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Selling on Friday

From The Tom Haag Estate Collection

1957 Chevrolet Corvette ‘Fuelie’ Roadster

  • Extensive three-year body-off-the-frame restoration with receipts and photos
  • Rebuilt engine with upgraded fuel injection
  • Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed transmission
  • Attractive Venetian Red exterior and interior
  • Two-top car, tan folding soft top and red hardtop
  • First-time offered at auction
  • Many awards in this Corvette’s future

Register To Bid Auction Info

Survival for Corvette was touch and go in the early years. 1955 almost saw the end of this wonderful experiment in the making and marketing of a true American Sports Car. Chevrolet had created a new market niche with those first machines, and it took the improvements seen with the 1956 edition that persuaded executives at GM to give the Corvette a new lease on life. Among those improvements were creature comforts such as exterior door handles, roll-up windows, adjustable seats, power steering as an option, a close ratio shifting setup and more powerful engine choices. With superb engineering from Zora Arkus-Duntov, mechanical upgrades promoted by Ed Cole, and eye-catching styling by Harley Earl, these three wise men breathed new life into the Corvette. Customers responded in stronger numbers selling nearly five times as many Corvettes in 1956 with 3,467 produced. Exterior changes for 1957 were pretty much undetectable. The big news was what was happening under the hood with the introduction of the larger 283-cubic-inch V-8. It was available in five flavors starting with 220 HP in base four-barrel form, with dual four-barrel carburetors rated at 245 HP or 270 HP based on hydraulic or solid lifters respectively, and the new Rochester mechanical fuel-injection system in either 250 HP or 283 HP in either hydraulic or solid lifter form. Corvette had accomplished the goal of creating one HP per cubic inch. The end results of these improvements saw nearly an 80 percent jump in sales for the 1957s; it ensured that the breed would survive for generations to come.

The resurrection of this 1957 'Fuelie' Corvette was truly a labor of love, devotion, and determination. Based on photos in the album that accompanies this car, Thomas Haag acquired this convertible in truly derelict condition around 2013. The chassis had some issues, the body was totally disassembled, and mechanical parts were scattered about. Turning to Madison, Wisconsin-based restorer Mitch Beyersdorf, over a three-year period he would make this road relic rise up out of the ashes like the Phoenix and impress all who see it. Starting with the chassis, any weaknesses in its condition were remedied with professional skills in patching holes and replacing those parts that had rusted or worn out beyond any hope of being salvaged. Next came ordering, preparing and installation of all the correct suspension components. With work progressing, Tom Haag had decided that money would be no object in this restoration, and only the best parts available were used. With all the documentation provided, it’s apparent that Beyersdorf knew exactly what to order for the mechanical needs, including extensive research on the Rochester fuel injection system which is a proper 4800 series unit.

Restoring the body was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle; however, the expertise shown in the fit and finish exemplifies the high level of craftsmanship found for the entire project. With the chassis restored, and the fresh engine and transmission in place, the body was next on the list. Thoughtful and painstaking care was used to smooth out body joints using methods similar to those conducted at the St. Louis assembly plant. All panels were prepared to receive a fresh application of Venetian Red, followed by a complete interior set supplied by Al Knoch Interiors, being properly installed. All new wiring was installed, plus new glass with proper marking. No detail was too small to be overlooked with items such as proper gaskets for mounting trim items and the use of only show-quality emblems. In May 2016, the completed Corvette would join the Thomas Haag Collection in his Toy Box. The odometer currently shows just under 99,650 miles, though true miles are unknown. The engine starts on command and slips into gear as smoothly as a hot knife cuts into butter. All steel wheels with proper hubcaps, this car rides on a fresh set of Firestone Deluxe Champion black sidewall tires and tracks straight and evenly down the road. Since its restoration was completed, it appears that this beauty has been used very little. This Corvette is a show-worthy car today; it’s time to win a few awards and let it do what it was designed to do – hit the road in style.

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