CALIFORNIA CAR, BELIEVED TO BE ORIGINAL 265 V8, FIRST YEAR FOR THE V8 IN A VETTE
If you like the styling of the early Corvette, the one you really want to own is a 1955 like this California-bred example. The '53s are interesting because they were the first, but with the 1955 models were the first of the V8 'Vettes, and a Corvette without a small block V8 is only ¾ of the fun.
We don't have a lot of history on this handsome Gypsy Red Corvette, but we do know that any 1955 Corvette is a rather rare car with only about 700 being built. It comes from California, with the current owner acquiring it in 2008 and bringing it back east to be a part of a massive collection of high-quality cars. It has obviously been restored at some point, because the paint and fiberglass are in good condition and it fits together very well. The door gaps are a little wide at the bottom, but they were like that in showrooms, so it's not really a big deal. This car's show days are probably over, but it is a very sharp driver, and that's really where Corvettes are happiest. The toothy front grille is in excellent shape, the stainless shines up beautifully, and it takes a sharp eye to tell a '55 from its earlier brothers, well, until you start the engine anyway.
You only got two color choices inside, bright red or beige vinyl, and this car got beige which is by far the less common choice. Like the exterior, the interior has been restored at some point using correct materials and patterns that look great in the vintage fiberglass sports car. Likewise, the carpets, door panels, and other soft parts were surely replaced and it all remains in excellent condition with few signs of use. It's still got a color-matched red steering wheel with '50s horn ring and all the secondary gauges are arrayed along the lower center of the dash so the passenger has something to do, too. The original radio is in the dash but sadly not functioning and the tach has been disconnected due to a noisy cable, which is an easy, inexpensive fix. A 2-speed PowerGlide automatic transmission was by far the most popular choice, and that's what this 'Vette is carrying, too, but as you've undoubtedly already experienced, it's a great combination with the V8 engine. Overhead there's a new tan convertible top that fits extremely well and the trunk is spacious enough for plenty of luggage on a road trip, the Corvette's favorite activity.
The 265 cubic inch V8 under the hood should need no introduction, and by dropping it between the Corvette's fenders, Zora Arkus-Duntov managed to save Chevy's plastic fantastic from extinction. We have every reason to believe this is the car's original engine, but there's no way to know for sure, but it certainly looks right under the forward-tilting hood. Topped with a chrome air cleaner and matching valve covers, it looks suitably flashy for the Chevy flagship and many of the details are correct, from the generator to the cast iron master cylinder. Bright Chevy Orange paint makes it identifiable at a glance and it runs beautifully with a smooth purr from the dual glasspack-style mufflers underneath. The transmission shifts well, waiting until you're just sure it won't shift then dropping happily into high gear and urging the Corvette forward. The undercarriage was obviously nicely finished when it was restored, although it now shows some signs of use and age but that's really not a surprise on something this much fun to drive. Proper 6.70-15 BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whitewall tires are installed, which is the only choice, especially with stock wheels and hubcaps.
A handsome, fun-to-drive early Corvette, this is a car you can enjoy at every opportunity without worries and with V8 power, you'll never feel like something is missing. Call today!
- AM Radio
- Manual Convertible Top
- Vinyl Interior
- Owner's Manual
- Interior Color
- Transmission Spec
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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