What’s a prototype?
1951 How it all began
1952 Corvette EX-122
1954 Corvette Corvair Motorama showcar
1954 Corvette Hardtop Motorama Showcar
1954 Corvette Nomad Motorama Showcar
1955 Corvette Biscayne Show Car
1956 Harlow Curtis SR-2 Lookalike
1956 Corvette Impala Show Car
1956 Corvette SR-2 Sebring Racer
1952 EX-122 Concept Car
1957 Q Corvette
1957 Corvette SS Show Car
1957 Corvette SS XP-64
1958 XP-700
1959 Stingray Racer XP-87
1959 Corvette Stingray
1961 Corvette Mako Shark XP-755
1962 C2 Prototype XP-720
1962 Four Seat Stingray Corvette XP-720 2+2
1963 Corvette Rondine Pininfarina Coupe
1963 Corvette Grand Sport
1963 Wedge Corvette Split Windshield
1964 World’s Fair Styling Study
1964 Clay model for '66 update
1964 Grand Sport GS-II(b)
1964 CERV II
1964 Pontiac Banshee XP-833
1964 Corvette XP-819 Rear Engine
1965 Corvette Mako Shark XP-830
1966 Mid Engine Styling Proposal
1967 Astro I
1968 Corvette Astro-Vette
1968 Astro II-XP-880 mid engine
1969 Astro III
1969 Manta Ray
1969 Mid Engine XP-882
1970 Scirocco Showcar
1970 Corvette XP-882
1973 Corvette 2 rotor XP-897-GT
1973 Reynolds XP-895
1973 Corvette 4 rotor XP-882
1973 Corvette XP-898
1974 Mulsanne Showcar
1976 Corvette XP-882
1979 Turbo Corvette
1978 Corvette Astro-Vette
1980 Turbo Corvette
1982 4th Generation Concepts
1984 Bertone Ramarro
1985 Corvette Indy
1986 GTP Corvette
1987 Corvette Geneve
1989 Corvette DR-1
1989 Corvette ZR-2
1990 Corvette Conan ZR-12 V12
1990 Bertone Nivola
1991 ZR-1 Snake Skinner
1992 Stingray III
2001 Corvette Tiger Shark
2003 Corvette Italdesign Moray
2009 Sideswipe

1952 Corvette EX-122

In 1952 the EX-122 concept car, which had been in development since 1951 and is the first of the hand-built Corvettes, is officially named “Corvette” after a type of fast warship. GM used the “EX” codes to name the EXperimental vehicles before they received a definitive name. Sports car aficionado and GM Vice President Harley Earl is the major force behind the development of the vehicle. The design of this first generation Corvette came from Henry deSégur Lauve. On January 10, 1953, the Corvette concept car debuts at GM Motorama in New York City. The 1953 prototype had chrome script above the license plate frame with the name of the car. "Corvette" script also appeared above the front grille. Both scripts were removed on the actual production model.

On January 12, 1953, just four days before the new Corvette's introduction at the Motorama on Januray 16th, the GM management team informed the styling team that the front emblem and the horn button containing the likeness of the American flag had to go. It just wasn't proper to have a country's flag in an automobile emblem not to mention being against the law! Overnight, new emblems were fabricated and installed on the Motorama car. When the first Corvette was shown to the press at the Motorama in New York City, the front emblems and horn button contained a black and white checkered flag and a red Chevrolet bow-tie and fleur-de-lis.

Project Opel featured a 46-piece fibreglass body, chosen to save weight, make tooling easier, and to allow the designers more freedom to create curves and rounded shapes. GM executives were initially unsure of this then-risky proposal for a mass-market car (fibreglass had, until then, been used only in very low-volume hand-built vehicles or 'specials'), but Earl and Cole were determined to push the concept through. The money men consented on the grounds that the car could effectively serve as a mobile testbed for glassfibre technology, which could then, if successful, be used in higher-volume, higher-profit large saloon cars. The budget for the project was limited, which meant that the team had to dig into the existing GM parts bin for the rest of the components and the engine, the well-proven 3.8-litre Chevy straight-six, which was modified to produce 150bhp at 4500 rpm, and paired with the Powerglide two-speed auto gearbox. Rear-wheel drive, the car rode on a simple leaf-sprung rear axle on a solid box-section frame. Its bodyshell may have been a radical departure for GM, but the powertrain and underpinnings certainly weren't.

The 1953 Buick Wildcat was also a design from the hands of Lauve for the 1953 Motorama. The ’53 Corvette has a lot of resemblance with this car, especially the positioning of the headlamps and grille. This Buick also had a fiberglass body. Nice detail were the “Roto Static” front hub caps that remain stationary while the wheels spin.

Later on, the EX-122 car became a plaything for the engineering department. The 6-cylinder engine was removed and an 8-cylinder engine was installed, and it was used for various performance demonstrations. It gave such a good account of itself that immediately it was decided to abandon the 6-cylinder engine in regular Chevrolet Corvette production and supplement it with the new 8-cylinder as standard equipment.

In 2007, the EX-122 is property of Kerbeck Corvette, the largest Corvette dealer in The United States.

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