Origin of the Corvette Name

8:11:00 AM

Many people know the Corvette as a motorsports icon or the ultimate Muscle/Sports car, but few know the meaning behind the name Corvette. We all know that the marketing team over at Chevy came up with the name Camaro out of thin-air. but the meaning behind the name Corvette is quite a bit deeper. Corvette was the first mass produced post-war American sports car, but when GM introduced the car the name was still up in the air. Hundreds of people submitted ideas, but it would be the submission of Myron E. Scott, a newspaper photographer who would submit the winning name.

Myron E. Scott

Myron thought the name Corvette rolled off the tongue well and thought a tie into the fast strike ships called "Corvette" that gained fame in World War II would appeal to the American men, many who had served in the war. This would go on to form the foundation for the nautical names that would be applied to Corvettes and concepts such as the Mako Shark and Sting Ray (later to be used as Stingray).

The name Corvette was first used on ships in the 1670s by the French Navy. These small, light, and fast ships would often be used as escorts for larger ships. While they generally were under 100 feet long and only had one gun deck, their maneuverability and speed gave them a unique advantage against the larger ships. Literally a Corvette could run circles around larger ships and in the era of cannons fast moving targets were hard to hit. The British would keep Corvettes in their fleet during the colonial incursions into the rivers of the Far-East and Africa, at this point most Corvettes were steam powered.

Canadian Royal Navy Corvette, WWII

The name was revived in World War II, when British naval designer William Reed drafted a plan for a small escort/patrol ship. They saw much success as anti submarine escorts in the Atlantic. Later in the war some Corvettes would be outfitted as minesweepers and saw action in the Pacific. Corvette ships are still used today, mostly has light missile ships or support vessels for fast attack boats.


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