Corvette Timeline Tales: August 22, 1957 – GM designer, Peter Brock submits sketches for a new Corvette design – VIDEO
GM designer, Peter Brock submits sketches for a new Corvette design and Chief of Styling, Bill Mitchell, approves and orders Styling to proceed with Brock’s design.
Peter Brock was one of the youngest designers ever hired by GM Styling. Ed Cole was the new general manager at Chevrolet and after the success of his small-block Chevy engine design, he wanted to make a follow-up splash by introducing the entire 1960 Chevrolet line of cars equipped with a transaxle, including an all-new Corvette. A transaxle would improve weight distribution and yield more front seat interior space. Continue reading
Corvette Timeline Tales: August 20, 1954 – Chevrolet races 1953 Corvette at a NASCAR-sanctioned Raleigh Speedway.
The Corvette was a race car almost from the very beginning!
Yes, these were the first Chevrolet-built Corvette race cars. They don’t look familiar because in this promotion photograph the cars had yet to be decorated. The young man to the left and in the back is Bill France, Jr. in 1953 Corvette VIN #211 and the man on the right and in front is Joe Hawkins in 1955 Corvette VIN #1399. The names of the bathing beauties are not known. Back in the NASCAR’s early days they had a “Sports Car Series,” sometimes called the “International Class” that ran as support races for the Grand National races.
Terry Michaelis, owner of ProTeam Corvette has fully restored the 1953 version and meticulously researched the two cars, stitching together the history of these two forgotten Corvette racecars. Back in the day, working under the direction of three-time Indy 500 winner, Mauri Rose and Chevrolet chief engineer, Ed Cole, the Chevrolet Engineering Department did an admirable job turning the struggling Corvette into a racer. Continue reading
7 Alternate Universe Possibilities
Written by: The Daily Drive staff. Art by Frank Peiler.
Frank Peiler, Consumer Guide Automotive’s Publisher Emeritus, is back for another round of “What If” design studies. This time, Frank envisions what the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette might have looked like if it had been designed by Studebaker, Hudson, Packard, Nash, Dodge, Ford, or Kaiser. For more of Frank’s “What If?” artwork, check out his blogs on the 1957 Mercury, 1957 Packard, Cord 810, and Lincoln Continental. Continue reading
Feature Article from Hemmings Classic Car as originally published on July, 2013 – Richard Lentinello
republished from Hemmings Blog
Dateline: 7.29.15 It’s been over 60 years since Chevrolet unveiled the Corvette, a car which has become the longest-running production model in General Motors’ history. Backed by a fanatical fan-base spanning the globe, the Corvette has earned the right to be called an American institution. And judging by the recent introduction of the new C7 model, interest in Corvettes is bound to remain strong for generations to come. Just try to name another car that comes close to what the Corvette has achieved. Continue reading
Corvette Mike’s Beautiful Video Presentation of the 1956 SR-2 Corvette Racer
Dateline: 7.21.15 “Corvette Mike” of Anaheim, California, the car dealer that ONLY sells used, refurbished, and restored Corvettes, produced this beautiful video of the stunning 1956 SR-2 Corvette Racer. I covered this car in Part 2 of my Vette Magazine “Corvette Experimental, Prototype, Concept, and Show Car Corvettes” series that ran in the December 2014 issue. That article is republished in its entirety at the bottom of this post.
VIDEO HERE: Continue reading
Lake Placid, Florida Resident’s Sano, Personalized C1 327 Corvette
by Scott Teeters as republished from Vette Vues
I know I’m preaching to the choir but Corvettes are unusual cars because if you get bitten by them when you’re young, it’s usually a lifetime thing. For people who aren’t passionate about driving, or have never driven a Corvette, and maybe only ever been a passenger, it’s hard for them to understand the affection. Driving a Corvette is a visceral, seat-of-the-pants experience. When behind the wheel, you don’t just “ride and steer,” you “DRIVE” the car like a team of wild horses. Continue reading
The First Independent Purpose-Built Corvette Race Car
The Corvette Racing Team has proven that the Corvette is more than a match for any sports car on the planet. But in the early days, racing a production Corvette would only get you so far. To get to the next level, “purpose-built” race cars were the order of the day. Tube frames (aka “bird cages”) with a thin fiberglass or aluminum body were super lightweight and the low power-to-weight ratio made for a race car that was a handful.
