Zero to 60 MPH In 11 Seconds? Meet the Slowest Corvette Ever


The Corvette C8 is a fast car, no doubt about it. Sure, everyone’s talking about the new 670 hp Z06, but even the basic 495 hp C8 can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, which means you’ll have to drive something pretty fast to see it. from the lamp.

But back to history, and there’s often more choice when it comes to powertrains for Corvette buyers. One One Corvette might look pretty much identical to another to the casual observer, but there are often big differences in performance depending on the specs. And some of them, sorry to say, made watching paint dry seem like a shoo-in for Olympic status. Here’s our rundown of the slowest Corvette ever built.

Corvette 1953-54 – 0-60 mph 11.0 seconds

What do the first 1953 Corvettes have in common with the newest ones besides the name and plastic shell? No cars are available with manual transmission. That’s not a big deal on today’s cars when the two-pedal gearbox is an eight-speed dual clutch, but the original C1 was loaded with the obligatory two-speed Powerglide.

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It also managed a 150 hp (gross) 3.9 liter straight six because the legendary little block Chevy didn’t land until 1955. Zero to 60 mph took 11 seconds, the quarter mile took 18 seconds, and it was all done by 108 mph (174 km/h). hours), after that Roads & Trails noted “slight smell of burnt paint”.

Okay, so we’re talking nearly 70 years ago, when 11 seconds to 60 mph weren’t as boring as they are today, but when the Chevy drops in the new (gross) 4.3 liter 195 hp little block for 1955 (which briefly sold alongside the old six before using only V8), performance improves dramatically which underscores how slow the original inline six was. Still equipped with the two-speed automatic Powerglide, the V8 hit 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, finished the quarter standing at 16.5 and peaked at 117 mph (188 km/h).

That still doesn’t sound all that great until you consider that in Motor Trends comparison tests between a 1959 Corvette and a Porsche 356 Speedster, the sleepy Porsche took 15.2 seconds to hit the same marker (and 15 seconds slower at around 3.3- the old. miles of riverside lanes).


1966 Corvette – 0-60 mph 8.3 seconds

By the time the C2 Sting Ray hit dealerships in late ’62 as a 1963 model, the horsepower wars of the 1960s were heating up. The hottest first-year C2 was a tiny 327 cu-in (5.4 liter) fuel-injected block that exploded past the magic 1 hp-per-cube mark to make 360 ​​(gross) hp, and, according to Motorcycle Trends can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

In contrast, the standard engine, which is by far the most popular version, only produces 250 hp. We couldn’t find any performance figures for the bottom rung of the Vette, but Roads & Trails tested the next step up the ladder, a small block of 300 hp, equipped with a two-speed Powerglide in 1964, and clocking zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds and 15.2 seconds for the quarter mile.

Three years later, when most journalists were starting to foam up about the L72 427 (7.0 liter) big block V8 and its 425 hp rating, that slightly old 300 hp V8 has become a base bike, and you’re still only left in two gears if you tick the box off. two pedals. car lifeThe C3 convertible took 8.3 seconds to hit 60 mph, compared to 5.7 seconds for the manual-equipped 427 the magazine tested that same month.


1981 Corvette – 0-60 mph 9.2 seconds

Until the early 1970s the general trend was that new Corvettes would be faster than the ones they replaced. As the burden of restraint creeps up over the years, so does power. But that all changed with the C3, which launched in 1968 that was crazy about horsepower but spent much of its life as a shadow of the malaise era of its former self.

Judging purely on power, the Corvette C3’s low point seems to be the base 1975 model pictured above, which, smothered by a single exhaust, makes just 165 hp (net). But aided by a 2.73:1 rear axle ratio clearly designed for intergalactic space travel that allows the automatic Vette to stretch to 62 mph (100 km/h) in the first of its three gears, the C3 managed to record a time of 7.7 seconds which was impressive. startling. up to 60 mph.

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It was powerful enough for the time, and in 1981, the 7.7 to 60 definitely seemed like the kind of performance that would have your local drag strip marshal demand that you parachute into the back of your Corvette before staging. Because that year Roads & TrailsThe 190 hp, four-speed test car, equipped with a road-friendly 2.72:1 rear wheel option took 17.0 seconds non-stop to make it to the end of the quarter mile after needing 9.2 seconds to hit 60 mph on the road. “The car isn’t slow, mind you,” R&T said, trying to put a brave face on things, but also highlighting how underperforming the auto market is. “[It’s] among the faster than today’s cars.”

Fortunately for Corvette fans, the Chevy corrected the setback the following year. For the final season of the C3, the ’82 car got throttle body injection, then a new, lighter C4 raced to 1984, making 60 mph in 7 seconds from the 205 hp V8, which dropped to 6.6 seconds for the 230 hp 1985 car. And the performance of the Corvette. stronger since then. Even the base 2021 Corvette C8 model can blast to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and the Z06’s 670 hp should make two tenths of that. How fast can the Corvette go? How fast is that? need get? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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