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The first Corvette was initially premiered at the ’53 Motorama event to great public fanfare. It seemed everyone who saw the car loved it. GM rushed the car into production on the basis of massive sales predictions, only to have the bubble burst completely when the vehicle’s lacklustre performance became known.

In fact the Corvette almost died at this point. GM executives were ready to pull the plug within two years. With the launch of the rival Ford Thunderbird though, corporate rivalry wouldn’t allow them to ‘back down’. In ’55 the car recieved the new V8 small block and a host of engineering changes led by Zora Arkus Duntov, a talented race car driver and engineer, to make the car perform and handle the way it was meant to.

Even then it wasn’t until the addition of fuel injection, redesigned body work plus success on the race track that Corvette sales finally took off.

C1 Corvette in dark red
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