1957 CHEVROLET CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE
Chassis No. E57S 105626
Engine No. F424 EG VC
Red with red interior and white soft top
Engine: V8, 265ci, 270bhp; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front, unequal length A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar, rear, live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs. Brakes; front and rear drum. Left hand drive.
Corvette sales in the period from 1953-1955 were hardly a runaway success, and making matters worse was Ford's introduction of the Thunderbird for 1955 which would steal the spotlight. Though some enthusiasts suggest that the Thunderbird was more style than substance, it did pack a V8 powerplant and in-vogue styling. The buying public were convinced, and the Blue Oval began T-Bird production with 4,000 orders already on the books - roughly the total of Corvette production for its first three years combined - and the manufacturer would go on to build in excess of 16,000 examples for the 1955 model year alone. As unsold inventory languished in Chevrolet showrooms across the country in early 1955, something had to be done, and that something would be the first major Corvette redesign which was introduced for the 1956 model year.
Uncovered and boasting more prominent headlights, the conspicuous absence of fins, stylish coves on the body sides (available in silver or body color), and a new interior with roll-up windows, this revamping heralded a new generation of Corvette. The 1956 all-new design was created by Harley Earl, GMs Design Director. He came up with fresh new styling that was tasteful in an age of garishness, as well as sexy, low slung and distinctly American. The '56 styling was considered a masterpiece of sports car design. The car looked like the serious sports car it was and was dubbed 'America's only true sports car'.
The chassis was heavily reworked by engineering wizard Zora Arkus-Duntov, and the result was a tightened up steering response and handling. The Corvette now had a quickness through turns to match its acceleration on the straights. The new car was powered by Chevrolet's superb 265ci V8 designed by Henry Barr and Edward N. Cole, which in normal tune developed 210bhp. With its second generation car Corvette began to make its mark in international competition - a Corvette finished ninth, to much acclaim, in the gruelling 12 hours of Sebring in 1956.
Aesthetically very little changed as the model moved into 1957, standard specification now included dual exhausts, all vinyl bucket seats and a three spoke 'competition' steering wheel, while options were extended to include a 283bhp V8.
This single tone Venetian Red example sports whitewall tires, a white top, red trim and radio, heater, defroster and air conditioning. Its engine designation with EG suffix places it as a dual carburettor unit with high lift cams married to a synchromesh gearbox, the latter may have been altered as it now has a four speed box fitted.
Cosmetically, the 'Vette presents well and must have benefited from restoration at some stage, to remain in this order. It would have been acquired by for the collection in the late 1980s or early 1990s and has since been on static display.
Prior to the auction it is anticipated that Christie's will have the car running, however we do advise that full re-commissioning be undertaken prior to proper road use.