1956 CHEVROLET CORVETTE BACKGROUND
The 1956 Corvette received the first major restyling of the exterior since its inception in 1953. While mechanically the same as before, virtually everything you could see was new, with the exception of the instrument panel, which carried over. The now-legendary side coves made their first appearance, rimmed in chrome trim, allowing the break in two-tone paint schemes. 1956 was also the first Corvette with external door handles, and now for the first time the headlights were exposed (instead of behind mesh covers as before).
1956 Chevrolet Corvette INTERIOR
1956 CHEVROLET CORVETTE INTERIOR
While the instrument panel was carried over from the 1955 model, everything else was new. Roll-up windows were available for the first time, and power windows were a $59 option that found 379 takers. Also for the first time, the seats were adjustable fore-and-aft (they used to be fixed in place).
1956 Chevrolet Corvette ENGINES
ABOVE: The top-line 225hp 265 small block V8 had two 4-barrels.
1956 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ENGINES
Just two engines were available in the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette. The Base Engine was a 265 ci small block V8 with a single 4-barrel carburetor, making 210 horsepower. They came from the factory with stamped-steel valve covers with Chevrolet script embossed in them. The optional engine was also a 265, but had two 4-barrels sitting atop a special aluminum manifold, higher compression, a wilder cam and solid lifters, making 225 horses. All 225hp 265s came with cast aluminum valve covers with 9 cooling fins and “Corvette” script embossed on them. Both engines came standard with a 3-speed manual transmission. The 2-speed Powerglide automatic was the only other option for an additional $188. There was also an optional factory high-lift camshaft available for $188, but only 111 were built in this configuration.