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BRING ON THE HAY BALES
John Fitch: Kenneth Rudeen
January 16, 1956
SI goes for a road test ride in the new 130-mph Chevrolet Corvette and finds U.S. motormakers committing themselves to rousing competition
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January 16, 1956

Bring On The Hay Bales

SI goes for a road test ride in the new 130-mph Chevrolet Corvette and finds U.S. motormakers committing themselves to rousing competition

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As the Corvettes appear, speculation on the scrap with Thunderbird will intensify. So far most of the rounds have gone to the Thunderbird. Sales for the first year exceeded 16,000, current production is 65 cars a day, and there is a backlog of 2,500 orders. More than 4,000 Corvettes had been sold by last spring, but current total sales figures are not obtainable.

Introduced in November, the 1956 Thunderbird has generally the same persuasive styling and, with boosted horsepower and a choice of three power plants, will be no easy bird to catch in the sales tussle.

The Corvette itself will be hard to catch on a racing circuit in a match with the Thunderbird, and that kind of race will be worth going to some trouble to see. But beyond that, a Detroit decision to be satisfied "only with leadership," in the Harlow Curtice phrase, will inevitably lead the U.S. down the rough and hazardous road toward the racing championships of the world. If this happens there will be several passengers who will not enjoy the ride. Some stockholders will become shrilly audible and a few policy makers will be violently racing car sick.

But there is only one road to leadership in sports cars. It is lined with hay bales.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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