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Jay Leno Drives his 1957 Corvette

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Chevrolet was uncertain about the Corvette’s future in 1957. The car was launched four years earlier with only 300 sold. But sales began to become profitable by 1955, when the ancient six-cylinder was replaced by the new V8. After fighting in the brutal Korean war, a soldier rewarded himself by ordering this 1957 Corvette in Inca Silver. In order to save weight, he ordered the car without the convertible top, heater, radio, or even courtesy lights. This featherweight supercar is the epitome of 50s performance, so its amazing to watch Jay Leno Drive his 1957 Corvette.

Inca Silver was Corvette’s first Acrylic Enamel paint, thanks to DuPont owning a majority stake in General Motors. Corvette gained a posi-traction rear differential, and Chevrolet Chief Engineer Zora Duntov made it the first American car to have 1 horsepower per cubic-inch. The 283ci engine with 283 horsepower was not only revolutionary, it launched the plastic fantastic to a winning streak that continues today. A 3-speed manual was the base-model transmission, so the owner opted for the 4-speed with a 4.11 differential, options that were both new for ’57.

Although the first-generation (C1) Corvette was produced through 1962, the 57 is universally accepted as the defining year. Stylists added tons of chrome and polished stainless for 1958, and the front end became much more haughty. What makes this one even more significant is that it was restored as part of Jay Leno’s Collection. That means everything part is in better condition than the factory, and the only upgrades are the vintage Halibrand wheels with modern radial tires. Jay opted to preserve the original 4.11 gears and install a set of 3.54, which lower the rpm and allow for highway cruising.

A fully loaded 1957 weighed in at 2,840 lbs, so this car is easily over 1,000 lbs lighter than a new Corvette ZR1. We have several dealers who specialize in Corvettes of all ages, so click the link below to find one near you.

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