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History

The Corvette Z06: A Look Back

by Steve Burns on January 13, 2014

The Corvette Z06: A Look Back

Z06. One letter and two numbers that symbolize a higher level of Corvette performance.

Fifty-one years after the first Z06 Corvette was born, the option package lives on with the 2015 Corvette. Over the years there’s been an RPO Z06 in 4 of the 7 Corvette generations. Click past the jump to take a look at the significance of the Z06 moniker – past and present.

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Corvette Debuts at GM Motorama 58 Years Ago Today

by Keith Cornett on January 17, 2011

Corvette Debuts at GM's 1953 Motorama 58 Years Ago Today

They say that every legend has a beginning and that is certainly true of the Chevrolet Corvette. The first mass-produced fiberglass car made its public debut at the GM Motorama held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on January 17, 1953. A crowd of 45,000 attendee’s saw Harley Earl’s Corvette dream car on opening day alone. The next day, Chevrolet announced the Corvette would enter production with 200-300 units of the 2-seater being made available to the public later that year.

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Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders, and Chevrolet

by Keith Cornett on December 16, 2010

Zora Arkus-Duntov

Fifty-Seven years ago today, an assistant staff engineer working for Chevrolet recognized the burgeoning hot rod market was made up of young men who invariably turned to Ford parts and accessories for performance. The engineer also deduced that once these men progressed in age and income, they would trade in their jalopies for used Fords and then for new Fords. For Chevrolet to be able to compete for these new performance-minded customers, the company’s anticipated V8 engines should also be made available with a ready line of engineered performance parts including cams, pistons and valves. And so the assistant staff engineer wrote a memo to his boss detailing this epiphany.

Little did Zora Arkus-Duntov realize the paradigm shift that would take place after he penned his now famous letter “Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders, and Chevrolet” on December 16, 1953 to his boss, Chevrolet Chief Engineer Ed Cole.

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Company That Made First Corvette Bodies Profiled

Here is a neat video package from WKYC that profiles Molded Fiberglass Companies based in Ashtabula, Ohio. MFG was founded in 1948 by Robert Morrison who initially was using glass reinforced plastic to make shelves for Wonder Bread. Morrison recognized the many benefits of fiberglass and made several attempts to convince GM that it was suitable for automotive bodies. In 1953 following the introduction of the Corvette at the Motorama show in New York City, GM gave MFG the contract to build the bodies for the Corvette.

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1953 EX-122 Corvette at New York's Motorama Show

It was fifty-seven years ago today that thousands of Americans gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City to catch a glimpse of Chevrolet’s new two-seater sports car. The EX-122 concept was such an instant hit with the public that GM rushed into production the revolutionary fiberglass-bodied car. Six months later, the first Corvette was completed at a makeshift assembly plant in Flint, Michigan. Just 300 Corvettes were produced in 1953 with a sticker price of about $3,500.

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