Of course, the introductory year of any make of car will always be sought after, but when looking for the “radical” one for that generation we would have to pick the 1957 as the top C1 Corvette.
With the introduction of the V8 engine in 1955, the Corvette was now a performance sports car. As speed and power were becoming increasingly popular, Chevrolet decided in 1957 to step it up a notch and put a radical Corvette on the market. Thus, the most popular C1 Corvette was born.
Now powered by a 283 ci. Engine, eventually becoming one of Chevy’s most revered engines by collectors and hot rodder’s, a four speed manual transmission was offered.
The standard Corvette engine was rated at 220 Hp., with a four barrel carburetor. With the dual quad option horsepower was increased to 270, but there was the radical new fuel injection. Chevrolet and General motors Rochester carburetor division came up with the “ Ramjet”, a system that was able to increase top end power with a wider RPM range.
Only 240 of the 6339 Corvettes came with this option, putting out 290 bhp. This coupled with RPO 685 (4 speed and posi-traction rear end) and RPO 684 ( heavy duty racing suspension) made this truly a Radical C1 Corvette.
It was able to do 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, pretty fast for the day, with a top speed of 134 mph. In 1957 this was about as Radical as you could get for a factory machine, and today it is one of the most collectable cars on the market. This car would be the prize of any serious collection.