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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well there seems to be some interest in this so I will post it.

But Take a close look under 1952 and March 11

General Motors' chief stylist Harley Earl takes the Le Sabre dream car to the Watkins Glen sports car race. Earl is impressed by the small European sports cars, and decides to begin designing a new American sports car. [79.77] [580.17] (late fall [115.40]) (1950 [595.68])
(month unknown)
A group within Body Development Studio begins designing a General Motors sports car. [258.16]
The Parts Fabrication group within GM Engineering Staff begins setting up a plastic department in Detroit. [583.105]
February 25
Life Magazine includes an article "Plastic Bodies for Autos" with several pages on the Glasspar fiberglass body-building process. (The result is an increased acceptance of fiberglass bodies.) [583.105]
March 11
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the National Plastics Exposition is held. The Naugatuck Chemical Division of U.S. Rubber company shows the Alembic I, formerly called the Brooks Boxer, a fiberglass-bodied Jeep. Chevrolet engineers are very interested with the new body material. [274.67] [580.16] [583.106]
Naugatuck Chemical sales executive Earl Ebers shows the Alembic I to General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. Harvey Earl is impressed with the shape of the car, and the possibilities of glass-reinforced plastic. This encourages him to speed-up his own sports car work. [3.9] [5.13] [104.14] [274.67] [580.17]
(month unknown)
The final design work is completed on GM's sports car, and work begins on producing a full-size clay model. [258.18]
Harley Earl assigns novice designer Robert McLean the task of drawing a layout for the chassis of a sports car for General Motors. [3.9] [5.13] [260.12] (1951 [86.55])
Harley Earl's crew completes a full-size plaster model of his sports car project. [3.11] [104.14] [115.40] [258.54] [580.21]
Harley Earl's plaster model two-seater roadster goes on display in General Motors' private viewing auditorium. [6] [258.54]
Edward Cole becomes Chief Engineer of Chevrolet. [5.17] [6] [176.26] [271.177] [518.5] [580.17]
Edward Cole is shown the plaster mock-up of the sports car proposal. He is very enthusiastic about the project. He promises his full support to Harley Earl. Cole is one of the first Chevrolet people to see the model. [3.11] [258.54] [350.80] [580.21] [595.68] (April [5.13])
June 2
General Motors executives are formally presented with Harley Earl's proposal for a two-seater sports car. General Motors president Charles Wilson and Chevrolet general manager Thomas Keating approve completing a prototype for the 1953 Motorama. The project is code-named "Opel Sports Car". [3.12] [5.17] [42.11] [86.55] [90] [151.37] [203.14] [258.30,54] [260.12] [274.67] [454.20] [580.21] [595.68] (June 1 [104.16]) (approved in April [120.59])
June 12
Chevrolet's director of research and development, Maurice Olley, creates a sketch for the new sports car frame, showing locations of radiator, wheels, and body mount points. [3.9] [4.5] [5.18] [42.11] [88.48] [100.120] [104.16] [258.30]
July 3
General Motors and Chevrolet management teams initiate work orders for two Motorama fiberglass bodies of the sports car, one test body, and two full-size passenger cars for development and testing of the sports car drivetrain. [258.30]
(month unknown)
Chevrolet chief engineer Edward Cole, and Harry Barr set to work on an all-new Chevrolet V-8 engine. [3.19]
The Parts Fabrication Group of GM Engineering is directed to produce two fiberglass bodies for a plaster model of the Opel sports car project, for the 1953 Motorama show. [258.34] (July [583.106])
The Opel project sports car prototype is named Corvette, after a light fast type of World War II warship. The name was suggested by Myron Scott, employee of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's advertising agency. Strong consideration had been given to naming the car "Corvair". Chevrolet executives wanted a "C" word, and rejected 1500 suggestions. [3.15] [4.4] [40.59] [79.53] [86.55] [90] [104.18] [140.82] [151.37] [278.12]
September 27
General Motors first begins officially using the name Corvette for its new sports car. [146]
October 3
The Parts Fabrication group within General Motors completes building a prototype passenger-car body in fiberglass. It is 200 pounds lighter than a similar steel body. [583.106]
(month unknown)
A boot-legged picture of GM's proposed sports car is taken to Ford's styling studio. Staff there have already produced several drawings and renderings of their own sports car prototype. (The Thunderbird will emerge in early 1954.) [256.120] [259.149]
The fiberglass mold for the prototype Corvette is completed. [258.38]
November 18
A prototype fiberglass-bodied Chevrolet full-sized convertible is accidentally rolled during a test run at the GM Proving Ground near Milford, Michigan. The body survives with only minor damage, impressing engineers with the strength and durability of the material. [84.6] [258.38] [583.106]
(month unknown)
Body engineers of General Motor's Fisher Body division visit Robert Morrison, asking if his Molded Fiber Glass Company could produce over 100 parts for a production automobile. Morrison believes it could be done. [454.8]
December 12
The body of the first prototype Corvette is completed. [258.44]
December 22
The Motorama Corvette is officially completed. It cost an estimated US$55-60,000 to build. [258.45] [360.9] [580.28]
A Corvette mule is assembled, ready for mechanical testing. [258.45]
January 9
General Motors first begins using the name "CORVETTE" in stylized script with all letters joined. [146]
January 12
A formal presentation of the prototype Corvette is made to General Motors management. The management team tells the styling team to change the front emblem and horn button, to remove the American flag. (New emblems are quickly designed, with the American flag replaced by a flag showing the Chevrolet bow-tie and a fleur-de-lis.) [258.49]
General Motors' designer Bob Bartholomew changes the emblem of crossed flags on the Corvette in New York, just prior to the opening of the Motorama show. [312.10]
January 16
The General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City opens to the press. The press take their first pictures of the Corvette. [5.20] [258.50]
January 17
The General Motors Motorama opens to the general public in New York City. The prototype Chevrolet Corvette "Dream Car" is displayed to the public for the first time. The roadster is white with red interior, fiberglass body, 235-cid straight-6 engine, and two-speed automatic. Also on display at the Motorama: Buick fiberglass-bodied two-passenger Wildcat, Oldsmobile fiberglass-bodied four-passenger convertible Starfire, Cadillac fiberglass-bodied two-passenger roadster Le Mans. This is the first exclusive General Motors Motorama; in the Motorama from 1949 to 1952, any manufacturer could display their cars. [1] [3.12] [5.20] [6] [7] [20.49] [42.14] [74.72] [90] [111.2] [120.59] [148.14] [203.14] [204.42] [226.46a] [258.55] [259.73] [346.67] [396.6] [595.71]
