1957 C1 Corvette

1957 Corvette Overview

In the period of just two short years, Corvette had evolved from a car that was facing the very serious threat of extinction to one that showed real promise for a long and healthy life.

While General Motors still recorded only modest sales of the Chevrolet Corvette in 1956, it was apparent to everyone that it was also beginning to be taken seriously as a sports car. Even after the immense structural, physical and mechanical facelift it received in 1956, Corvette saw some major improvements in 1957.

A new, larger 283-cid engine was placed under the hood,   Mechanically, it was really still the existing 265-cid engine, though it had been bored out 1/8-inch (to 3.875 inches).  This modified engine delivered an impressive 220 horsepower when coupled with a four-barrel carburetor.    Dual four-barrels took it to 245 horsepower (and 270bhp.)  Better still, consumers could now also purchase GM‘s newly developed “Ramjet” fuel injection system  which yielded 259 horsepower (or 283 bhp).

Model: 1957 Corvette
Generation: C1 Corvette
Type: 2 Door Convertible
Available Colors: Onyx Black, Polo White, Venetian Red, Arctic Blue, Aztec Copper, Cascade Green, Inca Silver
Engine: 283-ci V-8 (fuel injected or carbureted) – multiple horsepower options available
VIN: E56S001001 THRU E56S004467
Transmission: 3 or 4 Speed Manual or Powerglide Automatic (optional)
Original Price: $3,176.32
Units Produced: 6,339
Full Spec List 1957 Corvette Complete Specs

Chevy ads carried the news that the Corvette now produced “one horsepower per-cubic inch”

While fuel injection is almost universal today, the very idea of it in 1957 was completely foreign to automotive manufacturers.  While some European manufacturers had already begun experimenting with fuel injection in their production cars, Chevrolet turned to this new technology to bring added performance to its two-year-old V8 engine.

GM had considered using supercharging (as an alternative method to boost performance) but decided against it because of reliability issues.  Fuel injection provided more precise fuel metering than a carburetor allowed, so GM assembled a development team to develop its own fuel injection delivery system.  The team was comprised of Ed Cole, who had been promoted to Chevrolet’s chief in 1955; Harry Barr, who designed the 1949 Cadillac V-8 and went on to become Cole’s successor as Chevy’s Chief Engineer; John Dolza, head of fuel injection development for the GM engineering staff; and Zora Arkus-Duntov.

1957 Corvette
Harry Barr,, Edward Cole’s successor as Chevrolet’s Chief Engineer.

Duntov had been developing his own fuel injection system since early 1956 (after an accident while driving a prototype Corvette hardtop with experimental disc brakes at the GM Proving Grounds in April left him with a broken vertebrae in his back).

Standing erect in a body cast, and often seen wearing a skirt (as he was unable to dress himself due to the cast he was wearing), Duntov spent the next six months working on the fuel injection system while his body healed.

The team of engineers solved the problems keeping them from developing a successful fuel injections system in a reasonably short period of time, and the fuel injection system was mated with the V-8 engine and dyno testing began.

Despite the relatively inexpensive manufacturing process and the promise of successful performance improvement, the initial dyno-testing showed the fuel injection system was no more powerful than a standard dual-carburetor V-8.  Despite this, Cole wanted to make fuel injection available to the entire 1957 Chevrolet production line.

Cole believed that offering fuel injection in the new line of cars would provide a technological advancement that prospective Chevrolet customers could appreciate.  As the Chevy line of vehicles had received nothing more than an automotive “facelift” for 1957, Cole realized that fuel injection would help boost the stock-car racing image.  It was believed that the fuel-injected engines – and moreover, the horsepower that these fuel injected engines produced – would boost the performance of these racers, giving the Chevrolet models an edge over the competition.

1957 Corvette
General Motor’s “Ramjet” Fuel Injector. (Image Courtesy of GM Media).

In time, Chevrolet and GM’s Rochester carburetor division came up with workable system that both increased top-end engine output and increased power throughout the entire RPM range.

