1953 - 1957

- The Corvette was introduced with 235cid six-cylinder engine (150HP) and two-speed automatic transmission. All 300 first edition Corvettes were Polo White roadsters with a red interior. The first Corvette reaches the end of the assembly line on June 30, 1953. The first 15 cars were built, all by hand, in the back of a customer delivery garage in Flint Michigan. The rest came from a new facility devoted to Corvettes in St. Louis which had a capacity to build 10,000 cars a year.

 

- Base Price = $3498.00
- Blue Flame Six Cylinder Engine
- 2-speed Powerglide Automatic Transmission (only option)
- Removeable  plastic side curtains

- Manual soft top

 

1953

$2600

- The 1954 Corvette differed little from the 1953 model. Under the hood, a new camshaft gave the six-cylinder an extra five horsepower, boosting the total to 155 HP. New colors included Black, Pennant Blue and Guardsman Red, although the majority were still Polo White. All of the soft tops were beige and the Pennant Blue offered a beige interior. The other interiors were red.

 

- Base Price = $2774.00
- Blue Flame Six Cylinder Engine
- 2-speed Powerglide Automatic Transmission (only option)
- Removeable plastic side curtains
-  Manual soft top

1954
1955

- 265cid OHV V8 engine and manual transmission introduced, also the last year for six-cylinder engine. V8 produced 195 HP with a four barrel carburetor, standard V8 produced 155 HP.Additional colors were available, "Corvette Copper", Gypsy Red and Harvest Gold. V8 engined cars would get a 12 volt electrical system; six cylinder Corvettes made do with a six volt system.

 

- Base Price = $2774.00 > Blue Flame 6; $2,909.00 > V8
- 196 HP 265 cu. in. V8 introduced
- Production:  Blue Flame 6 = 7; V8  = 693
- 2-speed Powerglide Transmission - standard

- Manual 3 Speed Transmission -introduced as an option (approx. 75)
- Weight  2,705 lbs.
 

1956

-The Corvette received a new body style authored by Bob Cadaret. Strange as it may seem now, designing the '56 was not a sought after assignment by Chevrolet designers. Previous Corvettes had sold poorly and dealers hated it. The logic of the day is that working on a car that people would buy was the smarter move. History would disagree, as the 1956 Corvette styling is regarded as one of the best looking cars ever. The new body style included roll-up windows and an optional removable hard top. The 265cid V8, introduced in 1955, was boosted to 225 HP.

 

- Base Price = $3120.00

- Power windows and a power hydraulic-lift top were options.
- 210 HP, 265 cu. in. V-8 w/ 4 bbl carburetor - standard

- 225 HP, 265 cu. in. V-8 w/ 2-4 bbl carbutetors - optional

- Manual 3 Speed Transmission - standard

- PowerGlide Automatic Transmission was a no cost option

 

1957
 

-Chevrolet pulled something amazing out of the hat for 1957: Fuel Injection. First run in 1956 at the Sebring race, the Rochester Ramjet injection was an answer to Mercedes-Benz which featured fuel injection in the 1954 300SL. Rochester fuel injection appeared as an option with the 283 cid V8 engine also offered as an option were solid lifters, high lift cam and 10.5:1 compression produding 283 HP; also a Borg Warner T-10 four-speed manual transmission became available.

 

- Base Price = $3176.32

- Racing brakes, power windows and a power top were options.
- 245 HP/283 cu. in. V-8 w/ 4 bbl carburetor - standard

- 283 HP/283 cu.in. came in two configurations:

       713 => Duntov Cam

         43 => Airbox and Duntov Cam

- 3 Speed Manual Transmission - standard

- 4-speed Manual and PowerGlide Automatic Transmissions were $188.00 options

 

SACC is the initials of the Solid Axle Corvette Club. So, just what is a solid axle Corvette?  The rear axle housing on all 1953 to 1962 Corvettes are a one-piece shell. The rear differential (rear gears) and the axles were mounted within this rear axle housing. (The rear axle housing is sometimes called a solid [or straight] axle housing.)

Begining with the 1963 model year, all Corvettes have an independent rear suspension. the rear differential is built into the center housing: universal joints and short shafts (called jack shafts) transfer power to the rear wheels. Each rear wheel reacts independently to the road surface, and has earned the nickname "rubber axle". The solid axle 1953 to 1962 Corvettes are unique for many other reasons. They shared many suspension and power train (engine, transmission and brake) components with Chevrolet passenger cars. But with a fiberglass body, all the body parts and exterior trim were Corvette-only items.

Production:  300
Production: 3640
Production:   700
Production: 3467
Production: 6339