Complex Says: Let's face it, the original Corvette was nothing too special. It was rushed into production and quality was low. In addition, the 150hp I6 engine and automatic transmission left a lot to be desired. A 195hp small block V8 was added to the lineup in 1955, though, which did help. The Corvette luckily managed to survive for long enough to grow into its own in 1956. The V8 became more powerful, the six cylinder was gone, and a manual transmission was standard. Over the years, the Corvette gained another pair of headlights and a ton of chrome, as was the trend at the time, and then an additional pair of tail-lights. The four tail-lights look has continued to this day. By the time 1962 rolled around, the top-tier engine on the C1 was putting out a roaring 340 horsepower.