In June of 1953, the first two Corvettes rolled off the assembly line in Flint, MI. Fifty years later, in 2003, GM sold 11,632 Corvettes with the 50th Anniversary Edition package. The Corvette was painted Polo White, with red interior. According to Car and Driver, using this same color scheme on the 50th anniversary car would be “just too obvious” ( July, 2002). Instead, Chevrolet created a special shade of burgundy called Anniversary Red. This rich color has flecks of aluminum oxide mixed in with the paint to give it a special sheen, and the clear coat was formulated to highlight the paint color. The interior (and convertible soft top), are shale colored, with dark gray on the console, instrument panel, and doors to give contrast.
The standard equipment list on coupes and convertibles grew as GM added fog lamps, dual zone climate control, sport seats, and the power passenger seat to all 2003 models. Magnetic Selective Ride Control (RPO F55) also made its first appearance on 2003 Corvettes. This revolutionary new technology replaced the Real Time Damping System found on earlier Corvettes, and instead of using traditional fluid in the shocks, it used magnetic fluid to adjust how the pistons and valves functioned. At highway speeds, this new system, coupled with a powerful microprocessor, can adjust shock damping 1000x per second.
RPO F55 was installed in 14,992 coupes and convertibles. The Z06 continued to employ FE4 suspension. Total production for the ‘03 model year reached 35,469, more than 118 times total 1953 production.