The 1957 Chevy Corvette; a Successful Failure!

The 1957 Chevrolet Corvette almost didn’t make it to 1957 and nearly died a death a few years prior.  Why did this car, which has won the hearts of many the world over, come close to being canceled?

Chevy initially presented their two-seater Corvette (or ‘Vette’ as it’s affectionately known) in 1953. It was the obsession and brainchild of the renowned automobile designer Harley Earl.  Mr. Earl had been designing for Chevy since the late 1920’s and finally managed to persuade Chevrolet to develop a two seater sports car, to compete with the MGs, Alfas and other European automobiles that were being brought over to the American market by GIs returning from WW2.

While the 53 Chevrolet Corvette was hailed for its killer looks and cool body, its performance under the hood was distinctly unexciting, unadventurous and just plain bad.  Ford’s Thunderbird further threatened the future life of the auto that would eventually go down in the chronicles of American automotive history as ‘the only true American sports car’, by outselling the Corvette by 24 to 1.  Ouch!

While the Thunderbird was looking great on the highways and byways of America, the Chevrolet Corvette (not yet the 1957 model) was still languishing in the automotive showrooms. It was during this point in time that General Motors was said to have been considering killing the Corvette, or in the words of an enthusiast ‘murdering it’.  Things were not looking good for the ‘Vette.

Enter the V8 engine and Zora Arkus-Duntov. Zora, who somewhat erroneously became known forever after as the father of the Corvette, inspired the V8 design and spec for the 57 Corvette.  The V8 is recognized with being the most valuable modification made to the car up to that point.

Enough of the history. Baptized with a new engine the 57 Corvette zoomed from so-so to muscle in performance and was re-christened as a serious sports car, something that any amp;lt;a href=amp;quot;;quot; target=amp;quot;_blankamp;quot;amp;gt;1957 Chevy amp;lt;/aamp;gt;collector should have.

While the 57 Chevy is as synonymous with the American dream as Mom’s home-made apple pie, the US does not have the monopoly on autos in thoughts.  The ‘Vette began appearing in the dreams of car-lovers the world over and began attracting a global fan base.  They were introduced to the 1957 Corvette by its many guest TV appearances, where it often achieved its own listing in the credits! How is that for a comeback?

The 57 Corvette is coveted by classic auto enthusiasts the world over. These beauties are being bought at car auctions for anywhere from $70,000 upwards, with apparently no shortage of adoring collectors. The automobile world is now holding its breath, waiting for the unveiling of the C7 Chevrolet Corvette anticipated to come sometime during 2010.

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