Discover the Specifications of the Iconic 1955 Corvette: a Year of Upgrades and Innovation

Discover the Iconic 1955 Corvette: a High-performance Sports Car with a Powerful V-8 Engine and New Features

1955 Chevrolet Corvette C1 Specs, History, and Facts

1955 Corvette - GM Press Photo
1955 Corvette – GM Press Photo

As we look at the 1955 Corvette Information, we realize that Corvette has had its share of ups and downs since it was first introduced in 1953.  In the first year of production, they only produced 300.  And in 1955, there were only 700 manufactured; today, there are probably fewer than 100 left.

But, now in its 3rd year of production, the 1955 C1 model year Corvette had some significant changes.

In this article:

Corvette Chevy Expo 2024 – Show Cars, Vendors, and More in Galveston, Texas

Finally, the 1955 Corvette Gets the V-8 It Deserves

The iconic Corvette was reborn in 1955 with a significantly more powerful engine and 3-speed manual transmission. Replacing the previous 6-cylinder, the V-8 small-block delivered an impressive 265 cubic inch powertrain and 195 horsepower. This upgrade finally made the Corvette the high-performance sports car that passionate enthusiasts had been eagerly anticipating.

Not only did the ’55 Corvette finally get the upgrade it needed—a V-8 engine, the entire Chevrolet model lineup received the new 265 CI V-8, and it immediately turned everyone’s attention to the Bowtie.

The 265 CI V-8 engine in the lighter Corvette proved more potent than the full-sized cars. With a 4-barrel carburetor, it produced 195 HP at 5,000 RPM with 260 lb-ft of torque at 3,000. It would do enough to shake up the laid-back coupe and go from 0-60 MPH in 8.7 seconds and from 0-100 MPH in 24.7 seconds. This was a remarkable development for those used to driving standard 6-cylinder Chevrolets.  Although the new V8 was available, there were still seven six-cylinders sold.

In commemoration of the newly installed V-8 engine, 1955 Corvettes feature a large, gold V in the Corvette script on the front fender panels.

The 1955 model year also brought some new features, such as a 12-volt electrical system and new color choices. Gypsy Red, Corvette Copper, and Harvest Gold became available, in addition to Pennant Blue and the original Polo White. (The “Polo White” color was last used in the 1957 Corvette.)

Corvette manufactured only seven hundred 1955 Corvettes. While Corvette sales have remained slow, sales of the new 1955 Thunderbird with features such as outside door handles and roll-up windows have skyrocketed.

So what is a 1955 Corvette worth today?

According to Hagerty, the 1955 base Roadster V8 with the 265/195hp 4bbl in fair condition is worth just under $56,000, and in Concours condition, it’s worth over $185,000.

At the Mecum Kissimmee Auction in January 2022, this 1955 Harvest Gold Corvette Bid to $155,000, but the Bid Goes On.

The 1955 Harvest Gold Corvette has a sleek rear deck that conceals a generous luggage compartment. Photo courtesy Mecum Auction
The 1955 Harvest Gold Corvette has a sleek rear deck that conceals a generous luggage compartment. Photo courtesy Mecum Auction

FIBERGLASS FACT: The $12 windshield washer option on the 1955 Corvette was operated by a foot pedal.

FIBERGLASS FACT: Production of 1955 Corvettes began October 28, 1954

1955 Corvette Specifications

RPO#DESCRIPTIONQUANTITY$ RETAIL
2934-6Base Corvette Convertible, six-cylindern/a2,774.00
2934-8Base Corvette Convertible, V8n/a2,909.00
100Directional Signal70016.75
101Heater70091.40
102AAM Radio, Signal Seeking700145.15
290B6.70×15 Whitewall Tiresn/a26.90
313Powerglide Automatic Transmissionn/a178.35
420AParking Brake Alarm7005.65
421ACourtesy Lights7004.05
422AWindshield Washers70011.85

1955 Corvette Exterior Color Choices

CODEEXTERIORQUANTITY
567Polo White325
596Gypsy Red180
570Pennant Blue45
573Corvette Copper15
632Harvest Gold120

Note: Exterior color quantities are based on estimates only.

