Skip to main content

Why Fans Say the Chevrolet Corvette is the Most Iconic Car of the Last 75 Years

One major car magazine ran a poll of all vehicles and car enthusiasts picked the Chevrolet Corvette as the "best of the best".

The Chevrolet Corvette debuted in 1953 and has a 71-year legacy as “America’s sports car”. It does not surprise me that readers of one of the most respected automotive magazines consider it iconic. MotorTrend is one of the most popular automotive magazines in the world. The magazine recently asked its readers online the question “What is the most Iconic vehicle of the last 75 years?” The readers chose the Chevrolet Corvette. Every generation of the Corvette improved on its predecessor. The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette continues to innovate and set a high bar for its performance and beauty. There is also a electrified model called the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray with huge horsepower.  

Chevrolet PhotoAccording to MotorTrend,

“Was there ever any doubt? MotorTrend readers are largely American, and as much as we love Jeeps, Mustangs, and F-150s in this country, the Corvette has been “America’s sports car” for nearly as long as this publication has existed. That’s why you chose it via our online vote as the most iconic car of the past 75 years.”

Celebrating the Corvette Legacy

Last year was huge for the Chevrolet Corvette as it celebrated its 70th anniversary.

The original 1953 Corvette debuted on January 17th, 71 years ago at the Waldorf Astoria. It then went into production on June 30th. To mark the occasion, Chevrolet debuted the stunning, electrified 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray on January 17, 2023 at the Rockefeller Center. It combines the beauty of the Stingray with the power of the Z06 and produces a sleek sports car that does 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It can do the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds.

Chevrolet Photo

The E-Ray combines an electrified propulsion system with the Corvette 6.2L LT2 Small Block V-8. The new eAWD E-Ray will be available in either a removeable roof coupe or a hardtop convertible model. It is designed to be an all-season vehicle, not just a summer fling.

At the time, GM President Mark Reuss said, “In 1953, the enthusiastic reaction to the Chevrolet Corvette concept kicked off seven decades of passion, performance and American ingenuity,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors president. “E-Ray, as the first electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette, takes it a step further and expands the promise of what Corvette can deliver.”

America’s True Supercar

The original 1953 Corvette only had 150 horsepower. Over the decades, the Corvette has evolved into a mid-engine powerhouse. When Corvette switched to the C8 or mid-engine design, it became an instant classic. Aficionados claim that the mid-engine design put the new Corvette into a class to compete with Ferraris and Lamborghinis. The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 debuted with 670 horsepower and a top speed of 186 mph, a track-based supercar that is street legal.

Chevrolet Photo

The Corvette was originally manufactured in Flint, Michigan, and then production moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Since 1981, the Corvette has been produced in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bowling Green also has the National Corvette Museum. The Chevrolet Corvette is the only vehicle that I know of that invites buyers to come to the plant to take possession of their vehicle. They make quite a production out of it, allowing buyers to tour the plant and often meet some of the people who worked on the vehicle.

The Chevrolet Corvette is Highly Collectible

Nearly two million Chevrolet Corvettes have been produced over the last 71 years. Most of those vehicles are still on the road, having been babied by their owners or lovingly restored.

In fact, GM’s President, Mark Reuss, just had his father’s stunning 1967 Corvette repainted. Reuss’s dad, Lloyd Reuss, was also President of GM in the 1990s. The elder Reuss died last year.

Chevrolet Corvette is a Proven Winner

The Chevrolet Corvette has been a stellar race car for GM. Although NASCAR uses the Camaro as the basis for its race car, the Chevrolet Corvette competes in other race series.   

When the Corvette Z06 GT3.R was introduced last year as the latest version of the race car, Chevrolet said, “The Z06 GT3.R is the latest in a line of championship-winning Corvette race cars that date back to the late 1990s and the introduction of Corvette Racing and the Corvette C5-R. Entering its 25th season, the program has scored 122 race victories around the world, including 113 in IMSA competition.

Those wins have led to 14 Manufacturer’s and Driver’s championships and 15 Team titles. No team in IMSA history has won more races or championships than Corvette Racing in that span.

The mid-engine C8.R — the predecessor of the Z06 GT3.R — has won 15 times around the world since its on-track debut in 2020. The 2023 season will be its second and last with a dual program in both the WeatherTech Championship and the FIA WEC. The latter will move from the current GTE regulations to the global GT3 platform beginning in 2024.”

It is no wonder that vehicle lovers describe it as an Icon.

Chevrolet Photo

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @MaryConwayMedia and send her car news tips for future stories.