The inlet manifold was formed in aluminum and fuel was carefully metered via a high pressure pump that was driven direct from the distributor.  However, as with many new technologies, there were many reliability issues that began creating issues almost immediately.  The most notable was that dirt would often get into the fuel lines (probably dirt that was suspended in the fuel itself), and cause uneven running due to the injectors getting overheated.

That, combined with the fact that the new fuel injection option cost an additional $484.20 (which was approximately 15% of the total sales price of a 1957 Corvette), resulted in very few ’57 Corvettes being sold with fuel injection.   In total, only 240 of the entire 6,339 Corvettes produced in 1957 came with fuel injection.

See Also 

C1 ’53 54 ’55 ’56 ’57 ’58 ’59 ’60 ’61 ’62
Gen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7

“Ramjet Fuel Injection”, as it was known in 1957, was dropped from all of Chevy‘s passenger car models, although Corvette continued to offer it as an option until 1965.

1957 Corvette Engine
General Motors “Ramjet” Fuel Injector. (Image Courtesy of GM Media).

Ironically (especially in regard to all the hype surrounding “1 horsepower per cubic inch”), the top fuel injected (“fuelie” as they were referred to at that time) engine actually delivered closer to 290 bhp, which was more than the advertised 283.

This “over-performance” was attained on 10.5:1 compression – the same compression shared with the dual-carb 270 bhp engine.  The milder 250 bhp fuel injected engine ran at a lower compression – 9.5:1, which was the same as the 245 bhp twin carbureted engine.

These numbers are speculated by some historians to be inaccurate.  Although an uncommon practice, it is speculated that Chevrolet actually underrated the carbureted engine’s real horsepower in favor of demonstrating that the Ramjet was the better performer.

1957 Corvette
1957 Corvette Rear Decklid Featuring the Fuel Injection Badging.

Interestingly, it was not engine performance but the four-speed manual gearbox that had the greatest impact on the performance aspect of the Chevrolet Corvette.

Available as early as April 9, 1957 and priced at only $188.30, Regular Production Option (RPO) 685 was essentially the existing three-speed Borg-Warner transmission with the reverse gear moved into the tailshaft housing to make room for a fourth forward speed.

Gear ratios were closely spaced at 2.20:1 (1st), 1.66 (2nd), 1.31 (3rd), and 1.00 (4th).  Of all the Corvettes produced that year, 667 of them included this option.

“Positraction” (referred to today simply as “Posi” amongst car enthusiasts), was another, separate option that was available with several different final-drive rear axle ratios which included 3.70:1, 4.11:1 and 4.56:1.  Chevy’s new limited slip differential was intended to help get the most performance out of the new engines and transmissions regardless of the car’s intended purpose – be it racing or street driving.

DID YOU KNOW: In 1957, anyone seeking to purchase a Corvette could actually purchase a genuine racing version.  When placing the order, consumers had the option of selecting the EN build code which would allow them to build a true Corvette race car. Chevy warned that the EN version was not for the street and actually refused to include heaters on cars equipped with the racing package.

To provide greater handling and stability, Chevrolet also issued RPO 684 – a heavy duty racing suspension package.  This option, priced at $780.10, included heavy duty springs, a thicker front anti-sway bar, the aforementioned Positraction rear end, larger piston shock absorbers, a tighter steering ratio that reduced turns lock-to-lock from 3.7 turns to only 2.9, and ceramic/metal brake linings with finned ventilated drums.  When mated to the 283 small-block Chevy, you truly had a race car you could purchase directly from the showroom floor.  However, with the cost of this option being even more than that of the fuel injected engines combined with it’s focus really being serious racers, only 51 Corvettes were equipped with it in 1957.

1957 Corvette
The 1957 Corvette in Cascade Green.

In almost any form, the 1957 Corvette delivered uncompromising, and largely unmatched, performance.  The Corvette had effectively become a street-legal sports car.  As taken from an excerpt in the book CORVETTE: Sports Car Superstar: “the ’57 Corvette delivered certifiably staggering performance.

