Each 1953 Corvette was virtually hand-built and a lot of minor changes were made during the production run.
The new 1953 Corvette had
- a fiberglass body
- chrome-framed grille with 13 heavy vertical chrome bars
- rounded front fenders with recessed headlights with wire screen covers
- no side windows or outside door handles
- a wraparound windshield
- protruding, fender-integrated taillights.
The interior featured
- a floor-mounted shifter for the Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission
- oil pressure gauge
- battery gauge
- water temperature gauge
- fuel gauge
All of the first-year cars were Polo White with Sportsman Red interiors.
All had black canvas convertible tops which manually folded into a storage space behind the seats.
Other 1953-only features included
- special valve covers
- a one-piece carburetor linkage
- a small trunk mat
Short exhaust extensions were used on all '53s (and early '54s) because they were prone to drawing exhaust fumes into the car through the vent windows.
A black oilcloth window storage bag was provided to protect the 1953 Corvette's removable plastic side windows when stowed in the trunk.
- Corvette used the standard 10 symbol Chevrolet Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) coding system.
- The I.D. tag was located on the left-hand front door hinge pillar.
- E = Corvette model
- 53 = 1953
- F = Flint, Michigan assembly plant
- the last six numbers were the sequential production number
- They numbered from E53F001001 to E53F001300.
- The engine number was found on the right-hand side of the crankcase behind the distributor.
- The engine numbers for 1953 used the prefix "LAY".
- Since the Corvette bodies were virtually handmade, they did not carry standard Fisher Body Style Numbers as did other GM cars.
- The Corvette model number consisted of the four digits 2934, which also served as the body style number for the early production years.
||six-cylinder, inline, overhead valve unit
||cast iron block.
||235.5 cid (3.9 liters)
|Bore & Stroke
||3.56 in. (90mm) x 3.93 in. (100mm)
||150 brake hp @ 4200 rpm.
||single breaker point.
||Three Carter Type YH one-barrel Model 2066S on the early models
and Model 2055S on later models.
||102 inches (2.591 m)
||167 inches (4.242 m)
||57 inches (1.448 m)
||58.8 inches (1.494 m)
||coil springs with tubular shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
||Leaf springs, tube shocks and solid rear axle
||Drum on all four wheels
- Signal-seeking AM radio ($145.15)
- Heater ($91.40)
- White sidewall tires
1953 Corvette Notes
- The first Corvette was built on June 30, 1953 at the Flint, Michigan assembly plant.
- These Corvettes were constructed in an area at the back of Chevy's customer delivery garage on Van Slyke Ave.
- They are not only the first, but also the rarest Vettes.
- 300 cars were produced and about 200 are still in the hands of collectors.
- The first two cars are missing.
- By early 1954, Chev said that 315 Corvettes had been built and that production had moved to the assembly plant in St. Louis, Missouri.
- They predicted that 1000 Corvettes per month would be built in St. Louis by June 1954 and that 10,000 per year could be built and sold.
- Zora Arkus-Duntov joined Chevrolet Motor Division in 1953 and would become the chief engineer of Corvette.
1953 CORVETTE PHOTOS