When ordering a performance car, it’s all too easy to get carried away with the options list. Just the tick of a box can load your new pride and joy with plenty of luxuries, but sometimes less is more. Jay Leno opens his garage once again for a closer look at this tastefully specified Chevrolet Corvette C1.
This car’s story begins with a young G.I. based in Korea during the 1950s who decided to treat him self to the sports car of the moment — the Corvette C1. These all-American beauties captured the hearts and minds of thousands and they combined elegant design with potent V8 power. However, this soldier had his priorities right as instead of ordering additional toys for his Corvette that would have only served to make it heavier, he asked that things were removed. There’s no air conditioning for example, nor even a fabric roof to reduce weight. He did option a removable hard-top, but there was little to protect occupants from a sudden shower.
Further proof that this G.I. had great taste is the exterior colour combination. Many C1 Corvettes are painted in a distinctive ruby red to contrast the white sections of bodywork. Instead, this gentleman went for a soft shade of grey that really serves to show the true beauty of this car. In fact, just 65 cars were painted in this tone during 1957. It wears plenty of polished chrome that compliments the overall colour coding. This example is totally standard barring the handsome wheels it wears today.
Jay Leno says in the video: 'People just go nuts when they see it. It’s just a startlingly good-looking car, especially in this combination. I’m surprised only 65 were ordered in silver.’
Under the hood is a 283ci carburetted V8 that produces 270hp — quite the beast for 1957. A four-speed manual transmission was also optioned over a standard three-speed gearbox. Drum brakes and a solid rear axel are of period, but this model stood amongst the finest sports cars in ‘50s America.
Leno fires up the mighty Chevrolet and the eruption of noise is a real treat for true enthusiasts. Roaring onto the streets, it’s quite the sight amongst modern traffic. Check out the video!
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