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The Corvette Story #1 – HJE’s “Sporty Car”

Harley J. Earl may be remembered as one of the greatest automotive stylists of all time. His many contributions to the automotive industry include the creation of clay modelling, the advancement of General Motors most celebrated cars throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and most significant – the creation of the Chevy Corvette!

Early portrait of Harley J. Earl, GM's first VP of Design and the Father of the Corvette! (Image courtesy of GM Media.)
Early portrait of Harley J. Earl, GM’s first VP of Design and the Father of the Corvette! (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

Earl first conceived the idea for his “sporty car” (the Corvette name would come later) while visiting Watkins Glen as he toured the country with his enormously popular LeSabre concept car in 1951. The growing popularity of European sports cars in the United States left Earl wondering why none of the “Big Three” had thought to design an American sports car that could compete with MG, Mercedes, Porsche, and others…

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