From: Mecum Auto Auctions - Indianapolis 2012 - May 15 - 20, 2012, Lot S272
Sold Price: $175,000
This restored 1957 Corvette is a milestone car in the marque's racing history. Numerous technical developments were tried for the first time on this car, including the first use of Rochester fuel injection in concert with a 4-speed manual transmission. In fact, the FI unit is serial number 1005, one of the first FI units, and the oldest functional unit. It was assigned to Smokey Yunick as a test unit and for backup use on the other factory racers, and was immortalized in the cover photo of the Chevrolet Fuel Injection service manual issued by the factory in 1957.
But that's just the beginning.
The car was also equipped with the first heavy duty braking system, which included larger diameter finned drums, vented backing plates and special brake shoes, and the first brake cooling system employing internal cooling fins, front “elephant ear” inlets and ducting to bring fresh air to both front and rear brakes. Interestingly, it also featured the first GM anti-lock braking system, incorporating separate front and rear master cylinders and a driver-controlled vacuum assist unit in the cockpit.
Also the car is equipped with the very first prototype Borg Warner 4-speed transmission, designated T89-1C and date-stamped October 1956.
The car was also one of the first equipped with what would become the RPO 684 Heavy Duty Racing Suspension package, which incorporated heavy duty front springs, 5-leaf rear springs, heavy duty front and rear shock absorbers, front sway bar, rear traction bars and quick steering adaptor. It was the first to use Chevrolet's newly-developed Operating Systems monitor employing additional gauges including an 8000rpm tachometer. The fuel system was enhanced with a 37-gallon tank and dual electric fuel pumps, and safety enhanced with a roll bar, seat belts and front-mounted aircraft landing lights for night racing.
Also of great significance is the fact that the car was chosen as the test mule for developing the Air Box fresh air intake system later offered as part of the 579E 283/283 HP fuel injected V-8 engine package.
It is believed that after racing at Nassau and Daytona, the Corvette participated in the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours as the Practice number 3 car, bearing the P3 designation; to this date a GM document has not surfaced validating VINs. Years later it was returned to its Sebring configuration by Tim and Carol Partridge of Huntley, Illinois, who completed its restoration after 21 years of ownership and dedicated research. It has since appeared in countless shows and exhibits, including the Road America Corvette 50th Anniversary Display and the Road America Corvette World Tribute to 100 years of Chevrolet (winning the Peoples and Judges Choice award). It won the Road and Track Reserve Award in 2006, was displayed at the National Corvette Museum from 2007 to 2009 and won the 2010 Meadowdale Raceway Judge's Choice Award.
This is one of the most historically significant Corvettes of the period, a virtual Genesis Machine incorporating all the new major technological advances developed in and for competition, all of which were almost immediately transferred to the Regular Production Option list, contributing to Corvette's lasting image as America's Sports Car.
- Restored to 1957 racing configuration
- Fuel injection SN 1005, one of the oldest FI units
- FI #1005 is the unit photographed for the cover of the Chevrolet FI shop manual and is a Smokey Yunick test unit and back up for the race cars
- The first GM anti-lock braking system, Front and rear brakes have their own master cylinder and power assist
- The first Borg-Warner 4-speed prototype transmission
- A T89-1c, dated October 1956
- Heavy duty suspension, roll bar, quick release seat belts
- Big brake system complete with air scoops and finned drums
- 37 gallon tank, quick fill, 3 separate fuel delivery pumps
- Aircraft landing lights for night racing
- National Corvette Museum race display 2007-2009
- Meadowdale Raceway Judges choice 2010
- Road America Corvette 50th Display Road and Track Reserve award 2006
- Road America Corvette World Tribute to 100 years of Chevrolet, Peoples and Judges Choice award
Photos, descriptions and other information for the lot depicted on this page are provided by the consigner to Mecum Auction and have not been verified by Mecum Auction.