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[PICS] Throwback Thursday: Wanting the New Corvette and Not Being Able to Buy It

[PICS] Throwback Thursday: Wanting the New Corvette and Not Being Able to Buy It

The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Oh, you wanted the hot new Corvette that’s sweeping the nation? Sorry, you’ll have to wait until next year when production increases. That was the word from the Chevrolet’s Central Planning Office in response to the clamor from customers who wanted to buy the 1953 Corvette.

Our friend Mike Furman shared this historic two-page Chevy document on his CorvetteFurman Facebook Page from July 10th, 1953, that alerted dealers to the highly controlled rollout of the new sportscar.

The document first shares the pricing of the car with dealers. The MSRP was listed at $3,250 plus a $248 factory delivery and handling fee. A dealer’s net cost for the new Corvette was $2,470 meaning that dealers could have realized a profit of $780 on the sale of each car. Next, it says that only 300 will be built for 1953, and because of the limited quantity, no orders will be accepted.

Chevy planners intended to build 50 cars per month and 300 total during the 1953 model year in Flint, Michigan before the assembly operations would move to St. Louis in 1954. Once production for the 1954s started, they were anticipating a build rate of 1,000 cars per month.

Of course we know how that worked out. Potential customers excitement for the 1953 waned when only influencers and TV stars like John Wayne would get a car in its inaugural year, and Chevrolet would only build 3,640 during the 1954 model year. Things would get worse before they got better as the 1955 model year only had 700 cars built, but they did eventually get better. And yet, 70 years later, here we are again!

Central Planning Office Letter
Central Planning Office Letter


CorvetteFurman Facebook Page


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