Torch Red
Beige
265 V8
3 Speed Manual
  • Correct 265 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 / 225 horsepower
  • Correct Saginaw 3-speed transmission
  • 14-inch steel wheels
  • Torch Red paint
  • Frame-off restoration

If there's a better way to spend a warm summer evening than behind the wheel of a car that looks and drives like this, I can't imagine what it might be. Fully-sorted and ready for the show, this fully restored C1 comes complete with a correct, 265 cubic inch V8 and tough Saginaw 3-speed. Everything about this classic will make you smile: how it looks, how it feels, how it accelerates and how it draws appreciative glances from virtually everyone on the street. If you're in the market for a solid first generation Corvette that you can cruise, show and enjoy, we've found your next car!

During its extensive, frame-off restoration this Chevy's contoured fiberglass body was completely stripped, layered in brilliant Torch Red base and sealed in weather-beating clear. Like all '56 Corvettes, it was originally assembled at GM's new-for-1954 St. Louis manufacturing facility. And, like most '56 Corvettes, its fit and finish presents much better now than it did 58 years ago. Given their composite construction, sinuous design and increasing age, vintage Corvettes are difficult restorations that do not hide major repairs well. Judging by the looks of this roadster's smooth fuselage, there's no evidence it has ever seen any catastrophic damage or botched fix jobs. And today, the car's solid condition is typical of what we all wish to find in fully-sorted road warriors that can be reliably shown and driven.

Chevrolet's 1956 Corvette is essentially an improved version of the brand's hand-built '53 model; a halo that not only set a design precedent for American cars, but also began a rich legacy that's now seven generations strong. At the front of this C1, an aggressive chrome grille rides between bright headlights, small, chrome-trimmed parking lamps, a chrome tag bracket and convex bumpers that bend around peaked fenders. Between those fenders, a subtle header emblem leads the eye to a sculpted hood, like-new glass and classy chrome frames that are topped by fresh black vinyl. Below that top, traditional door handles perfectly complement a correct mirror and stainless-trimmed body coves. And at the back of the car, a second header emblem reflects flashy tail lights, two more bumpers and vertical trim spears that center small exhaust pipes in dramatic quarter panels.

Tilt this roadster's lightweight hood and you'll find a correct, 265 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 that proudly displays a dual-quad/high performance/3-speed (GU) assembly stamp. GM's ultimate hot rod option for the 1956 model year, this 225 horsepower small block features the proven square bore/hydraulic lifter set-up that put Chevrolet performance cars on the map. At the top of the mill, reliable Carter carburetors, which breathe through small, louvered air cleaners, funnel life into a familiar Winters intake. At the sides of that intake, cast iron heads hang finned Corvette valve covers over fully restored exhaust manifolds. Behind those manifolds, a chrome-capped ignition system shoots fire through stainless sleeved wires. And in front of those wires, a gloss black radiator circulates coolant through reproduction GM hoses and correct tower clamps. In addition to its killer powerplant, this Corvette offers a thoroughly detailed engine bay that's complete with stainless fluid lines, an AC fuel bowl, a Delco-Remy generator and a reproduction Delco battery. And the car's first rate aesthetics, which mix smooth, Satin Black framing with a bright, Chevy Orange core, create great texture and excellent contrast.

Toss this Chevy on a lift and you'll find a solid, restored X-frame which is bolted to clean floor tubs that feature light undercoating. Behind the stout small block, a correct Saginaw 3-speed sends power to the ground through a correct, highway-friendly rear end. Holding that drivetrain off the ground is a tried and true double A-arm front and solid axle rear suspension. Smooth and solid stops come courtesy of 4-wheel drum brakes. Exhaust is handled by aluminized, true-dual pipes that flow in to glasspack-style mufflers. And at the corners, stainless-capped steelies twist fresh 6.70-15 Firestone Deluxe Champion whitewalls.

Inside the car, a clean vinyl interior is built around great looking buckets which have just enough break-in time to be exceptionally comfortable. Below those seats, sleek California carpet runs from under the dash all the way to the back of the cockpit. At the sides of that carpet, textured panels combine with chrome hardware and stainless trim to highlight small, simple doors. At the front of those panels, a two-tone dash centers a correct radio and rebuilt gauges below a small rearview mirror. In front of the driver, a big steering wheel, which is clearly inspired by race cars of the period, features matching paint, drilled spokes and a highly polished horn button. And, since Corvette consoles were still an invention of the future in 1956, the car's chrome shifter snakes its way directly out of the transmission tunnel.

This hot Corvette offers a ton of style for very reasonable money. It's a highly desirable first generation convertible which mixes a custom color combination with a proven small block and engaging transmission. If you're in the market for a show worthy cruiser that provides endless fun on the highway and warrants celebrity attention in the parking lot, this is your next classic!

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