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 Chevrolet Corvette C1 photo

Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp

1956 Chevrolet Corvette C1

Up to this point in history, the Corvettes were not selling very well. Corvette decided to change that by offering bigger engines, better handling, options, and new styling. The projecting taillights were removed and were placed into the fender. The side of the car received a large scallop. This was similar to the Cadillac LeSalle II and Buick Wildcat II. Roll-up windows became available, outside door handles, and an optional power system for the convertible top.

The new V8 option was about 40 pounds lighter than the V6 option. It was also shorter and lower which meant better weight distribution throughout the vehicle. With the standard Carter four-barrel carburetor, 210 horsepower was produced. By adding the optional second four-barrel carburetor, the horsepower was increased to 225.

The 1956 Corvette was able to climb to the top of the 12.5 mile Pikes Peak in a record 17 minutes and 24 seconds. The enthusiasm did not catch on. So they decided to beat their competition at top speed. The Jaguar XK-120 was capable of 130 mph, and the Mercedes gull-wing 300SL could do 140-146 mph. At Daytona on the sandy beach the Corvette ran two certified runs that averaged 150.5 miles per hour.

Four cars were entered into the 12-hour Sebring race. The results were disappointing. Two Corvettes did not finish, while the other two received a 15th place finish, and a 9th place finish.


In February 1956, a General Motors factory team arrived at Daytona Beach looking for a speed record. Three specially prepared Corvettes, driven by John Flitch, Betty Skelton and Zora Arkus-Duntov, achieved their moment of glory when one of the Corvettes broke the 150 mph mark. This was an incredible high speed for a production car.

A month after the record breaking Daytona run, this 1956 Corvette was the Class B winner, 9th overall, at the 1956 Sebring 12-Hour Race driven by John Fitch and Walter Hansgen. It is fitted with a 307 cubic inch engine coupled to a 4-speed ZF transmission.

Following this summer of 1956 performance, Chevy's ad department touted the triumph in national ads calling the Corvette, 'The Real McCoy!'


1956 was an important year for the Corvette line. Introduced at the General Motors Motorama show in New York City, the Corvette shocked Americans with its new, unique, and sporty attitude. Basically, the only thing that didn't change from the previous years, was the instrument panel.

The Corvette's shape was redesigned this year, it separated itself from the '55 with a more flowing design and a two-toned body. It had a rounded trunk with a removable hard top. Its sides incorporated the two-tones with a sweeping knife like shape, one that would mark the Corvette with one of its most distinguishing characteristics of all time. Optional were power windows, which at this time was unusual for a 'sports car'. Not only did the Corvette come with the removable hard-top, it also came with the optional power folding top, a trend that remains popular today. Also, other options were AM radio, windshield wipers, and a parking brake alarm. The only engine that was available was the 265-cubic-inch V8, which pumped 210 horses. This model, would also for the first time, exhibit the three-speed manual transmission.

Kyle McMullen

Related Reading : Chevrolet Corvette History

Very few vehicles elicit the same kind of satisfaction as the Chevrolet Corvette. The Vette is a symbol of childhood dreams and grown-up triumph. The only true American Sports car, this car stands for excellence and became an icon as a high-performance and dynamic sports vehicle. First introduced in January of 1953, the Corvette has only become more renowned as the years drift by. Undergoing many....
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Chevrolet Corvette Roars Into Its 60th Year

On June 30, 1953, the first of a new kind of Chevrolet – indeed, a new kind of American car – rolled off an assembly line in Flint, Mich. The car had only two seats. There were no roll-up windows, or exterior door handles, for that matter. Its body wasnt stamped from steel but, rather, molded from reinforced fiberglass. While the postwar Baby Boom was in full swing, this was definitely not....
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Corvette's Chassis Innovations Refined on the Race Track

