1957 Chevy Corvette "Fuelie"

W ith a choice of 250 or 283 horses under the hood, courtesy of “Ramjet” fuel injection, the ’57 Corvette “Fuelie” was a breath of excitement for General Motors and Corvette owners. More and more Corvettes made during 1956 and 1957 found their way to race tracks across the U.S. where they began creating a legacy that continues today.

The Fuelie and other Corvettes of this period were a far cry from the first-generation Vette, with its “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine. The legendary V-8 engine built by Harry Barr and Edward N. Cole, a redesigned chassis created by Zora Arkus-Duntov and a body created by Harley Earl made the ’56 and ’57 Corvettes a winning package.

Only about 240 “fuelie” ‘57s were built, but those fortunate enough to own one enjoyed the first of the truly high-performance line of Corvettes. –Larry Sanata

Photos and VIDEO at right.

SPECS:
Price: $38,000 to $157,000
Engine: SOHV V-8
Horsepower: 250 or 283
Torque: 290 at 4400 rpm (283 hp engine)
Top Speed: 115-130 mph

Full review under the ARTICLE tab above.

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I f Marcello Gandini (Lamborghini) and Battista “Pinin” Farina (Pininfarina/Ferrari) were the finest auto designers in Italy, then Harley Earl was their Detroit-based counterpart, and this fiberglass-bodied ’57 Corvette “Fuelie” is one of his greatest and most enduring masterworks.

For the 1956 model year, Earl created a new design for Corvette that was a considerable departure from earlier models. Along with a sportier identity, these models also offered new options that ensured that ’56 and ’57 Corvettes models would forever be among the general public’s favorite domestic sportscars.

Known among die-hard enthusiasts as one of the most desirable ‘Vettes for collecting, the ’57 “Fuelie” takes its nickname from the optional fuel-injection system available on its 283ci powerplant. That combination allowed for 283 hp, or one hp per cubic inch, which was a first for a mass-produced domestic, and more than adequate to power the ’57 to impressive 0-60 and top speeds for the time.

The ’57 also offered two carburetor configurations to choose from, adding further options for customers while creating plenty of opportunities for today’s investors.

The package of fuel-injected V8 in a black body with silver door coves and the catchy red interior (see page xx of this issue) is among the most desirable combinations of features, and can demand a pretty penny at auction.

While the ’57 “Fuelie” isn’t the rarest of Corvettes (the ’67 L88 being one rarer that quickly comes to mind), it’s surely among the most recognizable and exciting sportscars still on the street—foreign or domestic.

–Jake Rishavy. Photography courtesy of Pro Team Corvette and GM.

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1957 Corvette Fuel Injection

1957 Corvette Fuel Injection

One of the rarest and fastest of its lineage, the 1957 Corvette's 283ci fuel-injected engine produced 283hp, a magic number for its time.

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