Only 1 Popular Sports Car Is Named After a Naval Warship
Car names take inspiration from various sources, such as animals, mythical creatures, and geographical locations. For instance, Ford named the Bronco after a bucking horse, evoking images of untamed power. Other vehicle monikers nod to cities or regions like the American West — such as Hyundai’s Tucson and Santa Fe — referencing a rich heritage and nostalgia. But only one iconic sports car was named after a naval warship: the Chevrolet Corvette.
The history of the Chevy Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette’s history dates to the early ’50s. It first appeared at the GM Motorama in New York as a concept car in 1953. That year, the lightweight, two-seat sports car designed by General Motors’ Harley Earl entered production with a limited run of only 300 units, History reports.
The first Corvette models packed a 235-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine producing 150 hp. They had white exteriors and red interiors. And their fiberglass bodies were uncommon at the time.
In 1955, Chevrolet reimagined the car with a 195-hp V8 engine, better brakes, and an enhanced suspension for improved performance. They were also the first models available with a manual transmission.
The Corvette has continued to evolve, delivering models that match changing consumer tastes and ongoing performance, safety, and technology developments. More recent generations, such as C6, C7, and C8, offer advanced features and enhanced performance that reflect the rich heritage of the beloved sports car.
The Corvette is named for a naval warship
The Chevy Corvette was the first mass-produced sports car following World War II. When General Motors unveiled the prototype, it still hadn’t decided on the production car’s name. So GM held a contest among its employees to name the new vehicle. More than 300 submissions poured in, with the winner being Myron E. Scott, according to The Gentleman Racer.
A Chevrolet employee since 1937, Scott was an assistant director in the public relations department, where he headed marketing. Scott was also the creator of the All-American Soap Box Derby, a series of downhill races for kids nationwide.
The name “Corvette” rolls off the tongue, which Scott considered an advantage. He also thought naming the sports car after the fast-strike ships from World War II would be enticing to American military veterans. GM continued to use nautical monikers for various Corvette models, such as “Mako Shark” and “Stingray.”
The Corvette turns 70 this year and offers plenty to like. Now in its eighth generation, the 2023 Chevy Corvette performs like a supercar, but you don’t need to be a millionaire to afford it.
The latest model boasts a naturally aspirated V8 engine mounted behind the passenger area. Car and Driver reviewers like its sharp handling and powerful acceleration, matching its exotic rivals. Body styles include a retractable hardtop convertible and a coupe with a removable roof panel.
The 2023 Chevy Corvette boasts a refined interior, a comfortable ride, and decent trunk space for daily driving or short road trips.
Car and Driver recommends the 2LT trim, with wireless device charging, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a head-up display. It also has blind-spot monitoring, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, and other attractive features. A 70th-anniversary appearance package is available for the 3LT trim and Z06 performance model.
Chevrolet also unveiled the all-wheel-drive 2024 E-Ray, the automaker’s first hybrid Corvette. A 495-hp 6.2-liter LT2 small-block V8 gas engine powers the rear wheels, while a 160-hp electric motor powers the front, for a total of 655 hp and 595 lb-ft of torque. This model slots between the Z51 and Z06 in the lineup. MotorTrend says the E-Ray can reach 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.