1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

Summary

Corvettes became the iconic American sports car -- but not right away. Sports cars are automobiles reduced to their essence -- a motor, two seats, a simple body, and a powerful emotional appeal. The first Corvettes, with six-cylinder engines and automatic transmissions, promised more than they delivered. But when a 195-horsepower V-8 arrived in 1955, the Corvette's go finally matched its show.

Corvettes became the iconic American sports car -- but not right away. Sports cars are automobiles reduced to their essence -- a motor, two seats, a simple body, and a powerful emotional appeal. The first Corvettes, with six-cylinder engines and automatic transmissions, promised more than they delivered. But when a 195-horsepower V-8 arrived in 1955, the Corvette's go finally matched its show.

Artifact

Automobile

Date Made

1955

Creators

Arkus-Duntov, Zora 

General Motors Corporation. Chevrolet Motor Division 

Place of Creation

United States, Missouri, Saint Louis 

Creator Notes

Produced by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors in Saint Louis, Missouri; engineered by Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

72.108.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Nils L. Muench.

Material

Metal
Fiberglass
Chromium
Glass (Material)
Cloth
Rubber (Material)

Color

Yellow
Greenish yellow
Green

Dimensions

Height: 48 in

Width: 72 in

Length: 167 in

Inscriptions

Sides: Chevrolet Front: CHEVROLET / Corvette On hubcaps: Chevrolet logo

Specifications

Make & Model: 1955 Chevrolet Corvette roadster

Maker: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Michigan

Engine: V-8, overhead valves, 265 cubic inches

Transmission: 2-speed automatic

Height: 48 inches

Wheelbase: 102 inches

Width: 72 inches

Overall length: 167 inches

Weight: 2705 pounds

Horsepower: 195 at 5000 revolutions per minute

Pounds per horsepower: 13.9

Price: $2,934

Average 1955 wage: $4,128 per year

Time you'd work to buy this car: about 8-1/2 months

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