SALISBURY, Connecticut — It’s been dubbed America’s sports car.
Since its introduction in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette has undergone many changes - some good, some bad. As it approaches its 70th anniversary, the car is still instantly recognizable and uniquely American.
The story of the Corvette as it celebrates seven decades will be told September 1-5, at another American icon, Lime Rock Park. Sponsored by Chevrolet, the one-of-a-kind exhibit will feature a gathering of rare competition Corvettes, along with a dozen Corvette concept cars on display together for the first time in history.
Tied in with the track’s Historic Festival, events will include panel discussions on the design of the Corvette, displays of various models, and the Historic Festival Parade, a 17-mile tour through local towns on the scenic roads of northwest Connecticut.
“We've reached out to all the Corvette folks around the country, and we're looking forward to having a lot of people here,” said Charley Delana, Chief Commercial Officer for Lime Rock Park.
One of a kind Corvettes to be shown at Lime Rock Park
Among the cars on display at Lime Rock will be:
- 1959 Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle (CERV I)
- 1959 Sting Ray Racer
- 1961 Mako Shark
- 1964 CERV II
- 1969 Manta Ray
- 1972 Reynolds Aluminum Corvette
- 1973 Aerovette
- 1986 Corvette Indy
- 1990 CERV III
- 1992 Stingray III
- 2009 Sting Ray Concept
- 1953 “Waldorf” Display car, the Corvette shown during the Motorama Show in January, 1953
- 1956 Corvette SS
- 1959 Scaglietta Corvette
- 1963 Corvette Rondine by Pininfarina.
Introduced in January at the 1953 GM Motorama, the Chevrolet Corvette went on sale later in the year. Each of the 300 first-year models were polo white with a red interior. The car had a 235 cubic inch straight line six-cylinder engine that made about 150 horsepower.
Its first competitors were small, light roadsters from Great Britain. Sales were slow, but the car gradually got more power and slicker styling.
It gained popularity having been featured in the early 1960s TV show, "Route 66". Its competition entered and left the market. Astronauts were gifted with Corvettes in the early days of the space program.
“If you walk around the track, you'll probably see somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars worth of cars of all stripes and that's really fun,” said Delana.
The current Corvette, with its mid-engine design, is a one-of-a-kind American car that isn’t standing still. GM is planning a battery-powered model for the near future.
Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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