This multiple award-winning 1957 Chevrolet Corvette is one of the first production Corvettes fitted with Rochester fuel injection, making it a player in one of the most interesting chapters in Corvette history. As the 1957 model year loomed, newly promoted GM vice president and Chevrolet general manager Ed Cole was not happy.
He wanted something special for Chevrolet’s aging fleet until the new models arrived in 1958. Cole had already assigned Zora Arkus Duntov to work with his friend and fellow engineer John Dolza on a new fuel injection system, a project that was so secretive that it was left off the corporate books so as not to alert the bean counters.
When Dolza’s prototype design was tested on a 1956 Chevrolet, it was found to increase acceleration by almost 10 percent, a significant gain. The project was threatened when Duntov suffered a broken back at the GM Proving Grounds. Amazingly, he returned to work just months later wearing a back brace and a skirt to ease his movements. Though delayed, the new Ram Jet fuel injection system finally made it into 1957 production, an option on all V-8 powered Chevrolets including Corvette. Both solid- and hydraulic-lifter versions were offered, the latter represented in this stunning Onyx Black convertible that combines the 283/250 HP small block with another new 1957 option, a 4-speed manual transmission.
Sold new at Harry Mann Chevrolet in Los Angeles, California, it was restored in frame-off fashion by Corvette Corrections in Anaheim and completed with Silver side coves, a Red interior, auxiliary hardtop, spinner wheel covers with wide Whitewall tires and Wonderbar AM radio. Formerly part of the Ed Dwyer, Tim McKeon and Harry Yeaggy Collections, it has cleaned up in judged competition, winning Bloomington Gold Certification twice, National, Regional and Chapter NCRS Top Flight Awards, the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence Award and NCRS Performance Verification.