2. Chevrolet Corvette 1953
The introduction of the Chevrolet Corvette was the biggest automotive news for 1953 since nobody expected such an exotic car to be built and marketed by Chevrolet. All of a sudden there was a brand new roadster with incredible features made by a mid-class manufacturer with no sports car experience. However, despite that, the first Corvette was a well-designed and well-executed model.
The most interesting thing about the new Corvette was the fiberglass body and back in the early `50s, plastic was still the material of the future which was very rarely used in the industry. The Corvette was the first car with a fully plastic body and Chevrolet was one of the pioneers of fiberglass construction. This incredible innovation gave the Corvette lightweight construction and from this day, `Vette body is made out of fiberglass.
Under the hood was an inline six engine called “Blue Flame” which featured 3.9-liter displacement and modest 136 HP rating. The engine came from Chevrolet`s standard lineup although equipped with three Carter carburetors. Chevrolet engineers tried to keep the cost down by borrowing mechanical components from other vehicles and using them on the Corvette.
With the price of $3490 the 1953 Corvette wasn`t affordable but it was cheaper than a Jaguar XK120 or a Ferrari 166. However, despite the big interest from the general public the first year, the Corvette was only made in 300 examples, all in white color with red interior. The 1953 Corvette marked the start of American sports cars production and one of the most successful US nameplates ever produced.