This page has most, if not all, of the options available when ordering a new 1956 Chevrolet Corvette. Also included are the interior and exterior color options. Read more: 1956 Corvette guide.
1956 Corvette Price & Options
Base Corvette Convertible
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
Parking Brake Alarm
Whitewall Tires, 6.70 x 15
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
Two-Tone Paint Combination
Special High-Lift Camshaft
265 Cubic Inch, 225 Horsepower Engine (2×4 Carbs)
Rear Axle 3.27:1 Ratio
Power Operated Folding Top
Base Corvette Roadster (2934)
The base price of the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette without any optional equipment.
This base option price included a 265 cubic inch, 210 horsepower V8 engine, 3-speed manual transmission, vinyl interior trim, and a soft top.
An interior space/.cockpit heater
The Corvette heater was changed from a recirculating-air-only type to a new “outside” fresh air design in 1956.
The first one hundred forty five 1956 Corvettes were built with the old type, “recirculating” heater.
AM Radio, signal seeking (102)
A standard Delco, signal seeking AM radio with conventional volume and tuning dials.
The AM Radios for the 1956 Corvette were transistorized – another first for the Corvette.
Most 1956 selector bars for the signal-seeking feature were plain.
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 1956 model was a blue bag made of vinyl and vinyl-impregnated cloth. It was pseudo-transparent for viewing of the washer fluid level. It attached to the left inner fender.
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.
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 hardtop at no additional cost. Of the 2,076 Corvettes sold with this option, 629 of them were the result of this substitution.
1956 was the first year that a factory auxiliary hard top was made available for the Corvette.
The anodized header trim made the 1956 auxiliary hard tops unique to the year. However, the header trim was painted the same color as the top on early 1956 models.
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.
When ordering paint colors, the code “std” denoted a black exterior. All other exteriors, including two tones, were denoted by the code “440” followed by one alpha character. Solid colors were identified by the letters R through X (the letter U was not used.) Two tone paint schemes were identified by the letters A through G.
A total of 1,259 Corvettes featured the two-tone paint scheme in 1956. Of these, 223 were painted Onyx Black/Silver, 166 were painted Aztec Copper/Beige, 147 were painted Cascade Green/Beige, 172 were painted Arctic Blue/Silver, 431 were painted Venetian Red/Beige, and 120 were painted Polo White/Silver.
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.
Special High-Lift Camshaft (449)
A special, “racing only” camshaft that increased engine output (unofficially) to 240 HP.
Was available only when combined with RPO 469 (the 265 Cubic Inch, 225 Horsepower Engine (with 2×4 Carburetors)).
Chevrolet recommended this 449/469 combination “for racing purposes only”.
265 CI, 225 HP Engine (469)
A “high output” version of the standard 265 cubic inch engine.
Chevrolet often referred to this upgrade as the addition of “dual four barrel carburetors” instead of recognizing it as a separate engine.
Of the 3,080 Corvettes sold with this upgrade option, 1,510 were sold with manual transmissions, while 1,570 were sold with Powerglide automatic transmissions.
Soft Top Color Conversion (470)
Substitution of a beige or white soft top in place of the standard black convertible soft top.
Rear Axle, 3.27:1 Ratio (471)
An optional rear axle gear ratio designed for quicker acceleration.
Rear axle codes are located by the use of a stamp on the front right side of the differential carrier housing.
The code will be followed by the month of manufacture, (1-12 or 01-12) and then the day of manufacture, (01-31).
Although not listed as a factory option, there may also be a HT stamped, along with the gear ratio, which would stand for Hi-Tork used for Positraction Rear axles. These were rare and were only used on the 3.70:1 and 4.11:1 rear ends.
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 1956 Corvette to be identified as a true convertible.
NOTE:Several of the options shown, including the Parking Brake Alarm, Courtesy Lights, Windshield Washers, RPO 469 Engines, and Power Operated Folding Tops were mandatory options early in the production year.