1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1 RoadsterSOLD

RM Auctions - The Ponder Collection - Texas - April 20-21st, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $60,000 - $80,000


$79,200 Sold

270bhp, 283 cu. in. overhead-valve V8 engine, dual four-barrel carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, front independent A-arm suspension with coil springs and rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic springs and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102"

In 1956, only three years after its introduction, Chevrolet introduced a restyled Corvette that was a significant departure from earlier models. The new Corvettes gave the American sports car a new identity that was much more sporting. They were fast, sleek and extremely clean in their appearance.

With aggressive competition coming from Ford's Thunderbird and Mercedes 300SL, Chevrolet was serious about keeping their adversaries behind them. In 1957, the small production Corvette was built only as a convertible "Roadster." Not to deface an already sculpture of beauty, the body styling remained unchanged, but it would mark the last year for single headlights. The Corvette would however, receive further engineering enhancements, which most notably included a new 283 cubic inch power plant offered in a variety of versions, including a dual four-barrel carbureted setup good for 270 horsepower. This increase in power necessitated some significant upgrades to the sporty two-seater to round out its performance characteristics, such as a heavy duty racing suspension, front brake air scoops and finned brake drums.

Only 14 feet in length, the Corvette was constructed of a pressed steel infrastructure surrounded by a fiberglass body. With an intimidating front-end chrome grille that resembled a shark's mouth, the Roadster ate up the competition. In fact, it was promoted as one of the fastest production cars of its time. Keeping abreast to its stunning good looks, the Corvette continued to supply a list of available amenities, including a radio, parking brake alarm, courtesy lights and beautiful 15-inch whitewall tires.

The 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster pictured here is finished in the classic fifties Corvette color combination of red with white coves, a matching red interior and a white top. Although the restoration was completed some time ago, the condition of the Corvette has held up remarkably well: the engine and bay are tidy, the underbody is clean, the trunk is neat and the chrome is very presentable. Additionally, the body fit is quite good for a Corvette of this vintage. The car is understood to have been the property of the MBNA Collection. Notably, the Corvette also has all the proper stencil markings on the chassis, adding to the car’s overall highly authentic presentation.

The Corvette is nicely appointed with a four-speed manual transmission, a push button radio, wide whitewall tires and chrome wheel covers and, of course, the dual four-barrel carburetors. It is a solid, 93,143 mile example from the last year before Corvettes switch two twin headlights. Recognized by collectors as benchmark years in Corvette styling, the 1956 and 1957 models generally draw the most attention at events nationwide. These cars hold a particular interest to many collectors, as they serve as an artful stepping stone between the earliest and the final evolution of the first generation of America’s sports car.

Reference Number 7595

as of 2/27/2007

Car 1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1 Roadster
VIN E57S1008254 
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