Signature Design Cues Connect 60 Years of Corvettes
The Chevrolet Corvette has been an icon to car lovers for its sleek lines and high performance for six decades. To celebrate this major milestone, Chevrolet is rolling out something very special. Let us here at McCluskey Chevrolet, your home of the Chevrolet Cruze, tell you about it.
The first Chevrolet Corvette, the XP-122 Motorama concept car, and the latest model, the 2013 Corvette 427 Collector Edition convertible, are separated by 60 years of automotive development and advancement. They do not share a single common component, yet the visual connection between the first and sixth generations is obvious.
While the design cues have changed through six generations, it’s their elemental composition that makes a Corvette look like a Corvette.
“For our Cincinnati Ohio Chevy Corvette drivers and enthusiasts the Corvette’s design represents a distinctive American high-performance sports car,” said Keith McCluskey of McCluskey Chevrolet. “No matter the year, the Corvette is instantly recognizable to any driver.”
As Corvette enters its seventh decade, here are a few of the common elements that have helped make each design unique – and each Corvette look like a Corvette.
- Proportion: Each Corvette has similar proportions – from the long “dash to axle” element, to the short tail and small greenhouse.
- Waterfall effect: A powerful, signature cue common among all Corvette generations is the way a part of the exterior bodywork cascades into the passenger compartment between the seat backs, introduced on the first-generation Corvette convertibles. Since then, the waterfall effect has been reinterpreted to make a seamless transition from the exterior to the interior of Corvette.
- Dual cockpit architecture: Another iconic Corvette design cue that was inspired by jet fighters is the dual, wraparound cockpit. Introduced when Americans were obsessed with space flight, the wraparound cockpit instantly conveyed purposeful performance. Today, the Corvette’s interior still conveys the car’s sporting intentions, with easy access and visibility of the critical controls.
- The bodyside cove: While a spear-like chrome feature highlighted the side of the 1953-55 Corvettes, for 1956, a concave cove was sculpted into the bodywork behind the front wheels. Although its form and function have been reinterpreted over the years, a cove or vent has been a signature cue in the Corvette’s body side ever since.
- The tail:Another Corvette signature is the design treatment of the car’s tail. Peters notes that it’s not just the use (since 1961) of twinned and rounded tail lamps at either side of the back of the car. Instead, it’s how the relationship between those lamps, exhaust pipes, and event license plate opening compliment the low, wide proportions of the Corvette body.
For those who have loved the Corvette for decades, 2013’s model is sure to excite car enthusiasts for many years to come. This automotive classic is celebrating 60 years with style!