Handling Those C1 Corvette Hardtops
The Owner of a ’56 Corvette Recalls the Difficulties of the Early Hardtops
Sounds like “no pain, no gain” could have easily been the motto for the Corvette convertible back in the ‘50s. Apparently, if you wanted to have a little fun in the sun, removing those hardtops required quite a bit of work.
In a recent Super Chevy report, writer Brain Brennan details the technique he used to remove the top on his 1956 Corvette. He affectionately describes the process as the “clean and jerk.” It involved placing a blanket across the body of the car, then sliding the top back from the rear. Then reaching across from side-to-side and lifting.
Brennan goes on to state that putting the hardtop back on the Corvette required even more finagling, noting that even though he stood nearly six-feet tall, handling that ‘56 Corvette hardtop was no easy feat.
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That’s quite the contrast to the photo above, which shows a smiling man and woman in heels effortlessly lifting the Corvette hardtop.
Of course, having a friend on hand makes removing the top a lot easier. But that wasn’t always possible, so Brennan was eventually struck with the idea of creating a multi-strap pulley system anchored to his garage ceiling. It cut down substantially on the work required to lift the top.
Still, you have to imagine that these kind of elaborate pulley contraptions were few and far between in the ‘50s. So, we imagine that owning a hardtop C1 Corvette required a lot more “clean and jerk” type maneuvers. Which certainly gives one an even greater appreciation for today’s convertible C7 that pretty much allows you to go topless at the touch of button, as highlighted in the video below.