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Selling on Saturday Evening

1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

  • Documented body-off-the-frame restoration by Russ Corvette Restoration
  • 1 of only 700 examples produced in 1955
  • 1 of only 180 finished in Gypsy Red
  • First year of the iconic V-8 Corvette

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Chevy’s first-generation Corvette debuted at the Waldorf-Astoria in January of 1953 and immediately captivated audiences, thanks to the vision of GM’s Head of Styling, Harley Earl. Earl watched as service members returned with European sports cars from World War II and he immediately sought to fill the American market’s gaping chasm with his own Special Projects crew and Chief Engineer, Ed Cole. The fruits of their labor revealed every inch of the American sports car of Earl’s dream, at least on the outside. The racy body, blessed with a curved front end, akin to European sports cars, was animated with long-life headlights enmeshed in wire. The curvaceous bonnet swooped back into a compact tail with perched taillights that hinted at the promise of the decade’s fins to come, but with subtle, alluring flare.

In opposition to its sports car moniker, the early Corvette was merely equipped with a 235-cubic-inch, 150-horsepower six-cylinder engine. Only 300 units were produced in 1953 and the 3,640 units in 1954 delivered dismal sales. America’s future favorite sports car was almost tossed away until GM engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov was thrown into the mix. Later dubbed the “father of the Corvette,” Zora campaigned for a V-8 under the hood as well as a manual transmission. The 1955 was introduced with the V-8 engine; manual transmission would be added as an option midway through the production year. With the launch of the 265-cubic-inch OHV V-8 engine mated to a Carter four-barrel carburetor, the Corvette finally had the power to truly compete in the sports car arena. GM merely tested the waters with the 1955, manufacturing only 700 units for the production year, which is the second lowest number Corvette has ever produced. The reception was overwhelming, and production immediately rose to 3,467 units in 1956; that number continued to rise, and the Corvette was catapulted into the automotive stratosphere.

Beautifully restored to its correct and original appearance, this 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster is a true American icon. The car spent nearly its entire life in the Northeast, primarily in New Jersey. It's beautiful and unmistakable red paint made it a coveted car in the local car scene by young and old for years. After being lovingly cared for by its prior owner for nearly 50 years, one of those former youngsters was able to acquire the car in 2017. Knowning what he had, he took this low-production Corvette straight to Russ Corvette Restoration, LLC in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Steve Russ, a marque expert performed an extensive body-off-the-frame restoration, which is documented by a photo album that contains receipts and photos from the multi-year restoration. Adorned in its original color of Gypsy Red, it stands as 1 of just 180 finished in this color in 1955. Recently finished, everything on this 1955 Corvette is clean and correct, from the straight and flush body panels to the intricately detailed gauges and dash; every element reflects the dedication and expertise invested in the restoration process.

Every aspect of the drivetrain has also been meticulously tended to, ensuring optimal performance and unparalleled open-air driving experience whenever the owner desires. The 195-horsepower 265-cubic-inch V-8 engine is correctly presented and fires right up on command. Awaiting its first judged meet or showfield, the restoration has ensured the preservation of this truly deserving Corvette.

The unique, one-year-only combination of the Corvette roadster body and the first year of the Chevrolet small block V-8 engine, along with 1955’s miniscule production of only 180 Gypsy Red Corvettes, make this 1955 Corvette among the rarest of all Corvettes built. Restored by a well-known specialist and documented the entire way, this iconic red ’55 Roadster is sure to dazzle onlookers and impress at any show where it is judged or displayed.

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