1955 Corvette Interior Color Choices

CODECOLOR
Beige Vinyl (887 Built)
Red Vinyl (2,580 Built)

Note: The Interior and exterior colors were not coded to individual cars in 1955.

1955 Corvette Convertible

The 1955 Corvette Stingray only came in a convertible, also referred to as the roadster. Auxiliary hardtops were not available for the Chevy Corvette 1955 as a factory option. But there were aftermarket companies that made them available that were removable. You can learn more about the aftermarket parts for the 1955 Chevy Corvette in our article titled C1 Corvette – THE HISTORY OF BODY KITS & DRESS-UP PARTS

1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built

1955 V.I.N. NUMBERS FOR CORVETTE

Differentiating from the other GM cars, the production of the Corvette bodies was carried out with handcrafted finesse, making them exempt from receiving Fisher Body Style Numbers.

Early production of the Corvette was marked by the four-digit model number 2934, which also indicated the vehicle’s body style.

  • Corvette used the standard 10-symbol Chevrolet Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) coding system.
  • The I.D. tag was located on the left-hand front door hinge pillar.
  • V or E = V-8 Corvette model, E = 6-cyl Corvette model
  • 55 = 1955
  • S = St. Louis, MO assembly plant
  • the last six numbers were the sequential production number
  • They numbered from 001001 to 001700
  • The engine number was found on the right-hand side of the crankcase behind the distributor.
  • The engine numbers for 1955 used the suffix:
  • “YG” = 6-cyl
  • “FG” = V-8 with automatic transmission
  • “GR” = V-8 with manual transmission

1955 CORVETTE CHASSIS

  • Wheelbase 102 inches (2.591 m)
  • Overall length 167 inches (4.242 m)
  • Front tread 57 inches (1.448 m)
  • Rear tread 59 inches (1.499 m)
  • Wheels steel disk
  • Tires 6.70 x 15
  • Front suspension coil springs with tubular shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
  • Rear suspension Leaf springs, tube shocks, and solid rear axle
  • Brakes Drum on all four wheels
  • Axle ratio 3.55:1

Other interesting details: Harlow H. Curtice was president of GM, and Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. was chairman of the board at GM in 1955.

1955 Corvette Photos

This 1955 Corvette is on display at the 2021 Corvettes at Carlisle NCRS Gallery. Jim and Milda Oliverio owns it. It has a 265 CI, 195 HP engine with the Powerglide transmission. The differential Ratio is 3.55:1. The Polo White Corvette has the Sportsman Red interior, and the steel wheels have the 7.70x15 Firestone Whitewall Tires on. Additional options include the directional signal, heater, AM radio, parking brake alarm, courtesy lights, windshield washers, and automatic transmission.
This 1955 Corvette is on display at the 2021 Corvettes at Carlisle NCRS Gallery. Jim and Milda Oliverio owns it. It has a 265 CI, 195 HP engine with the Powerglide transmission. The differential Ratio is 3.55:1. The Polo White Corvette has the Sportsman Red interior, and the steel wheels have the 7.70×15 Firestone Whitewall Tires on. Additional options include the directional signal, heater, AM radio, parking brake alarm, courtesy lights, windshield washers, and automatic transmission.

RELATED:

, ,

You might also enjoy looking at the 1955 Corvette Brochure and check out our article on the C1 Corvette Overview: The Making of America’s Sports Car.

Check out our online classified ads and see if there is a 1955 Corvette for sale. Remember, they only made 700, so when they come up, they sell quickly.

Check out Vette Vues’ latest blog posts so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it.

Enhance your enjoyment of Vette Vues articles by signing up for our e-Newsletter! Delivered twice a month, this complimentary service notifies you whenever a new story has been posted online. What are you waiting for? Join us now!

Enjoy Vette Vues’ Premium articles each month by Subscribing to Vette Vues Magazine.

While you are here, check out our great selection of Corvette T-shirtsCorvette Hats / Caps for Sale, and assorted Corvette Totes, Coolers, and Bags for Sale, all offering Free United States Shipping.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top