Dave MacDonald was one of the young lions of Southern California sports car racing. He was a natural and quickly earned the nickname, “Master of the Oversteer.” Dave and his racing partner Jim Simpson started racing in 1960 and in their first year won 3 out of 15 races and never finished lower than 4th. In his second year Dave racked up 15 wins and three 2nd place finishes in 24 races and was on his way to being a dominant force. But like all racers, Dave and Jim wanted to move up into something faster. It was Carroll Shelby who suggested the guys get a Max Balchowsky chassis and build a purpose-built car. (Be sure to check out the video of this car. Click the “Continue reading” link)
Here’s What Corvettes Mean To People
The other day Joe Pruitt, the Event Coordinator/Owner of the National Corvette Homecoming event contacted me to tell me about their new event video by Efran Films that covered the National Corvette Homecoming 2014 event. This is a very touching video that captures what Corvettes mean to people. As we know, they’re not just “car” they’re something else. Actually, the people in the video say it perfectly. This video has heart! Enjoy! – Scott
The Corvette Becomes a TV Star on Route 66!
Dateline: 10.7.14 – Fifty-Four years ago today, Route 66 made its TV debut. Beginning October 7, 1960 and once a week into early 1964,viewers followed the adventures of Tod Stiles (Martin Milner) and Buzz Murdock (George Maharis) as they tooled around America in a brand new 1960 Corvette, seeking… well, adventure. Even though Chevrolet wasn’t selling that many Corvettes (10,261 units in 1960) the Chevrolet PR guys couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make the Corvette a TV star. Continue reading
Corvette Racing Legend, Dave MacDonald Inducted Into National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame
Dateline: 9-27-14 Auto racing legend Dave MacDonald was inducted into The National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame on August 28, 2014, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. MacDonald’s induction took place 50 years after the extremely talented young driver was tragically killed in his rookie race at the 1964 Indy 500 that also claimed the life of driver Eddie Sachs. After the race, an investigation determined that there was, “No driver error.”
MacDonald learned his driving skills in Southern California behind the wheel of several championship-winning first generation Corvettes. A gentle, quiet family man off the track, MacDonald was known as “The Master of Oversteer” and a fierce competitor. His driving skills were such that they attracted the attention of two other legends in auto racing of that time, Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and Carroll Shelby. MacDonald drove prototype test cars for Duntov and was eventually hired by Shelby to drive Cobras professionally.
His induction into The National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame was well deserved and more than a little overdue. Regardless, Dave MacDonald now has a prominent and permanent place in Corvette history.
I have written extensively about the life and times of Dave MacDonald and have had the pleasure of getting to know the MacDonald family. I have Dave MacDonald’s younger brother Doug to thank. Many years ago I created a piece of line art for VETTE Magazine as a column filler “spot art” illustration. Later I included the illustration as an art print on my IllustratedCorvetteSeries.com website and mistakenly titled the print, “Dave MacDonald’s 1961 Corvette Racer.”
The 2014 National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame inductees included, left-to-right: Automotive Journalist and Author Jerry Burton, Corvette Engineer and Race Car Driver John Heinricy, and Race Car Driver Dave MacDonald.
Corvette “License Plate” Art Prints
1953 to 2014
A LIMITED SERIES IS NOW AVAILABLE-SEE THE TABLE BELOW!!!!
We are very happy to announce a new and totally unique Corvette art print series, the Corvette License Plates Series.
This is our initial rollout of the series that will soon include every year Corvette License Plate Art Print from 1953 to today. Each year in the license plate Series will feature a side view illustration on one of three different colored backgrounds: red-to-white, black-to-white, and blue-to-white.
Each print is made on matte finished white card stock, signed and numbered by the artist in a series of 500. All of our prints are shrink wrapped on cardboard and mailed in a flat USPS Priority Mail mailer for speedy delivery.
Specific number prints are available upon request.
Plus, we’re offering a single print with all three of the colored license plate layouts on one print for an All-American red, white/black, and blue presentation.
To start the series, we have one year Corvette from each generation and will be adding other year license plates quickly. Continue reading
1954 Corvair Motorama Show Car 1/25 scale model benefits the “Chip Miller Charitable Foundation” at ’14 Corvettes At Carlisle
By guest columnist, Don Theune (Slide Show at bottom)
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Corvette, “Scale Visions” has created two of the 1954 Motorama show cars – the Corvette-based “Corvair” and “Nomad.” One of which (1954 Corvette Corvair) shall be donated to raise funds & awareness for the “Chip Miller Charitable Foundation.” Scale Visions has been donating significant works of Automotive Art to the Corvettes at Carlisle charitable auctions since it began in 1996, and as help raise tens of $1,000’s for the various causes
The Corvette-based Corvair, Nomad & Corvette Hard Top were concept cars built by Chevrolet and introduced at the 1954 General Motors Motorama in New York City. The experimental concept 1954 Corvette Corvair (the name combined Corvette & BelAir into “Corvair”) Nomad, and Hard Top, unfortunately never made it into production.