January 18
General Motors' president announces at the GM Motorama that Corvettes would be built by Chevrolet before the end of June. 200-300 plastic-bodied special models would be built as a test run. After that, the car would be put into full production if there is enough demand for them. [3.15] [258.121] [284.78] [585.86]
Zora Arkus-Duntov sees the Corvette at the General Motors Motorama show. He writes a letter to Edward Cole telling him the Corvette is the best looking sports car he had ever seen. [518.49]
January 20
Jim Premo and Carl Jakust go to Ashtabula, Ohio, to the Molded Fiber Glass Company to see Robert Morrison, to in vestigate the company's ability to produce Corvette bodies. [585.86]
January 25
The General Motors Motorama in New York closes. [258.98]
(month unknown)
The customer delivery building on Van Slyke Avenue in Flint, Michigan, is selected as the site of a pilot line to produce 250 production Corvettes. [258.121]
Chevrolet receives bids from GM's Fisher Body and Molded Fiber Glass for producing 12,300 sets of fiberglass Corvette body parts: 300 in 1953, and 100 per month for 1954. Management decides to make steel bodies, as it is felt neither company is large enough or experienced enough for the project. [585.88]
Edward Cole puts Mauri Rose in charge of giving Chevrolet a performace image via the Corvette. [547.22]
February 4
Chevrolet and General Motors executives decide to make steel-bodied production Corvettes for 1954. [258.127]
February 5
Robert Morrison, of the Molded Fiber Glass Company, meets with Elmer Gormeson, Chevrolet Director of Purchasing. Gormeson tells Morrison of the decision to switch to steel bodies, and the reasoning. Morrison argues that all conditions for producing fiberglass bodies can be met. Gormeson meets again with the management team, and they change their decision back to go with fiberglass bodies. By the end of the day, Morrison receives a $4 million contract for producing 1953/54 Corvette body panels. [258.129] [585.88]
February 14
The General Motors Motorama show is on display in Miami, Florida, for nine days. [258.89]
The St. Louis Chevrolet Assembly plant is notified to get ready to build metal-bodied Corvettes for the 1954 model. [259.4]
Ford officially begins its own sports car program, building on unofficial work that began in 1951. (The resulting Thunderbird will be first shown to the public in early 1954.) [259.150]
March 4
The Motorama Corvette and other prototypes from the Motorama show are put on display in the General Motors Building in Detroit, Michigan, for seven days. [258.98]
(month unknown)
General Motors management authorizes Chevrolet Chief Engineer Edward Cole to put the Flint, Michigan, pilot line into production, to build 300 Corvettes. [258.131]
March 18
The Chicago Auto Show is held, over five days. Chevrolet displays the prototype Corvette. [258.89]
March 27
General Motors applies with the US Patent and Trademark office for a trademark on "CORVETTE" in stylized script with all letters joined. [146]
March 28
The St. Louis Chevrolet Assembly Plant manager is notified that the plant would be the only Corvette assembly plant for 1954, and that the body material would be fiberglass, not steel. [5.24] [258.131] [259.4]
In Ashtabula, Ohio, Robert Morrison forms the Molded Fiber Glass Body Company to meet the US$4 million order for 12,300 Corvette bodies. [5.24] [6] [258.129] [580.30] [585.89]
April 30
The General Motors Motorama show is on display in San Francisco, California, over eight days. [258.96]
May 1
Zora Arkus-Duntov starts work at Chevrolet as assistant staff engineer to Maurice Olley in Research and Development. [1] [6] [7] [90] [104.26] [107.10] [111.74,87] [113.28] [133.31] [258.244] [260.14] [269.0] [518.17,49] [580.38]
May 15
The General Motors Motorama show is on display in Dallas, Texas, over ten days. [258.99]
June 5
The General Motors Motorama show is on display in Kansas City, over ten days. [258.99]
Zora Arkus-Duntov takes a ten-day leave of absense from Chevrolet to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. He decides to quit Chevrolet, but a friend in Paris convinces him to return. [518.49]
Chevrolet begins production of the Corvette on a tiny assembly line in an old Customer Delivery Garage in Flint, Michigan. [3.16] [42.15] [104.19] [148.14,20]
June 29
The first production Corvette is completed. [258.165]
June 30
The first production Corvette rolls off the assembly line at Chevrolet Plant Number 35, near Flint, Michigan. Assembly line worker Tony Kleiber has the honor of driving the first Corvette off the assembly line. The Corvette is the first dream-car to become a production model, and first series-production car with a fiberglass body. [1] [5.25] [6] [7] [42.8] [44.33] [53.22] [55.62] [69.S3-29] [71.S8-12] [78.54] [97.36] [100.122] [111.3] [115.42] [123.40] [128.74] [137.40] [142.16] [148.20] [226.46a] [241.41] [258.165] [260.11] [262.70] [346.67] [452.11] [454.21] [580.33] [585.90] [595.71]
(month unknown)
The first two production Corvettes are considered too far below standards to be sold, so they are use for testing, then scrapped. [585.90]
At the close of the GM Motorama tour of the United States, the Corvette has been seen by over four million show visitors. [5.21]
Zora Arkus-Duntov is appointed director of High Performance Vehicle Design and Development. [104.26]
Chevrolet general sales manager Willianm Fish decides to make 1953 Corvettes available only to outstanding high-volume car dealerships, and for sale only to important high-visibility persons in each community. [585.92]
Zora Arkus-Duntov begins working on the Corvette. His first task is to make alterations to the suspension of the engineering prototype. [46.32] [260.14]
July 26
A truce is signed in Korean War. This allows American automobile manufacturers to shift more time and money toward domestic automobile production, including special projects like sports cars. [580.13] [583.103]
(month unknown)
The domed wheel covers of new Corvettes are changed to spinners. [3.7]
Corvette #56 is built with a metal hood, due to the original fiberglass hood cracking from a bowling ball test. [522.39]
September 1
General Motors' trademark application for "CORVETTE" in stylized script with all letters joined is registered. [146]
September 28
At the General Motors Proving Grounds near Milford, Chevrolet officially unveils the Corvette to an invited group of fifty automotive press journalists. Fourteen Corvettes are made available to the press for test and review. The 1953 model Corvette is designated model number 2934, and features Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission, Polo White exterior paint, Sportsman Red interior, black canvas top, in-line six-cylinder engine, AM radio, and heater. The engine features overhead valves, cast-iron block, 235.5 cubic inch displacement, 150 horsepower, and three Carter Type YH Model 2066S one-barrel carburetors. [1] [5.26] [79.78] [90] [111.3] [115.42] [258.46,190,244] [453.14] [528.42] (June 20 [74.72]) (September 27 [226.46a]) (September 29 [454.25] [580.34]) (eight Corvettes available [580.34]) (eleven Corvettes available [585.91])
