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The first generation of Chevrolet Corvette entered the market of the USA in 1953. A decade later, the car got numerous admirers and eventually became a symbol of the American approach to the design of sports cars. Corvette in the USA is a way of life, an icon, and object of worship. Americans join the fan clubs of Corvette, wear clothes with emblems of this car, read magazines titled Corvette, or have the above mentioned logo on their credit cards. For Americans it is typical to use these cars as a special currency. Therefore, the car became a part of the American national culture. Corvette even has a personal specially developed emblem: the crossed banner of Chevrolet and the checkered racing flag used in automobile competitions for a finishing or starting signal. This emblem figures the motor hoods of the premier Corvette, as well as the ones of the fifth generation. There are five known logos of Chevrolet Corvette. The initial symbol was designed by Robert Bartholomew in the year of Chevrolet Corvette’s first introducing to the public. It included two crossed flags; one of them was an American flag and the other one - finish line flag. However, the design had to be changed at the last moment before Corvette’s unveiling, since somebody thought of the illegality of using the flag of the USA on commercial products. Thus, the stars and stripes were replaced with the Chevy bowtie symbol and the French heraldic flower of a lily, fleur-de-lis (in memory of Louis Joseph Chevrolet, the French founder of Chevrolet firm). However, the original emblem has not been forgotten and can be found as an exhibit item in the National Corvette Museum.
An American designer Harley Earl wanted to create a car, which could compete at the race track. This idea inspired him to make a unique sample in the American automotive manufacturing. The first generation of Corvette was unveiled in 1953. All cars of that edition were white colored and had a red interior. They were equipped with two seats for drivers of sports automobile. A 6 cylinder engine and automatic transmission made this car more cruising than racing one. In the 1960s, various engine options brought the car closer to the status of a racing sports car. The changes in the car design were accompanied with some modifications in the Corvette emblem. Thus, the front circle emblem was replaced with a cut-out of two flags and V symbol. The third generation was introduced to the public in 1968s and was popular and intensively produced about a decade. In 1968, the design of the front emblem with crossed flags was modified making a logo more extended horizontally. The redesigned emblem was the same until1972. Then, the flags were placed in a center of a red starburst-type circle. The black framing part of the emblem included the words in silver letters “Chevrolet Motor Division Corvette”. The fourth generation of Corvettes is considered to be created between 1984 and 1996 years. The C4 improved in quality considerably and remains popular among motor sports enthusiasts nowadays, as well. The Corvette emblem concerned the most serious changes during the C4 edition. The most interesting peculiarity is that the flags were reversed for the first time, putting the red on the right side and the checkered on the left one. C5 is called “Return to Glory” edition, and the name speaks for itself. General Motors demonstrated its ability to create world-class professional racing cars one more time. The design of the front emblem returned to a look of logos prior to the C4 body style. In 2003, Corvette celebrated its 50th anniversary, and, as a result, General Motors manufactured a limited edition of Corvettes dedicated to this event. “Anniversary 50” was engraved in black on the emblem. The Corvettes of the sixth generation (2005-2010) are considered technologically advanced super cars. Their speed abilities are over 200 MPH, since they are equipped with no street-legal engines. The most expected among the Corvette fans is the introducing of C7 to the public. As General Motors assures, it will be a powerful sports car, equipped with the front-engine and a rear-wheel drive platform. The engine will put out about 450 horsepower. The new logo is traditionally a set of crossed flags. Its external forms have been restyled and gain the more finished form matching the time.
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Chevrolet Corvette remains a favorite sports car of Americans. “It has become an important part of the automobile landscape in the United States, and a fixture on the roads across the country – particularly on the beautiful summer days” (Thompson, n.p.). The nation is proud of this car and General Motors Company, in its turn, it makes honorable steps in supporting the public image regarding this car. Thus, General Motors has donated the limited edition of press kits about Corvettes of the seventh generation in January, 2013, through auctioning it off by The American Cancer Society. The various performances of Chevy are often connected with charity and well-fare works, as befits the manufacturer of an “American icon.”
It is a known fact that Corvette is an expensive car, as well as it is known that such a price is justified. After buying this car, the owner acquires a reliable four-wheel “friend,” which can present a real pleasure through a high speed to the driver. In addition, possessing such a car means to be a successful and respected individual. Like many people around the world, I admire this car, its defiant outlook and its speed abilities. Although, many Americans cannot afford buying the Corvette, they still possess it as the nation’s pride.
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