1957 Chevrolet Corvette BrochureClose
To keep this development in perspective, consider this. Almost all of the high priced supposedly advanced competition -- including Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini -- did not go with fuel injection until the 1970s or later.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuel Injection - Cutaway drawing by David KimbleClose
The new system was complex and costly however. At $484.20, the one option added over 15% to the price of an entire Corvette. Buyers found it irresistible however, with 1,040 checking the box on the order form. The complexity also resulted in a high maintenance reputation.
Not up for debate is the way the market treats fuel injected Corvettes of the era. Corvette enthusiasts went for it in a big way in 1957 and more so 50+ years later as a collectable; the price premium for a "Fuelie" as they are often called is significantly higher than their more mundane carbureted cousins.
Above: Fuel Injection as installed in an early Corvette; Below: Later Fuel Injection system on display.
Later Chevrolet Corvette Fuel InjectionClose
1957 Corvette Trunk Fuel Injection EmblemClose
1957 Chevrolet Corvette Four Speed TransmissionClose
There was more good go-fast news for Corvette buyers in 1957. Just south of the clutch, a new four speed manual transmission became available as of April 9, 1957. 664 1957 Corvettes were so equipped at an extra cost of $188.30. Special four speeds had been installed in some race cars, so apparently the "More is Better" philosophy applied.
Also available in 1957: RPO 684, a racing suspension intended for serious racers. The cost was $780.10 and was installed on only 51 Corvettes in 1957.
1957 Corvette Fuel Injected AirboxClose
Above is a very special fuel injected 1957 Corvette with an airbox intake. It is RPO 579E and only 43 were made. As a racing option, it cost a whopping $726.30 or $242.10 more than the standard fuel injection system.
1957 Corvette C1 Fuel Injected RPO 276 WheelsClose
Notice the small wheel covers in this 1957 fuelie? It's RPO 276 and was a 15" x 5.5" wheel; stock wheels were 5.0".
1957 Chevrolet Corvette Magazine AdClose
The marketing people had started to become aggressive with the competition. This was the start of a series of ads that continued for many years, pointing out that the imports did not entirely own the sports car world.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette with Convertible Top (brochure illustration)Close
Convertible Corvette with hardtop (below) and convertible top (above). Buyers actually had a choice of either top as part of a Corvette purchase. If they wanted both, Option Code 419 was selected for an additional $215.20. Thus it was possible to purchase a Corvette with a hard top only.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette with Hard Top (brochure illustration)Close
1957 Corvette interior, in person (above) and per the brochure (below). The seats may appear to be bucket style but were closer to a bench seat in practice. There was no lateral support and the seat back, which was mostly vertical, did not adjust. The comfort level was poor making long trips a challenge. The interior had changed little since the introduction of the 'vette in 1953; the tachometer was still in the center and the other gauges / controls were a long reach. The dashboard was essentially the same as used in other Chevrolet models.
1957 Corvette Options