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C1 Facts
The C1 Corvette 1953 – 1962 (the one that started it all)
Designed by Harley Earl the C1 Corvette a fiberglass-bodied two-seater was introduced at the Motorama car show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NY in 1953.  The Corvette was named after a fast naval attack ship.
The first run in 1953 was
300 cars only offered to GM VIP customers.  The starting price of $3,500 included a 150 HP six-cylinder engine with triple single barrel carburetors, a Powerglide 2-speed automatic, and you could get it in any color you wanted as long as it was white with a red interior. Needless to say, it wasn’t very successful when less than 300 cars were sold.  The car was so unsuccessful GM contemplated dropping it.  However, with Ford ready to release their two-seater Thunderbird GM stuck with the Corvette.  In the next year, GM dropped the VIP policy. The car was now available to the general buying public.

By 1955 less than 3,000 of the planed 10,000 cars were built.  
In 1955 Zora Arkus-Duntov was hired by GM and became the lead engineer for the Corvette. His vision was to make the Corvette a world-class performance car by increasing performance and HP. A 265 CU V8 with 195 HP was first offered in 1955.  
In 1956 Corvette the 265 CU engine was offered with dual 4-barrel carburetors and 225-horsepower.  
In the 1957 model, the engine displacement was increased to 283-cubic inches.  The engine was offered in three versions from 220-hp with single 4-barrel, 245-hp with duel 4-barrels and new was the 283-hp Ramjet fuel injection.  Corvettes now began setting speed records on the racing circuit. The car was also featured on a popular TV show “Route 66,” in 1960 featuring two young guys driving around America in a Corvette.  
In 1958 duel headlights were introduced. The fuel-injected HP was bumped up to 290 -hp.
The 1959 model introduced a close-ratio 4-speed transmission. The style was cleaned up with the elimination of some of the chrome accents and the non-functional hood louvers. A new version of the 283 v8 was offered with a second fuel-injection motor available.
The 1960 Corvette saw the rear changed from the rounded back to the more familiar pointed rear quarter panels with 4-round taillights. This rear style remained until 1967. With more engine improvements in HP, the top fuel-injected engine now produced 315-HP. The car also had slight styling changes and a small weight reduction as a result of an aluminum bell housing.
The 1961 Corvette saw just over 10,000 cars produced all convertibles.
The 1962 model year saw the introduction of the 327-cubic inch engine and was the final year of the C1.
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