Besides a normal convertible model, the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette line-up also featured a hardtop, actually a Convertible Coupe. It was one of the Corvette based Motorama dream cars shown in 1954 and was a version fitted with a removable hardtop. The Advertising Brochure said the following: “The Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Coupe – The sports car gains new all weather utility in this new experimental model. The removable top of the same glass fiber plastic construction as the body itself may be left behind in the garage on warm and sunny days.”
The hardtop feature would not become available until 1956. It took General Motors and Chevrolet three years to figure out that the consumer wanted roll up windows, outside door handles and door locks.
In addition to a regular production version, which was still a showstopper in its own right, Chevrolet unveiled three more Corvette prototypes that would more than hint at future product offerings. From front to rear you see the Corvette, the Corvette Hardtop, the Corvette Corvair and the Corvette Nomad. From the last three, only the Motorama Experimental Show Cars were made. How many? No one really knows.
As one might expect, the “Corvette Quartet” had a definite familial resemblance, though each had its own specific personality. All four cars featured the same front end design, with its toothy grille, mesh-grilled headlamps and pontoon-like front fenders. Likewise, the rear quarter contours were the same, right down to the single round taillamps and the chrome streak-like bumpers.
Additionally, all four variations were powered by the production Corvette 235-cu.in. straight-six with three side-draft carburetors. It was rated at 150hp and was backed by Chevy’s familiar Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission.