A rare collector car offering from Classical Gas Enterprises in Texas this week underlines the importance of the 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie Convertible in automotive history. After a rocky first few years of production the Chevrolet Corvette finally gained widespread desirability in America when it adopted a V8 engine in 1956. By 1957, Chevrolet used smart marketing to establish the Corvette finally as the high performance sports car that Harley Earl and Zora Duntov, the fathers of the Corvette, meant it to be.
There were a number of “firsts” which the ’57 Corvette achieved. It was the first year for the Rochester Ramjet fuel injection, the first year for the 283 ci V8 small block engine, the first year that the Corvette was offered as a 4-speed manual transmission and the first year that it came with a real performance rear end. There was even a performance suspension offered for the first time in ’57.
The 1957 “Fuelie” was offered in 250 or 283 horsepower. The 250-bhp fuelie ran a 9.5:1 compression. Motor Trend clocked a 250-bhp fuelie at just 7.2 seconds in the 0-60-mph sprint.
Reliability problems occurred with the Rochester fuel injection system which made it impractical for most street driven cars, but for the Corvette the fuelie was important because many were made for racing. Ramjet fuel injection was subsequently dropped from Chevy’s other passenger car lines after 1958, though it remained as a Corvette option through 1965.
How rare is a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie Convertible? Only 1,040 fuel injected 1957 Corvettes were made out of a total product run of 6,339 total Corvettes. With low production numbers, only 664 total 4-speed Corvettes were produced that year. If the Rochester Fuel Injection did not prove to be as popular as was expected, what was infinity popular among American sports car enthusiasts with the introduction of the 4-speed manual gearbox on the Corvette, something American sports car enthusiasts dearly wanted.
“This 1957 Chevrolet Corvette takes things a step further because in addition to being a sought after year this classic is a true numbers matching original fuelie car,” says Cris Lofgren of Classical Gas Enterprises, the Texas brokerage offering it for sale. “The car has had a full rotisserie top level restoration bringing it to like new factory condition.” The factory two-tone Cascade Green and white coves is a rare combination, offered for the first time that year. Cascade Green was a rare choice from the GM charts that year, as only 550 Corvettes were delivered in that color
All of the chrome and stainless trim is nicely sitting in place and all has a great finish. This was the last year for the single headlights which are in place and working properly. Wide whites are found under all four corners nicely wrapped around the original painted to match wheels and hubcaps. Since the restoration, the car has been mostly trailered to its destinations and we can guarantee you it has been extremely well cared for. It has never seen the rain or even wet streets for that matter.
Click the video window below to view a video of this rare Cascade Green and Beige Corvette: