The 1955 model year marked the third for the Chevy Corvette, and despite some improvements, the fiberglass wonder was off to a rocky start. The first year of Corvette production saw only 300 copies leave the assembly line, with most of those going to GM managers, film stars, sports personalities, and the like.
The Chevy Corvette was a bit of a mixed bag: it was reliable courtesy of the Blue Flame six cylinder and Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission, but lacked the sporting performance of less reliable competitors like Jaguar and Ferrari. The heater recirculated air, but did not allow fresh air into the cabin. The top, side curtains, and doors tended to leak water. Despite refinements for the 1954 model year, increased production of 3,640 units saw 1,100 of them unsold when the 1955 Corvettes began to roll off the production line.
The 1955 Chevy Corvette would see the advent of the 265 cubic-inch Small Block V8. Rated at 195 horsepower, the new engine produced forty more horsepower than the six cylinder. The V8 could be had with either a two-speed Powerglide automatic, or a three-speed manual. The new engine was dressed with chrome plated valve covers. Of the 700 Corvettes made in 1955, only seven were built with the old inline six. Another improvement was the switch to a twelve-volt electrical system, except on the six cylinder.
The exterior of the 1955 Chevy Corvette was almost identical to the previous years, save for the golden “V” in the side script on V8-powered models. Another exterior change was the addition of new colors; Pennant Blue and Polo White soldiered on, joined by Harvest Gold, Gypsy Red, and Corvette Copper. Sportsman Red and Black were both dropped.
Our feature 1955 Chevy Corvette is number 214 of 700 produced. It is finished in Harvest Gold with yellow interior, but was originally Gypsy Red over Light Beige. This example is powered by the 265 cubic-inch Small Block V8, and power is transmitted to the rear wheels via the two-speed Powerglide automatic. As all 1955 Corvettes were, it is “optioned” with courtesy lights, windshield washers, turn signals, a parking brake alarm, Wonderbar AM signal-seeking radio, and heater. Painted steel wheels have full hubcaps and are wrapped in wide whitewall tires.
This 1955 Chevy Corvette previously sold at the Mecum Auctions 2021 Monterey, California event where it changed hands for $143,000 including buyer’s fee.
This beautiful and rare Chevy Corvette will be up for grabs at the Mecum Auctions Monterey event taking place August 18th through the 20th.