Motor Trend clocked a 250-bhp fuelie at just 7.2 seconds in the 0-60 mph sprint.  The 283-bhp version was even more formidable, with Road & Track running the same test in a four-speed with the short 4.11:1 final drive in just 5.7 seconds; it breezed through the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds at better than 90 mph and sailed on to a maximum 132 mph.”

To demonstrate just how fast the 1957 Corvette really was, a pair of production models were the first GT Class cars to finish at Sebring that year, taking 12th and 15th places.  The 12th place car finished no less than 20 laps ahead of the top qualifying Mercedes Benz 300SL, which had been, up to that point “regarded as the world’s fastest road car.”

The Sebring victory was a huge turning point in the life of the Corvette.  It had earned the respect of the most critical of judges and had proven that it could perform, even amongst the toughest competition.

Finally, after several years of struggles ranging from meager sales to lack luster performance to poor customer acceptance, the Corvette’s future was no longer in question.  The car had made incredible progress, both mechanically and socially, and the sales numbers proved it doubling from 1956 to 1957.

1957 Corvette SS
The 1957 Corvette SS (Super Sport) Racing At Sebring. (Image Courtesy of GM Media)

Better still, Ford had decided to withdraw the Thunderbird from the two-seater market, which Chevrolet was both aware of and believed would help escalate sales of the upcoming 1958 models to numbers in excess of 10,000 units.  In what some might consider a cruel twist of fate – during an era when Corvette was proving itself on the racetrack – the Automobile Manufacturers Association (AMA) adopted a two-point resolution that required members (including General Motors) to: 1.) Cease performance-oriented advertising and, 2.) cease competition sponsorship, including technical assistance.

This was due to pressure from the National Safety Council, which claimed that using recognizable road cars on the track, and referring to their race-bred qualities in advertising material had “a detrimental effect on the behavior of purchasers of such cars on the public highway.”

As no manufacturer wanted to be seen as promoting reckless driving, GM President Harlow Curtice was among those who voted in favor of this measure, which effectively banned all factory-sponsored racing activities, which included any future competition in which Corvette might be a part.

1957 Corvette SS
1957 Corvette SS

Despite this new ban, industry insiders quickly developed ways to work around it.  Engineers continued to further support automakers’ racing development, supplying drivers and owners with assorted high performance, under-the-counter contraband equipment.

Duntov himself made certain that anyone who wanted a racing model Corvette could obtain one by simply choosing the correct options.

In addition, whether fueled by the ban or simply out of his own passion for speed, Duntov began developing even higher performance gear that he would implement later on into future iterations of Corvette.

He also continued to be spotted at many racing events, as did other GM executives. Still, even in the wake of the new racing ban, the Corvette had finally established itself as a real two-seat sports car and was widely embraced by both sports car enthusiasts and critics alike.

The 1957 model year ensured the future of the Corvette and now, with the successes the car was showing on a regular, repeating basis, Chevrolet added it indefinitely to its production car line.   Still, with a car that still had room to grow, the Corvette development team had to find ways to improve on a machine that had become, for many, the idealic American Sports Car.

See full 1957 Corvette Gallery

See Also 

C1 ’53 54 ’55 ’56 ’57 ’58 ’59 ’60 ’61 ’62
Gen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7

