I have to admit, most of my youth was spent in and around the garages of Werner Meier, one of the most notable of Corvette collectors and enthusiasts in the country. Those garages which were filled with not only his Corvettes, but those of his customers for restoration over the years. I was incredibly spoiled in seeing every Corvette it seems. With that amount of exposure to all of those Corvettes, you quickly find your favorites and least.
Bringing me to the C2, the crown jewel. While I liked the C1, the bubbly lines, which were a product of its debut in the ‘50s, that just didn’t vibe. No, I liked when those lines evolved to become more sleek and edgy, bringing about the C2.
If you’re not familiar with the story of Corvette, the C2 would be the moniker’s saving grace. While Corvette was doing “alright” in the ‘50s, and was finally competing in racing starting in 1957, GM wasn’t having it, and the program was nearly killed off. Bill Mitchell, the chief designer of the Corvette at the time, would end up funding the development of the C2 out of his own pocket. When I had a chance to listen to designer Peter Brock talk about Bill’s work on the C2, he mentioned GM’s conditions to keep the car: It was not allowed to carry the “Chevrolet” or “Corvette” name. So, the “Sting Ray” was born. Bill’s direct contributions would keep the Corvette going from there.
- C2: What a beautiful second beginning.
- C3: There are typically two Corvettes that refer to the “iconic” Corvette most everyone (okay, really boomers) love, and that is the C2 and the C3. The lines were a little more aggressive, and sleek on the C3.
- C7: The C7 brought Corvette back to a body style that emulated the lines of it’s fiesty C2 and C3 brethren that designers kinda hid over the decades in-between.
- C8: While I agree, the mid-engine doesn’t feel very “Corvette-like,” it’s still an outstandingly designed vehicle, maintaining the lines of Corvette heritage, while making a mid-engine sports car accessible to nearly everyone. Sometimes in design, you need somewhere to go, and Corvette decided to go all-in.
- C4: This little door wedge used to be near the end of my ranking, but after driving this guy, I fell in love with the retro dashboard, and just had to move it up. Sure, it is a wedge, but there are still sharp design lines, fun colors, and likely the last time Corvette really felt like a Corvette until C7.
- C1: The 1953’s lines and subsequent years until C2 were just a little too rounded. The ‘60-‘62 did start adding some angles, but still… too bubbly.
- C6: I am embarrassed most of my writers considered this gen their favorite, but I understand where they come from when they say the Corvette of your youth, is your favorite. Just mine (C4) didn’t make as high on my list. The C6 was the continuation of the inflated look of the awkward GM design era, and begged to be edgier.
Which brings me to the last on the list….