This a fifth generation Corvette with a first generation front end and rear on the car. The first generation Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year and ended in 1962. Often referred to as the "solid-axle" models because the independent rear suspension did not debut until the 1963 Sting Ray. 300 hand-built polo white Corvette convertibles were produced for the 1953 model year. Production of the C5 Corvette began in 1997 and ended with the 2004 model year. Chevrolet used cars like the Nissan 300ZX and Mazda RX-7 as benchmarks for quality and styling due to criticisms the C4 Corvette received when compared to Japanese rivals. The C5 had a top speed of 181 mph (291 km/h) and was judged by the automotive press as improved in nearly every area over the previous Corvette design thanks to its much improved structural rigidity and much more curvaceous design.