37¢ Chevrolet Corvette
America on the Move Booklet Stamps
Issue Date: August 20, 2005
City: Detroit, MI
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75
The Chevrolet Motor Car Company was named for race car driver Louis Chevrolet, but the company had little to do with racing or sports cars for its first forty years. Then, in 1951, the legendary General Motors stylist Harley Earl started designing a sports car. In January 1953, the Chevrolet division of General Motors introduced this “dream car” at the GM Motorama in New York City.
The new model was called the Corvette, named after a fast British Royal Navy warship. It had a sleek, low-slung body with a European sports-car profile and unique fiberglass construction. The use of fiberglass saved General Motors millions of dollars.
Although the Corvette was sporty, it was not a true sports car. The simple interior was based on British sports car design. The general public, however, wanted roll-up windows, door locks, and other basic amenities. The two-seater had an inadequate two-speed automatic transmission and was under-powered. With a modest 150 horsepower, it could only reach 107 miles per hour.
The 300 cars produced in 1953 were hand-built and styled in white with a red interior and black convertible top. They sold out to selected customers at almost twice the original price estimate of $1,850.