Customs & Classics
Renowned for its looks, voice and muscular performance, Chevrolet's legendary Corvette is celebrating its 60th anniversary next year and will be revealed in concept form as an all-new model at Detroit's North American International Auto Show in January.
The Corvette exemplifies a true sports car - simply cool and exciting, traits that have been underlined by its image in pop culture.
The fame of Corvette has long been established through its success in American culture, to the extent that when someone refers to the "all-American sports car", it's the Corvette that immediately comes to mind.
Over time, a wide variety of innovative features have contributed to its growth and kept it up with the flow of changes of fashion, performance and desirability; with the Corvette often leading from the front with technology. This was evident right from the start when the first Corvette became the first series production sports car to use fibreglass construction. In recent decades the car has helped introduce extended mobility tyres (also known as run-flats), heads-up display, which projects important data on the windshield in view of the driver, as well as magnetic selective ride control, which enables uncannily effective damping for all conditions.
Together with its constant technological advancements, the demand for Corvettes to appear alongside famous actors and actresses has not died down. This trend serves to illustrate America's 60-year-old love affair with the car.
Chevrolet's significance in the American cultural landscape is as obvious on the streets as it is in the arts and entertainment. From action-packed adventure films to television dramas, Chevrolet's Corvette has taken 1434 lead or supporting roles in television shows and Hollywood films, firmly establishing itself in American pop culture.
The Internet Movie Cars Database has recognised top movies featuring Corvettes - a short selection includes:
❏ Rush Hour (1998) - James Carter, the fast talking and quick-witted detective, drives a sleek 1971 Chevrolet Corvette. The car makes for a perfect accessory to his quick paced, exciting, and adventurous lifestyle.
❏ Cars 2 (2011) - Chevrolet Nascar legend Jeff Gordon provides the voice for a Corvette C6.R character called Jeff Corvette in the Disney-Pixar-animated film.
❏ Corvette Summer (1978) - The leading man heads on an adventure to find his stolen 1973 Corvette Stingray, the ultimate object of desire in this classic teen summer movie.
❏ Route 66 (1960-1964) - The iconic vehicle that stays true to the characters throughout their travels is a red 1960 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. The first season originally used a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, but then upgraded to the 1960 model in the second season to push the newest product. This product placement caused Corvette sales to double during the first season alone.
❏ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) - The sexy silver 2009 Corvette Stingray concept car was featured as Sideswipe, Autobot sidekick to Optimus Prime, giving the Corvette a mysterious and powerful aura, almost "out of this world".
❏ Glee (Season 2, Episode 2) - The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport proved to be an instrument of power for Will Schuester and his arch nemesis Carl Howell, when it came to vying for the attention of sweet-natured guidance counsellor Emma Pillsbury. Maybe Corvettes are more instrumental than music to gain the attention of the woman you love?
"Corvette is admired the world over and there are few world-class vehicles that can match its iconic status and successes," says Chevrolet Europe public relations director Vijay Iyer. "Big or small screen stories go beyond movie theatres, creating a unique emotional bond with the audience."
The new Corvette 427 Convertible Collector's Edition, which is the runout version of the current seventh generation of Corvette, was specifically built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the car. It is the fastest Corvette convertible ever built and includes the high-tech features the nameplate has become renowned for.
"For almost 60 years, Corvette has offered state-of-the-art features, technologies and incredible performance," says executive chief engineer Tadge Juechter, the man responsible for overseeing the design of the Corvette 427 Convertible Collector's Edition.
With 60 years in its pocket, the Corvette continues to embody both technological advancement and fame in the film industry. Like wine, the Corvette only gets better with age. And the story is far from over: Next year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit will see the official reveal of the much anticipated Chevrolet Corvette C7.
Sources: Dave Moore, General Motors, and NewsPress - movie entries on imcdb.org. Of the 29,478 movie entries listed, a Corvette is featured in 1434 entries playing main roles to background cars.