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Happy 58th birthday, Chevrolet Corvette

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Fifty-eight years ago, on June 30, 1953, the first production Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the temporary assembly line in Flint, Mich. This was just six months after the Corvette made its world debut at the 1953 GM Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The Flint line would build 300 copies of the '53 Corvette--all of them white, with red interiors and black folding tops. Under the hood was the Blue Flame Six, a 235-cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine rated at 150 hp. It was mated to a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission.

The price? The 1953 Corvette had a base sticker price of $3,498. The options list was short: a heater, which added $91.40, and an AM radio, which added $145.15--and all 300 cars were built with both options.

The low production volume makes the 1953 model the rarest of all Corvettes (yeah, don't tell us you have one of the 1983 Corvettes that somehow escaped from GM).

Through the end of 2010, more than 1.51 million Corvettes have been built. So give every Corvette driver you see today a friendly birthday wave.

By Dale Jewett