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The Ironic Chevrolet Corvette: America's 60-year old Sport Car

Updated on April 7, 2013
1965 Stingray
1965 Stingray
1954 Corvette
1954 Corvette
2004 Corvette
2004 Corvette
The car that turns your head today
The car that turns your head today

I think anyone who enjoys a good looking car design appreciates the Chevrolet Corvette whenever they encounter it. It is usually a pivotal moment, like a harmless life event, that one never really forgets. The encounter, like seeing a Ferrari, is embedded into your memory.

I would say the more popular of all Corvettes is the 1963-67 model. the Stingray. That car was so far ahead of its time in styling and power. It was a car out of the future then and anyone who saw it then never forgets where and when they saw it. Then, a new one cost around a whopping $5-6000. Today, it is worth $40,000.

Of course, one could say the same thing for the 1953-62 model, but for another generation. When the car came out, like the Stingray, it seemed to be a car out of the future that always turned heads of drivers. By comparison to the Stingray, though, its styling has dated, while the Stingray remains a true icon of a car.

Corvette went under a full design change in 1968, which lasted until 82. It had a 450-hp engine, but by 1981, only a 190-hp. This model and the Opel GT of 1970-71, are like kissing cousins in body style. Many thought it was an overly fat Corvette, like a middle aged person, no longer "lean and mean", in its more youthful stage. Some think it is the least favorite models.

Chevy made an updated Corvette from 1983-96, its body style was less exciting, more tame, more elegant. I mean, it still was nice, but Corvette seemed to had lost its "crazy youth" personality and had become more sedate and business-like. The return of the true "sport car" came back in 1997, and has remained so. Its V8 engine ranged from 5.7 liter to 6.2 liter, built of lighter and stiffer material, the ZR1 model had a 638-hp engine with a top speed of 205 mph.

The 2004+ Corvettes returned to their racy styling legacy and turn heads wherever they go. But, if you have a 65 Stingray parked next to a 2006 ZR1, which one do you think would draw the most praise? Both are worth about the same today-$50,000.

I know which one I would choose.


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