953. This generation was often referred to as the "solid-axle" models with the fully independent suspension not arriving until 1963. The production for 1953 was 300 hand-built polo white Corvette convertibles.

The 1954 model year vehicles could be ordered in Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red, Black, or Polo White. 3,640 were built and sold slowly. The 1955 model offered a 265 cubic inch V8 engine as an option. With a large inventory of unsold 1954 models, GM limited production to 700 for 1955. With the V8, 0-60 mph time improved to 8.5 seconds.


Chevrolet Corvette 1956 - 1957
A new body style was introduced for the 1956 model featuring a new front end and side coves; however, the tail lamp fins were also gone in 1956. An optional Rochester fuel injection system was made available in the middle of the 1957 model year producing 283 horse power out of 283 cubic inches. That was the fist time a production engine produced one horse power per cubic inch. Other options included power windows, hydraulically operated power convertible top, heavy duty brakes and suspension available for 1957, and a four speed manual transmission was available in late 1957. Also the Delco Radio transistorized signal-seeking car radio was available as an option


Chevrolet Corvette 1958 - 1962
In 1958 Corvette received a new body and interior change which included a longer front end with four headlamps, in the rear exhaust exited out of the rear bumper with exhaust tips, a new steering wheel, and a dashboard with all gauges mounted directly in front of the driver. One year only styling to the 1958 model were hood louvers and twin trunk spears.  The 1959 – 1960 model years had few changes except a decreased amount of body chrome and more powerful engine options.

In 1961, the rear of the car was completely redesigned with the addition of a "duck tail" with four round lights. A hint of the coming of a complete body change due in 1963. In 1962, the 283 cubic inch engine was enlarged to 327 cubic inches. In standard form it produced 250 brake horse power. The highest available horse power engine was the fuel-injected version produced 360 brake horse power making it the fastest of the C1 generation. 1962 was also the last year for the wrap around windshield, solid rear axle, and convertible-only body style. The trunk lid and exposed headlamps did not reappear until the more recent generations.

Shop for your next C1 Corvette parts here at Corvette Pacifica!