1953 the Corvette was debuted at the Motorama display at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City.
It was conceived by Harley J. Earl. It was a two seat convertible built by GM aimed at capturing the small car market from
manufacturers like Jaguar and MG.
All 1953 Corvettes were convertibles with black canvas tops, Polo white with red interiors, and built
Power came from an existing Chevrolet 235 cubic inch 6 cylinder engine. Modifications were done to
it such as a three carburetor design and dual exhaust which resulted in higher horsepower ratings. The 150 hp 'Blue Flame
Special' engine was paired with a a2-speed automatic gearbox. The first twenty-five vehicles used the standard Chevrolet 'baby
moon' passenger car wheel covers due to a shortage of wheel covers.
During the 1953 production year, 300 Corvettes were produced making it the rarest production Corvette
- not including the racing variants, concepts, and specialty models. 255 are still in existence. In 1953 the base price for
the Corvette was $3,498 with a heater and AM radio offered as optional equipment. The heater could be purchased for $91.40
and the AM Radio for $145.15.
The Corvette was Chevrolet's answer to the demands made by returning military GI's coming back from
Europe who were searching for a suitable sports car similar to the those in the European market. Jaguar's answer to this demand
was the XK120, which had style, performance and affordability.
Production of the Corvette began in mid-1953 with only 300 examples created, including the pre-production
Motorama show cars. The 1953 models were created in Flint, Michigan and moved to Chevy's St. Louis Plant a year later. Due
to the low production figures, many of the cars parts were hand fabricated or modified from other existing Chevrolet parts.