NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230

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Lot 19
NCRS restored, 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Chassis no. E57S100230

Sold for € 67,275 (US$ 78,193) inc. premium

Automobiles de Collection

11 Sep 2010, 15:00 CEST

Paris

NCRS restored
1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Chassis no. E57S100230
Back in 1953, Chevrolet's launch of a two-seater sports car was a radical departure for a marque hitherto associated almost exclusively with sensible family transport. Based on the 1952 EX-122 show car, the Corvette made use of existing GM running gear and a shortened chassis frame, around which was wrapped striking Harley Earl-styled glassfibre coachwork. Motive power came from Chevrolet's 235.5ci (3.8-litre) overhead-valve straight six and, unusually for a sports car, there was automatic transmission, a feature that attracted much adverse criticism at the time.
Intended as competition for the T-Series MG, the Corvette cost way above the target figure, ending up in Jaguar XK120 territory but with an inferior performance. Sales were sluggish initially and the model came close to being axed, surviving thanks to Chevrolet's need to compete with Ford's Thunderbird. A V8 engine for 1955 and a radical restyle for '56 consolidated the 'Vette's position in the market. In 1958 the Corvette was facelifted, gaining a quartet of chrome-rimmed headlamps and a host of other more minor styling changes. Perhaps not surprisingly, alterations for '59 were few.
By this time, the end of the 1950s, Corvettes had begun to establish an enviable competition record for the marque. Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov was a big fan of auto racing and it was he that was responsible for unlocking the car's innate potential and development it into a genuine race-winner. These racing successes repaid Chevrolet's investment with interest: Corvette sales improved significantly, ensuring the car's survival and enabling it to go on to become the world's best-selling and longest-lived sports car.
This beautiful Corvette roadster dates from 1957, the year that the 283ci (4,639cc) V8 engine was standardised, replacing the old 265ci unit. Fully restored in the USA by a member of the National Corvette Restorers Society, the car is offered with State of Florida Certificate of Title and FIVA passport, and comes with EU duty paid. An excellent opportunity to purchase one of these iconic early Corvettes in superb condition.

En 1953, le lancement par Chevrolet d'une voiture de sport biplace représenta une vraie rupture de la part d'une marque jusque-là presque exclusivement consacrée aux voitures à vocation utilitaire familiale. Élaborée sur la base du prototype d'exposition EX-122 de 1952, la Corvette utilisait des organes mécaniques déjà disponibles chez GM et un cadre de châssis raccourci qui furent habillés par une étonnante carrosserie en fibre de verre signée Harley Earl. La puissance provenait d'un six-cylindres en ligne Chevrolet de 3,8 litres à soupapes en tête et, fait inhabituel sur une voiture de sport, la boîte de vitesses était automatique, ce qui déclencha un flot de critiques défavorables à l'époque.

Conçue comme une rivale des MG série T, la Corvette fut proposée à un prix bien plus élevé que prévu pour se situer au voisinage de la Jaguar XK 120, mais avec des performances bien inférieures. Les ventes furent très décevantes au début et la voiture qui faillit être supprimée du catalogue ne dût sa survie qu'à la nécessité pour Chevrolet de contrer la Ford Thunderbird. Un moteur V8 en 1955 et un restylage radical en 1956 renforcèrent la position de la Corvette sur le marché. Une retouche en 1958 introduisit en plus de nombreuses révision de détails de style des projecteurs jumelés entourés de chrome. Très logiquement, les modifications pour 1959 restèrent limitées.

À cette époque, la fin des années 1960, les Corvette avaient commencé à établir un enviable palmarès en compétition. L'ingénieur en chef de la Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov, était passionné de course automobile et c'est à lui que l'on doit l'exploitation des potentialités du modèle et son développement en une machine authentiquement performante. Les victoires en course remboursèrent avec intérêts les investissements de Chevrolet : les ventes explosèrent, garantissant la survie du modèle pour en faire in fine la voiture de sport la plus vendue et la plus longtemps produite au monde.

Cette superbe Corvette Roadster date de 1957, année où fut standardisé le moteur V8 de 4 639 cm3 qui remplaçait définitivement l'ancien 4,3 litres. Totalement restaurée aux Etats-Unis par un membre la National Corvette Restorers Society, la voiture offerte avec son titre de circulation de l'Etat de Floride et son passeport FIVA est dédouanée dans la Communauté Européenne. Une excellente occasion d'acquérir une de ces emblématiques Corvette des débuts proposée dans un état exceptionnel.
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
NCRS restored,1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster  Chassis no. E57S100230
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