September 30
To date, fifty Corvettes have been delivered to buyers. [5.27] [454.25] [580.35] [585.92]
(month unknown)
Motorama Corvette #2 tours Canada as part of a smaller General Motors Motorama show. This Motorama Corvette has minor differences from the first: no fender cowl scoops, no windshield wiper cables, etc. [258.102]
October 5
Maurice Olley outlines his goals for the Corvette in a paper presented to the Society of Automotive Engineers. [104.16]
October 7
John Wayne (Marion Morrison) receives 1953 Corvette VIN #51. [358.29]
The Corvette is displayed at the Paris Auto Show, in France, The first public display of the Corvette in Europe. [259.151] [265.15]
(month unknown)
The Motorama Corvette show car returns to Chevrolet Engineering, where it becomes EX-122 test car. [359.19] [360.9]
The windshield washer assembly is changed from foot-operated to vacuum-operated. [148.21]
McCulloch Motors begins fitting 1953 Corvette #24 with a supercharger. [259.163]
December 16
Zora Arkus-Duntov writes a memo to Chevrolet Chief Engineer and Maurice Olley, on the subject of "Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders and Chevrolet". He writes of the importance of the V8 engine, and getting high performance parts out to the public. [111.87] [191] [255.s11.1] (December 13 [518.41])
(month unknown)
Edward Cole tests his 265 cubic inch V-8 engine in the ex-Motorama prototype Corvette. [104.22]
December 24
Production of 1953 Corvettes ends, with 300 built in total. [115.42] [148.20] [192.88] [259.1] [454.21] [488.64] [521.8]
Corvette production moves from Flint, Michigan, to a General Motors Assembly Division plant on Union Boulevard, in St. Louis, Missouri. [1] [6] [7] [74.73] [104.20] [140.82]
December 29
Production of 1954 model Corvettes begins, in St. Louis. [148.14,22] [226.46a] (December 28 [259.1] [454.21] [488.64]) (January 1954 [265.17])
December 31
To date, Chevrolet has sold 183 of the 300 1953 model Corvettes built. [5.27] [259.4] [454.19] [580.35] [585.92]
To date, fifteen 1954 model Corvettes have been built. [176.26] [192.88] [259.1] [488.64] (fourteen built [580.33] [585.90])
A new 1954 Corvette is delivered to the Chevrolet design studio. The car is assigned shop order S.O. 2151, and becomes the subject of several minor styling changes. [259.99]
January 20
The General Motors' Motorama show goes on display at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Chevrolet shows the Corvette Nomad prototype, with Corvette front and station wagon back. Chevrolet also shows a cherry red Corvair prototype, a two-seat fastback coupe with a Corvette front end. The name is a combination of "Corvette" and "Bel Air". Oldsmobile shows the F-88 two-seater convertible with fiberglass body. (The Corvair idea is dropped, and the style is not related to the later production Corvair. The Nomad becomes a production car, but with styling that departs from the Corvette. The Oldsmobile F-88 is not put into production due to poor sales of the Corvette. In 2005, the F-88 is sold at auction for US$3 million.) [3.18] [215] [259.47] [321.77]
(month unknown)
Engine starters are changed from two-field to four-field coils on production Corvettes. [148.22]
Routing of brake and fuel lines is changed from outside of to inside the chassis frame on production Corvettes. [148.22]
Radios installed in Corvettes now have 640-kilocycle and 1240-kilocycle Conelrad national defence emergency markings. [148.23]
Zora Arkus-Duntov is asked to solve the problem of exhaust debris on the rear bodywork of production Corvettes, and exhaust fumes in the passenger compartment under certain conditions. After making primitive airflow tests, the solution is to extend the exhaust extensions from two to six inches. [259.32]
A production 1954 Corvette has its 6-cylinder engine test-replaced by a prototype V-8 engine, to check how well it fits. [259.194]
On production Corvettes, the dual interior hood release levers are changed to a single release lever which activates both hood latches. [148.22]
The General Motors Motorama show opens in Miami, Florida. A light yellow 1953 Corvette prototype joins the Corvair and Nomad. The Corvette was modified to accept a removable hardtop. [259.59]
February 17
The Detroit Auto Show opens for press previews, in Michigan. The Ford Motor Company shows its new two-seat convertible, calling it a "personal car", with the name "Fairlane". Two days later, the official name Thunderbird will be announced. (Ford's entry in the sports car market becomes a major part of General Motors' decision to continue production of the Corvette.) [1] [6] [104.20] [259.153] [580.40] (February 20 [3.20])
(month unknown)
A second Corvette show car is modified to feature a removable hardtop, is painted green, and tours Canada. [259.59]
March 17
At the General Motors Training Center in San Fernando, California, Chevrolet dealers in the area learn sales and service information about Corvettes, then drive away 28 1954 model Corvettes to dealership lots. [259.125]
March 24
A new styling model Corvette, S.O. 2151, is completed, ready for management presentation. Proposed design changes include a concave cross-hatched metal front grill, phony hood scoop, four diagonal openings behind the front wheels, larger trunk and lid. (Due to poor sales, the styling changes are abandoned. None of the proposed changes reach production. The car resurfaces in 1982 in California in rough shape.) [90] [104.26] [259.99] [580.39]
(month unknown)
The camshaft on production Corvettes is changed, increasing horsepower from 150 to 155. [148.14] [176.28] [259.35]
The McCulloch company completes building their first supercharged 1953 Corvette. The system reportedly boosts horsepower from 87 to 117. [221.40]
April 7
McCulloch Motors begins selling supercharger kits for Corvettes. [259.170]
April 27
At the General Motors Training Center in Chicago, Illinois, Chevrolet dealers in the area learn sales and service information about Corvettes, then drive away 44 1954 model Corvettes to dealership lots. [259.128]
(month unknown)
Exhaust extensions from the rear bodywork are extended from two to six inches, with built-in baffles. [148.22] [259.33]
A photographer from GM Photographic is assigned the task of documenting the Corvette assembly line process. [259.11]
(month unknown)
General Motors relaxes its restricted sales policy of Corvettes, allowing the general public to buy them. [104.20] [259.132] [580.36] [585.92]
Air cleaner inlets on production Corvettes are changed from "bullet" style to a quieter dual "pot" apparatus. [148.22] [265.20]
Chevrolet invites forty members of the automotive press to St. Louis, showing them the whole Corvette assembly line process, and handing out photos for press usage. [259.11]
Corvette production at the St. Louis facility reaches 50 cars per day. However, due to slow sales, production is stopped for weeks at a time for the rest of the year. [107.12] [147.46] [259.13] [580.37] [585.93]
