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Success D r i v e AMERICA’S SWEETHEART A torrid love affair has been underway between drivers and the Chevrolet Corvette ever since the first model rolled off the line way back in 1953. The all-new Grand Sport Corvette keeps the love brightly burning. TEX T BY BILL LINDSEY Roughly 30-some years ago, a top-level beancounter at Chevrolet realized they could build a big pile of Impalas for what it cost to build a single Corvette. He recommend the Corvette be discontinued. He now works at a fast food restaurant. Always sleek, always a 2-seater, always wildly impractical yet always uber-cool, the Corvette is the stuff of legends. America’s sportscar has come a long way from the first ‘Vette, powered by a 150 hp 6-cylinder engine linked to a 2-speed automatic transmission. Options back then? An AM radio and a heater. In 1963, the Corvette was redesigned into what many consider the best-looking car of all time. In 1965, Chevy introduced the Grand Sport edition; just 5 cars, all built specifically for racing. The Grand Sport Corvette is now street-legal, but barely, with a 400 hp engine linked to a 7-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. It rolls off the showroom floor equally capable of setting record laps at Homestead or dropping off the kid (there’s only room for one) at soccer practice; Chevrolet.com. 52