Chevrolet Corvette
Published July/August 2015

Made in the USA

5 of the most patriotic vehicles

BYNina Russin
When entrepreneurs Cyrus Avery and John Woodruff drew up plans for Route 66 a century back, they didn’t imagine the impact the Mother Road and the cars that traveled it would have on American culture.

Both have made an indelible stamp on our collective conscience.
 
Cars that made our list of the most patriotic vehicles played a significant role in this history and all are built in the United States.
 
Chevrolet Corvette: America’s Sports Car
The Corvette originated as General Motors’ answer to the British sports cars popularized during World War II. In 1953, Chevrolet built a limited number of fiberglass-bodied Corvettes based on GM’s Motorama show car at a temporary assembly plant in Flint, Michigan. With a straight six engine and three carburetors that were hard to sync, the Chevrolet sports car was more show than go.
 
That all changed in 1957 when Corvette’s Director of High Performance Zora Arkus-Duntov did what many thought was impossible: He developed a fuel-injected engine that delivered 1 horsepower per cubic inch. He put Corvette on the global map and was later named Corvette’s chief engineer.
 
In 1963, GM Design Chief Bill Mitchell assigned Larry Shinoda to give the Corvette a new look. Shinoda’s landmark Stingray design, which went into production in 1963, became an instant classic. 
 
Chevrolet resurrected the Stingray nameplate for the newest Corvette, introduced in 2014. The high-performance Z06 delivers 650-horsepower, making the Corvette one of the most powerful sports cars in the world. Chevrolet builds the Corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
 
Chevrolet Suburban: The Original Sport Utility Vehicle
In 1935, Chevrolet added windows and three rows of seating to a commercial panel truck, creating the first Suburban, and really, the first sport utility vehicle.
 
Once soldiers returned home from World War II, a housing shortage spurred the first great suburban migration — and American families needed more space to drive their growing families around. The Chevrolet Suburban answered this need with seating for up to eight passengers. It was a new kind of automobile for post-war America.
 
The all-new 2015 model celebrates the car’s 80th anniversary and 12th generation. The Suburban, together with its siblings — Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade — commands more than 50 percent of full-size SUV sales. Chevrolet builds the Suburban in Arlington, Texas.
 
Jeep Wrangler: The Original 4x4
In 1940, the U.S. government commissioned Willys-Overland to produce an all-terrain, short wheelbase prototype capable of carrying 600 pounds. Production versions came to be known as Jeeps. 
 
Some believe the name came from slurring the military designation, “General Purpose,” while others think it was based on a character in the popular Popeye cartoon series. After the war, Willys-Overland discovered new markets in the agriculture and construction industries. 
 
Today, Jeep is part of Fiat-Chrysler, with the Wrangler at the core of its lineup. Often copied but never equaled, the iconic Wrangler attracts legions of off-roading enthusiasts worldwide. Jeep updated the current Wrangler JK in 2012 with a new V-6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. Jeep builds the Wrangler in Toledo, Ohio.
Chevrolet Suburban
Chevrolet Suburban
Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Wrangler
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