Hands down, the Chevy Corvette is the ultimate American sports car. First debuted in 1953, the Corvette is still made today by General Motors. Harley Earl designed the first model, a convertible concept car, which debuted at GM’s Motorama in 1953 and was named after a small warship.
The 1953 model of the Corvette began the first generation, leading up to its last entry, the 1962 Corvette. This first, or C1 as it is sometimes called, generation consisted of cars that are now referred to as the solid-axle models. This is because the independent rear suspension did not come out until the 1963 Sting Ray at the start of the second generation.
From the 1961 model to the 1962 Corvette, the appearance and performance of the car saw noticeable improvements. Some of the style elements that began to make the earlier first generation models look dated, were removed for the 1962 Corvette. This included the removal of the chrome that outlined the coves on the sides of the body. The coves also no longer had a two-toned treatment. The grille was blacked out and the rocker panels got new anodized aluminum moldings.
As for performance, Chevy’s small-block 283-cubic inch engine grew to 327 cubic inches, which produced up to 340 horsepower. This change made the 1962 Corvette the fastest and most powerful of its generation. Buyers of the car could still get a smaller engine, however, that generated only 250 horsepower.
For collectors today, the 1962 Corvette is a treasure to find. Although it had greater production than the generation’s previous models, it was to many the best of the C1s. There were also some optional add-ons that are very rare now and very collectible. These include a 24-gallon fuel tank, a power convertible top, 15-inch wheels, and heavy-duty breaks and steering.