1957 Corvette Specifications

1957 C1 Corvette Main Specs

MODEL: 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
BODY STYLE: Two-door convertible, front engine, rear wheel drive
MANUFACTURING LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri
CONSTRUCTION: Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body, steel frame with steel and chrome structural & chassis components.
VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN): E56S001001 THRU E56S004467
VIN PREFIX: EF: 283 CUBIC INCH, 220 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
EG: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
EH: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
EL: 283 CUBIC INCH, 283 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
EM: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
EN: 283 CUBIC INCH, 283 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
FG: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
FH: 283 CUBIC INCH, 220 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
FK: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER: 3731548: ALL
HEAD NUMBER: 3740997: 283 CUBIC INCH, 220 HP, 245 HP, 250 HP, 270 HP
3731539: 283 CUBIC INCH, 283 HP
CARBURETOR NUMBERS: CARTER 2362S #3720953: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, REAR CARBURETOR
CARTER 2366S A #3733246: 283 CUBIC INCH, 220 HP, FIRST DESIGN
CARTER 2419S #3730599: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, FRONT CARB, 1ST
CARTER 2613S #3740189: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HP, FRONT CARB
CARTER 2614S #3741090: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HP, REAR CARB
CARTER 2626S #3744002: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, FRONT CARB, 2ND
CARTER 2627S #3744004: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, REAR CARB, 2ND
CARTER 2655S #3744925: 283 CUBIC INCH, 220 HP, 2ND DESIGN
FUEL INJECTION NUMBER: ROCHESTER 7014360: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, 283 HP, EARLY PROD.
ROCHESTER 7014520: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, 283 HP
ROCHESTER 7014800: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, 283 HP, LATE PROD.
ROCHESTER 7014960: 283 CUBIC INCH, 283 HP, LATE PRODUCTION
DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER: 1110889: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, 283 HP
1110891: 283 CUBIC INCH, 220 HP, 245 HP, 270 HP
1110905: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP (MANUAL/AUTOMATIC), 283 HP
1110906: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
1110908: 283 CUBIC INCH, 283 HP
GENERATOR NUMBER: 1102043: ALL
PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE: OCTOBER, 1956: 100580, NOVEMBER, 1956: 101070, MAY, 1957: 104331, JUNE, 1957:104924, JULY, 1957: 105584, AUGUST, 1957: 106229, SEPTEMBER, 1957: 106339,

1957 Corvette Price & Options

CODE DESCRIPTION QUANTITY RETAIL PRICE
2934 Base Corvette Convertible 6,339 $3,176.32
101 Heater 5,373 $118.40
102 AM Radio, Signal Seeking 3,635 $199.10
107 Parking Brake Alarm 1,873 $5.40
108 Courtesy Lights 2,489 $8.65
109 Windshield Washers 2,555 $11.85
276 Wheels, 15 x 5.5 (5) 51 $15.10
290 Whitewall Tires, 6.70 x 15 5,019 $31.60
303 3-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio 4,282 $0.00
313 Powerglide Automatic Transmission 1,393 $188.30
419 Auxillary Hardtop 4,055 $215.20
426 Power Windows 379 $59.20
440 Two-Tone Paint Combination 2,794 $19.40
469A 283ci, 245HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) 2,045 $150.65
469C 283ci, 270HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) 1,621 $182.95
473 Power Operated Folding Top 1,336 $139.90
579A 283ci, 250HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 182 $484.20
579B 283ci, 283HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 713 $484.20
579C 283ci, 250HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 102  $484.20
579E 283ci, 283HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 43 $726.30
677 Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1  327 $48.45
678 Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1 1,772 $48.45
679 Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1  – $48.45
684 Heavy Duty Racing Suspension 51 $780.10
685 4-Speed Manual Transmission 664 $188.30

1957 C1 Corvette Engine

1957 Corvette Engine & Transmission

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, 1×4 Barrel Carburetor (BASE ENGINE)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 300 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Four Barrel Carburetor
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 220 HP @ 4,600 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

 

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, 2×4 Barrel Carburetor (RPO 469A)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 300 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Duak Four  Barrel Carburetors
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 245 HP @ 5,000 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

 

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, 2×4 Barrel Carburetor (RPO 469C)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 285 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Dual Four Barrel Carburetors
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 270 HP @ 6,000 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

 

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, Fuel Injected (RPO 579A)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 305 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Fuel Injected with Powerglide
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 250 HP @ 5,000 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

 

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, Fuel Injected (RPO 579B)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 290 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Fuel Injection
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 283 HP @ 6,200 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

 

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, Fuel Injected (RPO 579C)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 305 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Fuel Injected with Powerglide
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 250 HP @ 5,000 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

 

