1955 Chevrolet Corvette
6-cyl. 235cid/155hp 3x1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
It’s hard to believe, but following two slow initial sales years General Motors was seriously considering shelving the Corvette for 1955 model. Luckily, it managed to survive and even began to thrive for several reasons.
The first big change was a larger engine, as a V-8 was finally available. The 256 cid unit made 195hp, a big bump over the 155-hp six. This new engine was still mated only to the 2-speed Powerglide automatic, but halfway through the 1955 model year a 3-speed manual became available. The addition of a V-8 and a manual came in large part at the insistence of Russian-American GM engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who really put the Corvette on the path to sports car greatness and is rightly known as the “father of the Corvette.”
Only a few dozen 1955 Corvettes came equipped with the manual transmission, but it was another step towards solidifying the Corvette’s performance credentials. The base inline-six engine was still available, but only in small numbers, and it only came with the Powerglide automatic.
Color choice also grew to five. In addition to Polo White, Gypsy Red, and Pennant Blue, you could also get the 1955 in Harvest Gold and Corvette Copper. Only 15 examples came in the latter, making it the rarest color for 1955. A large gold “V” was integrated into the “Chevrolet” fender lettering of V8 models.
Gypsy Red models came with a light beige convertible top in either cloth or vinyl. As for options, you could get a windshield washer, which was operated by a foot pedal.
Only 700 Corvettes were built for the 1955 model year, making it one of the lowest production run years in the history of the ‘Vette, second only to the inaugural 1953 Corvette.