The Corvette History from C1 to C8  

The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most recognizable and iconic sports cars of all time. It has continually set the bar for what qualifies as a sports car while still being a vehicle anyone could dream of owning. This mix of performance and general obtainability has gifted the Corvette with eight illustrious generations and has set it up for a promising future.

Breaking Down The Generations

The first-generation Corvette, known as the C1, was produced from 1953 to 1962. All C1 Corvettes were convertibles, and they were marketed as a sporty grand tourer rather than an all-out sports car. The main material used for the body panels of the C1 was fiberglass, which helped to keep the Corvette's cost down compared to its foreign competitors. Fiberglass construction has been used for all generations of Corvette, including the all-new C8.

The C2 generation ran from 1963 to 1967 and introduced the stingray design philosophy that would go on to inspire most future generations of Corvette. The C2 also was the first generation Corvette that you could get as a coupe. The C2 was more focused on performance than the C1 and helped usher in the era of American Muscle.

The C3 had the longest production of any Corvette, running from 1968 to 1982. The C3 began the trend of Corvette design evolution. The C3, along with most future generations of Corvette, would modernize its design while still staying to the Stingray design philosophy so it could be recognized as a Corvette by most people.

The C4 was the biggest design overhaul that the Corvette had seen since 1963. It was incredibly angular and featured fewer stingray properties than the previous two generations, but it still kept the Corvette proportions. The sleek, angular body of the C4 was perfect for the 80s and 90s, which is why it had the second-longest production run of any Corvette.

The C5 was introduced in 1997, and it would be the first generation most people would consider a modern Corvette. The C5's design completely reworked everything found on the C4, other than the pop-up headlights. The C5 has a smooth, minimalist design, which was common for vehicles produced during the turn of the century. In a performance sense, the C5 reinvented the Corvette. Chevy updated the driving dynamics of the C5 to not only compete with domestic rivals but also international ones.

For the sixth generation of Corvette, Chevy decided to refine the C5 instead of starting from scratch. The design is slightly more aggressive with standard headlights rather than the popup found on the C5. This focus on refinement made the C6 an affordable sports car that you could rely on daily, along with being able to thrash it around on the weekends.

The C7 completely revamped the Corvette lineup and proved to the world that Chevy could make a luxurious sports car that could easily compete with vehicles more than double its price. The design of the C7 harkens back to the original C2 and C3 Stingray models, with angular front fenders and an overall aggressive stance. The interior of the C7 was more akin to a foreign luxury vehicle than a domestic affordable sports car.

The C8 is the most recent generation of Corvette, and it is by far the biggest departure from the C1. It is the first Corvette to be mid-engine, and as such, it is the most exotic looking of the bunch. The C8 has all the performance of modern supercars while having the price of a sports car. Its interior is incredibly lavish and features all of the technologies you expect to find in a high-end luxury sports car. Due to all of these factors, the C8 is one of the most popular vehicles on the road today, and it is difficult to get your hands on one.

To get a more comprehensive rundown of all eight generations of Corvette, you can visit our showroom and talk to one of our Corvette experts. They can also help you discover the rest of Chevy's modern lineup of vehicles if you are interested.