1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago#620by JP
JP created the topic: 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
1955 was the peak year for the decade of the 1950s in terms of car sales. In fact, sales were at seven-million plus. The GM-Ford war of 1953-54 had caused the demise of several car manufacturers which resulted in only the strongest surviving, i.e., GM, Ford and Chevrolet. At this point in time Detroit car makers were in a horsepower manufacturing frenzy.
For Corvette, the introduction of the V-8 engine was the big news for the 1955 model. An enlarged golden “V” was the symbol placed on the fender of cars that sported such engines and had a 12-volt electrical system. As you may recall, the earlier cars had a six-cylinder engine and a six volt system. At the time, Chevrolet had other symbols of significance on other cars that were available, YG for the six-cylinder engines, FG for V-8 and automatic transmissions models and FG for V-8 and automatic transmission models and GR for V-8 cars with manual transmissions. Oddly, although the six-cylinder engine was offered as standard with the base price and the V-8 cost $135 more (in 1955 remember), only six cars without V-8 engines were sold!
So, even in the 1950s, car drivers loved the feeling of acceleration. Some things just don’t change. In fact, it is said the V-8 driven Corvette could go from 0-100 mph in 24.7 seconds. You set your calendar at the start of a drag race. But, since I don’t drive a dragster, waiting half a minute to get to 100 mph was, evidently, something to brag about.
The car was the same image as its earlier predecessor. The distinctive grille with thirteen posts was its signature look at the time but one can’t simply say that was its trademark. The car had styling. It was fun to look at…and it still is.
The earlier grill lacked the resilience against parking lot bumps to the nose. This new design was more practical to save “its face” than to add a special look. Believe it or not, the car had an optional radio that offered a signal seeking AM frequency that cost a whopping $145. People had parties for friends to come and watch the radio work. In addition, the car offered a windshield washer for $11.85; and it wasn’t your neighbor’s teenage kid. Instead, it was a mechanical device that squirted water onto the windshield so your wipers could remove the water and grit. I think we’re all pretty familiar with such washer systems today, but the marvel is that it is a 60 year old design. Who would have thought? Finally, the car had an automatic parking brake alert for those of us who wonder why the car won’t move when you have the car in gear…genius.
With all of this, sales got no better, just 700 cars sold in 1955. Was the model losing favor with its manufacturer? Yup.
Best color: Gypsy Red with a beige top.
Engine: 8 overhead valves with cast iron block.
Displacement: 265 cid.
Horsepower: 195 @ 6,000 rpm.
Body style: 2-door convertible roadster.
Weight: 2,705 lbs.
Number made: 700.