1957 Chevrolet Corvette

1957 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ACHIEVES MANY "FIRSTS"
While the interior and exterior remained unchanged from the 1956 model, the 1957 Corvette achieved numerous significant mechanical and/or engineering firsts for a Corvette. Of course, this was the year that the 265 got punched out to 283 cubic inches. 1957 also marked the introduction of the revolutionary Rochester Ramjet mechanical fuel injection system. And, while only a tentative nod toward safety, Chevrolet installed seat belt "brackets", but not the belts themselves, those remained a dealer-installed option. This was also the first year that a 4-speed transmission was available (as an option). Numerous other minor detail changes took place, most optional, including a tachometer mounted atop the steering column.

1957 Chevrolet Corvette INTERIORS


1957 Chevrolet Corvette ENGINES

ABOVE: The Rochester Ramjet mechanical fuel injection system was introduced in the 1957 Chevrolet Corvette as the new top-line engine.

1957 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ENGINES
The new-for-1957 283 small block V8 was the only engine offered in the 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. However, it came in many forms. The base engine made 220 horsepower with a single 4-barrel carburetor. There were two engines with twin 4-barrels, the hydraulic lifter-version making 245hp, and the hotter cam/solid lifter-version making 270. There were essentially two versions of the new "Fuelie" engine, the milder (and more streetable) hydraulic version with 250hp, and the wilder solid-lifter version pumping out 283 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. This made the top-line Fuelie the first medium-priced mass-production engine to make one horsepower per cubic inch. Actually, the Fuelie made more than that, but Chevy thought it wise to make the "283-horsepower-from-283-cubes" connection, and they were right. It sounded better and people remembered it.

THE 1956 CHEVROLET CORVETTE "FUELIE"
The Rochester fuel injection system was really the brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, widely regarded as the "Father of the Corvette". And it was a technical marvel in its time. And they were incredibly sexy to look at. They became Chevy's defacto method of extracting big horsepower out of their little small blocks. But, they were expensive to produce and finicky to keep tuned. They system was redesigned and scaled up in 1962 for the new 327 small block, and it ran through 1965, when it was discontinued. Chevy figured out it was much cheaper and easier to get big power with big block V8s. For 1956, there were two versions of the setup that earned the small block its nickname "The Mouse that Roared". This is what led to small blocks being referred to as "Mouse Motors", compared to big blocks, which were called "Rat Motors". The lower-rated 250-horse version was vastly more useable on the street, with a milder cam, lower 9.5:1 compression and hydraulic lifters, and was available with either the 3-speed manual or the 2-speed Powerglide automatic, each with their own RPO numbers. But the hot-shoe edition was the 283-horse Fuelie with 10.5:1 compression, a bigger cam and solid lifters. A wicked engine in its day, one of the fastest in 1956, to be sure. But peaky and barely drivable on the street.

1957 Chevrolet Corvette SPECIFICATIONS

Engine Type

Engine Displacement

Bore & Stroke

Base Engine

RPO 469A

RPO 469C

RPO 579A

RPO 579B

RPO 579C

RPO 579E

Wheelbase

Track, front

Track, rear

Weight Distribution, F/R

Overall Length

Overall Width

Overall Height

Curb Weight

Water-cooled 90-degree OHV V8, cast iron block & heads

283 ci / 4.6L

3.875" X 3.000"

283ci 1X4bbl 220hp @ 4600rpm / 300 lb/ft @ 3000rpm

283ci 2X4bbl 245hp @ 5000rpm / 300 lb/ft @ 3800rpm

283ci 2X4bbl 270hp @ 6000rpm / 285 lb/ft @ 4500rpm

283ci F.I. w/auto, 250hp @ 5000rpm / 305 lb/ft @ 3800rpm

283ci F.I. w/manual, 283hp @ 6300rpm / 290 lb/ft @ 4400rpm

283ci F.I. w/auto, 250hp @ 5000rpm / 305 lb/ft @ 3800rpm

283ci F.I. w/manual, 283hp @ 6300rpm/ 300 lb/ft @ 3000rpm

102.0 in

57.0in

58.8 in

53% / 47%

168.0 in

70.5 in

51.9 in

2,980 lbs


1956 Chevrolet Corvette PRODUCTION NUMBERS

RPO       

2934

101

102

107

108

109

276

290

303

313

419

426

440

469A

469C

475

579A

579B

579C

579E

677

678

679

684

685

DESCRIPTION                                             

Base Convertible

Heater

AM Radio, Signal-Seeking

Parking Brake Alarm

Courtesy Lights

Windshield Washers

Wheels, 5.5" X 15"

Whitewall Tires, 6.70" X 15"

3-speed Manual Trans

2-speed Powerglide Auto Trans

Auxiliary Hardtop

Power Windows

2-tone Paint

283 V8 2X4bbl 245hp

283 V8 2X4bbl 270hp

Power Folding Top

283 V8 F.I. w/auto 250hp

283 V8 F.I. w/manual 250hp

283 V8 F.I. w/auto 283hp

283 V8 F.I. w/manual 283hp

Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1

Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1

Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1

Heavy Duty Racing Suspension

4-speed Manual Transmission

MFRs PRICE        

$  3,136.32

$     118.40

$     199.10

$         5.40

$         8.65

$       11.85

$       15.10

$       31.60

No Charge

$    188.30

$    215.20

$      59.20

$      19.40

$    150.65

$   182.95

$    138.90

$   484.20

$   484.20

$   484.20

$   726.30

$     48.45

$     48.45

$     48.45

$   780.10

$   188.30

PRODUCTION   

6,339

5,373

3,635

1,873

2,489

2,555

51

5,019

2,886

1,393

4,055

379

2,797

2,045

1,621

1,336

182

713

102

43

327

1,772

N/A

51

664


OTHER CORVETTE PAGES
....................Corvette
..............................1954
..............................1955
..............................1956
..............................1957
..............................1958
..............................1959
..............................1960
..............................1961
..............................1962
..............................1963
..............................1964
..............................1965
..............................1966
..............................1967
..............................1968
..............................1969
..............................1970
..............................1971
..............................1972
..............................1973
..............................1974
..............................1977
..............................1978
..............................1982
..............................1984
..............................1987
..............................1990 ZR1
..............................2001
..............................2001 Z06
..............................2007 Z06
..............................2014
..............................2015 Z06
....................Corvette Z06
..............................2001 Z06
..............................2007 Z06
..............................2015 Z06

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CORVETTE C2 STING RAY 1963-1967: ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE


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CORVETTE FUEL INJECTION & ELECTRONIC ENGINE CONTROL


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CORVETTE SIXTY YEARS


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HOW TO RESTORE & MODIFY YOUR CORVETTE 1968-1982


COMPLETE BOOK OF CORVETTE


ILLUSTRATED CORVETTE BUYERS GUIDE


LEGENDARY CORVETTES


HIGH PERFORMANCE C5 CORVETTE BUILDERS GUIDE


THE OLD CORVETTE


CORVETTE C5


CORVETTE RESTORATION GUIDE 1968-1982





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Last updated 12/18/16
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