1957 Corvette: Latham Supercharger

1957 Corvette Latham Supercharged

Customization is nothing new, people have been bolting on upgrades almost since the automobile was first created. Corvette upgrades aren’t that uncommon, but this Vette had a very special upgrade added to it very early in its life. The original owner had a Latham Supercharger installed, possibly by the dealership. It’s believed that only 600 of these blowers were ever built and that a number of them made their way onto C1 Corvettes. I imagine the boost made for quite the fun ride and would make for an interesting story today. It currently has a different motor in it, but the blower has been installed on the new motor and the original block is still with the car. The seller’s photos aren’t the best, but they prove that it really is a barn find. It is going to need a lot of work, but the seller is including lots of extra parts. You can find it here on eBay with a very optimistic starting price of $45k. I doubt there are many Latham supercharged Corvettes left, but I’m not sure it justifies the asking price. What do you think? Does the story, supercharger, and replacement chassis justify the price?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Mark E

    AXIAL flow supercharger?!?? If I got this, the drive belt would stay OFF. It’s relatively collectible (I’ve never heard of or seen one) and I wouldn’t want it blowing up…

  2. Mark E

    After a bit of research I found these are zero tolerance staged turbine style superchargers, kind of like the compressor on a jet engine. I bet they sound pretty wicked when running. I’ve found the value of one in running condition runs $2-5k depending on condition and carburetor setup and what engine it’s for. They were set up for 2-6 carbs and one was run at over 150 mph and then completed an economy run at over 25mpg. Pretty amazing but the technology to mass produce them did not exist in the ’50s-60s. Latham only made about 600 of them.

    • Scott Cargill

      I have a Latham axial flow supercharger with the 4 downdraft carbs off a 1959 Micky Thompson built engine that is for sale if you are interested .

      • Richatrd Peters

        hi Scott,

        Any chance we could discuss your Latham supercharger. I am looking at 383 with the same set-up and could use your experience.

        Thank you,

  3. JohnD

    A rarity? Sure. An oddity? Absolutely. But adding value? No. By the time you collect the correct parts to make the car right (esp for a dual quad car) you have spent more than the Latham is worth. But if you say it MIGHT have been dealer installed, it MUST be worth more, right? That is right up there with “I have been told” and “ready to be restored” …

  4. Stephen arnold

    I have one of these old superchargers my grandpa gave to me recently. I am trying to sell it right now for 4500$ if any of you are interested… e

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