While the style of a car may be just as important to us as how the car runs, automobile manufacturers did not begin to pay attention to car designs until the 1920s. It was not until 1927, when General Motors decided to hire designer Harley Earl that the importance of automotive stying and design became important to American automobile manufacturers. What Henry Ford did for automobile manufacturing principles is what Harley Earl did for car design. Harley Earl loved Sports Cars, and returning GI's after World War II were bring home MGs , Jaguars, and he like.. Earl convinced GM that they needed to build a sports car. The result was the 1953 Corvette.
The first Corvette was built in Flint, Michigan, in the Chevroled parts and finishing plant. This building was later spun off with Delphi, and later donated to GMI/Kettering University in the late 1990s. The Building has since been remodeled, and is now the C.S. Mott Engineering and Chemistry Center. In the garage for the schools "Firebird" club, is a plaque dedicating the garage as the garage where the first Corvette was built.
The Corvette's 50th anniversary was celebrated June 20th and 21st, 2003, in Nashville, Tennessee. The venue provided a bonanza of flawlessly restored Corvettes, a chronological display set up by the National Corvette Museum with every model year of the Corvette; engineering and restoration seminars. The anniversary also brought into focus Chevrolet Concept Vehicles including CERV III and the Chevrolet SS, several Corvette race cars, including the Corvette SS built by Zora Arkus-Duntov, and the C5R that won at LeMans. Among the many displays there were a few 2003 50th Anniversary Edition as well as a few 2004 Commemorative Edition Corvettes, plus a large selection of other Corvette-related displays to keep visitors busy.
There have been five generations of the Corvette so far. The first generation started in 1953 and ended in 1962. The second generation started in 1963 and ended in 1967. The third generation started in 1968 and ended in 1982. The fourth generation started in 1984 and ended in 1996. The fifth generation started in 1997 and 2004 is its final model year. A sixth generation (C6) Corvette is expected for the 2005 Model Year.
See also: Corvette