Say the words “Chevrolet Corvette” and you’re likely to have a whole lot of guys (and girls) drooling in anticipation. A gorgeous car, known for its looks, power and excellent road handling, it has become synonymous with the ultimate luxury car. It is known as America’s best sports car. When you look at its sleek lines and its head-turning presence, it is easy to see why.
So, What is the History Behind the Chevy Corvette?
The Chevrolet Corvette is also known as the “Vette”. It was first manufactured in 1953 by Chevrolet, and the American division of General Motors. After WW2, the powers that be at General Motors decided to upgrade the image of Chevrolet, which was, until that time, a little boring and dull. The design chief Harley Earl proposed a new, 2-seater sports car. The General Motors president Charles Wilson along with Chevrolet’s general manager, Thomas Keating gave their approval for a prototype for the 1953 Motorama auto show. They decided to name it “Project Opel”. Thereafter, the management of both General Motors and Chevrolet gave the go-ahead for 2 Motorama fiberglass bodies of the sports car, with 1 of them being the sports car. The prototype car for the Opel Project was named Corvette, after a particular fast type of WW2 warship. This particular sea vessel is small, sleek and extremely fast. An appropriate name for a new sports car, one would think.
The Corvette is definitely a Chevy. While it isn’t a typical muscle car – the Merriam Webster dictionary characterizes a muscle car as “any of a group of American-made 2-door coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving” – it used muscle car powertrains, and has, for many years, represented American performance.
The Corvette is manufactured at the Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky. This is the only place in the world where the Corvette is built. Prior to this, the very first hand-built Corvettes were manufactured and assembled at a plant in Flint, Michigan in 1953. The following year, production moved to St. Louis, Missouri. The production of Corvettes continued here for a further 27 years.
How Does the Chevrolet Corvette Perform?
The new Chevy Corvette ZR1 has won a number of kudos in its time. This car remains at the top of the list for speed, with its official top speed of 212 miles per hour. This made it the fastest production Corvette ever.
All Corvettes are powerful. That said, there a number of Corvettes that covet the prize for power. Here are a few of the Corvettes that were found to have the most horsepower under their hoods.
The 2002 Corvette Z06 has a V8 engine that provides 405 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, along with 400 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The L72, also a powerful Corvette, has a 427 V8 engine, and it offers an output of 425 horsepower at 5,600 rpm with 460 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The next in the list is the 2009 ZR1. This tiger has a LS9 V8 engine that churns out 638 horsepower. Then, to top them all - the 2019 Corvette ZR1. This incredible vehicle is the most powerful Corvette that Chevy has ever built. This beauty has a 6.2-liter V8 LT5 engine. The engine was specifically designed with an efficient intercooled supercharger system. The sum total of this is a strong power unit that offers 755 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 715 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. All in all, the Chevrolet Corvette is a pretty powerful machine.
Let’s Talk about Cost:
The new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe goes for around $59,900, with some costing a few thousand more. Bearing in mind that more than 1.5 million corvettes have been built, it stands to reason that there are a few rare and special models that were sold for hefty amounts. Look at the 1969 corvette L88 convertible for example. This beauty was sold for a whopping $577,500. Then, the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe was sold for a staggering $3.85 million. However, these are classics, so one can expect them to go for huge prices. Right now, one can expect to pay up to $60,000 for a new 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Kelley Blue Book is a company that specializes in providing research on automobiles. They also evaluate vehicles. According to them, the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray provides the best resale value. They mention that this is the best of any sports car. It is also anticipated that this specific vehicle will have the strongest lasting value of any other vehicle in the same category.
The Chevrolet Corvette is certainly one of America’s favourite cars. It is fast, fun and relatively cheap to maintain. It is also an extremely reliable car. While you probably don’t think of the words ‘sports car’ and ‘reliable’ in the same sentence, this vehicle is regarded as a reliable car. Of course, this remains true if it is properly cared for and maintained. And, as mentioned earlier, another aspect that lends credibility to this vehicle is its excellent resale value. It has excellent value as a brand new car, and it is worth even more as a used car.
What About the Cost of Maintenance?
Even though Corvettes remain more affordable than most European sports cars such as Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mclaren, Jaguar, BMW and Audi, to name a few, a Corvette is a performance vehicle. This being the case, it has more expensive hardware under its hood. Even though the newer Corvettes have significant improvements in the quality of their build as well as their durability, they will, at time to time break down. This means that the cost of the maintenance as well as the repairs will be higher than expected. There are also other maintenance items on a Corvette that tend to be more expensive. Think of the Z-rated run flat tires that are recommend for use. These alone can cost up to $200 or more per tire, so a whole set of 4 tires can set you back by $1000 or so. An oil change is also more expensive. As Corvettes use synthetic oil, an oil change could cost you double than an ordinary car oil change. The filters also cost more than those of a conventional car. On average, it can cost up to $740 to have a Corvette’s annual service done. Of course, the type of repairs and maintenance that will be needed for the Corvette will largely depend on the age of the vehicle, as well as its mileage.
