(By Justine Vanderschueren and Vincent Guillaume.)
In this article we will deal with the legendary Chevrolet Corvette, the very first all-American sports car.
The first series of Corvettes (C1) was produced from 1953 to 1962. Only 300 cars were made in 1953, all of them meant to be offered to VIPs (presumably for prestige as well as testing purposes). In 1955 the 6-cylinder motor was replaced by a more powerful V8 engine. As for the 1958 model, it is considered to be the flashiest Corvette ever.
The C2 line came out in the 1960s. In 1963, a model of Corvette called “Corvette Sting Ray” was designed, which was for the first time available in a coupé variant. This car did dynamic improvements such as the introduction of a four-wheel independent suspension. According to the Motor Trend, the new Corvette was "far in advance in both ride and handling of anything now being built in the United States".
C3 models were put up for sale from 1968 to 1982: they featured a new design, which had the nose lower to the ground and carried a quite muscular look. In the 1980s, despite the facts that general automobile sale numbers were low, that the price of the Corvette was constantly rising and that the new models had lower performances, the C3 generation sales remained quite good.
The years 1983 to 1996 were the time of the C4 generation. Among others, three famous C4 models were the ZR-1, the Grand Sport and the Collector Edition. The ZR-1 was an ultra-high performance vehicle which resembled another powerful car, the Lotus. In 1996, the Grand Sport and the Collector edition were released; the latter had a specific purpose, namely the commemoration of the C4’s final year.
The C5 line was produced from 1997 to 2004. Two special editions resulted from this fifth generation: the Z06, a kind of retrospective model (with respect to the C2 generation), and the C5-R, a racer. In 2003, the Corvette’s 50th anniversary was celebrated: this event led to the restoration of many Corvettes and to a gathering of 10,000 Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum (Kentucky).
As far as the C6 models are concerned, there are currently three of them: the Chevrolet Corvette C6 Coupé, the Chevrolet Corvette C6 Convertible and the Z06.
The Chevrolet Corvette is also one of the “Bond cars” featured in a 007 movie, namely “A View to a Kill” (1985), the last Bond movie starring Roger Moore. After discovering the evil plans of the villain, Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), James Bond escapes with the KGB agent Pola Ivanova, who drives a Corvette.