From the Blueflame Six to the C7 Stingray
If you ever wanted to talk Corvettes, there is one man that comes to mind who would like nothing more than to oblige. This man’s name is Harlan Charles, and if you’ve ever seen a video of someone from GM talking about America’s favorite sports car on YouTube, odds are it was Harlan. From the bright blue $100,000 ZR-1 to the track refined C7.R, Harlan has been on camera with them all, so there was no one better to walk us through all seven generations of the Chevrolet Corvette.
Starting out with the original Harley Earl designed Corvette from 1953, the original American open top two seater went from a paltry 150 HP straight six to a proper Chevrolet small block only a few years later, when racing great Zora Arkus Duntov decided it was time to go racing and show the rest of the world what the little composite sports car could do.
Inspired by the Stingray racecar from 1959, the second generation Corvette brought about big performance gains with the introduction of items like an independent rear suspension and the almighty 427 cubic inch big block V8, a figure that would become synonymous with Corvettes up until today.
1968 saw the introduction of the over the top Corvette, complete with pontoon fenders and bellbottoms to keep the 70s going strong. The C4 from 1984 saw the Corvette focus on new technologies like electronic instrumentation, aerodynamics and fuel injection. All of which helped to brining back the Corvette’s world-class sports car status.
The C5 came out in 1997 and was the first of the truly modern Corvettes thanks to items like hydro formed steel chassis, transaxle and the definitive small block V8, the LS1. 2005 saw the introduction of the C6 saw the pop up headlights disappear, while the car got leaner and meaner while the 427 cubic inch V8 powered Z06 returned before GM allowed team Corvette to go crazy with the supercharged ZR-1. The all-new C7 Stingray carries on the tradition, and surely doesn’t disappoint.