So is a Corvette a Super Car?
Any Corvette owner is going to answer with a resounding yes to that question – of course it is a super car! The terminology here is about a specific category of vehicle. In this case a supercar. An exotic car is another name that is used for a supercar. The speed, and here we’re talking about the top speed of the car along with its acceleration, is what would define it as a supercar. The use of the term supercar actually comes before the use of muscle car. (Remember, a muscle car is an American-made 2-door coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving) Supercar was used to describe drag strip development during the 1960s and the 1970s. The best description for the Chevrolet Corvette is a performance car. While it certainly can share accolades as a super car and as a muscle car, it is best recognized as a performance car.
Do Corvettes Have Back Seats?
Now this is a question worth thinking about. If you consider how the body of a Corvette is shaped, you’d have an interesting time imagining where more seats would be placed. The Chevrolet Corvette has never had back seat, and it is extremely unlikely that it will ever have. It was essentially designed as a sports car, and definitely not a sedan. All the Corvettes ever built have only had 2 seats. These are comfortable seats, cushioned and usually covered with leather upholstery. The Corvette has ample leg room, a great plus for taller people. There are 3 different styles of car seat for the Corvette. These are GT1, GT2 and the Competition Sport. The GT1 is a bucket seat. These particular seats were designed to provide support to drivers as well as passengers during travel over a long distance. The GT2 is also a bucket seat, and like the GT1, provides both the driver and passenger support over long distance travel. They also have, unlike the GT1 seats, more adjustment options, including lumbar and bolster control. The 3rd option, the Competition Sport, or Sport Bucket Seat is meant to provide support for high performance as well as track driving.
Are Corvettes Automatic?
While it was originally built with a manual transmission, there are no longer any manual-transmission Corvettes made. In fact, the last C7 Corvette, a Z06, was likely the very last manual-transmission corvette that will ever be built. As to whether it matters, this would depend largely on the driver’s preference. A manual transmission requires a little more work from the driver, and this in turn, can make for more driver involvement.
The Chevrolet Corvette is a one-of-a-kind car. Sleek, super fast and reasonably priced, it is every car enthusiasts’ dream vehicle. It has its own unique look, no matter the model. On top of that, it is also more practical than a typical sports car. The Corvette is a great car to drive. It handles the road like a pro, changes direction quickly and you certainly won’t have a bumpy ride.
Did You Know There is a Corvette Museum?
The Chevrolet Corvette is a car that is held in such high esteem it has a museum to call its own! Known as the home of America’s sports car, it was first established in 1994. The reasoning behind the opening of the museum was to provide an educational tribute to this amazing car. And this it has done. It is a not-for-profit foundation, and aims to celebrate the invention of the Corvette as well as preserving its past, its present and its future. The museum itself is in Bowling Green, Kentucky and has been since 1954. The very first Corvette was designed, manufactured and assembled at a plant in Flint, Michigan. The location of the museum is perfectly apt as this is where this iconic vehicle is now manufactured and assembled. The public, curious and collectors alike, are welcome to visit the facility and learn everything there is to learn about the Corvette.
The museum covers features of the Corvette’s history, explaining how it all began. It also provides information on different aspects of the vehicle. Interested visitors can learn about what type of vehicle the Corvette actually – whether it is a muscle car, a sports car or a super car. (Just to reiterate – the Corvette is a performance car.)
Corvette = Chevy
The Corvette is a Chevy. It is as simple as that. Chevy is a colloquial term for the company Chevrolet. However, urban usage of the word Chevy can mean ‘cool’ and the word has been used in many popular songs. To most people though, Chevy means Chevrolet. Chevrolet has been around for so many years that it is a part of our culture, our heritage. When people speak about a Corvette, it is generally understood that this fabulous car is a Chevrolet Corvette.
A reliable car, with superb road handling, it is exalted by young and old, male and female, all over the country. Car enthusiasts all over agree that this car has the captivating looks that draw admiring glances from all who see it. They also believe it is the most affordable sports car for both men and women. If you are one of the fortunate to own a Chevrolet Corvette, you are likely to agree that your car will stay in the family and will be passed down the generations. All in all, right from the very beginning in 1953 to the present day, this fabulous car is one of the best American-made vehicles around. An icon in the motor industry, it will forever be America’s favorite car.