Contributor Mike Davis was at GM's Motorama in 1953 when the company unveiled the first 'Vette. Here he runs through how the car became America’s only mass-production sports car (which has never changed its name unless you count "Stingray." He notes that the first Corvette roadster was priced at $3,498, which would be $30,108 in 2012 dollars. By 1966, annual production had reached 28,000. "I can’t tell you the year of peak Corvette output, but the Silver Anniversary model of 1978 must have been close with a bit over 42,000 U.S. sales."