The 1956 Chevrolet Corvette continued in the General Motors line up for the 1956 model year. Chevrolet’s division of GM knew that the pre-1956 Corvette’s had somehow lost sight of the original objective. They were neither a small, fun-to-drive runabout that everyone could afford, nor were they a serious performance sports car. 1953-1955 Corvettes were just well equipped showboats priced at $3,500.00. $1,500.00 more than most low priced full size Chevrolet’s. So in 1956 the Corvette received a more up to date body.
The new 265 cubic inch small block V-8 had been greeted with high enthusiasm in the 1955 Corvette and in the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette. 1956 Corvette V-8’s were rated at 210 horsepower and could be brought up to 240 horsepower with dual carbs. Available with these new engines was a three speed manual transmission and a Powerglide automatic ($189.00 option).
1956 Chevrolet Corvette
The new Corvette styling looked very fresh in 1956. However, the Corvette had a definite face and the second generation would improve on that theme. New for the 1956 Vette was a lift off hardtop. The headlights that had been covered by wire screen were moved forward and the mesh stoneguards were discarded. The round Corvette emblem was much larger and the original grille with its magnificent teeth was left alone. The body cove on the front fender and door gave the ’56 Corvette a styling personality all its own. The cove was surrounded by a narrow band of chrome trim.
1956 Chevrolet Corvette
The rear was just as tastefully revised. 1953-55 fin like fenders were trimmed and new taillights were frenched into the rear fenders. The license plate which had occupied an indentation in the truck lid, was moved down between decorative rear bumpers. Exhausts now exited through the rear bumper guards instead of the rear fenders.
1956 Chevrolet Corvette Rear
Even more than 60 years later the design looks fresh, draws admiring glances and is one of those rare automobiles that look good from any angle. The ’56 Corvette not only looked better than its predecessor, it worked much better, too.
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