1957 Chevrolet Corvette ‘Fuelie’

Coolie Fuelie!

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie Front View

In late 1956, Chevrolet, in direct competition with Plymouth and Ford, accepted the idea of introducing ‘fuel injection’. This was premature for Chevrolet, however a must to stay in this very competitive game. This new arrival to the Corvette didn’t come without complications! The Rochester engineers were very confident carburetor designers, however there just was not enough preparation and testing time to iron out all the issues.

There were many sophisticated sports cars coming out of Europe and General Motors did want to be left behind. With Chevrolet’s first shot at building a true sports car, the Corvette, then a concept car, took its debute at the New York Auto Show in early 1953. Its unique shape had sports car enthusists wanting to know exactly when they could buy one of these new Corvettes. It took Chevrolet only six months to begin producing the Corvette and in its first model year, only 300 all white Corvettes were built and sold.

Some Growing Pains For Corvette

In their haste, Chevy reused a chassis from a previous model and a standard six-cylinder motor that had not too much to show for it! This made the first Corvette a bit underdeveloped compared to the sleek high performance body style it showed off. Chevy had some new tricks up their sleeve. A new small- block V8 was introduced in 1955 and a new era of American muscle cars was now officially underway!

1957 Chevrolet Corvette 283-283HP FI-V8

With much success and Chevrolet engineers listening to the high demand for higher horsepower, Chevrolet introduced another cutting-edge development called fuel injection. The 1957 was the first Corvette to use fuel injection. This took the already powerful V8 and increased its horse power to 283, making the fibreglass two-seater fun to drive. Exactly matching it 283 cubic engine, this new motor was much faster than stated and one horsepower per cubic inch made a nice marketing piece! Chevrolet purposely under rated the 290 hp delivery to match the cubic inch size for this year. This small-block V8 produced top speeds well over 130 mph!

The “Fuelie”

The nickname “Fuelie” was labeled for this year’s Corvette making it one of Chevrolet’s most expensive options of its era. This also made the car very rare because most buyers chose the carburetor model. Now, with its unique body style, power under the hood, and the Corvette in its infancy at this year model, the 1957 is one of the most desirable years of production.

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Red

Power + Class = Corvette

One of our favorite years here at Corvette Dreamer, the ’57 Fulie not only had power, it had class. A better convertible top with power assist was optional, roll up windows also with optional power assist, and an optional hardtop gave this new look some real charm! Also popular at this era was the Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” which had ‘fuel injection’ two years prior to the Corvette. This was new territory for GM using Rochester’s constant flow system unlike the diesel style nozzle metering system the 300SL used. All this high performance  and racing was brought about by Zora Duntov, a former European racer. He ensured the 1957 could be ordered right from the factory – race ready with rare options such as the 283 hp engine with fresh air-tach package, a heavy duty racing suspension, 15″ X 5.5″ wheels, and a 4-speed transmission! Only 1040 Corvettes with ‘fuel injection’ were sold that year. This was another ‘first’ in mass produced engines, to reach 1 hp per cubic inch in this race ready high speed motor.1957 Chevrolet Corvette White

The 1957 Corvette ‘Fulie’ began to turn head as its looks plus power pushed Corvette up in the ranks of the sports car world. As the ‘Fulie’ basically put the Corvette on the map, so to speak, it was only one of the many ‘firsts’ Chevrolet would champion over the years. Over all the years the Corvette has been produced and driven, it has remained one of the top classic all American sports car.  To many eyes, this new race ready Corvette for 1957 was the most beautiful Corvette ever made. People have fallen in love with the Corvette, bought them, sold them, traded them and of course many have become Corvette Dreamers about them!

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