Lot 178 - 1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1
|Odometer reading||18,200 miles|
|Estimate||£50,000 - £55,000|
|Result||Sold - £50,000|
General Motors hired designer Harley Earl in 1927. Earl loved sports cars, and GIs returning after serving in Europe during World War II were bringing home MGs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos and the like. Even the small independent manufacturers, Nash Motors, began selling a two-seat sports car in 1951. Earl convinced GM that they also needed to build a two-seat sports car. Earl and his Special Projects crew began working on the new car later that year which was code named 'Opel'. The result was the 1953 Corvette, unveiled to the public at that year's Motorama car show. Taking its name from the corvette, a small, manoeuvrable fighting frigate, the first Corvettes were virtually hand built in Flint, Michigan in Chevrolet's Customer Delivery Centre. The outer body was made out of a revolutionary new composite material called fibreglass, selected in part because of limiting steel quotas left over from the Korean War. Underneath that radical new body were standard Chevrolet components, including the 'Blue Flame' inline six-cylinder truck engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission and drum brakes from Chevrolet's regular car line. The addition of a V8 engine mated to a three speed manual transmission was probably the single most important in the car's history, helped turn the Corvette from a two-seat curiosity into a genuine performer.
This extremely rare, Trophy Winning 1957 Corvette C1 'Fuelie' was produced for the American market and is one of only 1,040 ever built which houses the mighty V8, pushing out some 283hp with its unique, racing fuel injected system. This fuel-injection system solved a fuel starvation problem caused by sloshing while cornering hard with carburetted engines under race conditions. According to the C1 registry, chassis number E57S102614 was sold new on 1st March, 1957 and was built in St. Louis, Missouri. Factory options included the ultimate top-specification 283ci/283hp V8 with Rochester fuel-injection, heater, whitewall tyres, two-tone Polo White paint and even an elusive hard-top (supplied with this example in original condition).
This lovely Corvette is totally original including the engine, the interior and the chassis. The previous owner purchased the car in 2007 when it was imported to the UK and was placed in his own extensive private collection. It has been very well maintained throughout the years and recently had a big review at the Claremont Corvette garage. This Corvette has a manual three-speed gearbox for smooth boulevard cruising and enjoys a wonderful, curvaceous red leather interior. This older restoration has mellowed nicely over the years and hails from the state of Las Vegas, Nevada where it has won multiple trophies over many years.
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