Scale Visions has been creating the “Perfect gift, for the person who has everything!” (Exact Model Replicas of Your Corvette) for more than 23 years. They have been an institution at Corvettes at Carlisle for many of those years. The “works of Automotive Art” are so realistic and life like, it is hard to discern the difference between photos of the original 1/1 Corvette and its 1/25 scale counterpart.
In May 2013 Don Theune was a guest on my radio program, Far Out Radio. Enjoy the program. – Scott Continue reading
Illustrated Corvette Series No. 200 1953 – 2014 Corvette
“DETROIT’S ULTIMATE SUCCESS STORY?” by K Scott Teeters as originally published in Vette magazine
In the February 2014 issue of VETTE Magazine, I celebrated my 200th installment of The Illustrated Corvette Series with a look back at the entire history of the Corvette. The title of the column is, “DETROIT’S ULTIMATE SUCCESS STORY?” The Corvette has come a very long way from being a car that many inside GM wanted to kill off to becoming General Motors’ flagship halo car.
While the article in VETTE only shows one Corvette from all seven generations of Corvettes, I wanted to do something extra special. So, I created the 1’ x 3’, “Seven Generations of Corvettes 1953-2014 Corvettes” art print, available through our Fine Art America store, HERE.
The print is available in a variety of sizes and can be custom framed right from the site.
Here is the story……..
2013 may be remembered as the most extraordinary year in Corvette history. Not only was 2013 the last year of the sixth generation Corvette, it was also the 60th anniversary of the first Corvette. The only way it could have been better was if the C7 have been released as a ‘13 model. Arguably, the C7 was the most anticipated Corvette ever seen. Continue reading
John Loeper’s 1954 Corvette Hot Rod – Subtitle: Dad’s advice was, “Buy American! It will last a lifetime!”
by K.Scott Teeters (as originally published in Vette Vues magazine)
Sometimes, the things our fathers tell us when we’re young, really stick. John Loeper was just 16 years old in 1959 when he discovered a car that he just had to have.
John worked all summer, mowing lawns, doing odd jobs and such, to scrape up the $800 for a ‘54 Corvette that was previously owned, many times over.
In fact, John was the 13th owner and as fate would have it, the last owner of the car.
Loeper grew up in the beautiful, ocean side resort town of Ocean City, New Jersey and was a teenager in the ‘50s. I can’t think of a cooler place and time to be as a teenager.
John explains the car culture this way. “Back in ‘58 there really weren’t that many Corvettes on the road. Chevy had only made a little over 13,000 Corvettes by the end of ‘57 and they had a reputation as a rich kid’s car. Continue reading
Bench Racing With VETTE Magazine Founder, Marty Schorr
To listen to the FREE Archived Show, CLICK HERE.__________________________________
Our guest is author and automotive journalist, Marty Schorr. Marty is a “car guy’s, car guy.”
With over five decades of hands-on experience, behind the wheel and under the hood of some of the most amazing cars ever, plus capturing images with his camera and word-smithing the life and times of the American muscle car, Marty Schorr has a unique perspective.
Marty came of age in the ‘50s, right at the beginning of the birth of America’s postwar love affair with performance cars. After joining a hot rod club in his home town of Brooklyn, New York, Marty learned that his real talent wasn’t driving race cars or spinning wrenches, though he definitely is skilled in those areas.
Marty’s gift is in the arena of visual arts and word-smithing. By the late ‘50s Marty got the bug for writing stories and photographing hot cars for magazines. What started out as a passion for cars became a lifelong career. Continue reading
Corvette restoration master, Kevin Mackay talks about his FAVORITE restored Corvettes
To Listen to FREE Archived Kevin Mackay, CLICK HERE.
Hello Corvette Fans! Our guest on Far Out Radio is early generation Corvette restoration expert, Kevin Mackay. Kevin is the owner of CORVETTE REPAIR, in Valley Stream, New York (on Long Island), as well as an early model judge with NCRS – that’s the National Corvette Restoration Society.
Kevin and his team of specialists have had the honor of having brought back to life some of the most valuable, important Corvettes that ever existed – as well as the creation of some of the most unique automotive display pieces.
We talk to Kevin about his amazing career and creations – and to help this program come alive, Kevin and Scott discuss many of the Great Corvette restoration projects listed on the post over at FarOutRadio.com Click Here to link to the post. Continue reading
A Most Excellent Addition To Your Corvette Library
I’ve been collecting car magazines and car books since the mid-’60s. My library has gotten larger than I ever imagined. There’s one book that I accidentally bought three times. I have four different versions of essentially the same book authored by Randy Leffingwell and published by Motorbooks. All four versions are very nice books, loaded with excellent images and well written prose by Leffingwell. But each time I bought the book online, I thought I was getting a different book because the covers and sizes are all different.
