The iconic Chevrolet Corvette was born in 1953. This first generation corvette over time became widely known as the C1 Corvette. The C1s production run lasted from 1953 1962 with the first year just turning out 300 units. You could order any color in 1953, as long as it was in white, and all 300 were convertibles. By the end of the run though, Chevrolet was producing greater than 14,000 C1 Corvettes per year and in multiple colors, but all still as convertibles. The Corvette was invented in 1951 by GM designer Harley Earl, who was inspired by the great European sports cars of the day and wanted to create an American sports car that could compete and win at the race track. The name "Corvette" was borrowed from a line of small, fast navy ships used in World War II.