(month unknown)
Chevrolet Engineering installs a functional prototype Chevrolet V-8 engine in a 1954 Corvette, which is given experimental record number EX87. [259.194] [269.46]
At the Mexican Road Race, a Corvette is entered by ends on the first leg of the race with a rod through the block. [337.22]
Joe Pike founds the first Corvette club. [177.26]
August 20
At a sports car race at Raleigh Speedway, Chevrolet races a stock-engined 1953 Corvette. [259.199]
September 9
Ford begins production of the Thunderbird sports car. [84.7] [259.153] [580.40]
(month unknown)
A General Motors executive tells Zora Arkus-Duntov that Corvette is finished, that no more would be built. [538.31]
The first V8-powered Corvette is built, 265-ci with 4-barrel carbureter. The first 3-speed manual Corvette is also built. [226.46a]
October 15
Zora Arkus-Duntov writes a memo to Edward Cole and Maurice Olley, noting that the Corvette appeared to be a failure. He suggests that to drop the Corvette would be an admission of failure, and a public embarrassment to all of Chevrolet. He suggests some modifications to the car, and improvements to the sales effort. He urges General Motors not to cancel the car, but to create a separate department within Chevrolet to oversee Corvette development. [90] [230.40] [259.137] [488.66] (October 14 [133.31] [256.123])
October 22
Ford Thunderbird cars arrive in dealer showrooms. 4,000 orders are placed on the first day. [259.153] [260.19]
(month unknown)
Chevrolet begins advertising the Corvette in the automotive press. [260.14] [580.37] [585.93] (May 1953 [10])
Tubeless tires begin to be used on 1954 model Corvettes. [148.23]
Chevrolet decides that the new V8 engine would be available on 1955 model Corvettes. [259.37]
The Chevrolet Studio begins designing the 1956 Corvette, transforming the full-size 1953 clay model. [269.0]
Chevrolet begins offering a small block 265-ci V8 engine as a Corvette option, for US$135. [186.148] (September [121.56])
Production of the 1954 model Corvette ends, with over 3600 made, but over 1000 unsold. [5.27] [42.17] [111.3] [148.22,24] [260.14] [454.26] [580.37]
Production of 1955 model Corvettes begins. [148.24] [259.111] (October 28, 1954 [453.21])
The General Motors 1955 Motorama show opens at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York. The Biscayne prototype is displayed, employing many Corvette design ideas, and is presented to management as a new direction for the Corvette. The LaSalle II roadster is shown, a two-seater with side coves behind the wheels. [79.58] [259.177] [286.56]
January 29
General Motors first begins officially using a circular emblem with "CHEVROLET" at top, "Corvette" at bottom, and flags in center. [146]
(month unknown)
Brake lining material on production Corvettes is changed to reduce fade and wear. [104.28]
Edward Cole assigns Zora Arkus-Duntov to investigate John Dolza's fuel injection system, for application in Chevrolet cars. [271.178]
The interior rear-view mirror on production Corvettes is replaced with a slightly larger unit, with a vertical adjustment thumbscrew mechanism. [148.24]
Vinyl-coated fabric material is introduced for soft tops on production Corvettes, in addition to canvas tops used previously. [148.25]
The basic design of the 1956 model Corvette is completed. [90] [133.35] [256.127]
April 1
The color Pennant Blue is discontinued in use on 1955 Corvettes. [148.25] [259.120]
April 16
A fiberglass model of the restyled (1956) Corvette is shown to Chevrolet management. [1] [90] [260.22] (May 16 [269.12]) (May [488.66])
(month unknown)
The exterior paint color red is first made available for 1955 model Corvettes. [222.18]
A new three-speed manual transmission is completed, and testing begins on production Corvettes. [259.121]
Zora Arkus-Duntov fits a fuel injection system to a 1955 Corvette for testing. Test track results show a power increase of almost 10 percent. [271.178]
Three-speed manual transmissions are first offered in 1955 model Corvettes, only on the V-8 engine model. [3.20] [28.41] [42.20] [133.35] [148.25] [227.29] [256.186]
General Motors engineers replace the original body of the EX-122 ex-Motorama Corvette with a production Corvette body. [359.21]
July 8
Norm Brown begins his first day of work for Chevrolet. His first duty is to assist scrapping the Corvette Nomad show car, and possibly the Biscayne show car. [259.73]
July 31
A work order is written for a new camshaft designed by Zora Arkus-Duntov. [512.70]
(month unknown)
Zora Arkus-Duntov begins experimenting with suspension modifications, on a test Corvette with 195-bhp engine. [6]
Chevrolet design studio staff create a dream car for the 1956 GM Motorama shows, called Corvette Impala. The Corvette grille and grille surround are incorporated, as well as other Corvette components. This hardtop five-passenger sports sedan shows the name "Corvette Impala" on the front emblem and rear license plate. [269.87]
A special 1956 Corvette is created at GM Styling Studios for Prince Bertil of Sweden. Differences include front emblem replaced by a large "V", large grille shell with flat black screen instead of teeth, tail pipes exiting through lower rear side of rear fender, chrome spears on trunk lid, gas filler in center at front of trunk lid, narrow whitewall tires, and Dayton wire wheels. [269.155]
At Watkins Glen, Addison Austin races a 1955 Corvette with V-8 engine and automatic transmission. He finishes 7th in class and 10th overall. [337.22] [512.72]
General Motors designers begin work on a new Corvette style for a 1958 model, based on the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket dream car, and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. [580.86]
(month unknown)
The 3-speed shifter boot on production Corvettes is changed from leather to rubber with a metal bezel stamped with gear locations. [259.122]
Zora Arkus-Duntov gains Edward Cole's approval to prepare a Corvette for speed tests at Daytona in January. Zora's target speed is 150-MPH. [229.55] [271.178] [522.26]
Two new 1955 Corvettes are ordered to be prepared for racing at Daytona. [259.199]
Zora Arkus-Duntov begins modifying EX87 to make it extremely streamlined for racing: fiberglass tonneau covering passenger compartment, stock windshield replaced by small driver's side windshield, headrest with fin, and 3-speed manual transmission. [231.28] [259.199] [522.26]
EX87 (1954 Corvette with V-8 engine) is moved to Chevrolet Engineering, and assigned tracking number 5951. [269.46] [522.26]
(month unknown)
Design work begins on what will become the 1958 Corvette. [5.53]
Zora Arkus-Duntov drives EX87/5951 to just under 163 MPH at General Motors' Desert Proving Ground near Mesa, Arizona. The mule Corvette incorporates Duntov's special camshaft, giving the 307-ci engine 275 horsepower. [269.46] [512.70] [522.27]
Production of 1955 model Corvettes ends. [148.24] [259.117]
John Fitch writes to Chevrolet chief engineer Edward Cole, suggesting he become a sports car consultant, to help develop the Corvette into a world-class sports car. [132.27]
