*This is a translation done by a machine.
Chevrolet Corvette is the only sport model that has been produced for over 60 years in the United States, which is known as a barren land for sports cars, even though it is an automobile powerhouse. Many people will be attracted by the OHV's classic structure, large displacement engine, unique styling, and the wild that is different from European sports car.
Corvettes, the synonym for American sports car, first appeared in 1953. At that time, European sports cars that were brought back from Europe after World War II were booming in America. The popularity spurred GM to develop a full-fledged sports car, creating Corvette. It should be noted that the body is made of a plastic material(FRP) that made great progress in the postwar period in the United States. This is one of the identities of corvettes that has been around to date. The original Corvette, which combined a compact 4249 x 1773 mm body with a sleek European sports car-like look, was welcomed by the market (the first year was a combination of an ivory exterior and a red interior). However, there were problems such as severe performance shortage due to the combination of 3.9ℓ inline 6-cylinder OHV engine for trucks and 2-speed AT adopted for cost reduction, and initial failure of reinforced plastic body. In 1955, the arrival of Ford's first Thunderbird with a powerful V8 engine was a decisive hit, and sales were sluggish.
Corvettes underwent major minor changes in 1956 to regain the trust of sports car fans. The engine consists of a 4.3 liter V8 cylinder OHV engine and a 3 speed MT. Styling has improved both performance and styling, including the use of a beautiful form that draws a gentle curve similar to the Austin Healey that was popular in the United States at the time. The next year, 1957, the engine was changed to injection type, and 4 speed MT was added as an option to enhance the quality of sports cars.
In 1958, we made a third big change, starting with a large 4 lamp headlight, a grille with openings on the left and right to enhance the impact, a larger bumper, and a more powerful rear view. In addition, the design continued to evolve, and in 1961, the reverse slant tail design inherited by the 2nd generation corvette was newly adopted. Exterior has been modified four times in nine years and is changing rapidly.
The engine is a 4.6 liter V8 cylinder with an increased displacement of 300cc, and the final model in 1962 is equipped with a 5.4 liter 360ps engine. We will continue to improve the performance by increasing the engine displacement, and we will build a muscle car route with a large engine displacement + FR that will continue in the next generation.
Annual sales have increased from several 1000 units until 1957 to more than 10,000 units since 1959. He has secured a solid position as a sports car in the United States (Cumulative sales for 9 years is 69,105 units.).
The C1 Corvette is a model that has been continuously trying to figure out what sports cars are required in the United States. Since it was a transitional period, various design challenges continued, and it is also attractive that there are various styles in the same model cycle.
|Shinichi Yamazaki's Highlights!|
The 1956 model is a mid-term C1 corvette that can hardly be found in the Japanese market. I think that it is sandwiched between the early type that spread the sensational topic as the first real sports car in the United States and the late type that established the popularity of the Corvette, and its existence has been buried a little, but the mid-term type can be asserted that it is the most elegant model in the history of Corvette for 65 years. It also became a hot topic for being owned by American top model & actress Kendall Jenner. Production is only 3,467. Moreover, because it was not officially imported to Japan, it can be said that it is a very rare model.
The current owner bought it four years ago while living in the US. It is a one-owner car that was carefully stored in Las Vegas. It has a history of being treated as a full restore at a Corvette specialty store in St. Louis, and both inside and outside are kept in excellent condition. The body color is Cascade Green, also known as Tiffany Blue. The colorful body colors that appear in the movie “American Graffiti” from the 1950s and 1960s, combined with the beautiful body design, will undoubtedly be eye-catching.
The basics are restored faithfully to the original, but the engine take measures to prevent the engine from overheating in accordance with Japanese road conditions, the side emblem used in the 1957 injection model and the side mirror attached to the front passenger seat are the changes. The odometer was reset to 0 km at the same time as the restoration, and at the time of our interview it was 4187 miles (Approximately 6,700 km). Jetting has been changed when bringing carburetors into Japan, but the stop-and-go environment is harsh and must be cruising regularly. The engine starts at one time and idling is stable. Good even when blipping. This car is combined with an optional 4-speed MT and seems to be able to fully enjoy the power of 4.3 liter / 210㎰.
There is almost no distortion of the body due to reinforced plastic, which is often mentioned as a defect of the first generation corvette, and even when viewed from a distance, the clearance of each part is kept uniform and there is no discomfort. Opening and closing the soft top requires some tips, but the top has been repapered and almost never used, so it is as good as new. A towel is sandwiched between the soft-top rear vinyl window so that there is no crease, so you can see that it is stored carefully.
It is a characteristic of reinforced plastic body, and there are some negative points such as small cracks in the body, small scratches on the opening and closing parts such as door, trunk, and soft top, and scratches caused by bounced stones in the body, but it's so small that you don't have to worry about it. I think you'll like it just by looking at it. Finally, when I asked the owner "Why are you letting go of C1 in such a good condition?". The owner replied, "When I was living in America, a friend of mine owned a C1 and bought this car with a promise to drive it with me when I return to Japan, but I haven't been able to fulfill my dream. I bought C1 because I like it, but if I can't run with him, I thought it's meaningless to own it.". Which was a complicated reason. It might be a good opportunity to negotiate early before the owner changes his mind.
Originally written by Shinichi Yamazaki
Photo by Rei Hashimoto
Published on December 2019
|Year of Purchase||Sep 2017|