Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

During the early-1950s, two key events shaped the Chevrolet Corvette’s ongoing development and fostered its rise to unrivalled status as America’s pre-eminent sports car. The first was the appointment in 1952 of Ed Cole, a driving force behind the development of Cadillac’s famed overhead-valve V-8 engine, to the post of Chief Engineer at GM’s Chevrolet Division. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Cole’s new V-8 design revolutionized the American auto industry with its compact dimensions, durability, light weight, and thermal efficiency. With free-breathing cylinder heads and strong internal parts, the new “small-block” was especially responsive to high-performance modifications and quickly redefined both the engine design and Chevrolet’s staid image when it debuted for 1955. The second key development was the hiring of Zora Arkus-Duntov. Both Cole and Arkus-Duntov worked their magic on the Corvette, adding the new small block V-8 for 1955 and a succession of performance and handling enhancements that transformed the Corvette into a true sports car.

195 bhp, 265 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

Part of the RM Auctions event for John Staluppi in December, 2012.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper

Gallery: Chevrolet Corvette Roadster