ENGINE: 4.6 OHV V-8, Normally Aspirated, Water Cooled, Fuel Injected (RPO 579E)
BLOCK MATERIAL: Cast Iron
VALVE TRAIN: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
TORQUE: 300 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
MAX. ENGINE RPM: N/A
DISPLACEMENT: 4.6 Litre/283 Cubic Inches
CYLINDER HEAD MATERIAL: Cast Iron
FUEL DELIVERY: Fuel Injection
RECOMMENDED FUEL: N/A
BORE: 3.875 x 3.00 inches
COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.50:1
HORSEPOWER: 283 HP @ 6,200 RPM
EST. MPG: N/A
TRANSMISSION: 3-SPEED MANUAL (STANDARD),  2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC. (OPTIONAL)
STANDARD AXLE RATIO: 3.70:1

1957 C1 Corvette Engine

1957 C1 Corvette Exterior/Interior Colors

Color Codes

Code Exterior Total Soft Top Color Wheel Color Interior Color Options
N/A Onyx Black 2,189 Beige/Black/White Black Beige/Red
N/A Aztec Copper 452 Beige/White Copper Beige
N/A Cascade Green 550 Beige/Black/White Green Beige
N/A Arctic Blue 487 Beige/Black/White Blue Beige/Red
N/A Venetian Red 1,320 Beige/Black/White Red Beige/Red
N/A Polo White 1,273 Beige/Black/White Red-Silver Beige/Red
N/A Inca Silver 65 Black/White Silver  Beige/Red

Exterior Color Templates

Interior Color Templates

1957 Corvette Car Dimensions

1957 Corvette Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions Interior Dimensions
Wheelbase: 102 Inches Headroom: N/A
Overall Length: 168 Inches Shoulder Room: N/A
Total Body Width: 70.5 Inches Hip Room: N/A
Overall Height: 51.1 Inches Leg Room: N/A
Front Track Width: 57.0 Inches
Rear Track Width: 59.0 Inches

 

Capacities
Passenger Capacity: 2 Passengers
Curb Weight (LBS/KG): 2,985
Cargo Volume (CU.FT/LITERS): N/A
Fuel Capacity (GALLONS/LITERS): N/A
 Engine Oil Capacity (QTS./LITERS): 5.5

1957 Corvette Wheels, Tires & Suspension

Wheels/Tires
Front Tires: 6.70 x 15 inch, 24 psi.
Rear Tires: 6.70 x 15 inch, 24 psi.
Front Wheels: Steel disc with safety rims. 15 x 5k
Rear Wheels: Steel disc with safety rims.  15 x 5k

 

Suspension
Front: Independent; unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, antiroll bar, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers
Rear: Live axle on semi-elliptic leaf springs, antiroll bar, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers

 

Brakes
Front: Hydraulic Drum Brakes. 11 inch drums
Rear: Hydraulic Drum Brakes. 11 inch drums

1957 C1 Corvette

1957 Corvette Performance

Published Performance Results
0-30 MPH: N/A
0-60 MPH: 5.7 Seconds
0-100 MPH: 16.8 Seconds
Quarter Mile: 14.30 Seconds
Top Speed: 132 MPH

 

1957 Corvette Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)

VIN Range E57S100001 – E57S106339
E (First Digit) General Motors Identification Code for Chevy Corvette.
57 (Second & Third Digits) Model Year
S (Fourth Digit) Location of the Assembly Plant.  S – St. Louis, Missouri.
1XXXXX (Fifth thru Tenth Digits) Production Sequence Numbers

The last six digits begin at 100001 and run thru 106339, accounting for each of the 6,339 Corvettes built in 1957. Each Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique to an individual car. For all 1957 Corvettes, the location of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located on the driver side door post. The VIN is also stamped on several locations on the Corvette frame.