A team from Chevrolet, including Zora Arkus-Duntov, takes three Corvettes to Daytona Beach, to attempt a 150-mph run. The three cars are: 1953 model with 1956 powertrain (three-speed manual and V8 engine), 1955 model with 1956 powertrain, 1956 prototype with three-speed manual and 307-ci engine. Due to bad weather, the high speed testing waits until January. [90] [237.27] [260.23] [269.49] (early 1956 [42.24])
January 9
Regular production of the 1956 model Corvette begins. [269.47,203] (November 4, 1955 [453.24])
January 11
The 1956 model Corvette is officially announced. [105.93] [110.15] [135.93]
January 19
The General Motors Motorama show opens in the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, running for nine days. The 1956 Corvette makes its debut. The Corvette Impala show car is displayed. [5.41] [37] [104.28] [259.201] [269.51,81] [288.74]
On the beach at Daytona, Florida, Zora Arkus-Duntov drives a 1956 prototype Corvette (3-speed manual transmission, 307-ci engine) to a new record speed of 150.583 mph (two-way average) for the Flying Mile. The Standing Mile record is also broken, at 91.69 mph. [5.42] [151.33] [161.45] [226.46a] [259.196] [260.23] [269.51] [318.13] [337.22] [518.37] (Standing Mile 89.363 mph [237.28])
Based on the success at Daytona, Edward Cole announces Chevrolet would give factory support to a private team entering Corvettes at the Sebring 12-hour race in March. [269.131] (February [5.43])
(month unknown)
Zora Arkus-Duntov complains to Chevrolet management that the brakes are inadequate for racing, and safety at Sebring could lead to disaster. Duntov is re-assigned, and John Fitch is hired by Chevrolet to run the Sebring Racing Team. [269.133] [305.85]
The production Corvette heater is changed, taking air from the outside instead of recirculating interior air. [148.27]
The shift knob on production Corvettes is changed from white plastic to chrome-plated steel. [148.26]
February 13
Chevrolet issues a price list to dealers for the 1956 Corvette. The dual carburetor option is mandatory, as the single carburetor 210-hp engine is not yet available. [269.72]
February 18
In Daytona, Florida, the Daytona Speed Weeks races are held. A 1956 Corvette is the official pace car. Chevrolet enters five Corvettes: modified 1953, modified 1955, 1956 with 307-ci engine and four-speed transmission, and two stock 1956 models. Drivers are Betty Skelton, John Fitch, and Zora Arkus-Duntov. In the Flying Mile, John Fitch is 1st in production class with a two-way average speed of 145.543 mph, a new record. Betty Skelton is 2nd at 137.773 mph. Zora is 1st in Modified class and overall at 147.3 mph. His downwind speed is 156 mph, second best to a Grand Prix Ferrari F1 by 1 mph. In the Standing Mile, production class, Ford Thunderbirds win 1st and 2nd; John Fitch in a Corvette is 3rd at 86.782 mph. Zora is 1st in Modified class and overall at 89.753 mph. [3.24] [5.42] [18.57] [23.40] [29] [42.34] [79.67] [90] [113.28] [132.27] [151.35] [161.47] [226.46a] [231.28] [259.196] [260.23] [269.111] [295.128] [512.71] [580.49]
(month unknown)
At the GM Styling department, Bob Cumberford, Tony Lapine, and Stan Mott make an unofficial survey of sports car people in the US, asking about the desirability of a 4-passenger sports car. Their proposed name for such a car is Mustang. Chief stylist Harley Earl tells them to stick to design work. [42.25]
Chevrolet paints the Corvette EX-87/5951 Harvest Gold, and gives it a green interior. The car and a stock 1953 Corvette are donated to NASCAR for a proposed sports car oval circuit. [522.27]
March 24
In Sebring, Florida, the Florida International 12-Hour Grand Prix of Endurance race is held, round 2 of the World Sports Car Championship. Raceway Enterprises of Dundee, Illinois, enters four 1956 Corvettes prepared for racing by Chevrolet. Finishing 1st (only entrant) in Sports 8000 class, 9th overall, is the Raceway Enterprises #1 Corvette, driven by John Fitch and Walt Hansgen. The car has a 307-ci engine. Finishing 6th in Sports 5000 class, 15th overall, is the Raceway Enterprises #6 Corvette, driven by Ray Crawford and Max Goldman. The car has 265-ci engine and 3.70-to-1 final drive. Finishing 7th in Sports 5000 class, 23rd overall, is the Carl Beuhler #3 Corvette, driven by Don Davis and Robert Gatz. Ernie Erickson and Charles Hassan drive the Raceway Enterprises #7 Corvette in Sports 5000 class. After 22 laps, the engine fails. The car has 265-ci engine, and 4.11-to-1 final drive. Dale Duncan drives the Raceway Enterprises #5 Corvette in Sports 5000 class. After 3 laps, the driveshaft breaks. The car has 265-ci engine, high performance Duntov cam, and 4.11-to-1 final drive. Winner of the team prize is Corvette. [5.43] [19.39] [42.24] [79.67] [84.8] [104.29,151] [111.6] [132.65] [141.52] [161.49] [205.104] [231.28] [259.195] [260.23] [318.14] [337.29] [348] [356.23] [423] [512.73] [518.41] [585.96] (Crawford/Goldman win their class [3.25] [213.45] [269.131])
(month unknown)
Corvette engineers are shifted to assist with a new Chevrolet truck line, and the 1958 Chevrolet production car line. Work on a redesigned 1958 Corvette is shelved. [580.86]
April 6
Chevrolet issues a bulletin to dealers regarding the 1956 Corvette. The base 210-hp engine with single carburetor is now available, and the 225-hp dual carburetor is now optional. [269.72]
April 9
Chevrolet issues a new price list to dealers for the 1956 Corvette. The standard engine is 210-hp, with single carburetor. [269.73]
April 11
Chevrolet sells the EX-122 Corvette to Russell Sanders, assistant Chief Engineer of Chevrolet. [360.9] [547.32]
The following mandatory options are made optional: parking brake alarm, courtesy lights, windshield washer, hydraulic folding top mechanism. [111.5] [148.27]
April 22
At the Pebble Beach raceway in Monterey, California, the first race of the SCCA season is held. Chevrolet's advertising agency, Campbell Ewald, enters 1956 Aztec Copper Corvette #46 prepared for racing by Chevrolet. Richard Thompson leads most of the race with the car, but the brakes completely fail with two laps to go. A Mercedes 300SL passes to win; Thompson finishes in second place overall, first in class. [5.43] [84.8] [104.29] [213.48] [235.53] [260.24] [269.167] [337.23] [400.30] [423] [454.35] [580.52]
Harley Earl acquires a Jaguar D-Type car, and orders Chevrolet to turn it into a Chevrolet racing car. He gambles that Chevrolet will refuse, and propose building their own racer. [3.41]
May 21
The 1522nd 1956 Corvette is completed. This car is destined to become the first SR-2, for Harley Earl's son Jerry. [269.187]
May 22
The 1532nd 1956 Corvette is completed. This car is destined to become the second SR-2, for Bill Mitchell. [269.187]
Jerry Earl's stock 1956 Corvette is delivered to Chevrolet's Research and Development Center, to be modified into a racer (Corvette SR-2), with components and modifications developed by John Fitch and others racing at Sebring. [231.30]
Bill Mitchell orders a second Corvette SR-2 built for his own use. [23.41]
May 25
The 1636th 1956 Corvette is completed. This car is destined to become the third SR-2, for Harlow Curtice. [269.187]
