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Blake Noble

Guess My Age: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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At January's Detroit Auto Show, GM pulled the wraps off of one of the most highly anticipated new cars of the year – the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, also known as the C7 or seventh-generation 'Vette. The introduction of the new Corvette marked the return of the LT1-moniker to GM's new-generation small-block V8 engines, the revivial of the Stingray name itself, as well as an interior finally worthy of a car intended to fight on a stage with such cars like the Porsche 911 and numerous other sports cars and supercars from Europe. To the dismay of loyal 'Vette enthusiasts, the new Stingray also marked the end of more traditional Corvette styling cues such as round taillights and the large wrap-around back glass area, instead favoring rectangular taillights and smaller side quarter glass windows, both styling elements virtually new to the modern-day 'Vette. Or are they?

The photo you see attached here – a proposal for the C5 Corvette that first went on sale for 1997 – has just started making its rounds around the internet. Taken from a book titled All Corvettes are Red, it's very interesting to note that this proposal has both rear quarter windows and rectangular taillights, not to mention vertical fender vents, all styling cues featured on the new C7 Corvette Stingray. How far this proposal dates back is anyone's guess, but considering the C5's 1997 model year debut and widely available sources pointing to GM starting work on the C5 in the late '80s to very early '90s, it's reasonable to assume it could very well be just slightly over 20 years old.

The new Stingray is pictured below for comparison.


Source: Digital Corvettes

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Very cool, I suspect someone who was too fresh in the corvette program 20 years ago is now senior in that program and was able to push through their version/vision of the corvette. I like both. Still wish they had not incorporated those rear vents into the tail lights as it looks like sad eyes.

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Many things are never tossed out at GM.

The Fiero was based on GM engineering proposal of a V6 mid engine Vette that was rejected by the Vette program and Chevy. The 4th gen F body was a recycle of the 1990 Fiero GT that was canceled. There are many other ideas that were rejected and brought back.

Note the Corvette designer was with the program in 1986-89 and rejoined them in 2000. I am sure he looked to many of the proposal of the last couple gens to see what was considered and what may work for today. Often may proposals are just too far out to bring to market without looking a little too odd. You some times have to wait for the market to catch up.

As for the vents they are there, they are functional and they are not going away.

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