1957 C1 Corvette VIN

1957 C1 Corvette VIN

1957 Corvette Factory Options

CODE DESCRIPTION QUANTITY RETAIL PRICE
2934 Base Corvette Convertible 6,339 $3,176.32
101 Heater 5,373 $118.40
102 AM Radio, Signal Seeking 3,635 $199.10
107 Parking Brake Alarm 1,873 $5.40
108 Courtesy Lights 2,489 $8.65
109 Windshield Washers 2,555 $11.85
276 Wheels, 15 x 5.5 (5) 51 $15.10
290 Whitewall Tires, 6.70 x 15 5,019 $31.60
303 3-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio 4,282 $0.00
313 Powerglide Automatic Transmission 1,393 $188.30
419 Auxillary Hardtop 4,055 $215.20
426 Power Windows 379 $59.20
440 Two-Tone Paint Combination 2,794 $19.40
469A 283ci, 245HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) 2,045 $150.65
469C 283ci, 270HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) 1,621 $182.95
473 Power Operated Folding Top 1,336 $139.90
579A 283ci, 250HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 182 $484.20
579B 283ci, 283HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 713 $484.20
579C 283ci, 250HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 102  $484.20
579E 283ci, 283HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 43 $726.30
677 Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1  327 $48.45
678 Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1 1,772 $48.45
679 Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1  – $48.45
684 Heavy Duty Racing Suspension 51 $780.10
685 4-Speed Manual Transmission 664 $188.30

Base Corvette Roadster (2934)

  • The base price of the 1957 Chevrolet Corvette without any optional equipment.
  • This base option price included a 283 cubic inch, 220 horsepower V8 engine, 3-speed manual transmission, vinyl interior trim, and a soft top.

Heater (101)

  • An interior space/.cockpit heater.
  • The 1957 Corvette heater has an “outside” fresh air type heater.

AM Radio, signal seeking (102)

  • A standard Delco, signal seeking AM radio with conventional volume and selector bars.
  • The AM Radios for the 1957 Corvette are transistorized.
  • Most 1957 selector bars for the signal-seeking feature included the word “Wonderbar”.
  • Models not equipped with this option received a painted block-out cover plate.

Parking Brake Alarm (107)

  • A warning light that illuminates/ indicates when the parking brake is applied.

Courtesy Lights (108)

  • Interior lights mounted on the interior of the car to aid in visibility when outside lighting is unavailable.

Windshield Washers (109)

  • A washer pump and dispensing nozzle mechanism that dispenses cleaner onto the windshield.
  • The windshield washer reservoir for the 1957 model was supplied by Trico.  It was a hard, white, plastic jar with a red lid.

Wheels, 15×5.5 (276)

  • Optional wheels that were one-half inch wider than stock.
  • Featured small, passenger car hubcaps instead of standard, full wheel disc covers.

Whitewall Tires (290)

  • Original tires were either U.S. Royal Air Ride, B.G. Goodrich  Silvertown or Firestone Deluxe Champion.
  • All tires were wide-whitewall type, with whitewall widths varying from 2.5 to 3 inches.

3-Speed Manual Transmission, Close Ratio (303)

  • Transmission designed to increase driveability and performance.
  • A close-ratio transmission is a transmission in which there is relatively little difference between the gear ratios of the gears.
  • Designed for better control of acceleration throughout the powerband.

Powerglide Automatic Transmission (313)

  • An “optional” two-speed automatic transmission developed by GM.

Auxiliary Hardtop (419)

  • An optional hard-top that replaced the standard convertible top.
  • Although the Auxiliary Hardtop is shown as an option, customers could swap the convertible top for the auxiliary hard top at no additional cost.  Of the 4,055 Corvettes sold with this option,  931 of them were the result of this substitution.

Power Windows (426)

  • Electronically controlled windows which could be raised or lowered during vehicle operation.

Two-Tone Paint Combination (440)

  • A second, optional paint color that was used to highlight the bodyside coves.
  • A total of 2,794 Corvettes featured the two-tone paint scheme in 1957.  Of these, 10 were painted Inca Silver/Ivory, 909 were painted Onyx Black/Silver, 319 were painted Polo White/Silver, 716 were painted Venetian Red/Beige, 263 were painted Aztec Copper/Beige, 258 were painted Arctic Blue/Silver, and 319 were painted Cascade Green/Beige.
  • Although many Corvette enthusiasts believed the silver paint used on the bodyside coves to be Inca Silver, the actual color used on both the 1956 and 1957 Corvette was called Metallic Silver.

