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Barn Project: 1956 Chevrolet Corvette


The Corvette is a true American Classic and is highly sought after, but because of the fiberglass body construction, they can be expensive and difficult to restore. For a project Corvette to be realistic it has to either be a very rare example or be cheap. This 1956 Corvette has been in storage for the past 53 years, but is in rough shape. It has a few rare features and bidding is still relatively low, so this could be a good project. If you are interested in it, it can be found in Gretna, Nebraska and here on eBay.


There were only 3,467 Corvettes built in ’56, all of which came with the 265 cui V8. This one came with the optional dual four 225 hp engine, which is numbers matching, and the two speed Powerglide transmission. It obviously doesn’t run and it’s hard to say what it will need to get it running, but that’s the least of this car’s problems. The frame looks solid, but is covered in surface rust and will need attention. It appears the interior has most of the major components, but is missing a lot of small pieces.


The biggest concern we have has to be the body, which needs major work. It was in an accident as some point, which is probably why it was parked in the first place. The seller has replacement pieces for the more seriously damaged sections and is including them with the car. If you are handy with fiberglass, you could do the work yourself and save some serious money. With early Corvette values so high, we are sure someone will save this one, but it will take the right buyer. What would you be willing to pay for it?


  1. Avatar photo Utesman

    How many pairs of eyes touch this ‘automobile-oriented’, car enthusiast-driven site ?!
    How many speeds does a PowerGlide have ?!
    Is there nary a solitary proof reader among you ?!
    It’s NOT rocket science people !!!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Josh Staff

      Hi Utesman, Thanks for catching my mistake and my apologies. I originally thought this car had the three speed manual and then discovered it was the Powerglide and upon correcting it, I somehow forgot to change the number of speeds. It has been corrected and thanks again!

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Chuck

        Josh, I really doubt I would have responded with the courtesy you you did.

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo stigshift

      Dear Utesman,

      Thank you for your interest in proofreading. Here are a few helpful hints should you wish to pursue a career in the field. First, proofread is one (1) word, as are it’s derivatives. Second, although the term Powerglide is one word, it does not utilize a capital “G”. And lastly, it is improper to include a space between the last letter in a sentence and the ending punctuation. Hope this has been helpful to you, and best of luck n your career!

      Sincerely, Stigshift

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo stigshift

        In. IN! Dammit…

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      • Avatar photo Webby

        A most elegant & eloquent rebutal, sir. Much as I’d love a C1 ‘vette,
        this one isn’t for me.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo PG

      In point of fact the Powerglide is a two speed automatic that was used in several models of Chevy well into the 60’s.

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Utesman

    Let’s have a round of applause for those sensational two-year-only 9-rib valve covers!

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    • Avatar photo Jack

      Are you kidding me? I used to have a couple of sets of those valve covers…

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    They can sure park it at my place. I’d get it on the road again.

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  4. Avatar photo Robert J

    It is not going to sell for a bargain price… I say this because I constantly watch EBay car auctions and they consistently go higher than the car would sell for locally. Just my two cents.

    I do believe this Corvette has the nicest rear end ever formed for a car.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo paul

    The car got blasted in the right cowl, the right door & right fender are nowhere near being able to be aligned & the seller says he thinks the right fender has been replaced, why yes it has, by an amateur. This car needs a lot of help, but then again it is a 6 figure car when done.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Jack

    I used to have a pair of those valve covers on a ’55 Chevy…
    Wish I still had that car and the valve covers…

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo tkd

    I restored a 62 in a bit better shape. I said to myself,after I sold the car at an auction in Seattle that I would never take on a project like this again!! I see many parts missing and these are hard to get. Most of the old parts purveyors are gone. – I would not touch this project with a ten foot pole!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo paul

      Yes I am with you on that, that cowl looks to be shattered, which would require taking the entire car apart.

      Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Chuck

    This Vette is already bid way beyond what I would consider paying for it. I am a body shop owner & familiar with fiberglass repair. The right pillar post & dash are a mess. Trying to get proper alignment will be a monumental project. Then there are a load of expensive parts & trim that must be purchased, not to mention what the engine will cost. Considering the history, I don’t see this car ever being restored to the six figure level. It is definitely a project for an experienced (body & mechanical) person that really wants it & doesn’t expect to make a huge profit.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Just Brits

    DamNit Stigshift, damnit ! ! !

    LMAO ! !


    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Mark E

    Too bad it’s worth so much restored…’cause it’s far enough gone it would be good “resto-rod” fodder!!

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Rancho Bella

    Most of you won’t fit. These are “silly interior” designed cars. You nee pencil thin thighs and not have a pot gut……and for gawd sakes…….no flower shirts……the sixties were over some time ago………..

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Rancho Bella

      You need…..not nee. But, your knees won’t be happy either.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo paul

        Yep I have driven & restored a 60 & yes you drive this with the steering wheel in your mouth.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Nova

      Hahahaha…too true


      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo braktrcr

    This car was stored for 53 years? Where? Under a tree? In a junkyard? I’m a bit confused, if it were only 3 years old, then in a sizable accident, and parked… just seems it would look better.Still would love to have the car, and as the Beach Boys called it, “make the dual quads sing”

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo braktrcr

      oops reread it, it says barn/FIELD find

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo harv

      That’s “dual quads drink…”

      Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Larry

    I’m a vette lover and have owned quite a few and will own alot more, but not this one, this is a shame what has happened to this car. Some how I can’t believe this is 26,000 orig. miles, if so this car would win the trophy (if there was one) for the worst car ever taken care of. I can’t imagine this much can happen in 26,000 miles. If you read the ad it says the seats were stored in the barn, so I can only think the rest of the car was out in the field.
    I know it has a lot of rare options, but is it really worth the money. Like I said, what a shame.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Mike

      Yes, there should be punishment for taking such crappy care of a car. Stupid should hurt. Part of that punishment should include not making a windfall profit on it 53 years later.

      Like 0
  14. Avatar photo dave

    so the reason it has sat all these yrs was because it got hit

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo tom

    wish I had it ,missed out on 1 sitting in Elkhart,In. yrs ago,really good shape but owner would not sell,a while later ,went by and it was gone.

    Like 0

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