Americans were introduced to the Chevrolet Corvette for the first time on Jan. 17, 1953, when the carmaker unveiled a prototype of a new sports car during the General Motors' Motorama auto show at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Only 300 were made, available in only one color and priced at $3,498. Named after a small and fast class of naval ships, the car left an immediate impression and to this day remains an American classic.
"The car has had an iconic place in America's heritage," John Fitzpatrick, Chevrolet marketing manager of performance cars, told CBSNews.com. "And it goes back to television shows like 'Route 66,' where the car was almost as big of a star as the two guys driving the car."
Through the years the Corvette has also wheeled up alongside some international icons, such as in a famous photograph of Apollo 12 astronauts Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr., Richard Francis Gordon Jr. and Alan LaVern Bean posing with identical 1969 Corvette Stingray coupes.
"In the '60s the astronauts in the Apollo program all drove Corvettes," Fitzpatrick said. "These people went to the moon and Corvette was their car of choice."
The 2014 Corvette Stingray has unsurprisingly been a hit at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where the car made its debut this week.
"The Corvette Stingray is the car of the show. That's the buzz. That's everything," Consumer Reports Cars managing editor Jonathan Linkov.
The seventh generation of the Corvette is the first completely overhauled version of the car in nine years.
"One of the strength of the Stingray in development over the years has been drawing upon and incredibly rich history," Tom Peters, Chevrolet director of exteriors, told CBSNews.com. "At the bottom of that is a wonderful sense of sculpture."
There has been some chatter on online forums about the change in the Corvette's tail lights. The old round design has been replaced with a more geometric shape. Peters believes the design team has taken the essence of the original Stingray and translated it in a fresh, new way.
"The tail lamps have garnered a lot of comments," Peters said. "But when you stand back and look at the overall effect, I believe it's unmistakably Corvette Stingray."