283 CI, 245 HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) (469A)

  • A “high output” version of the standard 283 CI, 220HP engine.
  • 2,045 of the 1957 Corvettes were built with this engine.

283 CI, 270 HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) (469C)

  • A “high output” version of the standard 283 CI, 220HP engine.
  • 1,621 of the 1957 Corvettes were built with this engine.

Power Operated Folding Top (473)

  • Electronically controlled convertible top that could automatically raised/lowered.
  • Unlike the 1953-1955 Corvette Roadsters, which had an optional top that could be attached to the car, this convertible top was an integral part of the design, allowing the 1957 Corvette to be classified as a true convertible.

283 CI, 250 HP Engine (Fuel Injected) (579A)

  • A “high output” version of the standard 283 CI, 220HP engine.
  • 182 of the 1957 Corvettes were built with this engine.
  • Utilized General Motors newly developed “Ramjet” fuel injection system.
  • Increased engine compression ratio of 9.5:1.
  • Though offered throughout the 1957 production year, fuel injection was initially limited in it’s availability.
  • A total of 1,040 fuel injected engines were built.
  • Early production fuel injected engine option.

283 CI, 283 HP Engine (Fuel Injected) (579B)

  • A “high output” version of the standard 283 CI, 220HP engine.
  • 713 of the 1957 Corvettes were built with this engine.
  • Utilized General Motors newly developed “Ramjet” fuel injection system.
  • Increased engine compression ratio of 10.5:1.
  • Though offered throughout the 1957 production year, fuel injection was initially limited in it’s availability.
  • A total of 1,040 fuel injected engines were built.
  • Early production fuel injected engine option.

283 CI, 250 HP Engine (Fuel Injected) (579C)

  • A “high output” version of the standard 283 CI, 220HP engine.
  • 102 of the 1957 Corvettes were built with this engine.
  • Utilized General Motors newly developed “Ramjet” fuel injection system.
  • Increased engine compression ratio of 9.5:1.
  • Though offered throughout the 1957 production year, fuel injection was initially limited in it’s availability.
  • A total of 1,040 fuel injected engines were built.
  • Late production fuel injected engine option.

283 CI, 283 HP Engine (Fuel Injected) (579E)

  • A “high output” version of the standard 283 CI, 220HP engine.
  • 43 of the 1957 Corvettes were built with this engine.
  • Utilized General Motors newly developed “Ramjet” fuel injection system.
  • Increased engine compression ratio of 10.5:1.
  • Though offered throughout the 1957 production year, fuel injection was initially limited in it’s availability.
  • A total of 1,040 fuel injected engines were built.
  • Late production fuel injected engine option.

Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1 (677)

  • Higher performance gear ratio designed for increased acceleration and driveability.
  • 327 ’57 Corvettes included this option.
  • Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1 (678)
  • Higher performance gear ratio designed for increased acceleration and driveability.
  • 1,772 ’57 Corvettes included this option.

Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1 (679)

  • Higher performance gear ratio designed for increased acceleration and driveability.
  • It is unknown how many Corvettes were actually manufactured to include this option.

Heavy Duty Racing Suspension (684)

  • Modified suspension system featuring a number of performance/handling upgrades.
  • Included special front and rear springs and shock absorbers, a heavier front stabilizer bar, quick steering adapter, metallic brake facings, finned brake drums, fresh air ducting to rear brakes, and front brake air scoops.
  • Positraction, manual transmission, and 270 horsepower or 283 horsepower engines were required.

1957 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure

1957 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure

Download this 1957 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure for a quick look at the features of the car.

Download 1957 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure

See Also 

C1 ’53 54 ’55 ’56 ’57 ’58 ’59 ’60 ’61 ’62
Gen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
Source Material:
1.) The Pocket Book of the Corvette: The Definitive Guide to the All American Sports Car – Copyright 2003, Barnes & Noble
2.) CORVETTE: Sports Car Superstar – Copyright 2005, PIL – Publications International, Ltd.
3.) “The Corvette Story: The 1957 Corvette” – http://www.web-cars.com/corvette/1956.php

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