Take a look at this sweet 1957 Corvette Fuelie Roadster, a car that couples a 283 ci Rochester Fuel Injected motor to a 4-speed drivetrain and wraps the package in legendary looks and serious sports car styling. Every classic era auto enthusiast wants one. Now you could actually own one of the best of the best. This car instantly gets you respect wherever gearheads gather.
The 1957 Corvette Fuelie Roadster you see here is being offered for sale this week through Classic Car Marketing. They are selling it for their Southern California client. They tell us it is NCRS Certified and has achieved the Duntov Mark of Excellence award. They further state that it is numbers matching and comes with the all important documentation. They say it scored a 98.99 out of 100 points in competitive judging.
What is most important is that it is a real all original 283 ci V8 fuelie with the Rochester Ram Jet fuel injection system from the factory. It is a stunning black beauty with complimenting Venetian Red interior. (You have to click through to see the photos of the interior. The photos make it look spectacular.) The shots of the undercarriage will make you salivate.
Classic Car Marketing tells us this 1957 Corvette Fuelie Roadster is one of the 713 Corvette Fuelies which were ordered with the RPO 579B option Ram Jet fuel injected V8 that delivered one horsepower for every cubic inch of engine capacity. That makes it a 283/283, one of the rarest Corvettes, a real dream car to own. They also say it comes with two tops, since an auxiliary hardtop was available that year at a pretty high cost. The rims and hubcaps are said to be original.
All records and documentation comes along with the sale. A prospective buyer should call to confirm what Classic Car Marketing is referring to as “documentation.”
This car defines rare in many ways. It is rare because it is a 283 ci V8 fuelie with matching numbers, a solid lifter phenomena. It is even more rare because of the 4-speed manual transmission. But it is also rare because of its color combination of Onyx Black with black coves (not a contrasting tutone exterior.)
Just 1,040 fuel injected Corvettes were built in 1957. Although 756 were 283 horsepower fuelie Corvettes (including the 250 hp versions), only 664 total 4-speed Corvettes were recorded. If the Rochester Fuel Injection did not prove to be a hit with new car buyers at first, what was infinitely popular among American sports car enthusiasts was the introduction of the 4-speed manual gearbox on the Corvette, something American sports car enthusiasts dearly wanted. At a cost of $188, it was a Borg-Warner unit, which was introduced at midyear.
There were a number of “firsts” which the ’57 Corvette achieved. It was the first year for the Rochester Ram Jet fuel injection, the first year for the 283 ci V8 small block engine, the first year that the Corvette was offered with 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.
However, many new car buyers that put up the money for the Fuelie Corvettes in 1957 were disappointed with the starting problems. You see, if you drove it hard and then shut it down, it would not start when it was still hot. Those who knew the secret would hold the accelerator pedal to the floor and it would start right up. Others said they had problems with cold starts. Many of the fuel injection systems were swapped out for dual four-barrel carbs. In general repair shops were not real happy with the Rochester Fuel Injection systems and often recomended replacement.
But for SCCA racing competition, Zora Arkus-Duntov had exactly what he wanted in the new Rochester Ram Jet fuel injection for the Corvette. Up against the Jaguar XK120 and Mercedes-Benz 300SL, it would do well in SCCA racing that year. Dick Thompson, the “Flying Dentist” took the SCCA C Production National Championship in his 1957 Corvette Fuelie. Because of fuel injection, any road racing dreamer could potentially walk into a Chevrolet dealership and order a race car right off the show room floor. The times, they were changing.
Fuel injection was an idea whose time had come. Race cars that were normally aspirated suffered from carbs that would either flood the combustion efficiency or starve it when you drove them hard. The Rochester Ram Jet mechanical fuel injection system designed by GM engineer John Dolza introduced fuel evenly which added horsepower. Dolza used Zora Arkus-Duntov’s idea for fuel injection, and made it simpler. It provided instantaneous acceleration, high horsepower, fuel efficiency and revved cleanly to 7,000 rpm. It made the Corvette the quickest production car in the world. Quicker even than the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, which was known as the world’s fastest sports car.
The 1957 Corvette Fuelie Roadster was not necessarily designed to sell cars to the public. It was born to race. And that is what it did proficiently. Road & Track tested the 1957 Corvette 283/283 fuelie and recorded 0–60 in 5.7 seconds at 132 mph top end. It also could do a quarter mile in 14.3 seconds besting the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing which was recorded at 15.5 seconds.
You will find more early Corvette Fuelie classic collector cars for sale in Cars-On-Line’s Corvette Section online. Be sure to click the link to browse the listings. Then bookmark it for future reference.