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July 2, 1992 – The one millionth Corvette
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July 2, 1992 – The one millionth Corvette

On this day in 1992 the 1,000,000th Corvette rolled out of GM's Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant. It was a convertible with a red interior, a white exterior and a black top, the same color schemes as all of the original 1953 Corvettes, which celebrated their 39th birthday just two days prior.  https://youtu.be/HBFr-jvrGQo The 1,000,000th Corvette suffered severe damage on February 12, 2014, when a sinkhole opened up inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. It and several other important Corvettes fell into the hole. A painstaking restoration funded by Chevrolet returned the 1,000,000th Corvette to factory condition. It even still contains all the signatures from the workers who helped assemble it originally.. The Corvette was America’s first all-fiberglass-...
June 30, 1953 – The first production Corvettes leave the factory
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June 30, 1953 – The first production Corvettes leave the factory

The automotive industry changed forever when the first production Chevrolet Corvette rolled out of a General Motors’ assembly facility in Flint, Michigan, on this day in 1953. The Corvette, a dream vehicle designed by Harley Earl, first met the public in January 1953. The prototype fiberglass bodied sports car debuted at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City during GM's annual Motorama. The response from the crowd was enough to warrant putting the vehicle into production. https://youtu.be/Oxyy8_K03w0 Above: Video of 1953 Corvette productionTop: The first Chevrolet Corvettes leave the factory (GM) Just 300 handbuilt 1953 Corvettes left the assembly line that first year. Each was a white convertible with red interior and a black canvas top. The fiberglass body hid a mild dr...
May 14, 1969 – The last Chevrolet Corvair is built, then vanishes
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May 14, 1969 – The last Chevrolet Corvair is built, then vanishes

The idiosyncratic Chevrolet Corvair hit the market for 1960, marking a major departure from common automobile production practices in the United States. The air-cooled rear-engined compact more closely resembled a Volkswagen than the land yachts rolling off most US assembly lines at the times. While its unique design attracted curious consumers, the car also attracted unwanted attention. Ralph Nader famously targeted the Corvair in his book Unsafe at Any Speed, which called out automakers for failing to implement known safety equipment. Eventually lawsuits rose surrounding the Corvair's alleged flaws. While General Motors intended to scrap the Corvair in 1967 before the book ever went to press, the little car's life earned an extension to make it appear that Nader didn't bully GM into...
May 11, 1978 – 2 millionth Camaro is built
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May 11, 1978 – 2 millionth Camaro is built

Depending on who you ask, Camaro could be a French word for friendship, or an animal that eats Mustangs. The most likely meaning behind the name? A typo, or possibly French slang. Keeping in line with other C-names of the era, such as Chevelle, Corvette and Corvair, Chevrolet suits were on the hunt for the perfect name for their Mustang compeitor. The story goes that Chevrolet merchandising manager Bob Lund and General Motors vice president Ed Rollett discovered the word Camaro in Heath's French and English Dictionary by James Boïelle and by de V. Payen-Payne, printed in 1936. The French-English dictionary supposedly listed the word as a slang term that meant friend, pal, or comrade. In contemporary French, the term doesn't exist. Regardless, they picked the name and introduced t...
April 16, 1946 – Arthur Chevrolet commits suicide
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April 16, 1946 – Arthur Chevrolet commits suicide

Arthur Chevrolet with riding mechanic in the Buick he drove in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Arthur Chevrolet passed away on this day in 1946 after hanging himself following a long battle of clinical depression. Arthur and his brothers Louis and Gaston were highly successful race car drivers between the 1900s and 1920s. It is Louis, though, who worked with Billy Durant to co-found Chevrolet car company. After Louis left Chevrolet shortly after production began, the three brothers became partners in the Frontenac Motor Corporation. A 1914 Frontenac automobile After injuries all but ended Arthur’s racing career in 1920, the same year Gaston died in a racing accident, Arthur began to focus more on automotive development and engineering. One of his biggest accomplishments was r...
April 10, 1969 – Harley Earl dies
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April 10, 1969 – Harley Earl dies

