It's long been recognized as the iconic American sports car with styling so unique that it's always easily recognized — the Corvette by General Motors. It's the only car that's been in production for nearly 60 years (and still counting). The first one rolled off the Flint, Michigan Chevrolet factory assembly line in June 1953.
The Corvette was created by GM designer Harley Earl in 1951. He was inspired by European sports cars and wanted an American counterpart to compete and win on the race track. The first model was a convertible introduced at the 1953 GM Motorama. (This discontinued auto stage show was run by that GM from 1949-1961 to show off concept and/or prototype cars.)
Myron Scott, creator of the all-American soap box derby, is credited with naming the car when he as working for GM which anted a non-animal name starting with the letter "c." The name "corvette" was taken from a line of small, but fast Navy warships used in World War II.
While on a weekend trip to PA to attend a story-telling festival (more on that later), we saw nearly a dozen of these classics.
No, we didn't go to a cruisin' car show on this trip. Instead, during our weekend stay at a Holiday Inn, these Corvettes greeted our parking lot arrival.
Their owners were a group of 60+ drivers who obviously did not let years stand in the way of having fun. They drove these beauties from Michigan to PA to visit Gettysburg National Military park and various points in between.
The Corvette was originally built in Flint, MI, and St. Louis, MO. The cars are now manufactured in a dedicated Corvette manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, KY. The Corvette is the official sports car of KY.
We talked to a few of the owners who told us they enjoyed driving these cars on long trips, adding that they were always garage-kept when home. After all, it does get cold and snowy in Michigan.
Between the first and most current Corvette, about 1.5 million have been made in the US and sold worldwide. (No, Grenville, isn't planning to buy one, but I did catch him smiling as he watched these cars leave the hotel.)