1960 CHEVROLET CONVERTIBLE
Displacement: 283 cu. in./4.64L
Horsepower: 290 hp
Torque: 4-speed manual
A Little History
The 1960 Corvette is part of the first generation of Corvettes, commonly referred to as “C1,” which lasted from 1953 to 1962. Back in 1927, General Motors hired Harley Earl to be their new chief designer. A long time lover of sports cars, Earl was one of the first to notice the trend of returning GIs importing the sports cars they drove around Europe, like MGs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, and more, but they were very expensive cars. Earl convinced GM to start building their own, less expensive two-seater sports car, and work got underway in 1951.
The first ever Corvette, the EX-122, debuted at the 1953 General Motors Motorama in New York City to rave reviews. Unfortunately, in their rush to provide cars for an eager public, GM decided to cut some performance corners, which wound up creating a backlash and decline in sales. As most of the 1953 models were hand-built in a rush, they had very serious body leaks during rainstorms that more often than not ruined the interiors.
In fact, the backlash was so bad that Chevrolet almost discontinued the Corvette line altogether in 1954 after selling a mere 2,400 units. However, thanks to an extensive 1954 survey of Corvette owners in America, conducted by Popular Mechanics magazine, Chevrolet was turned on to the fact that the vast majority of owners found Corvettes to be superior in performance and handling than their European counterparts. Chevrolet agreed to continue working out the kinks and eventually brought sales back up enough to keep the model going even today.
Did you know?
When the Corvette was first being designed in 1951, its codename was “Project Opel.”