\n\n 1955 Chevrolet Corvette C1: The Corvette Finds its Groove with all new V8 Engine
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Chevrolet Small Block V8 Power

1955 Chevrolet Corvette C1 Brochure Cover
A new focus for the Corvette arrived in the form of a thoroughly new V8 engine which would be known and loved as the "Chevy small block". More than what the Corvette needed, it was also a major milestone in automotive engines. The engineering was advanced and featured a compact design, overhead valves and low production costs. Whenever a list of the worlds most significant automobile engines is compiled, the Chevrolet small block is always included.

The 1955 brochure was justifiably proud of the exciting new addition to the Corvette:

A cyclone of power

with the new 195-h.p. V8 engine

A breath-stopping surge of power that surpasses anything you have ever imagined--that's the story of the Corvette's new 195-h.p. V8 engine. Here is a "dream" powerplant…ultra-compact, free breathing, super-efficient, the most modern valve-in-head V8 engine in the world…and it can be serviced by any Chevrolet dealer. Dual exhausts, a four-barrel carburetor, 8 to 1 compression ratio, and a high-lift camshaft squeeze latent energy out of every drop of gasoline…and careful counter-balancing of the entire engine after assembly keeps it smooth as a jet of steam.

1955 Corvette V8 engine, drawing by David Kimble Chevrolet small block V8 engine
Left: Cutaway drawing by David Kimble of the new small block engine. Below: As installed in a 1955 Corvette. Its weight of 531 pounds was 41 pounds less than the six cylinder, which aided handling.
1955 Corvette V8 engine

All but seven of the 1955 Corvettes received this wonderful new engine; the remaining very rare cars were delivered with six cylinder engines.

Additional colors were available. A few "Corvette Copper" (kind of a bronze) Corvettes were built along with Gypsy Red and a Harvest Gold. V8 engined cars would get a 12 volt electrical system; six cylinder Corvettes made do with a six volt system. An electric windshield wiper was also part of the V8 package.

700 Corvettes were produced in 1955. Chevrolet wisely did not repeat the overproduction mistake of 1954 and instead produced only what could be sold.

1955 Corvette in Polo White
1955 Corvette dashboard
1955 Corvette dashboard. It was essentially the same dashboard as on the 1953 thru 1957 Corvettes.

1955 Corvette For Sale

1955 Corvette, VIN, #44
Price: $160,000 (Trades Considered)
Exterior: Blue
Interior: Beige
Miles: 0
Location: Napoleon, Ohio

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1955 Corvette Convertible, VIN #44 of 700 produced, 265-195 hp, powerglide, numbers match. Pennant Blue paint with Tan Beige interior and Beige soft top (more)

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1955 Corvette Options, Prices

RPO Description Production Price
100 Directional Signal 700 (100.00%) $16.75
101 Heater 700 (100.00%) $91.40
102A AM Radio, Signal Seeking 700 (100.00%) $145.15
290B Whitewall Tires, 6.70x15 n/a $26.90
313 Powerglide Automatic Transmission n/a $178.35
420A Parking Brake Alarm 700 (100.00%) $5.65
421A Courtesy Lights 700 (100.00%) $4.05
422A Windshield Washers 700 (100.00%) $11.85

Total Production: 700
Convertible: 700 (100.00%)

Notes: Base Corvette with six cylinder engine: $2,774.00. Qty: 7 | Base Corvette with 265 cu. in. 195 hp V8 engine: $2,909.00. Qty: 693 | All six cylinder 1955 Corvettes came with the Powerglide automatic transmission. Most of the 1955 V8 Corvettes also came with the automatic; towards the end of the model run a three speed manual transmission was available and approximately 75 1955 Corvettes were so equipped.


Code Exterior Quantity Interior Soft Top Wheels
Polo White 325 (46.43%) Red White/Beige Red
Pennant Blue 45 (6.43%) Dark Beige Beige Red
Corvette Copper 15 (2.14%) Dark Beige White Bronze
Gypsy Red 180 (25.71%) Light Beige White/Beige Red
Harvest Gold 120 (17.14%) Yellow Dark Green Yellow

Notes: Color quantities are estimates as reliable GM records are not available.

Note: Clicking on an image with this symbol (Boxes) will lead to a larger image.

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Comments (2)

Great information and dedication to the blog!
Keep on blogging! It’s getting through the tough times that make you stronger and then the good times will follow, keep writing about your experiences and we should all pull together.

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