Chevrolet Corvette Essay
The C3 Corvettes are the largest generation of Corvettes ever produced. The C3’s were produced from the years 1968-1982. Of the 1.5 million Corvettes produced in the history of Chevrolet, 540,000 of them were made during this era. These Corvettes are the famous “Stingray” design. The C3 generation started out very strong but the sales eventually deteriorated over time. The standards were not being met and it depressed both the horsepower and collector values. At the lowest point in 1975, the engine only offered the horsepower of just 165; this almost went back to the standards of 1953. Another event of this bad year was the last production of convertible Stingrays because of the lost interest of top-down driving. The last year of the “Stingray” name was in 1976 and in 1977 the C3 Corvette’s unique fin-style rear bodywork came to an end. Oddly, the sales began rising and in 1979; the greatest production numbers in Corvette history came about. There were over 53,000 cars built and sold during this time.
The fourth generation of Corvettes was introduced in the early 1980’s. The C4’s (not the explosive) were produced from the years 1984-1996. The 1983 model of the C4 Corvettes had serious issues with the quality so they were not released until 1984. These Corvettes improved in horsepower and popularity during its production run. These Corvettes are very popular because of their affordability and ability to be driven every day. There were 350,000 C4 Corvettes produced in this twelve-year period. Depending on the year of the C4 Corvette, the engine’s horsepower ranged from 230-300. Today, the C4 Corvettes are the lowest priced on the market and aren’t really considered collectible. They are very popular and practical for every day use. The C4 Corvettes were “for the every day plumber”.
The C5 Corvettes were produced from the year 1997 to the year 2004. Chevrolet started from scratch this time and produced a new Corvette with the best available technology. This generation of Corvettes was considered the “return to glory”. They returned to a world-class racing sports car. The production started out slow with only about 10,000 Corvettes in 1997. They soon stabilized the production to about 35,000 Corvettes per year. The C5’s engines rose in power significantly and used the 345-350 horsepower LS1 engine. The C5’s brought back the Corvette name to it’s full potential.
C6 Corvettes were produced from 2005 to 2010. This generation of Corvettes is supercars with amazing technology and power. It is able to compete at the highest levels of sports car performance and racing. The ZR1 Corvettes are able to reach the speed of 200 miles per hour and have the horsepower of around 630. They are much more expensive, but for good reason. They cost around $100,000, which is very pricey, but European sports cars that run at these speeds cost two to three times the amount of the C6 Corvettes. They are not very collectible because of how recent they are, but they will become collectible in years to come.
The current generation of Corvettes is the C7s. The C7 Corvette came out just this year and it brought back the “Stingray” name. It is the first time the Corvette has been in the “Stingray” style since the third generation. These C7’s include the option of a coupe or convertible. This Corvette includes a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panels. The classic round taillights also changed into a more square shape. The engine was a V-8 and was used to increase the overall speed and gas mileage; the horsepower of this engine was 455. Many small but significant changes were made to the C7 Corvettes to appeal to the younger crowds; it resulted in a modern, powerful sports car.
The Chevrolet Corvettes were being known as an “old man’s car” over the years and the makers of the Corvette did not want to be labeled that way. John Fitzpatrick, Corvette’s marketing manager said, “It’s the old saying, ‘nobody wants to be seen driving an old man’s car, but everybody wants to be seen driving a young man’s car.'” A good majority of Corvette owners are over the age of 55 and most are just collectors. The C6 and C7 brought new technology and power that stuck out to the youth. The C7’s, especially, are extremely sharp looking and made the old Stingray design much more attractive and modern. The Corvette was competing against other modern sports cars such as Porsche and Audi R8s, but the C7 is able to hang with the big guys. The C7 has brought interest into not only Corvettes, but, the automobile industry by young people. The discovery of what kind of power and technology cars can have is making luxurious cars a very popular trend.
I firmly believe that the newest generation of the Corvette will bring enough interest from the youth to keep the famous Corvette car alive. It will no longer be known as an “old man’s car”, but as a powerful sports car. The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most iconic sports cars in the history of automobiles, and will remain that way for many years to come.
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