Corvette Turns 65

On June 30, 1953, the first production Corvette was built at the General Motors facility in Flint, Michigan. Harley J. Earl, the man behind the Corvette, got his start in his father’s business, Earl Automobile Works, designing custom auto bodies for Hollywood movie stars such as Fatty Arbuckle. Earl introduced the latest “dream car,” the Corvette, as part of GM’s traveling Motorama display at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The sleek Corvette, the first all-fiberglass-bodied American sports car, was an instant hit. It went into production the following June in Flint; three hundred models were built that year. All 1953 Corvettes were white convertibles with red interiors and black canvas tops. Underneath its sleek exterior, however, the Corvette was outfitted with parts standard to other GM automobiles, including a Blue Flame six-cylinder engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, and the drum brakes from Chevrolet’s regular car line.

I remember our family vacations in the 1970s. My dad, a loyal Ford man, would see a Corvette going down the highway, and always comment, “It’s just a Chevrolet.” Call it what you want – the Corvette remains the most iconic American sports car in history.

What we call something matters less than what is behind the label and under the hood. Perhaps people call you a Christian, a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ. But what would they see if they could look under your hood?

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