Early ’50s Corvette Prototypes

These were the concept cars from the Chevrolet Corvette development team.

There was a Nomad-Corvette, a coupe, a convertible and reportedly an El-camino developed in the early 1950’s.

Only the coupe and convertible made it into production starting in 1953.

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Photo from Freddie Rothwell III.

The first Corvette actually produced for sale was completed on June 30, 1953.

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All of the 300 Corvettes built in 1953 were painted Polo white and had a red interior with a black convertible top. They sold for $3498 base price. The only 2 options were a heater and AM radio with the antenna built into the fiberglass trunk lid.

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The original Corvette 6 cylinder “Blue Flame” engine was very mild at only 105HP. But it didn’t take long for the engineers to add several upgrades including a more radical solid lifter cam, increased compression and triple Carter YH sidedraft carburetors on an aluminum manifold. These changes increased the power output to 150HP at 4500RPM.

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An interesting feature of the 1953 thru 1955 Corvettes is the side windows did not roll down but rather were removable and stored in the provided black oilcloth bags.

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