Corvette: The Meaning of the Famous Name

According to an article in The Gentleman Racer, Myron E. Scott (1907-1998), a photographer and art director with the Dayton Daily News, submitted the name for the car that would become known the world over.

Scott, a 2002 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee, worked for Chevrolet as an assistant director for the Public Relations department for more than three decades, starting in 1937.

In early 1953, Chevy executives were scrambling in attempts to find a name for their still-in-development, new sports car. The mandate required that the name of the car start with the letter C, but the task proved tougher than anyone could've anticipated as every submission was rejected by the top brass.

So one evening at home, Scott turned to section C of a dictionary to search for potential names, and that's how he came across the now-famous Corvette name.

But it was actually the French who first used the corvette name for small, fast, and agile ships that were used as escorts in the late 1600s. The name was used again on British escort vessels during World War II, which were also used successfully by the United States Navy for anti-submarine warfare.

US Navy Corvettes were armed with a 3-inch/50 caliber gun, dual-purpose gun aft, two 20mm anti-aircraft guns, two depth charge racks, four depth charge throwers, and one Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar.

Corvette ships are still in use today by many nations.

Above: Swedish navy's stealth corvette HMS Helsingborg by Jesper Olsson

US Navy WWII Corvettes

  • USS Action
  • USS Alacrity
  • USS Brisk
  • USS Haste
  • USS Intensity
  • USS Might
  • USS Pert
  • USS Prudent

Above: USS Intensity (PG-93), Flower-class corvette, mid-1943 by Gdr

Corvette word origin: Mid 17th century. French, from Dutch "Korf," denoting a kind of ship, plus the diminutive suffix -ette. | Google.


Above: The first Corvette rolls off the line.

Above: With such a maritime background, it's no surprise that Corvettes prototypes bore names
such as Mako Shark I and II, and Manta-Ray, although the Mako Shark inspiration was the result
of a fishing expedition, rather than a warship vessel-related event.

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