General Motors president Harlow Curtice orders a third Corvette SR-2 for himself. This SR-2 is a stock 1956 Corvette, with the SR-2 nose and a center-mounted fin on the trunk. [23.42]
A manual top with hydraulic assist is made available as an option on the 1956 Corvette. [133.43]
At GM Styling Studio Z, a Jaguar D-type race car arrives, borrowed by Harley Earl from its owner, minus the engine. Engineers are instructed to install a Corvette engine, disguise the body, and prepare it for racing. [271.79]
June 15
The Chevrolet R&D Center completes the transformation of Jerry Earl's 1956 Corvette into a racer. It is designated "SR-2", for "Sebring Racer". The SCCA racing number 144 is painted on the car. [231.30] [269.189]
June 24
At the Road America raceway in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, an SCCA race is held for C Production class cars. Finishing 1st overall is the Corvette driven by Bark Henry. Finishing 2nd overall is the Corvette driven by Fred Windridge. [269.203] [423]
At the Road America raceway in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, an SCCA race is held for B, C, and D Modified class cars. Jerry Earl and Richard Thompson debut Earl's #144 Corvette SR-2 in racing. The initial race performance is disappointing, finishing 16th overall. Thompson considers the car overweight and underpowered. Finishing 7th in S5.0 class and 10th overall is the Corvette driven by Max Goldman. [23.41] [42.36] [205.106] [231.30] [269.189] [423]
(month unknown)
The ex-Motorama Corvette EX-122 test car is rebuilt with a 265-ci V-8 engine, painted red, and given white seats. It is used as a courtesy car for 5,000 miles. [360.9]
GM Styling begins work designing a minor facelift for the Corvette in the Chevrolet Studio. [580.86]
In reaction to the Jaguar D-type conversion project, Zora Arkus-Duntov writes to management, proposing they design and build a special racing Corvette. [3.41] [271.79]
Jerry Earl takes his Corvette SR-2 back to the Chevrolet R&D Center, asking for modifications recommended by Richard Thompson, and to incorporate the specifications of the second SR-2 under construction. Changes include removing the fin from the middle of the trunk lid, adding an off-center high tail from the Corvette used at the Daytona speed trials, with an integrated headrest and rollbar. [42.36] [231.32] [325.36]
Chevrolet sells the EX87 Corvette, but with a 1956 body, automatic transmission, and stock engine. [259.198]
Zora Arkus-Duntov is named special design and development engineer at Chevrolet. [113.28]
At the Bonnevile salt flats races, George Hanson races a 1956 Corvette to 145.86-mph. [337.22]
The 39-millionth Chevrolet car is produced, a Corvette. [488.67]
July 7
At Beverly, Massachusetts, a 65-mile car race is held. Finishing 1st is the #111 Corvette driven by Richard Thompson. [269.203] [423]
Edward Cole replaces Thomas Keating as general manager of Chevrolet. Cole is also named vice president of General Motors. Harry Barr becomes new chief engineer of Chevrolet. [3.25] [5.44] [6] [213.48] [229.54] [289.80]
In New Hampshire, the Mount Washington hill climb race is held. A Corvette finishes third. [269.203]
In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the Giant's Despair hill climb race is held. A Corvette finishes fifth. [269.203]
At the Chevrolet Studio of GM Styling, work begins on a Corvette sports/racer for next year's race in Sebring. (This is the start of project XP-64, becoming the Corvette SS.) [25] [7] [110.79] [114.9] [579.73] [580.71] (XP-46 [3.41])
Edward Cole and other GM management first see a plaster model for the Sebring racer. [322.63] [329.36] [580.72]
August 7
Zora Arkus-Duntov's proposed racing Corvette is approved, and assigned project number XP-64. [271.79,199] [337.65]
August 11
In Bremerton, Washington, the Seattle Seafair Class C/Production race is held. Finishing 1st overall is the #106 1956 Corvette driven by Richard Thompson. [79.69] [104.151] [269.173] (August 12 [423])
August 13
Pilot line production of 1957 Corvettes begins. [271.180]
August 31
Harley Earl outlines the program for the XP-64. He directs that three identical vehicles be delivered by December 15. [271.79]
September 4
The second Corvette SR-2, for Bill Mitchell, is completed. It has a large headrest/fin, and twin small wind screens. [269.190] [271.45]
September 10
Chevrolet and Styling management review the XP-64 clay model. They decide to show the car at the New York Automobile Show in December. [271.79] [580.72]
At Chevrolet, the Car Design Advisory Committee meets, over two days. They decide that project XP-64 would be a competitive racing car with special frame, suspension, engine, drivetrain, and body. [271.76]
September 11
Edward Cole informs Bill Mitchell that the XP-64 would not be shown at the New York Automobile Show, but three race versions should be completed by early January for testing prior to the Sebring race. [271.81]
September 12
Authorization is given to complete a non-running seating buck for project XP-64. This will be used to determine location of pedals, instruments, etc. [271.81]
September 17
The XP-64 seating buck is shown to management. [271.81]
September 20
Production of 1956 model Corvettes ends, with a total of 3467 built. This is the first year that automobile manufacturers end production early, to have next year's models in dealer showrooms before the end of the year. [269.203]
September 21
Production of 1957 Corvettes begins. [271.9] (October 19 [453.28])
October 1
Edward Cole assigns engineering staff to Zora Arkus-Duntov to construct four sports/racer test cars, the XP-64. [5.152] [269.220] [271.101] [329.37]
The first 1957 production Corvette rolls off the assembly line. [111.9] [148.28] [271.182]
General Motors first announces Ramjet Fuel Injection to the public. [454.43]
October 22
Rochester Products Plant completes the first production fuel injection unit, destined for a Corvette. [271.182] [565.52]
November 3
At the Palm Springs raceway, the last SCCA race of the season is held. Finishing 1st is the #106 1956 Corvette driven by Richard Thompson. The second place car was behind by only one second. [269.175] [454.38]
Richard Thompson, racing a Corvette, is SCCA C Production class points champion for the year, the first national title for the Corvette. [5.43] [133.12] [148.14] [337.24] [394.13]
November 16
Due to supplier difficulties in supplying sheet magnesium for the XP-64 body, it is concluded that only one XP-64 could be made for the Sebring race. [271.100]
Chevrolet builds two 1957 hardtop Corvettes for racing, with special and prototype parts. They feature fuel injected 283-ci 283-hp engines, and 4-speed manual transmissions. [213.48]
Chevrolet tests two Corvettes with fuel injection at the Sebring race track. [337.24] [580.61]
The XP-64 mule is completed, ready for testing. [271.199]
December 7
Two 1957 Corvettes race-prepared by Chevrolet are entered in the Governor's Trophy race in the Bahamas. Finishing 10th overall is the Corvette driven by William Mitchell. Warren Flickinger races the #3 Corvette. [213.48] [271.214] [423] [580.61]
