In the latest installment of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay Leno met with General Motors design Vice President, Ed Welburn to look at four super rare Corvettes owned by GM.
Leno and Welbrun first looked at a 1953 ‘Vette with an inline 6 cylinder engine producing 145 hp. The engine is mated to a two speed automatic “power glide” transmission. Initially, the Corvette’s lack of creature comforts like rollup windows, and its fiberglass construction turned many consumers away. Nonetheless, the ’53 Corvette marks the dawn of the American sports car marquee, and some of the styling cues that make this car special can been seen throughout Corvette lineage.
Next, Leno viewed a 1958 ‘Vette owned by GM CEO Dan Akerson. The ’58 is the first year Corvette used a four headlamp layout in the front. The car uses a 283 cubic inch V8 fed by 2 four-barrel carburetors. The engine is mated to a four-speed transmission. Dan Akerson has announced that he will auction off this car at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale Auction held from January 13-20. All proceeds from the sale will go to Habitat for Humanity.
A 1959 Stingray Racer was also featured in the video. The car was the first Corvette to use the “Sting Ray” moniker and was designed by Bill Mitchell. The car raced at tracks around the US, including Watkins Glenn. It was restored at the behest of Ed Welburn, and is currently powered by a fuel injected V8 producing approximately 375 hp.
Finally, the Denim Chin was shown a very original 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. The only year the Corvette had a split rear window. A fuel injected small block V8 producing 375 hp powers the car.