Corvettes are inherently special cars, produced in smaller numbers than most and often pampered from day one. Thanks to a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, finding a nice example isn’t all that difficult but finding a unique one? That’s a different story. If you’re a C1 fan, one glance at this ’57 Corvette was probably all it took to grab your attention. It’s one of 65 to wear Inca Silver paint from the factory and allegedly one of just 10 to pair that hue with a Venetian Red interior. Factor in the dual-quad 283ci V8, the 3-speed manual transmission, and a handful of well-chosen options and this becomes a must-have for any serious Corvette collector. The recipient of a meticulous frame-off restoration, the car presents with poise, authenticity, and, with only a few small changes, could go toe-to-toe with the Top Flight and Bloomington Gold set. If you’re looking for a C1 that will stand out in a sea of Corvettes, this 1957 roadster is the perfect choice!
According to its serial number, this Corvette was number 6,210 of 6,339 produced for the model year. By most estimates, that puts its build date somewhere within mid-to-late August of 1957. While the exact date is tough to peg, one thing is for sure – it didn’t present this well on the showroom floor in 1957. An extensive restoration stripped the car to its bare essentials before layering on a sleek Inca Silver basecoat trimmed with clean Imperial White coves. The paintwork is beyond reproach, topping a fiberglass body which fits together better than anything St. Louis could have built in the late 50s. Should the weather act up, a black convertible top comes to the rescue, both protecting the interior and complementing the shades of silver and white below.
Chevrolet’s 1957 Corvette is essentially an improved version of the brand’s hand-built ‘53 model - a car that not only set a design precedent for American cars, but also began a rich legacy that’s now over 60 years strong. At the front of this C1, an aggressive chrome grille rides between a pair of T3 headlights, small chrome-trimmed parking lamps, a subtle header emblem, and convex bumpers that bend around peaked and vented fenders. Between those fenders, a sculpted hood leads the eye to a wraparound Soft Ray windshield that’s framed in bright chrome trim and kept clean with the assistance of a stainless wipers and a Trico Co-ordinated Washer system. The profile introduces those classic Corvette coves which extend off of swept fender well lines, offering a sense of motion even when the car is still. A rear view mirror and antenna grace the driver side. At the back of the car, a Corvette emblem rides between recessed tail lights, convex bumpers and vertical trim spears that center stainless pipes within dramatic quarter panels.
Tilt this roadster’s lightweight hood and you’ll find an authentic and professionally detailed 283ci/270hp Chevrolet V8. Believed to be original to the car, the engine proudly displays its ’57-exclusive 3731548 casting number and EG suffix code which denotes it as an original dual quad build. Consistently chosen over Rochester’s much-hyped Ramjet fuel injection as GM’s ultimate hot rod option, this stout small block is widely regarded as the starting point of Chevrolet’s amazing performance legacy. The car’s tagged Carter carburetors, which breathe through small, louvered air cleaners, funnel life into a correct aluminum Winters 3739653 intake. At the sides of that intake, correct heads hang finned Corvette valve covers over correct, fully restored exhaust manifolds. Behind those manifolds, a high performance ignition system shoots fire through bright stainless sleeves. In front of those sleeves, a gloss black Harrison radiator circulates coolant through reproduction GM hoses and authentic metal squeeze clamps. In addition to its killer powerplant, this Corvette offers a thoroughly detailed engine bay that’s complete with stainless fuel lines, an AC fuel bowl, a date-coded Delco Remy generator and a reproduction Delco battery. Around the small block, first rate aesthetics, which mix smooth satin black framing with a bright Chevy Orange core, create great texture and excellent contrast.
Take a look underneath this roadster and you’ll find an immaculate undercarriage full of new and restored hardware. If you’ve ever wondered what a Corvette’s fiberglass shell looks like underneath the paint, the pristine bare floor pans offer a clear view from behind a satin black X –braced frame. Behind the 283, a date-code correct Saginaw three-speed, believed to be the original, spins power back to an 8.2-inch drop-out rear axle while, at the ends of the floors, a fully restored double A-arm front and solid axle rear suspension has been completely returned to factory specifications. At the corners of the car, standard equipment four wheel drum brakes complement manual steering and nimble handling with solid and confident stops. Exhaust is handled by a new dual exhaust system which runs from an H-shaped crossover to long factory style mufflers. Power flows to the pavement via standard 15-inch steelies which spin fresh 6.70-15 Firestone wide whitewalls around bright stainless Corvette wheel covers.
Inside, the Venetian Red interior not only contributes to the car’s alleged 1 of 10 status but also creates a comfortable space for two. At ground zero, polished door sill plates anchor bright red carpeting protected by matching floor mats. A chrome shifter tops the Saginaw below, surrounded by a bright shifter trim plate which incorporates an ashtray. Thanks to the quality restoration, the seats look brand new, matched by showroom quality door panels with fresh chrome and stainless hardware. The dash offers factory optioned courtesy lights alongside a deluxe heater, and restored stock gauges that include both a clock and a 6,000 rpm tachometer. Directly above that tach, a modern stereo keeps the stock look but controls a trunk-mounted 10-disc CD changer on top of its regular AM/FM duties. It’s one of the few deviations on the car but one you’ll appreciate whenever you have to drive more than a few miles. Behind the convertible top, a well-finished trunk continues the Venetian Red theme, offering a full-size spare, roadside tools, and the aforementioned CD changer.
The sale of this sleek roadster includes a period Corvette brochure and a show board.
Restoring a C1 Corvette is always an expensive undertaking but bringing one to this level takes series dedication. No matter where you look, there is a level of fit and finish that most cars simply never receive. The authentic dual quad 283 looks every bit as good as it sounds and the date code correct Saginaw still offers crisp shifts after all these years. If you’re looking for a rare, desirable, and meticulously restored C1 Corvette, this 1957 roadster is the one you’ve been waiting for. Don’t miss out!