December 9
The Nassau Trophy race is held in the Bahamas. Finishing 1st in S8.0 class is the Corvette driven by Ray Crawford. Jim Jeffords races the #36 Corvette, but does not finish. Dick Thompson and Fred Windridge race two other Corvettes. [423]
A Corvette Super Sport is built from a 1956 model, as a show car (not like the other Corvette SS). [271.199]
(month unknown)
Zora Arkus-Duntov begins testing the XP-64 race car. The 283-ci engine has aluminum heads and fuel-injection, giving it 307-hp. [42.38] [79.69]
The Corvette Super Sport show car is first shown to the public, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The car has three stripes running the length of the car, double quarter-bubble windscreens, narrow whitewall tires, air scoops in rear of side coves, and special interior. [271.199] [542.51]
Vented gas tanks are used in new production Corvettes. [111.9]
February 7
At Daytona Beach in Florida, the Speed Week Performance Trials are held. Bill Mitchell's 310-hp 336-ci fuel-injected Corvette SR-2 and production Corvettes are entered. In the Standing-start Mile (Production) class, Paul Goldsmith in a Corvette wins with average speed 91.301-MPH. In second place is Johnny Beauchamp at 89.798-MPH in a Corvette. In third place is Betty Skelton at 87.4-MPH in a Corvette. In the Standing Mile (Modified), Buck Baker in the Corvette SR-2 wins with 93.047-MPH. In the Flying Mile (Production), Paul Goldsmith in a Corvette wins with 131.941-MPH. Second is Johnny Beauchamp; third is Betty Skelton. In the Flying Mile (Modified), Buck Baker in the Corvette SR-2 is 2nd with 152.866-MPH, behind a Jaguar D-Type car. [90] [260.25] [271.45,201] [337.22] [580.64]
February 10
At the New Smyrna Beach municipal airport in Florida, car races are held, for professionals and amateurs. Chevrolet enters a 1957 race-prepared Corvette, driven by Paul Goldsmith. In the production race, Goldsmith finished 2nd behind a Mercedes 300 SL. In the main race, Goldsmith finishes 4th. Bill Mitchell's Corvette SR-2 is the race's pace car. [213.48] [271.201] [580.65]
At a board meeting of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, General Motors President Harlow Curtice proposes a ban of factory-supported racing, to avoid government regulation in the automobile industry. (His opinion is partly influenced by the June 1955 Mercedes-Benz crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, resulting in many spectator deaths.) [362.45] [454.50] [518.43] [579.33] (April [3.44])
At an auto show in Chicago, the Corvette Super Sport show car is shown. [271.199]
March 21
The XP-64, now called the Corvette SS, is officially released for management viewing. [5.152]
March 22
At the Sebring race track, Juan Fangio test drives the Corvette SS "Mule", beating his own Ferrari record of last year with a lap time of 3:27.2. Stirling Moss test drives a 3:28 lap. [580.80]
The Corvette SS is delivered to the Sebring race track. [271.109]
March 23
In Sebring, Florida, the Florida International 12 hour Grand Prix for the Amoco Trophy race is held, round 2 of the World Sports Car Championship. Finishing 1st in GT 5000 class, 12th overall, is the John Fitch #4 1957 Corvette, driven by Richard Thompson and Gaston Andrey. Finishing 2nd in GT 5000 class, 15th overall, is the Lindsey Hopkins #3 1957 Corvette, driven by John Kilborn, Jim Jeffords, and Dale Duncan. Finishing 7th in Sports 5000 class, 16th overall, is the Lindsey Hopkins #2 Corvette SR-2, driven by Paul O'Shea and Pete Lovely. John Fitch and Piero Taruffi drive the Lindsey Hopkins #1 Corvette SS in Sports 5000 class. After 23 laps, it is retired due to erratic brakes and faulty rear suspension. [3.28,43] [5.155] [29.78] [42.38] [90] [104.151] [120.62] [133.12,36] [141] [148.14] [178.78] [203.16] [213.45] [260.25,44] [271.79,109,160,214] [337.64] [348] [385.61] [395.68] [423] [452.16] [518.43] [580.65] (Car No. 3 finishes 3rd in class [5.45])
(month unknown)
Edward Cole orders the Corvette SS be improved for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and for two more to be built. [42.38] [362.44] (February [518.51])
April 9
A fully-synchronized four-speed Borg-Warner transmission (RPO 685) is first made available on the 1957 model Corvette, as a US$188.30 option. [7] [28.42] [29] [84.8] [104.31] [111.7] [148.28] [271.38,249] [546.84] (May 1 [103.23] [226.46a] [454.43] [565.51] [580.60]) (May [5.45] [213.48] [518.38])
The Corvette Owners Club of San Diego is founded. [159.2]
Work continues at General Motors on the Corvette SS, to prepare it for the Le Mans race in June. [271.149]
RPO 479E "Air Box" ram-air induction is introduced for 1957 Corvettes. [213.48]
Production of 4-speed 1957 model Corvettes begins. [131.70]
April 21
Final changes are made to the specifications of the 1958 Corvette. [580.88]
General Motors management orders the racing department of Chevrolet to cease work on projects associated with racing, including the Corvette SS. [271.149] [337.66] [579.75] [580.85]
May 9
The Northern California Corvette Association is incorporated, with 47 members. This is the world's first organized Corvette club. [25] [222.23] [579.10]
RPO 684 is added to the 1957 model options, offering stiffer springs, bigger shocks, fatter front anti-roll bar, faster-ratio steering, bigger brakes, and a limited-slip differential. [104.34] [213.48]
May 29
General Motors management orders the Corvette SS restored to show condition. [271.149]
June 4
The Automobile Manufacturers Association passes a resolution recommending that member companies (including General Motors) not participate in or sponsor auto racing. [42.39] [104.46] (April [3.38]) (June 6 [362.45])
June 6
The decision of the Automobile Manufacturers Association to ban race involvement is announced. The ban on racing involvement includes not helping others, not supply pace cars, not publicize any results, not advertise any features of passenger cars that suggest speed. [5.48] [6] [25] [42.39] [79.70] [206.51] [271.0,149] [453.209] [518.43] [579.2,160]
Plans to build three Corvette SS cars to race at Le Mans are scrapped. [518.51]
At the Road America raceway in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Jerry Earl enters his #100 Corvette SR-2 with Curtis Turner driving. He is unable to complete the race. [271.47,70]
(month unknown)
Zora Arkus-Duntov is named director of high-performance vehicles for Chevrolet. [147.60] [538.31]
Following the Turin motor show in Italy, where Bill Mitchell was impressed by the Italian Abarth, Mitchell challenges his designers to create their own variation for the Q Corvette. [274.69]
At the Pike's Peak Hill Climb, Ak Miller wins sportscar class with time of 15:23, driving a Corvette. [5.49]
At the Bonneville salt flat races, George Hanson races a Corvette to a new Sports Car Class record of 144.322-MPH. [337.22]
July 9
General Motors' circular emblem with "CHEVROLET" at top, "Corvette" at bottom, and flags in center is registered as a trademark. [146]
July 11
Aluminum cowl and door bracing is added to GM's Assembly Instruction Manual. [271.253]
July 14
