At the American Motorama show in 1953, visitors were interested in an unusual vehicle, which later became the first American sports car. Its name was Chevrolet Corvette.
The idea for this model was born in the early 1950s. The United States at that time had long been the leader of the global auto industry, but, oddly enough, did not produce sports models. All they could offer were heavy coupes and convertibles on the platform of full-size sedans. Fans of active driving had to order expensive Ferrari, Jaguar, and Porsche from Europe. So GM confirmed the plan to build a true racing model the USA automobile industry hadn’t seen before. The first Corvette was so unique, so distinct from other Chevrolet models, that it could be considered a separate brand. Especially for the model, the logo was even created – a crossed Chevrolet banner and a checkered racing flag, which was used in auto racing for the final go-ahead. This emblem is more than half a century old. It adorned the “noses” of both the very first machine and the fifth-generation models.
So the chief designer of General Motors Empire Harley Earl proposed to create a small sports car. Soon, Earl’s idea got a supporter in the face of Chevrolet chief engineer Ed Cole. Together they obtained permission to develop the sports model which was destined to become a legend. The first works on a two-seater convertible, codenamed “Project Opel”, began in 1951. Soon the machine acquired the name – Corvette, in honor of a small high-speed, and maneuverable ship. The whole concept of this “sportsman” was concentrated in this name. In early 1953, the model was presented at New York’s Motorama auto show. The novelty shook the show, because before that nothing alike was presented at American auto shows. The elegant convertible looked like European sports models and had nothing in common with other Chevrolets. The elegant body was the first in the world to be made of fiberglass, and the machine was based on a lightweight steel frame. Inline 3.8-liter “six” with a capacity of 150l and a 2-speed “automatic” allowed to develop 170 km/h. By the way, initially, the flag was supposed to be American, but US law prohibited the use of state symbols in advertising. Six months later, the mass production of the machine began. But since the first machines were assembled entirely by hand, only 300 of them were produced by the end of the year. Interestingly, the first vehicles had neither soft tops nor side windows.
Source: Wallpaper Flare
The 1973 model belongs to the third generation of the Corvette, based on the 1965 Mako Shark II concept. The design of the Stingray by David Halls and Raymond Loewy was inspired by a Coca-Cola bottle. At one time there was a whole trend in an automotive design called Coke Bottle Styling. The contours of the cars resembled the legendary glass bottles from a popular drink: the curvature of the waistline of the sidewall was raised on the wings and lowered in the middle part of the body. The base engine for this generation was the 5.7-liter Small Block V8 engine. and power of 300l.s. For an additional fee, Stingray could be equipped with a more powerful engine – Big Block with a volume of 7 liters and a capacity of 390 “horses”. Since 1973, standard factory equipment had included an anti-theft system. In the same year, a modification with removable roof panels appeared – Targa. Following government regulation, the 1973 model’s chrome front bumper was changed to a 5 mph (8 km/h) urethane-coated system. In general, the 1973 Corvettes are unique in this sense, as this is the only year in which the front bumper was polyurethane, and the rear bumper was preserved in two parts. 1973 was also the last year for chrome bumpers. Optional spoked wheel covers were last offered in 1973. Only 45 Z07s were built in 1973.
Car and Driver readers selected the Corvette for “Best All-Round Car”. In Car and Driver’s Choice readers’ polls, the model years 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975 were named the best editions of this legendary sports model. Also, Hot Rod Magazine in the March 1986 issue named the 1973 Corvette one of the “Top 10 Collectible Muscle Cars”.
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