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March 01, 2021


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The sign reads Chevrolet Corvette-- No. 1--Flint Assem. Div.-- June 30, 1953

The first Corvette rolled off the assembly line on June 30, 1953, but they started building it on June 28, 1953, and was a hand built car, with only 300 being built in Flint that first year. The early models had no side windows, but used a plastic curtain, other details on this first car. Painted Polo White, Red interior, no outside door handles, 2 speed powerglide automatic transmission, clock, cigarette lighter, red warning light when the parking brake was engaged. Price tag $3,490

DG, some other interesting facts: all 1953 Corvettes were polo white/red interior. The early ones had the Bel Air wheel covers seen here. They also all had the powerglide 2 speed.

They weren’t generally available to the public but instead went to prestige buyers in the hopes of building a cache of exclusivity that would spur sales (didn’t work). The ‘54 model was nearly identical save for more colors but had unsold units left at the end of the year.

The marque was nearly axed in 1955 but the addition of the 265 V8 and a mid year 3 speed manual trans saved it. A better run business and GM would have cut its losses. Instead we have the least expensive most readily available sports car in the world.

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