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Corvette Fifty Years Hardcover – November 8, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Hardcover, November 8, 2002
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Editorial Reviews


Classic American (UK), Winter 2006

“An excellent story of one of the world’s most well-loved cars, perfectly packaged and beautifully illustrated.”


North Shore News (CAN), Sept. 29, 2006

“Randy Leffingwell provides an in-depth look at this unique piece of automotive history … Throughout the book are beautiful color photographs showing the various models in complete detail. This celebration of 50 years of Corvettes is a visual delight and a fascinating account for those committed fans.”

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

During 2003 Chevrolet's flagship Corvette celebrates it's 50th Anniversary. Since it's introduction the Corvette has forged the reputation as a world class performance automobile priced for the masses. Fitted with independent rear suspension and four wheel disc brakes during the 1960's, Corvette technology was decades ahead of competitors and their beautiful and timeless styling make the Corvette among the most popular and collectible automobiles ever built.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks; First edition (November 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760311803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760311806
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.5 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Barr on November 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The author was just on the History Channel to talk about this book. He told stories that put the Corvette in the perspective of American culture and history and gave fascinating information from the book about why the car is the way it is, how GM killed it and brought it back several times, why it became a luxury sports car, and more. Incredibly, now that I've gotten the book, I'm surprised the show didn't even mention the pictures. (The title page says he collaborated on photos with David Newhardt but the individual pictures in the book are not credited.) The book is well designed and the photos are huge as is the book, with some pictures spreading nearly two-feet across two pages. If there's any criticism, it's that the older historic pictures appear fuzzy or badly printed. The text is filled with insider stories and quotes from engineers and designers and there's information I've never read anywhere else, all of it accompanied by spectacular shots of great cars - some of them rare and unusual that aren't in any other books either---and are placed in beautiful or interesting settings.
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By A Customer on February 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I placed this book on reserve 4 months in advance to it's release. That should say something to justify Fifty dollar price. The plain white cover with one lonely Big Block 67 is misleading to what this book really contains. When I first recieved my copy I had to see those photographs, and Leffingwell doesn't disappoint. The book contains many one and two page photos that will have you grinning from ear to ear. With over 350+ pages you can't complain. I especially like the Grand Sport Chapter, as this was the boon to the racing history for Corvette, shortly before Chevrolet's formal ban on Manufacturer-backed racing. As a car modeler and corvette enthusiast, I am a very scrutinizing indvidual and look for perfection and accuracy. The book contains enough information to wet any gearheads appetite, but leaves you asking for more when you get to that last page. I think this is not the intent for the book, but as an enthusiast, you can never have enough of a good thing. I think this books intent is to show you a little of everything from Corvette history without making a series of books, as this is what you would need. I made the 50th anniversary bash for corvette and can honestly say that this book comes close to capturing all those cars in it's own little party bash. The book has excellent photos of cars rarely seen by all and even gives you glimpses into the corvettes future. It dabbles into the corvettes pre-introduction and the events leading to it's intro as well as the many times the corvettes life almost came to an end. This book is a must have for any corvette or car nut, and definitely justifies it's price. Buy two and keep one in the plastic. I did.
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Format: Paperback
The Corvette reflects America. It has experienced its highs (the 1950s and early '60s) to its lows (the 1970s). Any Corvette fan knows that. So what makes Leffingwell's book special? It is the official (or almost) review of the Chevrolet Corvette for its first half-century. What I enjoyed about this book was that it didn't obsess with technical details like so many others. It never strays from the subject at hand. Leffingwell talks about the history, development, and politics surrounding the Corvette--and there is plenty of hair-pulling and backstabbing to make those aspects interesting. It really helps the context of the material. There are two strikes against this book: (1) The Callaway projects are almost entirely absent and (2) the C6 was not part of book (due to the publication date). That aside, this is a solid (if somewhat outdated) read.
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Format: Hardcover
My brother, a car enthusiast extraordinaire, has driven them all—Porsches, Cobra-Fords, Jags, Ferraris, two-place Mercedes, BMWs, and Corvettes. The worst—the bottom of the barrel—was the Corvette. Pretty face, no brains. And no wonder: too much weight, coupled with a slightly-tweaked passenger car suspension, makes for poor handling. That was then. My brother drove one of the latest Vettes recently, a 2013, and was positively stunned: lethal horsepower, responsive steering, lots of grip, and incredible brakes. What’s not to love? “I never thought I’d say this,” he told me over the phone, “but for the price you can’t beat it. If I was looking to replace my Porsche this is what I’d get.” Which brings us to Randy Leffingwell’s book. It covers the entire Corvette history, starting way back in the 1920s when the company was being reorganized by Alfred Sloan, to the realization in the 1930s that style drove car sales, to the immediate post-years when sports cars such as Jags and Triumphs and MGs were making inwards into the American car market. At that point, GM was pumping new life into the Chevrolet, and looking for a symbol to excite buyers. That was the thinking, and Corvette was the answer. It didn’t sell a lick (300 cars in 1953), but it attracted the attention of the media, particularly magazines like Road & Track. The engine wasn’t much to get excited about—the venerable stove bolt-Chevy 6, coupled to an automatic trans. But it was a start, and soon the Corvette became the focus of GM’s quest to attract the growing young buyers' market, with the lure of high performance options. Enter Zora Arkus Duntov, introduction of the compact Chevy V8, dual four-barrel carbs, tricked out camshafts, fuel injection, four-speed transmissions, and a foray into motor racing.Read more ›
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