1953 EX-122 Corvette – The Corvette that Inspired Zora

1953 EX-122 Corvette from Bloomington Gold Great Hall 2010

We are looking at some photos of the 1953 EX-122 Corvette from the Bloomington Gold event in 2010. EX-122 was built in the Experimental Department of Chevrolet Engineering in Detroit and debuted at the Motorama held at the New York Waldorf Astoria hotel in January 1953.

1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.
1953 EX-122 Corvette is on display at the 2010 Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. It was inducted into the Great Hall.

Our feature is the 1953 EX-122 Corvette which was inducted into the Bloomington Gold Great Hall in 2010. The event was held at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. At the time this historical Corvette was owned by The Kerbeck Collection.

From 1949 to 1961, when GM reigned supreme, it ran an expensive traveling circus called Motorama. It used this venue to showcase its current products along with an occasional “dream car” in a dozen major cities. It was here that Harley Earl, GM’s visionary design chief, first displayed the 1953 EX-122 Corvette, the prototype of what would become the Chevrolet Corvette.

EX-122 was built in the Experimental Department of Chevrolet Engineering in Detroit and debuted at the Motorama held at the New York Waldorf Astoria hotel in January 1953. Reaching production was anything but certain, but it did have strong-willed proponents. And it didn’t hurt that the public, including one Zora Arkus-Duntov who stood in line with everyone else at the Waldorf, flat-out loved the car. A limited run of 300 1953 Corvettes followed later in the year.

Its Motorama duties were fulfilled, and EX-122 returned to engineering for testing. Its 6-cylinder was replaced with an experimental V8. It ran 25,000 miles at GM’s proving grounds. Russell Sanders, in charge of the Experimental Department, stated that it was torn down, rebuilt,
painted red, and used as a company car for another 5,000 miles. On April 11, 1956, Mr. Sanders bought it.

In 2002, the 1953 EX-122 Corvette was restored to its Motorama appearance. So it’s back to the show circuit right where it started, and where it continues to dazzle just as Mr. Earl knew it would.

The EX-122 car is now on display at the Kerbeck Corvette Museum in Atlantic City and is believed to be the oldest Corvette in existence.

The Chevrolet Corvette C1 was manufactured by General Motors. Production took place from June 1953 through July 1962. The model years were 1953 through 1962.

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