Everything You Want to Know About the 1956 Corvette, All in One Place.
The end of the 1955 model year left Chevrolet executives questioning the direction in which they should take the Corvette. After all, they had addressed the issue of performance by introducing the small-block V-8 engine and a 3-speed manual transmission as options for consumers to include in their cars.
Still, Corvette’s sales were far from the expectations that GM required to consider a car successful in the marketplace. While some critics of the car were already reporting that the Corvette’s demise was imminent, the reality of the situation was considerably different.
One of General Motors biggest competitors (and arch enemies) had launched a car campaign that seriously threatened Corvette’s corner on the marketplace. The Ford Thunderbird had met with resounding success, taking a firm foothold in the car market and proving without question that a car manufacturer could succeed by marketing a two seat sports car (although Ford chose to refer to the Thunderbird as a “personal” car, thereby avoiding the criticism that cars like the Corvette received from racing/performance car purists).