The first time the public saw Harley J. Earl's "Dream Car", the Corvette, was in January 1953 at the Motorama display at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. On June 30, 1953 the Corvette went into full production (each car was built by hand) at the GM facility in Flint, Michigan, where 300 Corvettes were built that year.
All 1953 Corvettes were white with a red interior, all had Powerglide automatic transmissions mated to 150 HP, six cylinder engines with three carburetors and dual exhaust. This is the rarest Corvette.
Of the 300 built, 255 are accounted for today. Due to a shortage of wheel covers, the first 25 cars were delivered with the standard Chevrolet "baby moon" passenger car wheel cover. All of the 1953 production were convertibles with black canvas tops.
1954 Corvette were built in St. Louis, MO. The car was only slightly changed, with 3640 produced. A mid-year camshaft change boosted horsepower to 155. The 1955 Corvette continued unchanged stylewise, but could be ordered with the option of Chevrolet’s new 265-c.i. V8, offering 195 horsepower.
Total Corvette production that year was only 700. Of those, fewer than ten six-cylinder cars; all others were equipped with the eight-cylinder engine.
The car on display here is production number 160, and is on loan from owners Joel and Lynette Janssen, of Papillion NE. It has been featured in a 2013 issue of “Auto Enthusiast” magazine.