Corvette Fifty Years; Book Review


This is what it all started with and it is still just as beautiful today as the day it was designed.

Randy Leffingwell wrote the book Corvette Fifty Years back in 2002. Obviously, it does not include the C6 Corvette but does an excellent job of covering every year from the first Vette in 1953 up through the 50 years in 2003. This book is available through Motorbooks.

I am far from a Corvette expert but I am not unlike most Corvette freaks. My first toy model car was a 1953 white Corvette with one of those horrible fly wheel motors in it. The first thing you did as a kid was get a screw driver and take that darn thing off so you could make it go fast! Sounds a lot like what we do with the real cars today! Since that time I have owned over two dozen Corvettes and at one time I could tell the difference between a 65 and a 66 by the grain in the vinyl seats.


Now this is a 50’s race car!

Back to the book.

If you are looking for a book to decode you Corvette go buy a Little Black Book, this book will not help you. If you want a visual and descriptive history of the Corvette with an emphasis on the race cars that made the Corvette memorable this is the book. Legends are made with wins on the track.


I personally believe the Grand Sport is far more beautiful than the more popular Cobra.

Corvette has been in and out of racing since the first day it hit the street. Sometimes GM was in support and sometimes it wasn’t. Believe me when I say Corvette owners were always in support.


Corvette racing hit a high point with a win at Le Mans.

The photography in this book is terrific. Some of the photos came from the archives of GM but the photographers for the book were Randy Leffinwell and David Newhardt. Professionals both and their work speaks volumes.


The Corvette Fifty Yearsalso contains a wealth of photos and information on”one-off”, styling exercises and special built Italian jobs. If all you do is look at the pictures in this book it is a sound investment.



CHAPTER TWO:  1950-1952

CHAPTER THREE: 1953-1955

CHAPTER FOUR: 1956-1958

CHAPTER FIVE: 1959-1962

CHAPTER SIX: 1963-1967

CHAPTER SEVEN: 1963-1967

CHAPTER EIGHT: 1968-1982

CHAPTER NINE: 1983-1989

CHAPTER TEN: 1990-1996



The 1963 Sting Ray Split Window is an icon of Corvettes.

I am not sure why there are two chapters with the same title but after all the 1963-1967 years are the Sing Rays. They are, arguably, lusted after more than Jayne Mansfield (who also died in 1967 along with the Sting Ray)!


Jayne Mansfield


One Comment

  1. I’m doing an article about my friend Zora and Elfie in an old car magazine. Is it OK to use the blue coupe picture and list your corp or name as credit for the picture please Scott SCOOTER Strenzel 906 Belfield sw
    Wyoming, Mi 49509

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