Today on the Vette Vues blog, we are looking at the 1956 Corvette’s history, features, specifications, and some great Corvette photos.
Just three years after its introduction, Corvette was under attack from within as Chevrolet and GM management considered disappointing sales. But it was under the protection of three very powerful advocates: Harley Earl, Chevrolet President Ed Cole, and engineer Zora Arkus Duntov. Earl, Cole, and Duntov were determined to establish Corvette as America’s premier sports car. But, critics said that the Corvette’s styling was already aging.
The 1956 Corvette represented the first major redesign of the original body style. The new sports car, the 1956 Corvette, body received a new redesigned with the cove inserts and smoother exterior lines. This first-generation Corvette now offered buyers outside door handles, roll-up windows in place of the rudimentary side curtains, and adjustable passenger seating. Options expanded to include power steering and a removable auxiliary hardtop that was virtually waterproof.
The total Production was 3,467 convertibles.
VIN: E54S001001 – E54S004640
- New floor-mounted, close-ration “stick” shift provides the split-second up- and down-shifting gear control demanded by the pros.
- New high-compression cylinder heads on Corvette’s 225 hp Turbo-fire special V8 engine up compression ratio to 9.25:1.
- Eight-jet carburetion for takeoffs and additional horsepower is offered by Corvette’s new dual 4-barrel carburetors.
- New styling matches Corvette’s advancements in performance. Immediately apparent arc the new graceful fender lines, new side panel, and hood treatment.
- Convenient roll-up regulators quickly raise and lower new windows. Power window lifts available at extra cost.
- Corvette convertible now offers a power-operated top as standard equipment and makes available a plastic all-weather hardtop at extra cost.
1956 Corvette Specifications
1956 Corvette Engine:
Horsepower in the base V-8 engine introduced the 1955 Corvette was boosted from 195 HP at 5,000 RPM to 210 at 5,600 RPM, with a corresponding rise in peak torque from 260 lb-ft to 270.
Valve-in-head design, 265-cubic inch displacement, 3.75: bore x 3.0″ stroke, 225 hp at 4200 rpm, Torque 270 foot-pounds at 3600 rpm. Special high-lift camshaft, high-speed valve system with mechanical lifters. Deep-ribbed cast aluminum rocker covers. 12-volt electrical system.
1956 Corvette Transmissions:
Transmission: 3-speed manual (standard) or 2-speed Powerglide (optional)
Choice of special high-performance 3-speed close-ratio Synchro-Mesh (2.2:1 low and reverse, 1.31:1 second, 1:1 high) with high-capacity 10-inch coil-spring clutch, or optional Powerglide special automatic transmission with floor-mounted range selector. Rear-axle 3.55:1 ratio standard, 3.27:1 ratio optional with a 3-speed transmission.
1956 Corvette Colors:
Onyx Black with Red interior and Black or White top; Venetian Red with Red interior and Beige or White top; Cascade Green with Beige interior and Beige or White top; Aztec Copper with Beige interior and Beige or White top; Arctic Blue with Beige or Red interior and Beige or White top; Polo White with Red interior and White or Black top.
In addition to solid colors, the indented side panels are available painted to contrast or harmonize with over-all body color as follows:
- Black Silver
- Copper Beige
- Green Dark Green
- Blue Dark Blue
- Red Beige
- White Silver
Red, Beige, Beige-Red
1956 Corvette Options
|2934||Base Corvette Convertible||3,467||3,120.00|
|102||AM Radio, Signal Seeking||2,717||198.90|
|107||Parking Brake Alarm||2,685||5.40|
|290||6.70×15 Whitewall Tires||n/a||32.30|
|313||Powerglide Automatic Transmission||n/a||188.50|
|440||Two-Tone Exterior Paint||1,259||19.40|
|449||Special High-Lift Camshaft||111||188.30|
|469||265ci, 225hp Engine (2×4 carburetor)||3,080||172.20|
|471||Rear Axle, 3.27:1 Ratio||n/a||0.00|
|473||Power Operated Folding Top||2,682||107.60|
1956 Corvette Trivia
- The 1955 Corvette finally achieved “true” sports car status with the introduction of 265 cubic inches, 195 hp V-8 engine, and the 3-speed manual transmission.
- There are 13 vertical bars or “teeth” in the grill of the 1956 Corvettes.
- How to tell the difference between a 1956 Corvette and the 1957? One of the few ways to distinguish between a 1956 and 1957 Corvette (without opening the hood) is to look at the inside rearview mirror. On the 1956 model, it adjusts with a thumbscrew, and on the 1957 Corvette adjustment requires a wrench to loosen the locknut.
- A rare option was the special high-lift camshaft which provided an (unofficial) output of 240 hp!
1956 Corvette Photos
Corvette was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2003. Our photos are from the Bloomington Gold – 2003 Gold Year special display.
Here are some other articles relating to the 1956 Corvette
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