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FIFTH-GENERATION CORVETTE ANNOUNCED TODAY BY CHEVROLET GENERAL MANAGER JIM PERKINS

 /ADVANCE/WARREN, Mich., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- An exciting new fifth-generation Corvette has been approved by GM's NAO Strategy Board for introduction in the 1997 model year, Chevrolet General Manager Jim Perkins announced today.
 Perkins spoke at ceremonies outside Chevrolet headquarters highlighting the 40th birthday of the fabled car.
 "Some have speculated that the Corvette would leave us for the great boneyard in the sky, but that just ain't so," Perkins said.
 "It is especially appropriate that we are able to use Corvette's birthday celebration to announce that this fabulous nameplate will continue in Chevrolet's model lineup," he added. "Birthdays are for beginnings, not endings."
 Perkins said that "as with all our new products, the new Corvette will painstakingly reflect the voice of Corvette customers, while aligning with the tremendous heritage of the car. It will remain a true sports car, employing high-value technology to expand the performance envelope."
 Perkins added that the new Corvette will continue to be constructed of fiberglass composite materials -- which it pioneered among production cars -- and will continue to employ a front-engine, rear-drive layout.
 He called the NAO Strategy Board's decision a "vital first step in a long development process for the next generation of the world's best- known sports car, thus assuring that its greatness will endure."
 Perkins said, "Corvette marks its 40th birthday by continuing to dominate the sports car market with 1993 model sales up an encouraging 16 percent over last year."
 The first Corvette was produced on June 30, 1953, in Flint, Mich. Aficionados generally date Corvettes as follows: first generation - 1953 through 1962 models; second generation - 1963 through 1967 models; third generation - 1968 through 1982 models; and the fourth generation - 1984 models through the current Corvette.
 Corvette first appeared as a "dream car" in the General Motors Motorama of 1953. Electrifying public response brought the two-seat convertible quickly to production. Three hundred 1953 models were hand- built -- each white with a red interior.
 Production was shifted from Flint to St. Louis in December 1953 where Corvettes were built until June 1, 1981, when Corvette moved to its current assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky.
 Last July 2, Chevrolet made automotive history by producing the 1 millionth Corvette at Bowling Green -- a total far higher than has been reached by any other single sports car. Half of all Corvettes are estimated to still be on the road.
 Corvette has gained fame both for its many design and engineering innovations and for the zeal of its devoted owners, which have included an array of celebrities. Some owners possess small fleets of Corvettes and many participate actively in 700 Corvette owner clubs around the world. Corvettes are sold throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
 Even though Corvette has never achieved more than 2 percent of total annual Chevrolet passenger car sales, Chevrolet credits the sports car with adding luster, excitement and owner pride to every car it delivers.
 -0- 6/29/93/1200
 /CONTACT: Dave Hudgens of Chevrolet, 313-492-8841/
 (GM)


CO: Chevrolet Motor Division ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SB -- DE013 -- 6670 06/29/93 11:44 EDT
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Date:Jun 29, 1993
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