It was 60 years ago today that thousands of American’s gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City to witness Chevrolet’s first foray into the world of sports cars. Dubbed the Corvette, the two seat sports car was an instant hit with the public and GM rushed into production the revolutionary fiberglass-bodied car six months later.
Celebrating that milestone today, Chevrolet brought the newest iteration of America’s sports car, the 2014 Corvette Stingray, to New York City where it will be reunited with that original Motorama Corvette at the Waldorf Astoria.
Article contributed by Dave Salvatore / Kerbeck Corvette
On this day in 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette sports car (EX-122) makes its debut at General Motors’ (GM) Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Corvette, named for a fast type of naval warship, would eventually become an iconic American muscle car and remains in production today.
At the 1954 Motorama, GM unleashed three Corvette-based concept cars onto the show circuit. Dubbed the Convertible Coupe, the Corvair, and the Nomad, the trio caused a stir when they debuted in New York in January of 1954. As we all know, the Nomad made it to production a couple years later, but in a non-Corvette form. If you always wanted to own the original Nomad, get your bidding fingers ready to bid on this recreation currently listed on eBay.
I was checking out the strong lineup of 2012 Corvettes at the Kerbeck Corvette tent when I saw EX-122 sitting in the center, surrounded by her much younger siblings. The Corvette that appeared in the extravigant Motorama display at the Waldof Estoria in January 1953 was now under a tent at a fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. And she was just as beautiful today as she was to those who first saw the fiberglass 2-seater 58 years ago.
XP-122, better known as the 1953 Corvette concept that was part of GM’s historic ’53 Motorama, returned to the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel last Saturday to take part in a presentation with GM Global Vice President of Design Ed Welburn. Welburn spoke to the company’s international sales executives as General Motors looks to expand its sales efforts outside the USA.
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.
Charles “Chuck” Jordan, the designer that many said helped to usher in the modern era of car styling at General Motors, died on Thursday, December 9th. He was 83 years old. Jordan was the fourth man to hold the role of GM Vice President of Design and was in that position from October 1986 until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure at GM, Chuck was responsible for the design of the 1958 Corvette as well as several Corvette Concept cars.
Tanner Faust, host of SPEED’s Supercars Exposed, heads to Pepple Beach where he has the unique opportunity to drive both the very first Porsche and the very first Corvette ever built. The Motorama Corvette, dubbed EX-122 by GM Engineering, features an upgraded 283 V8 which the car received when it was being used as a test mule.
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.