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Car Tales: The Chevrolet Corvette, As Hungry As A Shark

‘The quintessential American sports-car, the two-door, two-passenger luxury Chevrolet Corvette, was such an iconic motoring image – so sexy, so stylish, so futuristic, such puissance – that is has become known as ‘America’s Sports Car.’ And it remains one of the most visibly notable cars on the highways of the USA today.
1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 LS5 Convertible for sale
‘In fact, it has become an automobile archetype, with 8 design generations, denoted sequentially from C1 to C8.

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‘The Chevy Corvette, named after a small, highly maneuverable warship, was developed after Harley Mills, the head of the General Motors styling team, saw that GIs returning to the USA after serving overseas following World War II were bringing home MGs, Jaguars and Alfa Romeos. Yet there was no US equivalent. The result was the hand-built, EX-122 pre-production Corvette prototype, which was first shown to the public at the 1953 General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan on January 17 1953.
1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 LS5 Convertible side view
‘And now it’s 2023, 70 years later give or take just a few days, and the Corvette – colloquially known as the ‘Vette – is still going strong, still powerpacked in both its engine and our minds.
‘And why? Just look at a Chevrolet Corvette in profile and you will immediately get it: a motor car that is permanently prepared and poised for take-off at terrifically high speed. All it needs is for wings to manifest from inside its side panels. (Maybe that’s a design tip for the future…)
‘Right now at Beverly Hills Car Club we have a pristine example of a third generation Chevrolet Corvette, a C3. And we adore the color, one on which you could hardly improve (unless it was Prince’s Little Red Corvette, but that’s another story and another Corvette generation…): although its factory color code is #989 War Bonnet Yellow this C3 Chevrolet Corvette looks to us like pure GOLD – as gold as that iconic suit worn by Elvis Presley on an early album cover.
‘With a black interior, this highly desirable 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 LS5 Convertible is featured with matching numbers and comes equipped with an automatic transmission, 454 (365HP) V8 engine, air conditioning, power windows, power steering, soft top, and 4-wheel disc brakes. This excellent and original American classic is mechanically sound.
1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 LS5 Convertible rear view
‘It is also rare: by 1972, the year after the birth of our ‘Vette, convertibles were a vanishing breed in the USA: in that 12-month period the C3 sold only 6,508 convertible models – so there are not many around.
1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 LS5 Convertible interior
‘Hardly surprising that the C3 Chevy Corvette was a car so good and great they named it twice: it was, of course, also known as the Stingray.
‘This third generation of Corvettes was patterned after the Mako Shark concept car, also known as the XP-755.
‘This itself had debuted as long ago as 1962, at the 6th International Automobile Show, at the New York Coliseum. The detailing was partly inspired by the fast-moving short-fin mako shark, which inhabits offshore temperate and tropical seas worldwide.
‘It is also known as the blue pointer or bonito shark: ‘Mako’ is a word from the Maori language and – let’s be frank – when you consider its closeness to the term ‘macho’ seems most apt in connection with a Chevy Corvette.
‘The idea behind the Mako Shark concept car, designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of General Motors Styling and Design head Bill Mitchell, was to build a buzz for future editions of the Corvette. And it clearly worked to great effect: with assorted modifications along the way the C3 Corvette was in production from 1968 until 1982, the longest production run of any Corvette.
1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 LS5 Convertible engine
‘The C3 Corvette boasted a 0-60 mph figure of 6 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph.
‘Although the Hollywood legend John Wayne owned a first edition Chevrolet Corvette, the extremely cool Matthew McConaughey was the proud owner of a C3 Stingray, clear evidence of his good taste.
‘At Beverly Hills Car Club we wouldn’t be surprised if any day he came knocking on our door. Mesmerised by the vision of our beautiful GOLD Chevrolet Corvette C3.
‘Not bad going for a car whose initial concept is 70 years old!
-Alex Manos, Owner
Chevrolet Corvette LS5 Convertible buyer Alex Manos

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