Dual-quad ’57 Corvette project is ready for a second chance at restoration
Nineteen-fifty-seven was a special year for Corvette. The small-block V-8 grew from 265 to 283 cubic inches, thanks to an extra eighth of an inch in bore diameter. The extra displacement brought an increase in torque and power, and, with the addition of the Corvette’s first use of fuel injection, became its first engine to produce one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement. Just 714 of the 6339 Corvettes produced in 1957 were equipped with the expensive ($484.20) induction system, but there were plenty of other options. Barnfinds.com has found one of the 270-hp examples of 1957 Corvette, equipped with dual Carter four-barrel carbs, for sale on Craigslist in West Hartford, Connecticut. Although not as rare, the engine still makes a nice visual statement.
The car was reportedly readied for restoration in the ’90s, at which point the paint was media blasted from the body. The asking price of $35,000 is said to include all of the parts needed to complete the car, including a convertible top, a removable hardtop, the upholstery, and sheet pan racks loaded with trim. Now that we think about it, that is a handy way to store parts. A photo of the chassis shows that while it too was prepped for restoration at one point, it will need to be refurbished as well. Luckily, the chassis seems to have survived the past 65 years quite well.
Photos of the powerplant include an overall shot of the nearly complete engine in its bay with its beautiful valve covers, along with a shot of the casting number, which was only used in 1957 for 283 engines. A photo also includes the engine ID stamped onto the deck surface. Based on a cursory search, the “EG” code looks correct for a 270-hp, dual-quad 283 Corvette with manual transmission. Unfortunately, the factory three-speed is missing. In its place is a four-speed from a later model. That’s a negative for purists, although anyone looking to get this back on the road will likely not be dissuaded.
The current #3 (Good) value of a 270-hp, dual four-barrel 1957 Corvette is $77,800, with a #1 (Concours) going for nearly double that at $150,000. This example clearly needs a lot of work, but there’s a lot of headroom in the value to justify spending some money on restoration. As if we’d need an excuse!