20 - 21 January 2011
1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
To be auctioned on Friday, January 21, 2011
Sold for $107,250
- Chassis no. VE55S001500
- From the Jerry Peterson Early Corvette Collection
- One of only 700 Corvettes built for 1955
- The introductory model year with V-8 power
- An early-production three-speed manual car
- Recently awarded NCRS Second Flight status
During the early 1950s, two key events shaped the Chevrolet Corvette’s ongoing development and fostered its rise to unrivalled status as America’s pre-eminent sports car. The first was the appointment in 1952 of Ed Cole, a driving force behind the development of Cadillac’s famed overhead-valve V-8 engine, to the post of Chief Engineer at GM’s Chevrolet Division. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Cole’s new V-8 design revolutionized the American auto industry with its compact dimensions, durability, light weight and thermal efficiency. With free-breathing cylinder heads and strong internal parts, the new “small-block” was especially responsive to high-performance modifications and quickly redefined both engine design and Chevrolet’s staid image when it debuted for 1955. The second key development was the hiring of Zora Arkus-Duntov. Both Cole and Arkus-Duntov worked their magic on the Corvette, adding the new small-block V-8 for 1955 and a succession of performance and handling enhancements that transformed the Corvette into a true sports car.
The Chevrolet Corvette offered here is very rare as one of just 700 built for the 1955 model year. A very nice older restoration with attractive Harvest Gold paintwork, complemented by a yellow interior, a green vinyl convertible top and correct body-color wheels, the Corvette is powered by a 265-cubic inch small-block V-8 mated to a very desirable three-speed manual transmission. Other features include a heater/defroster and a signal-seeking radio. Freshly detailed, it was recently driven to and from NCRS judging in late October 2010, where it achieved a very high Second Flight result. Very attractive in presentation with its desirable and rare color combination, this 1955 Corvette is an enjoyable and very handsome example from the Corvette’s first year with small block V-8 power. NCRS judges are among the most detail-oriented of any collector car genre. This car’s Second Flight status attests to its quality.
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