C1 Corvette

The C1 was the first Corvette to go into production. This original Corvette was born, to some degree, because Chevrolet had designer Harley Earl on staff and Earl loved sports cars. General Motors produced the C1 from 1953 through 1962.

Financing

To finance a C1 Corvette, you can go to a bank, credit union, or finance through a dealership. If you own a home, a home equity loan is another possibility.


Specs

All C1 Corvettes were made in St. Louis, Missouri. The first models, from 1953-55, had 235 cubic inch six cylinder ?Blue Flame? motors. In 1955 and ?56, the C1 had a 265 cubic inch small block V8. The 1957-61 models had a 283 cubic inch V-8. In 1962, the V-8 grew bigger, to 327 cubic inches. The original transmission was the 2-speed ?PowerGlide? automatic. Starting in 1955, a 3-speed manual was standard. A 4-speed manual was standard beginning in 1957.

 Electronics

The early C1 Corvettes had 6-volt electrical systems. When Chevrolet switched to a new V-8 motor, the company changed to a 12-volt electrical system.

Insurance

Insurance for your C1 Corvette may be more economical than you think. It is even possible to insure your C1 for just the time when you drive it.

Accessories

Accessories for the C1 Corvette include brake parts; exhaust parts like mufflers and tail pipes; shocks and springs; and mats, caps, and key fobs.

Brakes

Most of the original C1 Corvette was built from standard Chevrolet parts. And this meant drum brakes, which did not bring the car to a stop compared to the English and Italian sports cars of the time. From 1958 through 1962, heavy-duty versions of these brakes were available as an option.

Exterior

Chevrolet’s introduction of the first C1 Corvettes, in large part, came in response to the two-seater sports cars being brought over from Europe, many by returning World War II soldiers. The early C1 Corvettes had fiberglass bodies; later models had steel bodies.

Engine

The 1953 and ?54, C1 Corvettes was equipped with the ?Blue Flame? six-cylinder motor. In 1955, Chevrolet installed a V-8 1955 C1 Corvette. This 265 cubic inch engine produced 195 horsepower. In 1956, options increased horsepower up to 240 hp. In 1957, the engine grew in size to 283 cubic inches; options like fuel injection and special carburetion allowed the motor to produce up to 290 horsepower. In 1961, dual carburetion could increase power to 315 hp. In 1962, the engine grew again, this time to 327 cubic inches and options allowed the motor to increase horsepower up to 300.

Drivetrain

Early C1 Corvettes were made with a 2-speed ?Power Glide? automatic transmission. Beginning in 1955, you could order a C1 Corvette with a 3-speed manual transmission. By 1958, the 2-speed automatic transmission was optional and the 3-speed manual transmission was standard. Through 1962, customers could order a 4-speed manual transmission.

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Every 1953 and 1954 C1 Corvette had a red interior, except those ?54 cars with “Pennant Blue” exteriors — these sported a beige interior. On the 1955 C1 Corvette, four interior colors were available. In 1956/57, power windows were an option. The 1958-60 cars featured a tachometer mounted directly in front of the driver. The power convertible top on the 1960/61 cars was standard equipment.