The Chevrolet Corvette is just about as American as it gets. The car pretty much is American car culture and, with General Motors selling them without issue, it’s a little odd that Ford hasn’t built a direct Corvette competitor.
The Ford and Chevy rivalry runs deep, and they compete in almost every other category, so why not the affordable two-seater sports car class? This topic bugged the guys over at Donut Media, so they did what they do best, and made a video on it.
In the video, host Nolan Sykes explores the deep history behind the Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird, which originally smoked the Corvette in sales. When the Corvette launched in 1953, it came with a weak inline six-cylinder engine, and Chevy only sold 315 units. The Thunderbird, on the other hand, sold 16,000 units because the car was not only stylish, but powerful as well. It came stocked with a V8 engine and creature comforts the Corvette lacked, like power steering, power brakes, and power windows.
Even though the Thunderbird was doing well, Ford decided to change it up in a big way by making it a four-seater. Just three years after the T-Bird debuted, it became a luxurious four-seater, and by 1960, Ford sold 200,000 units. This left Corvette to do its own thing, and the Stingray officially put Corvette in the running for a true American sports car in 1963. By 1967, you could order the Stingray with a 500 horsepower engine and the rest is history.
Even though Ford never made its own Corvette, they did make millions of Mustangs, so we can’t complain too much.