For more than sixty years, nothing has said “sports car” in America quite like the Corvette. Introduced as a concept in 1953 at the GM Motorama, the show car was followed by limited production in 1953 and 1954 featuring hand-built bodies powered by a 235-cubic-inch Blue Flame six-cylinder engine. A 265-cubic-inch engine became an option in 1955, and Corvettes ever since have been powered by some version of a V-8. The C1, as the first-generation Corvette is known, continued in production until 1962.

Through the years, many notable engineers and designers have been associated with the Corvette name, including Larry Shinoda and Zora Arkus-Duntov. It is the charismatic Duntov who, as the unflagging champion of the Corvette at GM from 1955 to 1975 and its first chief engineer, is often referred to as the “Father of the Corvette.” The advent of the C2 model brought many of the features that are hallmarks of ‘Vettes to this day—light weight, prodigious power, and exemplary performance.

C1 Corvette 1953-1955


The 1953 Corvette was a less than spectacular start to a car that would ultimately come to define the American sports car. Underpowered and overpriced, Harley Earl’s vision of an American two-seat sports car relied largely on off the shelf components and was almost entirely hand built on a make shift assembly line. Following tepid sales for the three years it was in production, the Corvette program was nearly cancelled. The 1956 model rescued the car that would go on to become a uniquely American icon.

C1 Corvette prints may be purchased as:

  • acid-free archival prints in two sizes—22″ x 16″ (framed or unframed) or 30″ x 20″ (unframed only)
  • 30″ x 20″ framed canvas prints
  • 47″ x 23″ brushed aluminum prints (special order only)
  • or backlit or unlit large-scale dye-sublimated prints (up to 30′ x 10′, special order only).

From $349