1954 Six Cylinder Sports Cars – Below is a comparison of the 1954 Corvette, Kaiser-Darrin and Nash-Healey. All three Sports Cars were equipped with a six cylinder engines. Despite the Kaiser-Darrin’s very low weight and high axle ratio, the Corvette easily had the better of both it and the Nash-Healey. People just preferred the styling of the Corvette. The Nash-Healey was the roomiest with the Corvette a close second.
The Corvette was clearly the most competitive of the three as the price was much lower and they were sold by Chevrolet dealers. In spite of the powerglide transmission the 54′ Corvette was a hot performer, better looking and fastest of the three. With 3 single barrel carburetors, performance was 0-60 in 11 seconds and a top speed of 106 MPH.
In 1954 demand for the Corvette was initially brisk, and volume handily out paced that of the other 1954 sports cars. Beleive it or not by the end of 1954 General Motors was giving serious consideration to dropping the Corvette due to poor sales. They didn’t and the rest is history.
1954 Six Cylinder Sports Cars – 1954 Corvette
Corvette Specifications – Price $3523, Production Units 3640, Wheelbase 102 inches, Length 167 inches, Weight 2705 Lbs, Engine Ohv 6, Displacement 235.5 cubic inches, Horsepower 150 HP, Transmission Powerglide, Axle Ratio 3.55:1, Performance 0-60 MPH in 11 Sec and Top Speed 106 MPH.
Kaiser-Darrin Specifications – Price $3668, Production Units 435, Wheelbase 100 inches, Length 184 inches, Weight 2175 Lbs, Engine L-head 6, Displacement 161 cubic inches, Horsepower 90 HP, Transmission 3-Speed Manual, Axle Ratio 4.55:1, Performance 0-60 MPH in 15 Sec and Top Speed 90 MPH.
Nash-Healey Specifications – Price $4721, Production Units 90, Wheelbase 108 inches, Length 180 inches, Weight 2990 Lbs, Engine Ohv 6, Displacement 252.5 cubic inches, Horsepower 140 HP, Transmission 3-Speed Manual, Axle Ratio 4.10:1, Performance 0-60 MPH in 10 Sec and Top Speed 105 MPH.
1954 Chevy Corvette With a Black Soft Top
Although, in 1954 the Sports Car market was still incredibly small, it was adequate enough for an import like Jaguar or Triumph. But ridiculous by Detroit standards. The traditional thinking in Detroit was, unless hundreds of thousands were sold every year it was hardly worth the effort. Dealers reported some 1500 Corvettes unsold, almost half the production run, as the 1955 Chevrolet Corvette debuted.
1954 Corvette Advertising “The First American Sports Car”