19. 1953 Corvette
The introduction of the Corvette was the biggest automotive news to come out in 1953. Nobody expected Chevrolet to build and market such an exotic car. Suddenly, there was a brand new roadster with incredible features by a mid-class manufacturer with no sports car experience. However, the first Corvette was a well-designed and well-executed model (via Car and Driver).
But the most interesting thing about the new Corvette was the fiberglass body. Back in the early ’50s, plastic was still a futuristic material rarely used it in the car industry. The Corvette was the first car with a fully plastic body, making Chevrolet one of the pioneers of fiberglass construction. Under the hood was an inline-six engine they called the “Blue Flame,” which featured 3.9-liter displacement and a modest 136 HP rating. Although they equipped it with three Carter carburetors, the engine came from Chevrolet’s standard lineup. Also, the Chevrolet engineers tried to keep the costs down by borrowing mechanical components from other vehicles and using them on the Corvette.