In Marlboro, Maryland, an SCCA race is held for B, C, and D Production cars. Finishing 1st in B Production class and 1st overall is the Jerry Earl's Corvette SR-2 driven by Richard Thompson. Finishing 2nd in B Production class and 2nd overall is the Corvette driven by Bark Henry. Finishing 3rd in B Production class is the Corvette driven by Bob Muat. [271.47] [423]
(month unknown)
Rochester Ramjet fuel-injection is made available to production Corvettes. [260.25] [262.88]
Chevrolet sells Bill Mitchell's Corvette SR-2, and Corvettes #3 and #4 from the Sebring race to private owners. [271.215]
Chevrolet begins producing the Corvette News magazine, published quarterly. [8] [18.10] [232.29] [271.264]
Zora Arkus-Duntov is officially put in charge of any changes to Corvette production. [1] [260.29] [580.90]
The final 1958 Corvette design is approved and locked in. A 1955 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket experimental car had been proposed by stylists as an all-new Corvette. [357.46]
August 22
Peter Brock submits sketches for a new Corvette design to Bill Mitchell. Mitchell orders the research division of Styling to proceed with Brock's design. (The car will emerge as the Sting Ray.) [454.44] (October [275.90])
August 30
The Corvette SS is on show at the Michigan State Fair, over ten days. [271.170]
September 6
Production of 1957 model Corvettes ends, with a total of 6339 built. [148.28] [271.9] [579.29]
The first 1/4-scale clay model of the Q Corvette is ready for viewing. [353.46] [563.93] [580.95]
October 14
The first 1958 production Corvette rolls off the assembly line. This Corvette style is designated model J800. [148.30] [579.31] (October 31 [453.29])
(month unknown)
Richard Thompson wins SCCA B Production class title. [133.12] [148.14] [394.12]
J.E. Rose, racing a Corvette, is SCCA B Modified points champion for the year. [133.12,72] [148.14] [337.24] [394.15]
A full-scale clay model of the Q Corvette is completed, ready for executive viewing. [353.46] [563.93] [579.90] [580.95]
December 1
The Nassau Tourist Trophy race is held in the Bahamas. Finishing 1st in S8.0 class and 8th overall is the Bill France #92 Corvette SR-2 driven by Curtis Turner. [423] (1956 [231.32])
The Nassau Governor's Trophy race is held in the Bahamas. Finishing 1st overall is the Bill France #92 Corvette SR-2 driven by Curtis Turner. [423] (1956 [231.32])
December 8
The Nassau Trophy race is held in the Bahamas. Curtis Turner races the Bill France #92 Corvette SR-2, but does not finish. [423] (November [271.47])
Jerry Earl sells his Corvette SR-2 to Jim Jeffords, with the Nicky Chevrolet racing team in Chicago. [18.57] [23.41] [42.37] [271.47] [325.36]
The Q-Corvette project passes inspection at an Engineering Policy Group show. [454.60]
(month unknown)
The Q-Car and Q-Corvette projects are halted, due to a recession in the automobile industry. [563.93] [580.96]
March 22
In Sebring, Florida, the 12 Hours of Sebring race is held, round 2 of World Sports Car Championship. Finishing 1st in Grand Touring 5000 class, 12th overall, is the Richard Doane #1 Corvette, driven by Jim Rathmann and Richard Doane. Finishing 2nd in Grand Touring 5000 class, 33rd overall, is the Richard Thompson #2 Corvette, driven by John Kilborn, Fred Windridge, and Dick Thompson. Jim Jeffords drives his #3 Corvette SR-2 in Grand Touring 5000 class. After 27 laps, the rear axle breaks. He places 59th overall. [5.48] [104.151] [133.72] [263] [337.64] [348] [423]
June 11
The 39 millionth Chevrolet car is built, a 1958 Corvette. [579.42]
(month unknown)
A Corvette finishes first in sports car class at the Pike's Peak Hill Climb. [3.124] [104.151]
At the Bonneville salt flat races, Glen Minder races a 1957 Corvette to 153.327-MPH. [337.22]
NASCAR abandons the idea of building a sports car oval circuit, and sells the EX-87/5951 Corvette to Duane Church of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. [522.27]
General Motors management cancels the Q sedan project, including the Q Corvette. [274.69] [353.47]
July 7
A federal law is passed, requiring automobile manufacturers to attach a label to the window of new cars displaying options and prices, transport and freight charges, and manufacturer's suggested retail price. The law will come into effect September 1. [523.74]
Bill Mitchell assembles the XP-700, a highly modified 1958 Corvette with a long oval nose, twin-bubble clear plastic roof, and periscope rear mirror. (The rear design is later adopted for the 1961 model.) [3.36] [30] [34] [104.136] [314.44]
August 20
Production of the 1958 model ends. Sales of the model reach 9168, enough to turn a profit for the Corvette for the first time. [3.31] [84.9] [148.30] [579.31] [580.99]
September 1
As of this date, all cars produced in the United States must have a manufacturer's label attached to a window displaying options and prices, transport and freight charges, and manufacturer's suggested retail price. [523.74]
September 2
Production of 1959 model Corvettes begins. [148.32] [579.67]
(month unknown)
Jim Jeffords in his Corvette SR-2 Purple People Eater wins SCCA B Production championship. [5.48] [18.57] [148.14] [231.32] [394.12] (1958 Corvette [133.74]) (Purple People Eater Mk II [133.74])
December 1
Harley Earl retires from General Motors Styling department. [3.8] [6] [7] [34] [49.119] [53.74] (1959 [42.30])
Bill Mitchell becomes General Motors' chief stylist. He changes the name of the department from Styling to Design. [3.28] [6] [7] [32] [34] [42.30] [49.119] [53.74] [104.46] [454.57] [539.45]
Bill Mitchell buys the XP-87 Corvette SS "White Mule" chassis from Chevrolet for US$1, to use it as a test car for a styling study. This is not the actual Corvette SS, but a second test car used for testing the chassis. (It becomes the Sting Ray racer.) [3.44] [5.156] [29.80] [42] [203.16] [353.47] [580.102] ($500 [579.75])
Larry Shinoda joins Bill Mitchell's Studio X, to finish design work on the Sting Ray racer. [242.26]
Zora Arkus-Duntov, in the Corvette SS, hits 183 MPH on the General Motors Proving Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona. [12] [25] [271.151] [580.85]

946 Posts

2,006 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With out looking,,, that is the Olds F88 that got scrapped, The idea anyway, that one was the one that got away. Its in the post I put up /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Lots of that car found its way into the Vette /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/headspin.gif

3,917 Posts
Well I tried to read that three or four times... got lost every time... need to research and understand first I guess.

But there was a serious cat fighting inside GM over all of it wasn't there?

As with all things it likely comes down to Golf or who's who, something built into the power structure.

And so, during the auction last year... the price for the car pictured above?

Just a guess... it's an inside joke... power struggle... the deep dark past inside GM... too bad most of them can no longer comment.

Oh to be an old fly on the wall...

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