Well Vetted

On the brink of the next-generation Corvette 2020, we look back at America’s favorite two-seater.

The Chevrolet Corvette first generation was only a show car at the General Motors Motorama Expo when it debuted in 1953, but its sleek design and fiberglass body generated enough public interest to induce GM to mass produce this model. After ditching the ­initial, inline six engine, Corvette quickly became a success, competing with top European brands.
The second generation introduced the Stingray, which featured the iconic retractable headlamps, hood vents, and independent rear suspension, showing the car’s commitment to power and performance from the ground up. Following that was the most notable collectible in Corvette history, the 1967 Corvette L88 coupe (in 2014 one was auctioned off for a whopping $3.85M at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction). The first use of the T-top, removable roof panels appeared with the third gene­ration, and during those years, Corvette was used as a pace car for the Indianapolis 500 speedway. That era saw the largest sales in Corvette history, with a record high of 53,807 models sold in 1979.
Throughout its 66-year history, Corvette has occasionally celebrated its anniversaries with auctions of its special editions. On June 28, 2019, the current-­generation Corvette, a black Z06 (the last of the front-engine models), was auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson’s northeast auction. The event preceded the release of the Corvette 2020, debuting on July 18, 2019, and purported to feature a new mid-engine ­configuration. chevrolet.com