Automotive designer and executive Harley J. Earl, often referred to as the "Father of the Corvette," passed away on this day in 1969 at the age of 75. Earl began his automotive career when he dropped out of Stanford to join his father’s coachbuilding business, Harley Automotive Works. There he learned the art of crafting custom car bodies, many of which were going to Hollywood’s biggest stars at the time, including Tom Mix. After Cadillac dealer Don Lee purchased the business, he named Earl director of the custom body shop. Cadillac General Manager Lawrence P. Fisher would pass through the shop and witness Earl’s talent. Top: Harley Earl in the Buick Y Job. Above: Harley Earl in a 1927 LaSalle 303 Roadster While on a national tour of dealerships, Fisher observed Earl at work. He...
April 8, 1916 – Auto racing pioneer Bob Burman dies in wreck
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April 8, 1916 – Auto racing pioneer Bob Burman dies in wreck

Daredevil. Racer. Pioneer. These are all things that describe Bob Burman, one of auto racing's early heros. He participated in many significant automotive events in the early 20th century, including winning the Prest-O-Lite Trophy Race in 1909 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the precursor to the Indy 500. Unfortunately, his love for racing is exactly what would kill him. Burman died on this day in 1916, at age 31, when he crashed his open-cockpit Peugeot on a track in Corona, California. The wreck also took the life of his riding mechanic, Erick Schrader, an on-duty policeman, and the lives of three spectators. Another five fans suffered serious injuries. Above: Bob BurmanTop: Louis Chevrolet & Bob Burman in the Buick Bugs of 1910 Leading up to that fateful wreck, Burman has...
March 30, 1968 – Mid Engine Corvette prototype debuts
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March 30, 1968 – Mid Engine Corvette prototype debuts

On this day in 1968 the annual New York International Auto Show opened its doors to the public. Among the most unique vehicles to debut at the show was the Astro II, the first true mid-engine Corvette prototype, internally known as the XP-880. The father of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov, designed the car hoping to create a production model that could compete with the European sports cars of the time. He was shut down, winning only the consolation of debuting the hard fought project car at the auto show. Today, the C8 Corvette can trace its lineage to this concept. While some may argue that 1964 Corvette XP-819 concept is the forefather of the modern mid-engine Vette, this simply isn't the case. This car was actually a rear engine vehicle that featured a marine engine poking o...
March 23, 1957 – Chevrolet Corvette SS makes only racing appearance
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March 23, 1957 – Chevrolet Corvette SS makes only racing appearance

Although Chevrolet Corvette sales began to climb after the introduction of a V8 option in 1955, GM engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov saw a way to convince more buyers the Corvette was a true sports car: race it. He loaded up two stock Corvettes and a modified one and headed for the 1956 Daytona Speedweeks. The results were more than favorable. Race car driver John Fitch won the Sports Car division in one of the stock Corvettes, followed by Betty Skelton who took second place in the other. Duntov himself drove the modified Corvette in the Modified Sports Car division, which he won. The success led to the entrance of four modified Corvettes in the 1956 12 hours of Sebring. Ed Cole, General Manager of Chevrolet, watched the action. To his dismay, the cars his team brought did not do well a...
February 12, 2014 – Sinkhole swallows Corvettes at museum
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February 12, 2014 – Sinkhole swallows Corvettes at museum

The Bowling Green, Kentucky GM plant has been pumping out Corvettes since 1991. Just a quarter of a mile away from the plant is the National Corvette Museum, home to some of the most rare and iconic Corvettes ever built. It was there, on this day in 2014, that Mother Nature started her own collection of Corvettes when a sinkhole opened up inside the museum, swallowing eight of the prized cars.  1993 Chevrolet Corvette 40th anniversary Ruby Red. Just 6,749 of this special edition were built. By zombieite CC 2.0. Top photo: The Corvette Sinkhole, via Keller North America The damaged Corvettes include a 1962 Corvette, 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, 2009 ZR-1 prototype “Blue Devil,” 1992 1,000,000th Corvette, 1984 PPG pace car, 1993 40th Anniversary Ruby Red, 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 and a...

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