Happy Birthday, Corvette!

Artist, A.D. Cook with CREATION, 48” x 60”, acrylic on canvas, 2024

National Corvette Day 2024

On June 30, 1953, Chevrolet made history by assembling the first-ever Corvette at its Flint, Michigan plant. The sleek and stylish sports car was an instant hit, capturing the hearts of car enthusiasts all over the world. It marked a turning point in automotive design and innovation, paving the way for countless future generations of high-performance vehicles.

The first completed production car, with its bold red interior and 235.5 cubic inch (cid) inline six-cylinder “Blue Flame” engine, rolled off the assembly line just two days later, leaving onlookers marveling at its jaw-dropping beauty and impressive capabilities. From that moment on, the Corvette became a symbol of American ingenuity and excellence, inspiring a legion of devoted fans and collectors.

The 1953 Corvette was America's first mass-produced fiberglass sports car, with only 300 units produced in its first year.

The First All-American Sports Car!

1953 Corvette Specs

Power-Packed Chassis

  • Engine – Special 150hp, high-compression, 6-cylinder valve-in-head “Blue Flame” engine; triple side-draft carburetors.
  • Exhaust System – Dual, exhausting through two ports in the rear deck of the body.
  • Transmission – Powerglide Automatic Transmission
  • Rear Axle – 3.55 to 1 ratio hypoid axle; Hotchkiss drive
  • Front Suspension – Knee Action with direct double-acting shock absorbers and ride stabilizer.
  • Rear Suspension – 4-leaf semi-elliptic springs; direct double-acting shock absorbers.
  • Frame – X-member-braced Box Girder frame.
  • Steering – Full anti-friction gear; Center-Point linkage.
  • Brake – Hydraulic, 11″ Jumbo-Drum, self-energizing brakes; mechanical actuation of rear brakes for parking.
  • Wheels – Chrome disks; simulated “knock-off” hubs.
  • Tires – 6.70.15 white sidewall tires, including spare.
  • Gasoline Tank – 18 gallons, behind seats; concealed filler in body side.
  • Car Dimension – Height, 33″ at door; wheelbase, 102″; over-all length, 167″; over-all width, 70″; front tread, 57″; rear tread, 59″; curb weight, approximately 2,900 pounds.

Attractive Front Styling

  • Headlights – Recessed in fenders.
  • Parking Lights – At ends of radiator grille.
  • Radiator Grille – Chrome air-scoop type.
  • Guards – Chrome radiator grille and fender guards.
  • Hood – Glass fiber, hinged at front; release inside cockpit; automatically latching support.
  • Windshield – Chrome-bound, one-piece curved safety plate glass; 53-degree slant.
  • Side Windows – Separate; snapped in chrome top moldings of door.
  • Top – Rakish, manually adjusted, lightweight fabric top; plastic rear window.

Spacious, Comfortable Cockpit

  • Seats – Form-fitting individual bucket seats; driver’s seat adjustable.
  • Arm Rests – Built-in doors above large, saddle-covered stowage boxes.
  • Upholstery – Sportsman Red plastic-coated fabric seat and sidewall trim.
  • Instruments – Airplane type, including tachometer showing engine revolutions per minute; hooded speedometer and radio speaker.
  • Accessories – Radio and heater option at extra cost.
  • Steering Wheel – Nearly vertical 17-1/4″ wheel; horn-blowing ring.
  • Transmission Selector Lever – Floor mounted, in sports car tradition.
  • Doors – Wide-opening glass-fiber doors with pull lever inside release.

Strong, Lightweight Plastic Body

  • Construction – Special, open-cockpit, 2-passenger body, constructed of glass fiber reinforced plastic for exceptionally lightweight with great strength.
  • Colors – Exterior, Polo White; interior, Sportsman Red; fabric top, Jet Black

Graceful Rear Styling

  • Tail Lights – Jet-styled tail, stop, and direction signal lights in the ends of air-fin fenders.
  • License Plate – Indirectly lighted license plate recessed in the deck lid.
  • Guards – Chrome deck and fender guards.
  • Luggage Locker – Capacious, with counterbalanced glass-fiber lid; opens with the turn of a key and touch of a finger; spare wheel mounted flat below the floor.
  • Top Compartment – Compartment for stowage of fabric top concealed in front of the rear deck.

Specs source: Corvettemuseum.org/1953-corvette-specs

To this day, 71 years later, the Corvette continues to be a driving force in the automotive industry, with each new model pushing the boundaries of style, power, and performance. To own a Corvette is to own a piece of automotive history, a testament to the visionary spirit and unwavering dedication of those who made it possible.

EVOLUTION, 48” x 60”, acrylic on canvas, 2024

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One Year Ago Today

National Corvette Museum official logoJust this time last year, I was starting my tribute to Corvette through my epic painting, a diptych for inclusion in the LUSTER Exhibition at the National Corvette Museum. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long already since I embarked on this amazing journey of passion and creativity. Looking back now, I feel grateful for the opportunities and experiences that came my way during the process of creating this masterpiece.

Enjoy my video “The Creation and Evolution of MOMENTUM,” which features my Corvette paintings from concept through completion, created especially for inclusion in the Luster Exhibition at the National Corvette Museum through January 5, 2025.

MOMENTUM is two paintings, CREATION (the ’53 Corvette) and EVOLUTION (the 2023 Z06). Follow both artworks from their initial photoshoot at a beautiful Las Vegas private golf course with two amazing cars and countless hours in the studio painting this four-foot by ten-foot diptych. This video gives you a little peek behind the curtain, so you may even pick up on a few of my studio tricks and my love for Corvette.

• • • • •

Video Soundtrack by GREASE GUN, Copyright 2009
Special thanks to Grease Gun for the tunes; “Let’s Go Again,” “Midnight Sun,” and “Rat Rod Boogie” (for that awesome engine roar). Original Music by Gabe McCubbin (guitar), Eric Barton (keyboard, guitar & bass), and Larry Davis (saxophone).

— More Posts From This Author —

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