Its been said that racing improves the breed, and when it comes to the Chevrolet Corvette, nearly six decades of checkered flags are the proof. As Corvette marks its 60th anniversary in 2013, the design of the chassis, suspension and other drivetrain features are rooted in the rigors of competition. Candidly, Corvette was not a high-performance car until Zora Arkus-Duntov fitted it with a V-8,....
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Chevrolet puts a groove into your ride

Hot summer day… roof top down… wind in your hair … smile in your face… and Little Red Corvette cranked up to its loudest setting. Theres nothing like music in the car to make a journey really fly by. But, did you know that, aside from Princes classic hit, more than 600 songs across all genres and multiple generations mention Chevrolet, Chevy or the name of a Chevrolet vehicle in their....
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1956 Vehicle Profiles

1956 Chevrolet Corvette C1 vehicle information

Convertible

The introduction of the 1956 Corvette brought a significant styling element known as the 'coves'. They first appeared in Cadillac's 1955 Motorama LaSalle II dream car. The horizontal scallop would continue in all straight axle Corvettes (until 1962....[continue reading]

1956 Chevrolet Corvette C1 vehicle information

Convertible

Chassis Num: E56S002548
Engine Num: 04355082F56GR

This 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held at Meadow Brook. It is powered by a V8 engine with dual-four barrel carburetors that displaces 265 cubic-inches and produces 225 horsepower. The car is equipped....[continue reading]

1956 Chevrolet Corvette C1 vehicle information

Convertible

The number 3 Sebring Racer was shipped to Doane Chevrolet in Chicago, IL and was one of only 5 Corvettes entered at the 1956 Sebring 12 Hour race. The four others were factory backed cars numbered 1, 5, 6 and 7. This car was the only private entry an....[continue reading]

1956 Chevrolet Corvette C1 vehicle information

Convertible

The current owners purchased this Corvette in 1978, and drove the car for a number of years. In 1991, they restored the frame, drove the car the next year, and then started a fuller restoration in the fall. The Corvette was completed in the spring, a....[continue reading]

Convertible
 
Convertible
Chassis #: E56S002548 
Convertible
 
Convertible
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1956 Corvette C1
$3,118-$16,795
1956 Chevrolet Corvette C1 Base Price : $3,118

Other 1956 Chevrolet Models
$1,900 - $2,400
$2,022 - $2,700

Corvette C1

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
300
102.00 in.
6 cyl., 235.50 CID., 150.00hp
$3,500 - $3,500
3,640
102.00 in.
6 cyl., 235.50 CID., 150.00hp
$3,525 - $3,525
102.00 in.
8 cyl.
700
102.00 in.
6 cyl., 235.50 CID., 155.00hp
8 cyl., 265.00 CID., 195.00hp
$2,800 - $3,000
3,467
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 265.00 CID., 210.00hp
8 cyl., 265.00 CID., 225.00hp
8 cyl., 265.00 CID., 240.00hp
$3,118 - $3,118
6,339
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 220.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 245.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 250.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 270.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 283.00hp
$3,460 - $3,460
9,168
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 230.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 245.00hp
8 cyl., 348.00 CID., 250.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 270.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 290.00hp
$3,630 - $3,630
9,670
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 230.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 245.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 250.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 270.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 290.00hp
$3,875 - $3,875
10,261
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 230.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 250.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 270.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 275.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 315.00hp
$3,900 - $3,900
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 230.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 245.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 270.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 275.00hp
8 cyl., 283.00 CID., 315.00hp
102.00 in.
8 cyl., 327.00 CID., 250.00hp
8 cyl., 327.00 CID., 300.00hp
8 cyl., 327.00 CID., 340.00hp
8 cyl., 327.00 CID., 360.00hp
$4,000 - $4,000

Industry Production

#1#2#3Chevrolet
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)1,318,014
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)1,653,168
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)1,462,140
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)1,142,460
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)1,505,910
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)1,567,117
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)1,704,667
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)1,143,561
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)1,346,475
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)818,142
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)1,229,986

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