On Drive Your Corvette to Work Day

Some thoughts about collector cars (none of which I own, including a Corvette, because life is unfair) can be read here.

Sunday is National Corvette Day, recognizing, this year, the 60th anniversary of the sale of the first Corvette, June 30, 1953.

Which brings an interesting question to mind: Why was it named the Corvette? The Gentleman Racer has the answer:

Corvette was the first mass produced post-war American sports car, but when GM introduced the car the name was still up in the air. Hundreds of people submitted ideas, but it would be the submission of Myron E. Scott, a newspaper photographer who would submit the winning name.

Myron thought the name Corvette rolled off the tongue well and thought a tie into the fast strike ships called “Corvette” that gained fame in World War II would appeal to the American men, many who had served in the war. This would go on to form the foundation for the nautical names that would be applied to Corvettes and concepts such as the Mako Shark and Sting Ray (later to be used as Stingray).

That would be, by the way …

The name Corvette was first used on ships in the 1670s by the French Navy. These small, light, and fast ships would often be used as escorts for larger ships. While they generally were under 100 feet long and only had one gun deck, their maneuverability and speed gave them a unique advantage against the larger ships. Literally a Corvette could run circles around larger ships and in the era of cannons fast moving targets were hard to hit. The British would keep Corvettes in their fleet during the colonial incursions into the rivers of the Far-East and Africa, at this point most Corvettes were steam powered.

(And here I thought most Corvettes were V-8-powered.)

The name was revived in World War II, when British naval designer William Reed drafted a plan for a small escort/patrol ship. They saw much success as anti submarine escorts in the Atlantic. Later in the war some Corvettes would be outfitted as minesweepers and saw action in the Pacific. Corvette ships are still used today, mostly has light missile ships or support vessels for fast attack boats.


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