So, when I saw that Motorbooks was publishing “Corvette Sixty Years,” I was holding out in hopes of a totally new book and not a shuffled around version of the previous “Corvette Fifty Years” with some updated C5 and C6 material. I was NOT disappointed! Leffingwell and MBI have delivered the goods! The book is, for me, a visual delight. You see, when you have as many books and magazines as I have, you’ve probably seem nearly all of the old vintage photos showing the design and development work on the Corvette. At least, that’s what I thought!
A look back 60 years ago to how the first Corvette came to be.
I call the Corvette the “The American Automotive Horatio Alger Story.” It’s the ultimate automotive rags-to-riches story. You could also call it an automotive Cinderella story. While the C6 has taken more flack than it deserves, it’s good to look back to the very beginning to get a really clear picture of how far the Corvette has come in 60 years.
Since we’re rolling into the C6’s final year and looking forward to the new 7th generation Vette, the next several installments of my VETTE Magazine monthly column looks back at the “first” of each generation Corvette. So, let’s go back to the beginning. – Scott
In September 1951, GM’s chief of design, Harley Earl took his Le Sabre dream car to Watkins Glen for a little GM-style show’n tell. Earl was impressed with the “sports cars” he saw there and went back to work with a new car concept for General Motors – an American sports car.
Post WW II saw the birth of plastics and glass-reinforced plastic, or “fiberglass” and Earl saw a new way to build prototypes and production cars. In February ‘52, Life Magazine presented the new space age material in a story titled “Plastic Bodies For Autos.” By March, GM was reviewing the Alembic I, a fiberglass bodied Jeep. Impressed with the new material, Earl decided to start moving on his sports car idea. Engineer Robert McLean designed a chassis layout and by April a full-size plaster model was shown to GM’s management. The following month, Ed Cole was promoted to Chief of Engineering for Chevrolet and was onboard with Earl’s project. Earl pitched his concept to GM’s president, Charles Wilson and Chevrolet general manager, Thomas Keating in June and got the approval to build a functional prototype for the GM Motorama in January 1953. The car’s working name was… “the Opel Sports Car.” Continue reading
Our New Partnership With FineArtAmerica.com
We are very happy to announce our new Corvette art prints enterprise with FineArtAmerica.com. But first, I must give credit, where credit is due. My lovely wife and business partner Karen, discovered FineArtAmerica.com about a month ago. Partnering with FineArtAmerica.com allows me the freedom to create Corvette art print layouts in any proportion. FineArtAmerica.com allows customers to order my Corvette prints in sizes to fit their budget needs! The optional matte and framing service allows customers the freedom to choosing their color matte and frame style to suit their decor needs.
By offering our Corvette prints through FineArtAmerica.com, customers can order prints as small as 8” x 2-5/8” up to 48” x 16” for our 1×3 proportion layouts and 8” x 8” up to 48” x 48” for our square proportion layouts. Every print can be produced on either archival matte paper, photo paper, watercolor paper, or canvas. Then, if you want, you can have your print custom matted and framed. There are dozens of matte colors and frame styles. You can design your framed print to match your home decor. The possibilities are staggering!
Corvette’s Motorama Kiss’n Cousins
In 2009 when GM was getting negative publicity because of its financial troubles, I received a few emails with images of the 1954 GM Motorama Concept Pontiac Bonneville Special, Buick Wildcat II, and Oldsmobile F-88. For 1954, these are very cool-looking cars and you can’t miss the Corvette connection. The basic message in the email was, “Look at what the Corvette could have been if GM hadn’t let Chevy have the design. These cars had bigger engines and were nicer cars. GM got it wrong.” To which I say, “Ah, no.”
To begin with, the Corvette came first. Harley Earl started his small sports car design in 1951. By the end of ‘52 the hand made XP-112 Corvette was ready for its debut at the ‘53 Motorama Show on January 17, 1953. The concept was a completely unproven and much to Earl’s delight, was very enthusiastically received. So the car was rushed into production with almost zero development. By June ‘53 the first of only 300 Corvettes was released. Compared to the 332,497 Chevy 210 Deluxe 4-door sedans sold in ‘53, 300 Corvettes almost doesn’t qualify as “production.”
But before the numbers came in, Pontiac, Buick, and Olds wanted to take their shots at the 2-seater sports car concept. But unlike the spartan Corvette, the other divisions went in the direction of the ‘50s – big and bold. All three cars were typical concept cars – over festooned, and not produceable at a reasonable cost. The Corvette, also a concept car, was much more realistic for production. Continue reading